Exploring Seymour Norte

A desolate, flat island baking under the equatorial sun, Seymore Norte is home to large nesting populations of blue-footed boobies and great frigatebirds and not much else. Covered in a tangle of brush and dotted with the occasional opuntia cactus, the island itself is not much to look at. Enter the island’s feathered inhabitants however, and…

An Isabelaño Day

Sitting here on a hammock outside of my classroom it’s amazing how normal this feels – the flutter of wings as a yellow warbler builds its nest beside me, the faint sound of ocean waves from across the street and the occasional babble of Spanish. I could’ve been living here on Isabela for months rather…

Con los lobos

We were ushered into the water with little ceremony – “The sea lions are over there, the sharks are over there.” Though the words were anticlimactic, nothing could diminish my excitement. It was my first full day in the Galapagos and I was about to swim with sea lions. I adjusted my mask, and stepped…

The Beginning – Santa Cruz Adventures

Grey sand and looming cacti weren’t the welcome I pictured upon my arrival into the Galapagos, but I was far from disappointed. If anything, that welcome made it apparent that the Galapagos were more than the stereotypical islands with white sand beaches and palm trees – they were unique. I arrived at the islands via…

Into Namibia

I first glimpsed Africa through a minute airplane window two seats and an aisle away. A irritable woman guarded the small pane of glass and matched each of my curious glances through it with pointed glares back in my direction. I didn’t care. It would take more than a few annoyed looks to diminish the excitement…

Earth Day PSA – “Look Up”

Sitting on a bench outside of class today, I watched as one of the campus’ resident red-shouldered hawks flew onto a streetlight that stretched over a busy sidewalk. It was easily the closest I had ever been to a wild hawk, and the little, wrinkled, khaki-clad grandma that is my inner ornithologist was jumping for joy. As I looked…

Blue Jay Tug-of-War

Curious and mischievous, the young blue jays at the wildlife hospital I once volunteered for easily won their way into my heart with their playful antics. Feeding them was always the highlight of my day; eager to get at their lunch of meal worms and blueberries, they wouldn’t hesitate to perch on my arms or shoulders if…

Shark Tagging with RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program

This past semester I have begun interning for RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. It is a spectacular program that blends research and outreach by bringing citizens, particularly high school students on shark tagging expeditions where they get to assist in the collection of data for current shark research. What follows is my account of a recent…

Tubing Ichetucknee Springs

At Ichetucknee Springs State Park, the shrieks of young families launching themselves into the water on bright, neon tubes contrasts heavily with the serene, primeval beauty of the river and its surroundings. The state park, located in Fort White, Florida, is centered upon the Ichetucknee River which flows from seven springs emitting more than 233 million…

Shoals Marine Lab – A Marine Biologist’s Paradise

Spending two summer weeks on an island off the coast of Maine sounds like paradise. Factor in classes that stretch from sunrise to well past sunset, four a.m. seagull cat fights outside your window, and a toilet shared by 13 that no one is allowed to flush, somehow it’s still paradise. Welcome to Shoals Marine…