February 27, 2012

Name Plates

It's the little things. When I got back to work at Seafood Watch in February, I found that they had put my name up on my cubicle finally. Yay, they like me (o:

February 26, 2012

MARINE short course: Elkhorn Slough

MARINE puts on really top-notch workshops for free. It's an added bonus to my program here at MIIS that I hadn't anticipated when I applied. I get Stanford quality teaching for free, and I get to meet other marine-interested students in the interim. Score!

Monterey Area Institutions’ Network for Education (MARINE) is a Center for Ocean Solutions collaboration to enhance graduate marine education that brings together seven Monterey Bay area academic campuses:

Three weekends ago, we had an all-day Friday/Sat/Sun workshop trying to work through a problem related to Elkhorn Slough and the surrounding area. I won't go into all the details, but suffice to say, you know how biodiverse and rich this part of the world is from all my pictures. What I haven't shown you is the agriculture in the area. We live next to an area called the "Salad Bowl of America" because it grows most of America's produce. Artichokes, salad greens and lettuce of all kinds, tomatoes, berries, cherries, garlic, strawberries, bell peppers, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc... The nitrogen and pesticide runoff in the rivers near Salinas and Moss Landing are something like 400% higher than most places. Take a look at these pictures, and you'll be amazed at the lack of barrier between agriculture and rivers which go straight into Elkhorn Slough and the Monterey Bay National Sanctuary. It should be criminal to have such dirty runoff!

They feed us really well at MARINE events.

Otter diving for clams and crabs next to our luncheon spot.

Most of the group went on a boat tour. But a few of us went on a walking tour.

Here's where your lettuce is grown. Probably. No matter where you are in the USA.

The Salinas River flows right past the Moss Landing Marine Laboratory Station, the Moss Landing Power Plant, and shares the mouth into the ocean with the Elkhorn Slough.

Agricultural land on the left, on the right. Salinas River in the center. That fence is supposed to keep nitrogen and pesticide runoff out???

Artichoke fields.

Salinas River. The yellow is mustard grass (non-native, invasive species). To the left of the mustard is a tiny plot of land that they're trying out as a native species buffer zone to see if having that directly next to the river minimizes any of the negative impacts of agricultural lands in the area.

Clouds look like a bird.

Walking along the Moro Cojo River which also empties into the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough.
Myriads of these snails litter the ground. They're an invasive species from Japan that were brought to the area on the bottom of boats from Asia.

This is the Moro Cojo, thick with green algae which blooms from the nitrogenous runoff in the water from agriculture upstream. It chokes out most native species. Eutrophication.

Back at the MLML, working on our projects...

We enjoy a beautiful sunset. Salinas River in the foreground, Monterey Bay bathing in the sunset.

Lovely backdrop for a sobering weekend topic.

Enjoying the sunset.

More incredible food. I gained 5 pounds that weekend.

Found a bird skull.

My group presenting our ideas to the Nature Conservancy, our client.

February 15, 2012

Telephone Pictionary

I saved these gems from our New Year's Eve telephone pictionary game.

Prompt: What was the stupidest thing you did in highschool?

Prompt: What is your wish for the new year?