You’ll find this blog mostly filled with posts from research expeditions, because despite my best intentions I don’t write much while I am at home. Here are the places where I’ve been lucky enough to work, study, scuba dive, and play. For blog posts on these particular adventures, search tags with the place names.
The Northern Line Islands (NLI Cruise): the northern Line Islands are a series of very small coral islands in the central Pacific. They’re arranged in – surprise! – a line, roughly half way between Hawaii and New Zealand. They belong to both the U.S. and the Republic of Kiribati (ever heard of it? until recently, neither had I). Many of the Line Islands are uninhabited, and some are inhabited by just a few dozen or few thousand people. These are some of the most untouched coral reefs left on the planet. In 2010, I traveled there with my lab and other colleagues to conduct a comprehensive study of the reef fish, corals, algae, and microbes. This is some of the best diving, and some of the best science, I have EVER done. Lots of pretty photos, too!
(p.s. there are also Southern Line Islands, below the equator, and I hope to visit those some day, too)
Maui: one of my fellow graduate students is studying the reefs of Maui for her dissertation. Lucky me, she always needs dive buddies. I got to tag along for a month in 2009 to learn the local coral reef species, get a lot of practice with scuba science, and perfect my beach bocce skills.
The Philippines: I conducted my Master’s thesis research over a 3 month period in 2008 in the Philippines, mostly on the island of Cebu. The Philippines has hundreds of small, community-based marine reserves. I studied how people are involved in the development and implementation of reserves and other fishery management measures. Basically, I traveled the coast and talked to a lot of people about the ocean.
New things I bought for the trip: a backpack, a regulator to complete my SCUBA gear, and a moleskine to write it all down.
Cebu is in the Central Visayas region:
And the island of Cebu is long and narrow (what’s with me and long, narrow, tropical islands?). I lived in a small town on the southeast coast and took frequent trips to Cebu City (middle of the east coast):