June 12, 2010
Steel-toed boots? Check. Nikon Speedlight flash? Check. Tripod ball head adapters? Check. 77mm UV filters? Check. Wireless lavalier? Check. A few other items I researched, purchased, and tested: Seagate hard drives, pigskin gloves, and a new macro lens. Am I forgetting anything? After a month of frenzied preparation and a week of barely any sleep, I think I’ve finally whipped my gear into shape (and four suitcases).
Ready for the Arctic amidst the palm trees! Can you spot my balaclava?
Many people have gone above and beyond to make this phenomenal job possible, and the outpouring of support (especially during the last few days) has been extremely gratifying! Special thanks to Rob Dunbar, Julie Kennedy, Thomas Hayden, and the Earth Systems Program; Kevin Arrigo, Gert van Dijken, and Lynsey Hays in the Environmental Earth Systems Science Department; Helen Doyle, Michael Sean Heflin, and Max Borella in the School of Earth Sciences; Doug Osheroff and Marcia Keating in the Physics Department; Louis Bergeron and Jack Hubbard at the Stanford News Service; Jennifer Foerster in the Creative Writing Program; Stephen Cole at NASA; and Carlee Brown my roommate. My deepest gratitude goes to my parents, for raising me to be zany enough to jump at the opportunity to spend six weeks on an icebreaker in the Arctic!
June 12, 2010
After three hectic quarters in California, I’m very happy for a break. Although this first year of my Earth Systems master’s degree has been rather busy, I’m glad that I remained at Stanford to focus on environmental communication. My program has significantly developed my current long-term goal to be one of the foremost nature photographers and creative nonfiction writers of my generation.
Hence I’m thrilled to depart for Alaska again, this time for a NASA-sponsored Arctic Ocean scientific research cruise to investigate the impacts of climate change upon the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas! My professor Kevin Arrigo, chief scientist, hired me as a student journalist to document the trip through writing, photography, and video. The six-week position is truly my dream job and I feel very fortunate. My work will appear on the official ICESCAPE 2010 blog and you can also follow the voyage on Twitter.
We’ll be living aboard a four-hundred-foot Coast Guard icebreaker that leaves Dutch Harbor on June 15 and steams back into Seward on July 21, after which I’ll spend some time at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where I volunteered last summer, and then a few days in the temperate Hoh Rainforest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with my cousin Maggie Smith. I’ll touch down at Logan Airport on August 2 and absolutely cannot wait for a full month with my family waking up to the sounds of halyards clattering on Restless! Finally, I’ll return to Stanford in early September for an intensive nature drawing seminar before school starts.
I’m very excited for a summer of creativity, wilderness, and sea legs!
June 12, 2010
This video of an octopus during low tide at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Half Moon Bay documents one of my most magnificent outdoors experiences!