Well the summer has ended and it’s time for me to go back to Monterey and school. I had such a great summer with EDF. I learned so much and was also able to make a contribution to this large body of knowledge. As my final deliverables I: completed a memo on marine restocking – the pros, cons, and in which situations it might be feasible; created visuals and a narrative of blue swimmer crab migration patterns for fishermen in Indonesia, so that they can more effectively plan a management strategy for their fisheries; wrote a white paper on current global efforts to combat IUU fishing, where the gaps lie and how EDF might play a role in filling those gaps – which I’m told will be going to the head of the Oceans department in EDF for consideration; began a draft on the methodology of behavior design and how EDF can use it for current projects around the world. Needless to say, it was a pretty busy summer.
But you can’t take the Bula out of the girl. Leaving Fiji has certainly been bittersweet, somewhat like that variety of chocolate which you cannot find in Fiji and was my first American food coming home (thanks Jason). My experience at the IUCN was amazing. I’ve never worked with people who were so welcoming and generous, I wasn’t expecting it.
Life has been busy since my last blog post. In the past month or so, my dad visited Fiji just in time for us to celebrate his birthday, the IUCN Oceania Regional Office (IUCN ORO) helped host two talanoas (Fijian for “conversation” or “discussion”) with Pacific Island leaders and stakeholders, and I set sail from Nadi through the Mamanuca and Yasawa island chains to discover the islands on the “sunny” and “warm” west side of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. On Thursday I returned to California, briefly crashed with one of my best friends in San Francisco, then picked up my car from my dad (who was kind enough to drive it back to San Francisco) so that I could drive down to Monterey in time to start classes on Monday. Continue reading
My time in San Diego has ended, but what I have learned from this summer will follow me forever. My last month at the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative was extremely busy but very exciting. We had another living shorelines workshop (in Costa Mesa), I completed my paper on living shorelines in Southern California, and I attended the California Climate Action Planning Conference in San Luis Obispo.
After reflecting on my time in San Diego and working for Laura, I now understand, better than ever, the importance of collaboration and a strong network. Watching Laura interact with San Diego city officials, different non-profits, engineers, and every other person involved in climate change adaptation and coastal resilience, has shown me that unless you know the people, action is not possible. The Collaborative brings San Diego stakeholders together to discuss and determine what needs to be done to keep the county prepared for what is to come.
Attending the California CAP Conference, experiencing being in a room filled only with people who want to move forward with climate action planning and finding new and innovative ways to do that, was inspirational. I met so many people that have been paving the way for decades and pushing for climate resilience before the term even really existed. I only hope I can be that successful and inspiration at some point in my life. After being in San Diego all summer, and then going to the Conference, I realize how tight the climate action planning community is and the benefits of being a part of that network.
The summer is now over, and it’s time for school to start, but I can say that I will forever be able to use what I have learned and maintain contact with those I have met this summer for my future endeavors!
The end of my summer was a whirlwind. I spend most of it writing my report, “Beyond the Vulnerability Study: Moving from Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning to Implementation in the San Francisco Bay Area.” In researching, I learned an incredible amount about sea level rise adaptation at the local level. I read all the cutting-edge papers and was able to partake in several webinars on the subject. Continue reading
As I climb to the end of this summer and we voyage back to Monterey for my final year, I am given an opportunity to reflect on my experiences. My own feelings of my time with Secure Fisheries and the work with Somalis plus the connections that I made reminded me of the narrator’s view of the sea and world around her/him:
Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!
And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!
Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.
Work on Somalia seems to take on a time of its own. Somali sounds as if the deepest angers are moving from the hot core to the cold breathe. The tones pierce the ears only before the rumblings of laughter fill ones body with such relaxation that a smile is the only adequate response. Continue reading
We’ve all heard the somewhat antiquated but oft-quoted statement that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. As it turns out, this age-old trick is invaluable when tackling the challenges of community-based conservation. There are, of course, those who are already fired up and will jump at a chance to talk protected areas management and fisheries regulation. But for those community members who do not seek out conservation-themed events, four simple words all but guarantee attendance: “food and drinks provided.” This simple phrase works its magic across borders, generations, and genders, and it should not be dismissed for its seeming triviality. When you’re attempting to drum up support for conservation through community events, attendance is key. No one becomes a die-hard ocean champion over night but if you can bring people to the table with the promise of cookies and Kool Aid the future begins to look a little brighter. Continue reading
If you haven’t heard, Fiji will be cohosting COP 23 of the UNFCCC with Sweden this November. This is a pretty big deal because it is the first time a small island developing state has taken this role. As an environmental policy student, and as an American, it is quite the change to see how prominent climate change is in Fiji. The newspaper has a section dedicated to the environment and the UN Oceans Conference is headline news. Fiji is in a tough spot because like the rest of Oceania, their contributions to climate change are minuscule while they are about to face some of its earliest consequences.
The weeks have passed quickly in Hawaii. Between sunsets and conference calls July turned to August. Adventure and work have co-mingled in an internship that has expanded my conservation knowledge to the practicalities of internal operations and external partnerships. I don’t have to tell you how beautiful Hawaii is, but it takes a while to explore and get to know this place. I have been to many beautiful beaches, swum with sea turtles, seen countless humuhumunukunukuapua’a (reef trigger fish), observed a mother monk seal and her pup, and have been alerted by panicked beach goers of a shark in the water.
It’s hard to believe I have less than a month left before the end of my fellowship. This past month has flown by. I had a two week hiatus from my work with NOAA to participate in the Blue Pioneers Program, a pilot program funded by the Packard Foundation which seeks to build a pipeline of social entrepreneurs in the Chinese Blue Economy. The two week program consisted of lectures, workshops, group excursions and a business pitch which culminated with a sleepover at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! It was an amazing opportunity to work with students from China and Blue Economy Professionals from all over the world. We covered topics ranging from supply chain transparency, to aquaculture feed, to funding and scaling startup ventures. Since my fellowship has been focused solely on the government sector, it was nice to look at things from an NGO and business perspective.
While not in the program, I’ve continued to work on my project of analyzing the level of benthic habitat regulations within federal MPAs. It’s been pretty tedious tracking down all of the regulations that exist in so many different places. At most sites, I’m looking at executive orders, management plans, the code of federal regulations and myriad other sources from multiple federal agencies. It feels good to know that my completed work will serve as a solid foundation for others to build upon.
When I’m not digging through management plans, I get to spend time around heritage harbor enjoying the weather we’ve had this summer. A few weeks ago, the entire office got together for a bocce ball tournament. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.
I’m approaching the end of my fellowship and for the next few weeks I’ll be hard at work taking all of my research and translating into a more visual format. This experience has been very rewarding so far and I look forward to taking my new knowledge and expertise with me when I am finished.