Three Cheers for Economics!

The past two months have flown by in a whirlwind of seascapes, hiking, surfing, fish catch reports, economic analyses and the fundamental question of the summer: how do you prove large-scale marine conservation is good for economic growth?

In creating my argument I have been focusing on two wildly different seascapes within the Coral Triangle: The Bird’s Head Seascape and the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape. The Bird’s Seascape is located wholly within the self-declared “conservation province” of West Papua, the semi-autonomous province of Indonesia. It is home to a network of community-run marine protected areas and a relatively low population. The Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape encompasses waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines and includes larger cities and busy shipping routes. Despite their differences, they are both full of examples of how communities and business have economically benefited from being involved in integrated and comprehensive marine planning.

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Chapter 2 in which Josh continually wonders what could possibly go wrong

What could possibly go wrong? is a question that comes up in my personal life frequently, though not as a genuine query. It’s a useful way to tag the dumb commitments I make to uncertain courses of action. For example, I employed it once on an after-dark stroll through San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Another time as I jumped on the back of a Moroccan stranger’s motorcycle after he asked me if I wanted to see where the donkeys and camels meet. And more recently, as Shaun and I walked down deserted side streets of Suva at midnight on our way to the Deep Sea Nightclub, the one down by the docks that locals dis-affectionately call a “night club for thieves.” Continue reading

Isolation and Connection

It’s tough to think that I’ve been here for two months, as I am still collecting my thoughts about this internship and tracing its lessons to my goals. Hawaii has made me feel both isolated and connected. When hurricane Darby soaked our house and whipped the trees outside last weekend, it seemed like I was stranded. On a central-Pacific archipelago, where can you go when the storm surrounds you? The other Hawaiian Islands are too close to be unaffected and too far to reach unaided. Continue reading

Natural Resource Policy and Management at NHH

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After three weeks with Mærsk Drilling I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen, Norway through its partnership with MIIS. It was a two week course on Natural Resource Policy and Management: The Norwegian Model. The course was free of charge for attendance (thank you Norway!) and was great supplemental material for my internship with Mærsk Drilling. The course consisted mainly of teachings on fisheries management, oil and gas management, financial and physical energy markets, and how the Norwegian government has managed its natural resource endowment wisely in recent decades.


The people I have encountered throughout this course are from a myriad of different countries, schools, industries and personal backgrounds. Everyone fortified the fun and friendly, yet academically motivated, environment and really made the course the valuable experience it turned out to be. I can easily say I’ve made some friends at NHH that I will be staying in touch with for years to come.


Throughout the course those who organized it put on all kinds of events where people could escape their studies and enjoy the beautiful Norwegian atmosphere. It certainly helped that the first week of this course was blessed with beautiful, sunny weather. There were hikes, BBQs and city center outings after class where we had the chance to see more of Bergen’s history. On a few of these occasions some people actually went swimming in the North Sea! Who would have thought that the waters off the coast of Bergen weren’t all that far off from Californian waters!

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Along with all the fun activities that were planned for all the students, we also had outings that were part of the course. We went to a fishery that showed us how sustainable Norwegian fish farms can be, a tour around Bergen when we first arrived, and a Statoil gas production plant (which we weren’t able to take photos of) just to name a few.


Now, having gone through this two week course I have both reinforced ideas and concepts I first learned at MIIS as well as walked away with a new and better understanding of successful resource management models. Although much of what I learned had a focus on government policies and management, I learned a lot about the energy market, as well with the mix of renewables, non-renewables, and the spot and day-ahead markets, which are extremely valuable when seeing where Mærsk Drilling fits into the larger picture.

I am extremely happy for taking the initiative on attending this course and so grateful to have had this opportunity provided by MIIS in the first place. Even though I will surely miss beautiful Norway, I can’t wait to see where this experience may lead me in the future.


Hva så, København!


Upon arriving I found myself being extremely compatible with Danish culture. People here are generally prompt, kind and friendly. The food (Denmark is a meat-lover’s paradise) I will speak about later in more detail, but there are so many great places downtown København (Copenhagen) to eat and spend a leisurely afternoon. The weather has been beautiful, the architecture amazing, and the people neighborly, making this area the perfect destination for a summer excursion.

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EDF, Point Reyes, and the SF Giants

Every morning at 8:15, I climb aboard crowded Bus 1, scan my Clipper Card, and head towards the Financial District for another fabulous day at Environmental Defense Fund. I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since my internship began. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, and the office is amazing (views of the Bay Bridge!). Right now I am working in the Research and Development Pod within the Oceans program. It is refreshing and invigorating to be working an environment with such intelligent, motivated, and passionate individuals. The staff at EDF works hard to help interns learn about the organization and their goals, and is always throwing out invitations for group lunches or weekend get-togethers. They even have an office book club and hiking group! I’m in heaven.

View from my desk!

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