Category Archives: Silvia Sanchez (San Francisco)

Sightseeing in Washington D.C.

Although I was only in D.C. for a couple days, I did get a little time to do some sightseeing on the second day of the conference before heading home.

The last time I was in D.C. was 12 years ago, so it was interesting to see the places I remembered, like the White House.

I spent a long time at Lincoln Memorial. The view from the steps is amazing and the statue is so impressive. Lots of people stood around taking pictures, while others lounged on the shady steps overlooking the Washington monument.

I also really liked seeing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I especially liked seeing people getting tracings of the names.

That night I got to have dinner with a fellow MIISer who is working in D.C. for the summer. We had an amazing meal and I definitely wished I could have had a little more time to explore the city!

Mission Blue Oceanic MPA Workshop

This past week, I was sent to Washington D.C. to attend the Mission Blue Oceanic MPA Workshop. Mission Blue is a concept spearheaded by Sylvia Earle and the National Geographic Society (NGS) that seeks to preserve as much of the ocean as possible– and more specifically, at least 20%.

WildAid’s particular interest in this workshop was their emphasis on managing high seas MPAs and figuring out the best ways to establish compliance and enforce their no take status. Personally, I sought to make some good contacts that could potentially contribute to my publication with WildAid on marine enforcement, since the guests included various MPA managers, donors, and some government officials.

I took a red-eye flight from SFO to BWI on Monday night and arrived early Tuesday morning.

I took a cab straight to the conference, since I was definitely cutting it close and enjoyed the sights along the way. The ride took a little over an hour with traffic, but we finally made it.

After some coffee and a quick breakfast, the group of about 30-40 people sat down to listen to a few speakers.

Elliott Norse– the president of the Marine Conservation Institute and someone I met at MIIS through Dr. Charlie Wahle– was one of the speakers and he gave us some really great background information on oceanic MPAs.

After a short break, we gathered into action teams where we were trying to figure out specific action items to progress the mission. My team was focused on enforcement and consisted of a few MPA managers, some Coast Guard representatives, and a few nonprofits.

We ended up with some great ideas and initiatives, as well as specific action items that individuals would take.

The next day, we continued working on our initiatives and then we all made individual promises to continue with the mission, with specific action items we would take.

The conference was a lot of fun, and I think we made excellent progress. I also managed to meet some very interesting people and acquire the contacts I needed for my publication, and potential guests for our conference.

Just another day at the office

WildAid was pretty empty this week because several people are out on vacation or traveling for work, so we took the opportunity to inflate one of our sharks to inspect it for any holes and clean it up a bit before shipping to a zoo that wants to display it.

Here’s Nicolette cleaning up the shark.

However, some of us couldn’t resist taking a couple pictures with the shark. Isn’t he great?

A tour of WildAid

I finally got around to taking a few pictures of the office.

Here’s our front desk– the view as you walk in from the elevator and Nicolette’s candy bowl… I’ve definitely paid a few visits there!

Here’s my desk and lovely wallpaper.

We have some amazing prints around the office including this elephant one and the amazing sea turtle picture below.

Finally, we have some pictures of random campaigns and some of the celebrities we’ve worked with. Can you spot Harrison Ford below?

WildAid thus far…

I can’t believe that this is my fourth week working at WildAid. It seems like it was my first day only yesterday and yet I feel like I’ve been there forever. The first couple days I met my new co-workers and had a large stack of reading materials to get up to date with the different company projects.

Thankfully, from the second day onward, I’ve been an active participant in every marine project. My assignments have involved everything from translating reports from Ecuador to English and researching potential sponsors to writing a publication on marine enforcement for dissemination in the winter and navigating the ins and outs of planning a conference.

Needless to say, life at WildAid is anything but boring and I am constantly learning something new.

P.S. The celebrity PSAs are definitely one of my favorite discoveries — I really liked this one with Harrison Ford!

Silvia to WildAid’s Marine Enforcement Team

I knew that I wanted to go into marine conservation since before applying to MIIS, but my first assignment here was researching and verbalizing exactly what my dream career looked like. By the end of the assignment, WildAid had become one of my dream organizations.

So… I’m happy to announce that I will be spending this summer working with WildAid in San Francisco on a marine enforcement publication and helping them plan a world marine enforcement conference!  I’m excited to be heading back to the bay area and to share my adventures with you all!

Check out this video from their site: