September 30, 2011

Back home in Monterey--COS MARINE Short Course

Driving back to Monterey, there's this little portion of Highway 1 where you peek over the edge and see Monterey Bay and Del Monte Beach...and it's there that I always get this rise in my chest of gratitude to live in such a beautiful spot.
Arriving at home, the naked ladies were in full bloom (that's what these flowers are called):
And unfortunately for me and Ben, I was thrown immediately into an intense 2 week course hosted by the Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) Monterey Area Research Institutions' Network for Education (MARINE) program. It was AMAZING. But super intense. I had to tell Ben to pretend I wasn't home yet so he wouldn't get disgruntled by my 10-13 hr days away. Most of the students were masters (of science) and Ph. D. candidates (also of science), though there was one law student and 3 of us from MIIS (policy). That means I was the one of the few with both a policy and science background. We had excellent speakers, it was a great review of everything I've learned this whole past year, and we were treated like royalty.
We had a special dinner prepared for us, and set in front of the newly re-opened Open Sea exhibit at the aquarium, where we were also addressed by Julie Packard, the director of the aquarium.
I thought that was pretty magical.

And of course Monterey is so lovely, and with the alyssum blooming, I feel ever-so-welcome here.
The flower on the right is lantana...I finally learned the name of it this summer.
During the 2 weeks, the pacific islanders sailed in on their navigate-by-stars-and-wind-only boats, and we were able to watch them sail in, through our classroom window:
We had a special welcome party for them one night. (Our illustrious law professor, Meg Caldwell on the left, and the captain of one of the boats on the right)
But I got sick going from 100 degree weather to 50 degree weather (this is me feeling a little crappy):

But the course was awesome overall.

A beautiful german boat in for the pacific islanders

Buck by the sea

I was an extra on the set of Otters 501 that week too.

Teensy dead crabs washed ashore.

One day our lecture was on the beach, and our blackboard was the sand.

And the last night, we got to spend the night at the aquarium
in front of the Open Sea exhibit again.
That was cool.

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