Back to schooooool

What a summer! So much has happened since my last post– My ‘deep dive’ presentation to the Fishery Solutions Team went really well. I had a very productive brainstorming session and was able to generate several behavioral intervention ideas for each of the challenges I discuss in my paper. We had a really great intern send-off party at the office on our last day as well. I learned so much at this internship and will really miss working with everyone at EDF!

 

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Goodbye desk! 🙁

 

The day after my last day at EDF I picked up my boyfriend (now fiancé!) at the San Francisco airport. He spent the summer working in Costa Rica, and has just arrived in Peru where he will complete his practicum assignment for his MA in International Education Management . Here he is showing off his city parallel parking skills (I could NEVER park like this…)

 

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Very impressive Dashiell….

I’m back in Monterey and all moved into my new place in Seaside. I’m living in the same awesome house as Alex!! Last weekend we loaded up on a bunch of new plants to add to our edible garden. Here I am with Thomas (another IEP student) trying to squeeze into our car that’s been FILLED with tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, calendula, echinacea, yarrow, and more.

 

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I’m excited for what this semester has to offer! I’m taking some really interesting classes this term– Marine Science and Policy, Sustainable Coastal Management, and GIS. Other than that, I’ve been slowly easing myself back into the swing of grad school; working on my resumé, preparing for IPSS, doing some rock climbing and biking, and just enjoying my time back in beautiful Monterey.

 

Last Night

P2 - LightingE“When you’re looking up there, do you know how to tell a planet from a star?” I replied that I don’t know any astronomy; I meant to learn but it had escaped me. With one broad gesture and a performer’s easy grace, he took me across the sky, showing what he knew and, when one spot came into our walking view, pointing out Mars. “You see, stars are brighter but they flicker and someday burn out. Planets keep shining though, they won’t fade away.” Continue reading

Demo Day to Monterey

That was the fastest and busiest summer I’ve ever had. Van life was a whirlwind that consisted of waking up each morning, jumping in the ocean, getting coffee, and then working for 12+ hours each day trying to balance developing our prototype, refining and practicing our pitch, meeting with everyone we possibly could, and working on the CBE – WWF Arctic Economics project! It was insane. So much work but somehow so much fun! And it all paid off in the end. Our pitch of Urbavore was extremely well received…we won the people’s choice award for best of show! And everyone loved all of the produce we provided at our booth; I never would have guessed people would be coming back for 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths for celery! But then again, that aquaponics celery is dam good. We’re still actively trying to find funding to move forward on several projects simultaneously. I like to say that we have all of the resources we need to make our vision happen, except for money.

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I’ve now returned to Monterey and moved into an amazing house in Seaside. We have solar power, grey water recycling, a full edible garden, a rooftop patio, and a garage full of musical instruments! It’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived in my entire life! Here is a picture of my favorite room in the house, and of the view from the roof!

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We’re now in crunch time on the CBE-WWF project. No rest for the weary. I’ve wound up finding a lot of really interesting information on the indigenous arctic populations, and am learning a lot! In my free time I’m playing lots and lots of music.

 

School starts tomorrow! Woah.

Back to the main land!

After eleven weeks in Hawaii I am back East, trying to keep cool and reflecting on an amazing summer. I feel so fortunate to have worked alongside people who are so passionate about the ocean and so determined to incite positive change.

Who could not fall in love with this view?

Who could not fall in love with this view?

In wrapping up and finalizing my economic justification I spent my last week synthesizing lessons learned for fully realizing the economic value of seascapes. In order for the economic benefits of seascapes to be both fully realized and directed towards local communities/business, there are key considerations that need to be accounted for. While the Brid’s Head and Sulu-Sulawesi Seascapes are full of success stories they are also full of important lessons that need to be considered when engaging in multi-sectoral, large-scale marine management. Continue reading

Summers are for…travel.

image With an entire summer dedicated to researching one of the coldest places on earth, I often found myself wishing for a little more summer and a little less of Monterey’s fog. I love the idea of sweater weather as much as the next hippie environmental policy grad student, but occasionally a body needs some sun. Good thing there is plenty of that to be found elsewhere in the wide West of the US.

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Until Next Time, Denmark

Now that I am at the tail end of this summer fellowship I can hardly believe that all the fun and fruitful experiences I’ve had here in Denmark are almost already behind me. When I return home and my friends ask me, “How was Denmark?” I really have no idea where to begin, but I’ll try my best to lay it out for you here.

Over the summer I’ve had the great pleasure of being a summer fellow with Maersk Drilling where I dove straight into several issues mainly surrounding air pollution and energy efficiency. Communicating with my supervisor prior to arriving I had formulated a scope of work centered on emerging sustainability trends in the industry, which I have continued to focus on throughout the summer, but over time began to involve myself in many other projects and initiatives in tandem.

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The projects I helped with ranged from analyzing and determining internal definitions for environment-impacting phenomena to the funding and employment of innovative and efficiency-bolstering technologies. On several occasions (primarily in the beginning of the summer) I found myself with free time in the office and would go to different departments working on projects that I found interesting. I spoke with people about my educational background, my personal interests, and what value I could bring to the project they were currently undertaking. Because of this approach, I soon became involved in many things at once keeping me plenty busy for nearly the entire summer.

As I made progress in these endeavors I often would conduct department meetings to brief my colleagues on the results I found or recommendations for the company. Now that I am nearing the end, I have two important briefings left. One will cover a follow-up for a previous meeting on Emission Control Areas, how the company monitors its emissions and centers its focus, and what economic and viable solutions exist that can help with improving the current situation. The other will cover my continued research on and formulation of important emerging sustainability and environmental trends in the industry that would behoove Maersk Drilling to understand and consider embracing in a strategy to stay ahead of the curve.

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Apart from my in-the-office experiences, I was also endowed with a fantastic host, Thomas, to whom I owe a great deal for being such a great flatmate, and colleagues who made that much-appreciated effort to make me feel like part of the family. Thomas, a personal trainer at a local gym, and I would work out together and go grab dinner on occasion. We went downtown to check out different shops and restaurants or just to hang out and walk around. Every other week or so my colleagues would extend an invitation for some event or gathering where I got to know many of them much better in a less professional environment. I even attended a concert in downtown København, which turned out to be great fun!

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During the summer I also had the opportunity to take some time off to extend my weekends enabling me to travel a bit while in Europe. I ended up taking a few weekend excursions to Germany and, like I’ve written about in my last blog, was able to take a longer two weeks off for a class up in Norway. It was also possible for my girlfriend to come visit, which was a nice reminder of what I loved and missed about home. We explored many museums and landmarks in København and at the end of her stay took a trip down to Germany where we saw much of the maritime history of Hamburg.

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Now that I am returning to Monterey I look forward to my remaining time at MIIS and how my summer fellowship may further enhance and augment my studies. Even though I am turning the page and closing this chapter, the story is far from over. I can’t wait for what the future may bring!

Surveying for days and days and days …

image_11One of my main projects with Root Solutions this summer has been with none other than … (drum roll please) … The Marine Mammal Center!! Never would have guessed right? 🙂

 

In order to determine exactly which behavior change tools would be the most effective at TMMC myself and several of my fellow interns had the privilege to spend 7 days surveying the public and talking to the incredible volunteers who keep the place running.

image_4Each morning we would arrive at TMMC around 10am, set up our survey table, and ask people about their experience as they left the center until about 4pm. The purpose of this survey was to determine whether or not the messages about using less plastic and consuming sustainable seafood, which the volunteers at TMMC are working so hard to convey to the public, are being properly received by the visitors to the center.

It was such an incredible experience to spend a week at the Marine Mammal Center. Besides it being a place of impeccable beauty I had such fun time talking to the different visitors – many of whom were on vacation from other countries! Prior to coming to MIIS for grad school I was teaching environmental education to kids, so I was in heaven talking to the kids about how cool the baby elephant seals were, or how similar our human bodies are to a seal’s body because we are all mammals!
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I was lucky enough to have some of the most amazing co-workers on the planet, and together we got a total of 135 survey respondents! Sheer excitement can’t begin to describe what I felt the day I did the final count of the surveys in the office after we were all done 🙂

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Another HUGE thank you to all of my co-workers/BFF’s at Root Solutions who helped me make this summer project a huge success!! I had the best time getting to spend the whole day with each of you outside of the office and I truly thank you all for making my whole summer fellowship so incredible!

We’ve done the data analysis and are nearly done preparing the final report that will be given to the Marine Mammal Center. I can’t wait to share the result with everyone! So far … it looks AMAZING!!! 🙂