Whale Graveyard
Whale Graveyard
On a remote peninsula in Chile, over three hundred sei whales beached themselves. An expedition is setting off to recover some of the bones

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On Monday, February 6, 2017, around 1:30 a.m. CST, a sonic boom shook residents of the Midwest as a bright green fireball streaked through the night sky. The sound was that of a meteor, nearly the size of a minivan, entering our atmosphere. After its fall to Earth, radar spotted the end of its journey over Lake Michigan, approximately 10 miles off the coast of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Teen explorers from Chicago, led by scientists from the Adler Planetarium's Far Horizons program, The Shedd Aquarium, and The Field Museum, team up to take on this Underwater ROV Meteorite Hunt. Interested explorers wanted!
66posts
Lurking in the mists and fog, just thirty miles from San Francisco, lie the Farallon Islands. Called the Devil's Teeth by wary mariners and the islands of the Dead by Native Americans, these jagged spires and barren rocks are a Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and nested within the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. These enigmatic islands are critical habitat for 350,000 nesting seabirds, 6 species of seals and sea lions, amazing fish including great white sharks! The Farallon Islands are also part of our California Marine Protected Area network. Lesser known are our coastal Marin Protected Areas in the Golden Gate region including Point Reyes, Duxbury Reef, Drakes Estero and several special closures. The MPA Watch program is part of the collaborative effort to monitor MPAs for human activity and habitat, and educate the public on marine protection. We are using the Trident to examine habitat and species offshore, but also nearshore in eelgrass beds in the San Francisco Bay and Drakes Estero. This program provides monitoring opportunities, education and adventure. Located so close to our coastline, the island wildlife and habitat have been impacted from overfishing, sealing and pollution historically and remain at risk from oil spills and shipping. As part of the ecosystem managed of 124 MPAs, our marine wildlife and habitat have an opportunity to recover. Solutions include event protection as part of our State network of marine protected areas and applying citizen science observations collecting data on wildlife and human behavior using app technology. With the Trident ROV we are recording observations of benthic and nektonic wildlife, and human interactions within the MPAs. Every fall Shark Stewards leads public education expeditions to the islands discussing history, natural history and ocean solutions and applies citizen science to marine conservation. Now using the Trident drones, we are collecting scientific observations for our California Marine Protected Area network that can be used by fisheries biologists and managers. Using Whale Alert and iNaturalist apps we also record whale and shark observations inside the Sanctuary.
16posts
I started walking from the northest point in Iceland, the lighthouse of Hranhafnartangi, right below the artic circle. I walked 620Km through the highlands, climbed Askja, crossing the largest desert in Europe the Odadharaun drinking 1Lt of water per day, touching the biggest glacier in Europe the Vatnajokull (retiring dramatically), till ending on the southest point, the lighthouse of Dyrholaey. I carried all the food and the camera gear, almost 40Kg backpack, for a total elevation of 10500 meters, during the worst summer of the last 100 years, at least what the newspapers said, fighting with rain and wind (sometimes till 130Km/h) and chasing the perfect picture.
11posts

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Decades of successful management in Komodo National Park secured a good portion of the species’ small but stable population, along with the bulk of its current habitat. Today, 2,500 dragons – most of its wild population – live inside the park, with smaller numbers inhabiting a handful of surrounding islands.
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The aim of this mission is to conduct deep technical dives using close-circuit rebreathers to improve our knowledge about Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) and their importance for marine life, particularly for emblematic fish species. Why MCEs are crucial in Ocean conservation? Let's find out!
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I launched the award-winning Climate Listening Project in 2014 and traveled across the United States and around the world to explore and film the connections that are important to each of us: family, faith, business, environment, community; weaving together the latest science with inspiring stories from around the globe. I am re-launching the Climate Listening Project with a new vision, not only focusing on our changing climate, but how we are changing as individuals, listening to our own realities, overcoming our fears and stereotypes, healing ourselves, and allowing ourselves to be our whole selves. I think real change is not just about acknowledging and adapting to our changing weather - it is about changing our political climate, social climate, inclusion climate, and economic climate. We all have unique and important stories, contributions, experiences, and perspectives as we listen, learn, change, and grow. The Climate Listening Project shares these stories of transformation. http://ClimateListeningProject.org
2posts
Glacier Bay National Park, Gustavus, Alaska 99826, United States, Jul 31 to Aug 4 1916
The Lost Study of Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay, Alaska, is a wild place. It's also critical to science. The longest running study in the world focused on how ecosystems grow and change as glaciers retreat and climate warms was located in the back of the bay. Started in 1916 by one of the countries leading ecologists, the study ran for over 75 years - but then was lost, as the original researchers died. In 2016, the plots were rediscovered through a combination of old sketch maps, compasses, notes, faded photographs, and wilderness exploring. It's a story reminiscent of John Muir crossed with Indiana Jones, where X marked the spot and old buried spikes were pursued like a needle in a Glacier Bay sized haystack. The expedition was successful, and the longest running study is all set for the next 100 years of monitoring.

Recent Observations

I had all the intentions of posting about Trebinje's challenges today, but while exploring sustainable tourism and looking for anthropological roots, we got invited into a 2 century year-old Ognjište made of stone and drank some personally made wine and distilled raki until late into the night with local villagers.
A dive down to the bottom of Whalers Cove with the Trident ROV Whalers Cove Explorer. We are about 40 ft/12 m deep at the mouth of the Cove exploring the life here. What I think stands out is the abundance of purple sea urchins at this spot in the forest. What seems to be lacking in this immediate area is giant kelp. The kelp we are seeing waving along the ocean floor is walking kelp (Pterygophora), a classic understory kelp in the Pacific Coast kelp forest. Keep you eyes open for all kinds of life, especially sea stars! (If you slow down the film you'll be able to spot quite a number of them). These predators can help keep the urchin population in check! Also watch for sea snails, various fish, and something called coralline algae. This purplish-pink organism can be seen growing in two forms: encrusting and branched. You can easily tell the difference between this odd algae that once stumped scientists into thinking it was a coral! So much to experience and see under the surface of the ocean, we'll keep exploring! Until next time...
My Team: I am an explorer conducting a solo expedition in the Hudson River Valley, which also happens to be my backyard! Although I am a one-woman team, I will be drawing influence and support from local residents that are specialists in a variety of environmental, historical, and anthropological fields. Some members of my community that have been instrumental in my explorative efforts include: Andrew Revkin: Strategic Adviser for Environmental and Science Journalism at National Geographic https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyrevkin/ https://www.nationalgeographic.org/newsroom/award-winning-writer-andrew-revkin-joins-national-geographic-society-as-strategic-adviser-for-environmental-and-science-journalism/ Hank Osborn: Senior Program Coordinator of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference https://www.nynjtc.org/members/hank-osborn Pete Salmansohn: Environmental Educator for the Hudson Highlands Land Trust https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-salmansohn-33aa2316/ https://www.hhlt.org/index.html My academic and professional experiences: I will be graduating college in upstate NY in December 2018 with a B.A. in English Writing. My minor is in Creative Writing. My Academic “Pathway” or concentration is in Environmental Science. Some notable classes I have taken include: -“Environmental Issues” -“Environmental Ethics” -“Animal Ethics” -“Biology” -“Cultural Anthropology” -Environmental Literature: “Nature & the Environment” -History: “History of the Hudson Valley” -Travel Writing My background has trained me to tackle challenges creatively, and to convey concepts through the use of rhetorical devices. In February, I participated in an entrepreneurship program hosted by MIT (http://bootcamp.mit.edu/),,) where I began a venture that solves global challenges in the environment, agriculture, and mining resources sectors. I served as our international team’s media and marketing manager. I delegated tasks, coordinated meetings, and represented our product with engaging visuals to aid outreach. To conclude the program, our team presented to a host of global Investors and members of the MIT community. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned regarding environmental sustainability and conservation however, was while summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. I observed how global warming, caused by pollution and deforestation, is consigning the endemic wildlife to potential extinction, and detrimentally impacting the livelihood of the lands’ local people who rely on Kilimanjaro’s natural resources. Kilimanjaro is teeming with life, yet due to its isolation, its fate is contingent on media exposure. People are not motivated to conserve a place they know little about. You can find out more about my motivations for conservation on my previous Open Explorer post. Additionally, I will be posting frequent updates regarding my expedition progress on Twitter and Instagram. You can follow me here: https://twitter.com/MeganBrief https://www.instagram.com/meglbrief/ My next Open Explorer post will be about the Anthropocene and what this term entails. See you on the trails!

Pristine Seas

Exploring and protecting the last wild places in the ocean