This is the view of McMurdo Station from the front door of Dorm Bldg 208. Each day*, I took a moment to take a couple deep breaths (sometimes through a neck gator) and photographed my daily view of Antarctica. The weather dictated the temperature, the clouds, whether the ground was dirt, ice or snow, and the visibility of the ever-present sun. The soundtrack sample is from Ian Tamblyn - Musician, Adventurer and Playwright , a creative musician from the same research trip I was on in 1992. His CD: Antarctica ( https://www.amazon.com/Antarctica-Ian-Tamblyn/dp/B00007LL3I ) was still available at the McMurdo Station General Store. Even after 25 years, hearing Ian's music inspires and captures all the emotion of this magnificent place. [*30 of 42 days]
There's this amazing place on Oahu called Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, where most tourists go snorkel with fishies. It's a great spot for all levels of ocean explorers because the fish are big, the waters fairly calm and volunteers share their knowledge about the sea and its inhabitants with visitors.
On Thursday evenings, they do a free public lecture, the Hanauma Bay Education Lecture—a great place to hear scientists talk about their research. They even live stream it so you don't have to be there in person! Check out their YouTube page to watch past presentations.
Tonite was a presentation by my fellow Moss Landing Marine Laboratories alum, Allen Andrews. He's dedicated his career to exploring how to age fish by their otoliths (ear stones) and has come up with some very innovative ways to measure it. Otoliths, up close look similar to a cut through a tree trunk with growth rings, and in a similar way they are counted to calculate how old the fish was when it died. Allen also uses the radioactive signature from non-underground nuclear testing (above ground testing was conducted from 1945 to 1980) and he's developing a method using a laser!
Otoliths, also known as ear bones, reside in the inner ears of all vertebrates. They are important for balance, movement. We have two, fishes have three that aid them with balance, movement and hearing.
The three types of OTOLITHs:
- Sagitta: The largest of the 3 pairs of otoliths, sagitta is involved in the detection of sound and the process of hearing, or converting sound waves into electrical signals
- Asteriscus: This type of otolith is involved in the detection of sound and the process of hearing.
- Lapillus: This type of otolith is involved in the detection of gravitational force and sound (Popper and Lu 2000)
Above otolith description is an excerpt from
I sketch noted his presentation, he uses the data from nuclear testing to validate age-growth in different species of fish, I learned there are THREE pairs of otoliths...I started wondering why and how that helps them. He also shared details on his work using lasers to sample from otoliths.
Next month I'll be one of the Schmidt Ocean Institute Artists sharing the amazing journey into science and plankton sailing across the Pacific from Honolulu to Portland earlier this year! Tune in or come in person. In person folks get extra bonus show-n-tell at the end!
He's probably named more fish than you've eaten in your lifetime.
Dr. John (Jack) Randall (Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii) received the lifetime achievement award from ISRS this year at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium. He invented the wet suit before Cousteau, he's described 815 new species of fish and started his career 70 years ago. We heard him speak about some of his experiences, some of which are captured forever in my sketchbook. I first glimpsed some of his holotype specimens at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum when I learned that rows upon rows of preserved fish had his name (as the scientist who discovered them). He is a legend in the fish world. In March 2016, Hakai Magazine published an article title Dr. Fish about his life. as a dive pioneer and dedicated taxonomist.
I took copious notes in my sketchbook.
Morning Opening Session: A Facilitated Discussion on Specific Actions for Addressing Climate Change and Its Impacts on Coral Reefs
Date: Friday, June 24th, 2016
Time: 08:00 - 09:00
Location: Hawaii Convention Center, Kalakaua Ballroom A/B/C, Honolulu, Hawaii
Moderator: Dr. Robert Richmond
Challenge: Developing a blueprint, road map and timeline for the Coral Reef Science and Policy Communities.
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Visual note taking is one way to remember the details of a presentation— mine are usually text heavy with doodles. If another person reviewed my scribbles, it might have a chance of making sense to them. Their primary purpose is to record moments I want to remember forever.
Dr. Richmond introduced this session as the most important session of ICRS because it five scientists were going to speak about the future of coral reef communities and conservation. Each person on the panel had five minutes for their presentation. They shared ideas, full of optimism and opportunity, about how humanity can make a difference. They then opened it up to the audience to contribute to the conversation. Dr. Peter Sale was captured on video (see below, he is visible standing up in the audience, and the panel is up on stage). The video is from the ICRS2016 Facebook page. Many of the amazing things that happened during the symposium are posted there.
Poster presentations were an extremely important aspect of this year's International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2016). Hundreds were displayed each day of the symposium. The posters summarized scientific findings in a space measuring 44.5 inches high by 45.5 inches wide (113.03 cm by 115.57 cm) using photographs, illustrations, graphs and tables. Many are available to view online at ePosters. It's a website that's an open-access library for scientists to showcase their research.
Posters from ICRS 2016 can be viewed here.
Scientific posters communicate to a specific audience—scientists. If you aren't used to interpreting data, then scientific results can remain mysterious or confusing.
One of the posters presented at ICRS 2016 was FUNCTIONAL ROLE OF A COMMON HERBIVORE IN MOOREA, FRENCH POLYNESIA and it can be viewed on ePosters here.
Below is an interpretation of the scientific poster for a less research-oriented audience but conveys the core content of the scientific poster. Being able to see both versions allows you access to the same information in two visually different ways.
I speak Scientist. Science has its own vocabulary, and sometimes that vocabulary can sound and look like a foreign language. This week, I'm interpreting at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii. And, I'm translating with illustration & design. The theme of this year's gathering on Oahu is "Bridging Science to Policy" and its aim is to unite scientists, policy makers, managers and stakeholders to make sure coral reefs are around for future generations. Coral reefs are not only important for the plant and animal communities that depend on them for survival, they are important to humanity as well.
Below is a visual interpretation (in five parts) of research presented by scientists at: Coral Conservation in Times of Change: Letting Nature Pick the Winners (Oral Session 06 on Monday, June 20th, 2016). What can you fathom about coral reefs and conservation from the information below? Is there anything you don't understand? Is there a resource where you can find out more about coral reefs and conservation? (hint: yes).
One thing often lost in translation is, scientists often have more questions than answers. Science is rarely black and white, but sometimes it does reveal truths. One truth is that a species will adapt and survive, or die. Another truth is that knowledge followed by action can make a difference. Animals like humpback whales, elephant seals, and bald eagles are a few examples of species that have come back from the brink of extinction because science, policy and communities worked together—humanity helped other species survive. It's exciting to be at a gathering where humans are collaborating to help an entire ecosystem survive.
Presenter (in bold), Authors, Title
Bay, R. A.; Rose, N. H.; Palumbi, S. R.; EVOLUTIONARY RESCUE AND GENOMIC ADAPTATION TO OCEAN WARMING
Chan, W. Y.; Peplow, L. M.; Hoffmann, A. A.; van Oppen, M. J.; ASSISTED EVOLUTION VIA HYBRIDIZATION: A NEW APPROACH IN CORAL REEF CONSERVATION
Stier, A. C.; Schindler, D. E.; Pinsky, M. L.; Essington, T.; Webster, M. S.; Colton, M. A.; CAN CLIMATE ADAPTATION PORTFOLIOS MITIGATE RISK IN THE FACE OF UNCERTAIN IMPACTS OF GLOBAL CHANGE?
Semon-Lunz, K.; Wirt, K.; Neely, K.; Williams, D.; Whittle, A.; ACROPORA PALMATA'S LAST STAND IN THE FLORIDA KEYS?
Paris, C. B.; Le Hénaff, M.; Chaput, R.; Dahlgren, C.; REVERSING THE DECLINE: MODELING TARGETED CONNECTIVITY IN BAHAMIAN ACROPORIDS
Colton, M. A.; Webster, M. S.; EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION POTENTIAL: FROM NOVEL SCIENCE TO PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Want more answers? Visit the ICRS 2016 website and discover more about this session and the entire coral reef symposium.
Ka‘Ike O Ka Moana: Knowledge of the Ocean art exhibit
Honolulu Hale Courtyard, Honolulu, Hawaii
May 25 - June 9, 2016
I stepped into Honolulu Hale and sucked in my breath. It was beautiful. The staircases and the frescoes felt distinctly European. I found out it was built in 1928 and the interior was modelled after a building from the 1200s in Florence, Italy. No wonder!
The exhibit took up the entire main floor and I fell in love with many art pieces from my fellow participants. The art show is by invitation only and I was honored to be among them.
I’m deeply grateful to the sponsors for creating a showcase of artwork from artists in Hawaii that celebrates the ocean during National Ocean Month! For this show I chose an animal that Hawaii introduced me to when I first visited, with my husband, over a decade ago. Now, since we moved here, I spy them almost every time I go paddling and diving.
The art and stories I create are my offspring, and to a certain extent they grow up, go off into the world and live their lives independent of me just as real children might.
The original artwork on Something's Fishy was born to decorate a reuseable coffee cup. I like putting art on stuff that is everyday & functional and created this particular original piece for a friend. She and I were both going through that "twisty & bumpy road" in our 30s—we were searching for Mr. Right, thought we had found him (multiple times) only to find that he dashed away or got hooked on another line. I decided to create something to remind both of us that there were 'lots of fish in the sea.' At some point the cup was loaned out and went missing, hopefully it is still being put to good use somewhere on the planet.
The image continued to fuel my creativity. I had a digital image of the art and decided to adopt it to a new project. I removed the catch phrase that birthed the art: There are lots of fish in the sea...some are catch and release, a few never caught, and one or two are keepers too. The artwork then became the centerpiece for a children's story (unpublished) that begins: There's something fishy about these sea creatures!
Finally, it became a postcard, notecard and envelope but I never reprinted them and my stocks dwindled to a few envelopes. Then, last month, a teacher I met at a conference several years ago contacted me to ask if I still made the cards—and I resurrected its notecard and envelope duo.
It is the first product I've ever offered direct from me to you in my studio shop and it makes me very happy to see my artwork put smiles on people across the planet.
We met on a dogwalk. I bent down and snapped a photo, unsure if it was still alive. A claw moved. I took more photos. The dogs and I continued our walk, reached the end of the beach and began the trek back. The crab had moved slightly but it was still there. I saw the Mokuluas (two islands) in the background and I wanted very badly for the crab and the Mokes to balance each other out. I think the crab gave a very good interview.
Being in the field, out in nature, whenever, wherever inspires creativity like nobody's business. Today's Throwback Thursday is back to the 1990s, when I created a holiday card inspired by my encounter with penguins in Antarctica. The card, called Snow Angels, is still available in my online store for the almost 1990s era price of $3.45.