Navigating Nature

A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment



If You Like Piña Colada(s) and Getting Caught in the Rain…

Then Puerto Rico is the place to be! Bryant and I traveled there last week for spring break, and while we only drank one piña colada and got caught in the rain just once, it was a fantastic trip. We were there for six days and experienced a wide variety of settings in such a short amount of time, experiencing the urban history of San Juan, examining the Caribbean reef ecosystem up close while scuba diving, beach-hopping in remote Vieques, and hiking through the dense jungle of El Yunque. Continue reading “If You Like Piña Colada(s) and Getting Caught in the Rain…”

Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards

Last month, my family and I went on a two-week vacation to Brazil – not to see the Olympics, but to see my sister Laura, who was studying abroad in the city of Salvador, and to reconnect with a country we love, since we lived in Sao Paolo when I was very young. Continue reading “Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards”

A Mexican Valentine’s

Last Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend Bryant and I decided to break from the traditional dinner-date-and-roses thing and give ourselves an adventurous trip instead. Since neither of us had visited Mexico in years, we headed south to Cabo, but not for the sunbathing and relaxed vacation that many go there for (and I’ve enjoyed in the past). We were in Baja California for four days, and our primary motive was to see two magnificent creatures: a whale and a whale shark. Continue reading “A Mexican Valentine’s”

A Perfect Weekend in Gran Canaria

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Last weekend, there was a huge surprise for me – not in the location of my planned trip, but in the person that accompanied me. I thought that I would be traveling with a friend, but really my boyfriend Bryant flew from San Francisco for the weekend to surprise me and go with me to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. I was so surprised and we had such a great time. It was my first visit to the Canary Islands, and I loved it – the weather was perfect, even in November, and the landscapes were so pretty. Continue reading “A Perfect Weekend in Gran Canaria”

Palau Part III: The Traveler’s Dilemma

My Palau adventure has sadly come to an end, but I had an amazing last week in this beautiful place. I was in Palau for a 3-week research seminar on coral reefs, and if you missed my first two posts about this trip you can read them here and here. We were hosted at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), Palau’s top research institution, which also runs the Palau Aquarium. It was great to meet PICRC’s CEO Yimnang Golbuu and interact with many of the researchers there. The seminar was taught by two Stanford faculty members, Rob Dunbar and Stephen Monismith, and a faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bob Richmond. Continue reading “Palau Part III: The Traveler’s Dilemma”

Palau Part II: Quadrats, Taro, and Monoliths

It’s been a busy week here in Palau, and we’ve been doing a lot of science and cultural immersion over these last few days. I’m in Palau as part of a 3-week research seminar on coral reefs, and you can see my first post about it here if you missed it. My research project is about tourism pressure on coral reefs, mainly in the form of physical damage to the reefs caused by snorkelers. My group has been hard at work this week visiting popular snorkel sites and sampling for evidence of physical damage to corals. Continue reading “Palau Part II: Quadrats, Taro, and Monoliths”

Plunging Into a Palauan Paradise

Greetings from Palau! After Stanford at Sea, I spent one week in Kauai with my family, and now I am onto my next adventure: a 3-week field seminar in the beautiful island nation of Palau. Palau is located at 7˚ N, to the east of the Philippines and Indonesia:

Map of Palau in relation to Oceania

Palau is the definition of a tropical paradise: hundreds of gumdrop-shaped islands completely covered with lush green jungle, clear warm water that looks to be a million different colors at once, and intricately mesmerizing coral reef communities. One of the really special things about Palau is that it contains a huge variety of different ecosystems. In one country, there are volcanic islands, limestone islands, and coral atolls, as well as four different kinds of reefs. Continue reading “Plunging Into a Palauan Paradise”

My Upcoming Ocean Adventure

In one week, I will be starting one of the most exciting adventures of my life. For the past four weeks, I have been studying at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station (which you can learn more about by reading one of my past posts here) in a program called Stanford at Sea. The program is associated with SEA, Sea Education Association, and it teaches students about the ocean in a very practical, hands-on, and immersive way. We have one more week of the shore component, in which we have been taking classes and preparing for the sea component, which will start during the first week of May. Next weekend, I will be flying to Tahiti and boarding our ship, SSV Robert C. Seamans, in the capital city of Papeete. Continue reading “My Upcoming Ocean Adventure”

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