Welp, tomorrow we ship out...
Our time on the island is just about over. What a wonderful experience it has been. Yesterday we took our final group photos and today was our last group snorkel. We hung out in the lagoon and I don't have the pictures to prove it (decided to be in the moment again today) I saw a lot of wonderful things. I saw a giant green sea turtle. Almost as large as the loggerhead we saw the other day. He (she?) was absolutely massive, munching away paying us no mind at all. I guess when you get to that size not much bothers you. I also got to see my first octopus of the trip! He was a big ol' red guy stuffed into hole. Only his eyes were sticking up and if not for Kenen pointing him out I would've missed him altogether. There were lots of little baby fish around which was neat and an anemone fish family hanging out.
After we got back from the snorkel we had a nice lunch and then had time to prep for our presentations. By prep I mean Sam (Gangly) read his book and I took a nap (who would've guessed). Our presentation went pretty well besides our videos not working, but otherwise it was fine. Last presentation I'll have to do for a while and I think I'm already getting rusty. Definitely noticed a few of my nervous twitches coming back while I was up there. I'll put some work in before my next one. The job in Alaska is helpful with that, being a tour guide and all.
After the presentations Edd and Trisha handed out the Heronies awards. A sarcastic and nice ending to our stay. Might even frame mine because why the hell not?
I don't know about you but I think it's fitting. I do take a lot of naps, especially over the last few days. It's been so nice I've even had to take breaks between naps, to shower or snack or grab a blanket. Quite a refreshing few days. Everyone else got an award as well which I thought was cool and helped to solidify everyone's best moments into memory.
I'm really gonna miss everyone here and all the experiences I've had. I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do now that I've graduated. Hopefully I can see a few of these guys around Logan while I'm there. Once I leave next summer (after Jaren finishes his masters) it's hard to know where I'll go or when I'll be back. I hope everyone here achieves their dreams and crushes their goals. They're all a bunch of badasses and I hope they keep that with them as they move through life.
Until next time ✌
We ferry out of here the day after tomorrow. What a sad ending that will be. I've been having a grand time out here. Time to play. Time to relax. Time to enjoy the company of my colleagues and make some memories. This place really has done something for me and I'm so grateful.
I graduated college this year. Graduating was a monumental moment for me. I spent the first year of college struggling to keep my head above water. I refused to take out loans and instead juggled three jobs while being a full time student. Needless to say, I basically failed. I simply didn't understand the difficulties of living on my own or going to college. Maybe I assumed that it would be easy the way high school had been for me. I thought I could just bullshit my way through and come out alright on the other side. That hypothesis did not reign true. I remember bailing out to a tech school for a year before returning to complete my Associates. With the Associates complete, I still didn't have a clue what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted a Bachelors and I knew I wanted to make a difference on the environmental front. Not knowing quite what I wanted, I took a semester off to live on a farm on the Big Island of Hawaii.
This was one of the greatest decision of my life. I made friends, healed from my destructive relationship and got some perspective on who I wanted to be. I realized that who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do was completely up to me. I was the one in control of my life. I have to give credit to all the friends I made on the Big Island and all those who became family. I had a wonderful time with all of you and you taught me so much. I cried when I left and I still think of those people I left all the time. I knew I still had a lot to learn, but instead of being scared and uncertain, I was excited. I flew back home to Utah after a wondrous four months and continued my schooling at Utah State University, majoring in Conservation and Restoration Ecology (this was eventually changed to Environmental Studies a year before I graduated).
Now two years and a Bachelors Degree later, here we are. Spending the last couple nights on the beautiful Heron Island before I return to my not-so-perfect job in Alaska. I get stuck on what I'm going to do with the rest of my life a lot, but this experience on the Heron Island as well as my experience thus far in Alaska is helping me find that direction I need. I know I want to help the environment and the people of this planet. I know I want to facilitate change and growth. I know I want to be on the front lines, the activist, the educator, the doer. My job in Alaska has shown me the path that leads me away from that and my experience here on the island has given me a little push towards that. Life is all one big experience, one big journey and I think it's alright to make mistakes. To admit that you made the wrong call and make the changes necessary to get back on track. I think a lot of the next few years are going to be trial and error for me. Finding my niche, letting my passion fuel me and never giving up. I intend to go forward excited and open-minded, not try so hard to control every step. I'd like to allow the opportunities to come as they do and be prepared for them when they arrive.
Today was day two for our projects. Gangly and I went out for high tide and low tide to count rays again. Much like yesterday there were quite a few during high tide and fuck all during low. Walking around the beach is nice though, when the wind isn't blowing at 55 km/hr. Today it was like getting sand blasted by the rage of Zeus. Poseidon rocked the few organisms (some rays and a turtle) we did see with white capped waves and tossing swells.
To give you an idea of what the waves were like, here's a turtle getting absolutely thrashed by the waves. When we came back to same way he wasn't there any longer so I think he made it out alright.
After our data collection we worked on our presentation and lab report. Sam and I, both being recent graduates, spent some time looking for and applying for jobs. Hopefully something will stick for both of us. Somewhere in there we got distracted by snapchat so here's some photos just for fun. I know it looks like he hates me, but I promise that's just his face
Though we aren't doing near as much as we have been the last week, I'm still quite tired. Apparently Sam is as well because we both took a nice nap between the tide data collections. The couches in the library are surprisingly comfy and are common napping places. We'd think we were college students or something the way we just pass out wherever.
Some more baby turtles hatched today, though I didn't stay to watch the carnage. Got to hang out with the little guy above for a minute though. Those poor turtles go through so much just to exist. I'm still in awe at the resilience of animals to just survive. What a will to live, the way they fight for every breath, every step. It's quite heroic and beautiful. This little crab was hiding out in a rock during low tide waiting for the tide to make its way back in. Even he was fighting to survive today.
Well that's about it for my day. I'm quite tired. It's nice and blustery outside which makes me want to curl up with a good book. It also makes me miss home and the people there quite a bit. Hopefully we can have a nice movie night before we go to all come together one last time before this trip ends.
Honestly today was a little slow, so I'll just give you the highlights.
Highlight #1: While out reconing for rays in Shark Bay, Sam grabbed a sea star that had been stranded on the beach, said with force, "Wake up, bitch!" Then haphazardly tossed it into the ocean.
Highlight #2: I took a 3 hour nap with a short break in the middle to get a jacket to be used as a leg blanket and a hoodie to warm my top half. Photo credit to Hailey for this killer catnap shot.
Highlight #3: A incredible sunset as the tide was coming in. Honestly one of the coolest sunsets I have ever seen.
Highlight #4: A scrumptious meal by the wonderful Pat and some frozen chocolate mousse. Absolutely divine.
Now I am ready for a much longer nap after I start into my new book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Good night world. Stay tuned for all the excitement tomorrow.
This morning I awoke well-rested and ready to take on the day. I took my time getting ready and heading to brekky. Breakfast was delicious as always. Sam told me about a story of how he watched a baby sea turtle get eaten this morning. It's the circle of life I understand, but sad all the same. When baby turtles hatch on the beach they have to scuttle down to the water. On the way they are easy prey for swooping seagulls who stand guard waiting for their next meal. If the turtles can make it to the water they still have to get through hoards of sharks and the continuous pecking of seagulls until they reach deeper water. It's a miracle any of them make it at all. It makes every turtle I see that much more interesting and powerful. They went through hell just to exist and now here they are, swimming and gliding about. Truly incredible feats of nature.
After breakfast we headed out to Shark Bay to do a coral health lab. You use these little color cards that show differing shades of color for the coral. You then record the darkest and lightest colorations for the coral you observe. This is combined with a global database to help access the health (decline or recovery) of reef systems across the world. I was pretty excited for the lab and thought this was a wonderful skill to know how to do, especially since the cards we were using are part of a global organization that compiles the data. On the way to the bay we witnessed a black noddy tern coming to the end of its life. It was a younger one that had fallen victim to the pisonia tree and was destined to become the nutrients that the tree needs to survive. Another stark reminder of how life comes and goes. The interconnected of everything seemed to be the theme for the day. I walked past quietly, thanking the bird for its role here and continued to walk on, not allowing myself too much more time to think on it.
Once we got to Shark Bay, everyone got finned up and started heading into the water. There were a few people heading out to the coral patches, Zach paired with Hailey and Russ paired with Nora. As the rest of us were getting ready to follow Trisha in, a huge figure swam within a meter of Trish. Edd noticed it as a shark and tried to get Trisha's attention. "Trisha. Trisha. TRISHA!" as his pitch went from bass to soprano. Trisha quickly scuttled out of the water realizing that it was a tiger shark in the water. Most of the sharks we see out here are black tip reef sharks, lemon sharks and quitar sharks (aka shovelnose rays). They are all relatively harmless to humans, but tiger sharks are a whole different ball game. They are the trash cans of the sea, ready and willing to eat anything and quite aggressive. All of us still on shore starting screaming at the others to come back in.
No longer in reach of Trisha, the tiger began heading right towards Zach and Hailey. Watching that massive beast of an animal close ranks on my friends was absolutely terrifying. I can't imagine what it was like to be in the water. It veered past those two, made a pass around Russ and Nora before swimming off into the distance. This all passed by in a matter of minutes, but it stains the memories for all of us. The sheer panic that rose in Trisha's and Ed's voice showed the potential for a not-so-happy ending. For instructors with years of experience in the field they were reasonably shook with the rest of us. We ended up canceling the lab and coming in for the day. We were safe, with all of our bits very much intact, a little frazzled but overall okay. In the blink of an eye today, we could've lost someone. Due to a quick reaction and a dash of luck we didn't.
This life we have here is so fragile. Today had me thinking a lot on Willie. I miss him incredibly all the time. Within the span of an evening a life that was here was no longer. A good friend who I will never hear laugh or see smile again. To suddenly be holding onto to fragments of memories, struggling more and more to keep his image strong in my mind. It's only been a few months since he was taken and I'm still learning how grief works. Memories fade much like anything else, but in the grieving process it becomes a cruel reality. Sometimes I struggle to remember what he sounded like or what his face looked liked. I'm grateful for all the memories I have with him. All the long drives and deep talks. The parties and adventures. The pictures that I can look at any time I want. That one video that I get to hear him speak for 2 seconds that I watch on repeat. A beautiful, fragile existence we have here. Much too short to waste on the trivial and unimportant.
I'd been stuck in my head the last few weeks, stuck on my future, stuck on making the right decisions, stuck on trying to prove that I was up to something worthwhile. I rarely stopped to enjoy the present wonders. Today was a blunt reminder of how life comes as quickly as it goes. It is up to us to be present for the in-betweens. To enjoy the here and now before we can't anymore. We had an outer reef snorkel planned for the afternoon and I made the decision to leave the GoPro behind. The footage and pictures are nice to have but they have a way of encompassing the whole experience. Today I wanted to really enjoy the reef, take it all in, be whole and attentive. It was a wonderful decision to make.
Today I saw more than any other outer reef trip we'd been on. The first drop into the water, I got to see so many beautiful colorations of coral, purples, blues, some even slightly fluorescent. There were schools of fish everywhere and without your arm sticking you are a much better swimming companion. They surrounded me and hung around for a bit. In the water it pays to be quiet. I got to peak into little coral canyons and grottos without spooking the fauna there. I saw some squids skirting across the top of the reef and turtles swimming along the bottom of the reef shelf. I was present and there, able to admire without scaring them off by trying to get the "perfect shot".
At our second drop off point there were two eagle rays that glided through (quickly turning back once they saw us). I will never get over their pure majesticness. The way they soar through the water with such ease, like an eagle in the air, they look so graceful. There were multiple turtles swimming through, enjoying the delicacies of the reef. Sam and I saw another eagle ray swim across the top of the reef and then a school of three come past while most of the group was out looking at an ancient loggerhead turtle. He paid none of us any mind. Given how large he was he'd seen and survived much worse than a few floundering humans.
We got back from the snorkel with enough time to get our project proposal approved and enjoy the sunset. I set up a timelapse for the sunset but the nice thing with those is that I just set and leave it. No maintenance, no taking away from the sunset experience. I brought out a cup of hot tea and enjoyed watching the colors change across the waves. It was a beautiful ending to an eventful day. I quite enjoy the ritual of watching it and will miss that when I leave. Until then I intend to pay more attention to the now and really soak it all in. We've only got this one go at things and well, we better make it count.
I promptly passed out after dinner last night so my apologies for the late post. Anyhow, here we go.
The morning began with our ID test which I was not completely prepared for. I ended up doing well though, only missing a point because I can't spell for shit. There are a lot of fish and organisms out in the sea and I'm grateful to be able to start identifying them. Glad to have that test out of the way so I can start focusing on other things.
The afternoon was spent going out to the outer reef again, which was fun, but not my grandest moment. We went to one section of the reef and I tried my hand at diving down into the water. There were quite a few of us and I got a little trampled. I ended up swallowing quite a bit of seawater which made me quite sick to my stomach. The views were still beautiful though and I enjoyed myself. Getting on the boat before everyone else was my first mistake. The rocking of the saltwater in my stomach make me feel nauseous. By the time we got to the next location, I had to vom before I got off the boat (I like the word vom better than vomit. Sounds less gross). I puked only a little, but it was enough for my professor (Edd) to use it to measure the direction and rate of current. I ended up getting in the water and felt much better off the rocky boat. It was the second location that I was able to see some of the coolest stuff. Here's a snapshot of that for your viewing pleasure.
After the snorkel, I took a nice hot shower and relaxed before dinner. I almost passed out reading my book, Cloud Atlas, but was able to push through and finish it. It is a wonderful book that plays with ideas of time, reincarnation and interconnectedness. There are multiple story lines each with its own plot, plot twists, character development and message. I had seen the movie before, but the book (as usual) was so much more detailed and inspiring. The movie is in fact incredibly well done and I highly recommend both to anyone who's interested.
I finished off the day with a nice meal and a beautiful sunset with my group. My bed was welcoming and warm. The rest much needed. We're more than halfway through our stay here and I'm not looking forward to this countdown, not a bit.
P.S. I mentioned getting a commemorative tattoo for this place and promised to post some of my ideas on that, so enjoy. I'd like something that captures the beauty of both the ocean and the amazing night sky out here.
A shot of the stars and an ocean sunset from Heron Island.
Some of the favorites that I've found so far
Today came short and sweet. Breakfast was early then a quick briefing before we started our lab. The point of the lab was to observe the abundance and diversity of fish species in the reef. In order to do this we had to lay a 30 meter transect line from the edge of where the reef began that extended out toward the ocean. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Now, it was easier than I assumed it would be. An easy breeze and light current made it not so difficult. But when you're swimming, pulling a 30 meter tape measurer through 6 foot deep water the waves do try to have their way with it a bit. I got it straight after a couple minor re-adjustments but it did the trick. Then we had to follow the line with a GoPro camera to be analyzed later. We did this at high tide (where we had to swim the line out) and low tide where we were able to walk it out instead. To get an idea of what the camera saw here's a quick snip-bit for your viewing pleasure.
Unfortunately at low tide there weren't many fish to be seen, but getting an up-close look at patch reefs was pretty incredible. There's a whole marine city hiding under there, pretty neat! Now at high tide there were quite a few cute little damselfish and plenty of wrasses to enjoy. Once we got back to the lab and got all the data put in it was time for a quick muffin and off to watch the sunset.
All the colors and the beauty of the ocean sunset. So much different than the ones at home. The way the mountains become stained with pink and the white tips are stark against the blazing sky. The colors so much the same and the sun still reflects upon the land only so much different than it does with the sea. The sea serves as a mirror whereas the mountains bend the light to show a different side of them altogether. I love this little island and all the people I'm getting to know on it. After this I return to Alaska, a place fun, yet foreign and not quite where I want to be. I dream of the Wellsvilles and the rolling Cache Range. What I wouldn't give to be there just for a day.
Having this odd yearning for home surprises me, as I've never had a home before. Cache Valley has been the true first, though the Big Island of Hawaii was quite close. The only two places in my life that I have cried when I left. They are fittingly tattooed on my body forever. Both places I will always remember. In my mind I can return to Alaska another time, in a job I actually like. Not this one where I'm a underpaid guide for overpaid tourists. They aren't all bad ya know? But they came for vacation, for adventure, they care little about conservation, education and the intrinsic value of nature. Maybe my homesickness is giving me a biased. I'm not sure, but the job applications are out and the first bite I'm buying a ticket for home. Until then I'm going to enjoy this lovely little Heron Island out in the middle of the ocean. It is beautiful and freeing. Intimate and deep. A place of mystery and curiosity. A place that may even be laid to memory in ink.
Today was our first trip to the outer reef. A cloudy, almost stormy day but we were determined to make it out there. Climbing into a rocking float boat was awkward, but when you're surrounded by friends awkward becomes funny. Not a one of us climbed in gracefully, but we made it and were happy to get out there. The boat trip was a little rocky and well slightly unsettling as we continued to get into open water. If anybody else had any nervousness, they hid it well. I watched the island get further and further curious to what secrets the open ocean would hold.
Once we got to our departure point we had to get our gear on, sit on the edge of the boat, octopus grab our face and "gracefully" fall backwards into the water. We all splashed down into the water unaware of the magical world that lay beneath us. If I could open my mouth under water without drowning I very well might have screamed with delight. The layers upon layers of reef alone were incredible. How the grew on top of one another, jutting out and through creating cliffs and canyons I'd never seen before. The diversity of marine life was astounding. Schools of fish swam through everything, feeding on the algae across the coral or even the coral itself. Their feeding sounded like static under the water. I never imagined under water to be so loud but the liquid environment carries it quite well.
As we wandered through the water, learning how to dive and depressurize my ears I began to feel a bit overwhelmed. All the fins and people, so much to look at. I couldn't keep my mind on any one thing. I found myself swimming in circles trying to stay near the group. Many times I would get distracted by a parrot fish and begin following it until I was a bit too far from the group. Other times I would get stuck on a single fish and float there in awe of the life it lives every day. My partner had to check to make sure that I was okay a couple times because I was quite stuck in my own world. After a while I became comfortable in the water and starting diving myself. Quite the challenge in wet suits that make you float like a cork but I think I'm starting to get it down.
After the first location we loaded back into the boat and went to explore another. This one had so many different kinds of coral and was closer to the reef edge. I was weary about getting in at first. The waves were a little intense and the current a bit strong. Upon first entering the water a wave came over and filled my snorkel tube with saltwater. I'm unsure of how much saltwater I drank today, but I'm sure it was well over the daily recommended amount. Once I got that all situated I put my mask in the water and began exploring the reef. Almost immediately I saw two spotted eagle rays gliding through but they quickly disappeared into the depths. Graceful creatures they are.
We continued further down the reef. It was here that I witnessed a couple of reef tip shark (both black and white) hunting near the lower edge. They are incredible creatures and mostly just leave us humans alone. I am so amazed by their physiology. Made almost completely of cartilage, the only bone is there jaw bone but they swim with such speed and vigor. The coral structures here were incredible though I did notice some bleached areas. I wonder what caused it. Temperature rise in the ocean? Too much CO2 in the water? Did the coral's algae friends piss off for other reasons? I'm not sure, but seeing the stark white against the rest of the very alive reef was intense and saddening. Roughly 90% of the Great Barrier Reef has succumb to bleaching, much of it attributed to global climate change. A climate shift that is without a doubt anthropogenic, at least to a large degree.
I dwelled on that for a moment before continuing towards Heron's Bommie. A large coral mound rich in marine life. The shelves and hideaways of the bommie made the perfect safe haven for fish and other organisms. I watched my professor (Trisha Atwood) dive down a handful of time but wasn't sure what she was looking at. I turned away for a moment and shortly thereafter a sea turtle came out of hiding. I followed it for a minute. Then a classmate came shooting through and the turtle quickly diverted. For an animal that chooses to go to slow it has the speed and agility when it needs it.
That marked the end of this trip to the outer reef, but we have another one scheduled in a few days. The ocean is as beautiful as she is terrifying and deserves respect. She provides life and safe haven or destruction and I think that should be remembered. An unforgiving mistress riddled with secrets. Humans cannot survive without the ocean. While the ocean and its inhabitants can and will bounce back in time, its services make all other life possible. In destroying the planet's ecosystems we are disrupting natural evolutionary patterns and decreasing our own quality of life. The beauty we have here is to be cherished and appreciated. We are all one system sharing the same floating ball in space. We can make our connection with the planet better or we can wipe ourselves out. Really up to us. For our sake I hope we wake up and make changes to better the situation before we are forced to. There is no longer a question of if, only of when. A somber ending thought process to the day, but I think important to keep at the forefront of my mind as I move forward into my future.
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
Advice that I often fail to listen to.
This morning was a bit of a rough one. I found myself coming into bed a little late after catching up on blogs and making a phone call back home. I planned to make out to the sunrise snorkel, but my body coupled with my lack of willpower didn't allow that to happen. I remember waking up to my alarm, speaking with my roommate Janna, sitting up then deciding, "Awe, screw it" and promptly passing out again. I awoke much better rested about an hour later but the howling winds still begged me to stay in bed. I enjoyed the sounds of the storm for a while before hauling myself out to go to breakfast. Something about hot tea and a warm breakfast makes taking on the world a little less difficult.
After breakfast was a crash course in marine invertebrate evolution and classification before going out to a challenging lab. The point of the lab was to study the relationship between the abundance of invertebrates and distance from coral reef patches. In order to gather the data we had to walk out into the ocean, luckily we only had to go to about knee height water and then stab a 60 ml syringe into the sediment underwater along a transect line. The wind and the waves made the effort a bit crisp, but doable.
After that adventure it was a couple grueling hours getting intimate with a microscope. Grueling may be too harsh of a word, but the searching through petri dishes of sand gave me flashbacks of a previous lab job that didn't suit me well. When we did find an invertebrate it was quite exciting. By the time it was over we were all having a bit of fun, jamming to Hailey's playlist and chasing arthropods across the dishes.
The day ended with a wonderful meal and a blustery sunset. No matter how often I see it, the beauty of the ocean never ceases to amaze me. The way the light hits it just the right way making a black abyss, then slightly differently to reveal the incredible world that lies beneath its surface. Tonight I witnessed baby black tip reef sharks swimming around cowhead stingrays and even a school of eagle rays circling the jetty. These animals that call this place home. The ocean which for many lies out of sight and out of mind, is the keystone of this planet. So much of what makes life possible is hidden in her depths. This is where life began, where evolution first made its debut and where the most resilient species will survive. I'm so grateful to learn her ways and fall in love with the creatures she cares for. I think any rough day requires some reflection and positive thinking. Not all days will start or end well. Some will do neither, but those days are the ones that make us look a little deeper and pay attention to all the little moments that make life worth the slips and stumbles.
The next morning we ventured the second snorkel of the trip. A daily sunrise snorkel. We get the chance to wake up with the marine creatures and begin the day in a way I wish I could start every day. The sunrise was simply stunning and all the critters were stirring.
Upon entering the harbour I saw over a dozen cowhead stingrays attempting to hold onto those last moments of sleep. They covered the bottom the harbour buried nicely under their sandy blankets.
Green sea turtles swam throughout the harbour as well. We went out to explore the sunken ship and hunt for as much as we could see. It was absolutely incredible to wake up with the sea creatures. There was so much to explore and find. Rabbitfish, tang, black-tipped reef sharks, the whole thing was mind-blowing. We did well swimming as a group and keeping each other safe. It was cool to see everyone get more comfortable with their flippers in the water. Pictures can't even do it justice.
Overall, today was an amazing day, a sunrise snorkel, the first lab completed and so much more to learn. I'm beginning to connect more with my classmates and professors, which is wonderful. Being a recent graduate everyone I am out here with will one day be a colleague if not a friend. I hope we can learn from each other and take what we learn into our future endeavors. I see so much potential in all of my peers I can't wait to see what they do with it. The researchers, the engineers, the public speakers, the activists. We will all do amazing things, together and as individuals. The world is our oyster as well as our responsibility and I wouldn't rather it be in any other hands.
Despite this I do find myself weary for the future. My own future rests heavy and I'm still learning how to balance the weight. The future of the planet and humanity weighs heavier though less loud as my own personal direction. What will this place be in 10, 20, 30 years? What can I do to help it be the same if not better than it is now? What are my dreams anyway? How do I know I'm heading the right direction if I don't have the faintest clue what the end looks like? At 24 I'm beginning to think that steps forward are steps forward, even if the direction is questionable.
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, or clumsily, or slowly. Pace and grace are not near as important the fact that I'm moving and thinking at all. Life is one big experience, one big journey and it's silly to try and map it step by step. I'll keep exploring, playing, toying with ideas making sure to check in and see where I'm at, but I'm sure whatever road I travel will do just fine. And well, if not there's always backtracking or cutting a new path. I've got my passion, my determination, good friends, an even better family and plethora of opportunity. I think I'll be alright.
An educated outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the planet and all its inhabitants, I wish to be a liaison between the scientific world and the public. I believe that knowledge and compassion are the keys to understanding and bettering our complex existence on this beautiful Earth.