I am almost halfway through this adventure aboard E/V Nautilus. From the beginning of my selection I have asked myself, how will I convey what I did out here and what it meant to me once it is over?
So I got this blog going for me. Which is nice.
I have met incredible people in the first two legs of this California Borderlands expedition. Scientists at the top of their fields in hydrothermal vent geology, benthic ecology, microbes existing at methane seep communities and more. I have meaningful conversation about ocean science, conservation and education at every sit-down across from someone at a meal or a lounge session on the social deck. I work alongside an incredible teacher whose passion for her students inspires me and an extremely talented artist whose “doodles” are more like masterpieces. I feel fortunate to keep diving into these adventures in my life which situate me around some of the most interesting and dedicated people I’ve ever met. They go all in for their passion, just like I do. “Go Big” says a tattoo on a person onboard, to “remind himself to always go big for his dreams and never let up.” When you’re talking about living the dream of sailing with Nautilus, exploring the deep, making a case for the good of the world’s oceans and for where they stand in our health as a planet – Going Big is the only option.
We have an excellent team, already just within the first week, we had crew change in San Pedro. It seemed we had all just become a well-oiled machine of watch shifts and close friends with jokes and laughs and then it was time for goodbyes (and tacos!) on the dock.
I am working on one of my deliverables for this fellowship now on the ship. I will be filming (with the help of excellent video engineers, a documentarian and willing subjects) short answers to interview questions about oceanography careers as a lesson upgrade for my old stomping grounds at Catalina Island Marine Institute. Students will be able to view an iBook in the lab as part of a rotation in learning oceanography so they can see themselves diving into similar careers one day.
In the fall, I will visit with friends who are teachers, in their classrooms from Colorado to California, and hopefully inspire their students to reach higher and dream big.
Connecting my former and current communities to E/V Nautilus is my ambition to have this fellowship. I was fortunate this week to do an interaction with Philmont participants and staff, even catching the STEM Trek kids who I met with before I left, but was unable to be there for their final day off the trail and banquet. Taking questions from familiar voices (without seeing the crowd) was wonderful and I even had a sidekick from the boat, a data intern and Eagle Scout who took a trek at Philmont several years ago. I connected with about 100 National Order of the Arrow Conference at their gathering of 15,000 Arrowmen at Michigan State University in their celebration of 100 years of service and leadership in this honor society of Scouting. Tomorrow I’ll connect one more time with Philmont in an evening Q&A session.
What good will come of keeping these experiences, these days, these learning opportunities to myself? Thanks for being a part of that journey with me. Feel free to leave comments below on what future blog posts should be about!