Thursday, February 26, 2015

Returning to Palmyra for the final year of the project

It looks like I will be returning to Palmyra again this summer to complete the third and final year of field work on this project. This year Professor Fio Micheli is hoping to join me after she had to back out of the trip last year. Tim White will also be joining us. Tim is a new graduate student, and has been to Palmyra Atoll before while working with Doug McCauley on the shark tagging project.

Speaking of Doug, he just receive the prestigious Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship.  You can read about it at:

So there may be a random post or two on this blog between now and when I leave for Palmyra, but once I am on the Atoll, I will try to keep up with pattern I set the last two summers with almost daily blog entries.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Something to read while my Palmyra blog is in hiatus

Hopefully I will be blogging again next summer if I return to Palmyra to help complete the three year project. That decision will probably be made in early 2015. In the meantime, I was fortunate to be able to spend time in New Zealand and New Caledonia this month. The impetus behind the trip was to attend the IAMSLIC conference in Noumea, and I was able to stop off in Auckland on my way to the conference and drive around much of the north island of New Zealand. I created a separate blog for this trip, so if you are interested, the link is:

I managed to get in one short snorkel in New Zealand and an entire morning of snorkeling in New Caledonia. I have posted underwater photos from both, but the rest of the pictures are terrestrial.

Monday, August 18, 2014

National Geographic article on the Southern Line Islands

The September 2014 issue of National Geographic has a short article with some beautiful photographs from the Southern Line Islands. The article was written by Kennedy Warne, and the photographs were taken by Brian Skerry. I particularly love the aerial photo of Caroline Island, also known as Millennium. The article was prompted by the Kiribati government declaring in June of this year a 12 nautical mile fishing exclusion zone around all five of the remote isles.

Below is a link to the article online.

Be sure to click on the links on the left side to see the still photos and a short video clip. 

Here is a aerial photo of Caroline/Millennium Island taken by NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Palmyra is part of the Northern Line Islands.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Palmyra photo on exhibit

As I mentioned earlier, one of the photos I took last summer was selected for the "After Hours" exhibit currently in Green Library's rotunda area. The reception was held in June while I was back on Palmyra Atoll, so I had to miss it.

invitation to opening of exhibit

I finally made it up to main campus last week and had a chance to look at my photograph on display.

exhibit case with my photo

photo with accompanying text

accompanying text for my photo

The lighting for the exhibit is dim and I didn't have my good camera with me, so the colors are not great. Here is what the photo looks like.

Achilles Tang
Acanthurus achilles

Note that the exhibit ends on August 27th.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Some GoPro video clips

Now that I am back on the mainland, I have enough bandwidth to post a couple GoPro videos.  It was not something I wanted to attempt while on Palmyra using the satellite link.

This first one Paul took of himself.  As you will see Paul can be a ham.


Here is one of the transparent juvenile flat fish that Sabina spotted and Paul filmed.


When we spotted a pod of melon headed whales, Paul and Sabina jumped in the water to swim with them. Before I could join them they were back on the boat after encountering several gray reef sharks that got a little too interested. Paul is filming and Sabina has the yellow fins. You start with the melon headed whales, and then you see the sharks before Paul and Sabina return to the boat.


The transparent juvenile flat fish, the melon headed whales, and the gray reef sharks are not too easy to spot in the reduced size videos posted here. If you happen to see me with my laptop and want to see a "big screen" version, please ask and I would be happy to show them to you.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A couple of photos of me that I recently received

Last summer I only had a couple of photos taken of me as I was taking most of the pictures. Fortunately this year I wasn't the only one snapping pictures. Here are a couple photos taken by Palmyra's amazing chef, Katie Stadler.

After learning how to open coconuts from boat captain Joel Leavitt, Paul, Sabina, and I are enjoying the fruits of our labors.

Katie snapped this photo of me next to one of the bikes used to get around the station. Last year I never used a bike and always walked, but with my sore and swollen right ankle, I found it less painful to bike than to walk. Note my borrowed Crocs and the bike are color coordinated.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nice chronology and slide show on Palmyra Atoll history

The Nature Conservancy has a nice page listing major events in the history of Palmyra Atoll.  You can read about it at:

TNC also has a nice slide show of pictures taken on Palmyra when it was occupied by the U.S. Navy during WWII.

aerial of Palmyra 1941 © National Archives