Duke Nicholas School – Getting Back to eBird

2017 has been a year of reflection for me thus far. While there are many things I cannot control – national posturing on climate change, for example – I have taken stock in how I can make a difference as an individual. My blogs probably reflect that internal thought-process, as I’ve written on speaking about…

Duke Nicholas School – The Allure of Passports and Stamps

In my house, car and office, one will find a wide variety of checklists and site passports. On my couch sits a bright blue passport book listing National Wildlife Refuges, complete with refuge descriptions and a blank space for unique stamps to mark my visit. On my desk lies “The Real Florida Passport,” with photos and…

Voices for Biodiversity – Rookery Bay

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Mangrove estuaries are fast disappearing in the United States. Kayaking through Rookery Bay – which…

Florida State Parks – Anastasia

The beach stretched out for miles in front of me. Pressed flight by a recent tide, the sand – covered in shells – was firm beneath my bare feet. The afternoon was warm after very chilly days, and the number of visitors swelled with the sunshine, laying in the sun, swimming across the waves, and…

10000 Birds – The Return of Least Terns to the Gulf Coast

Small, delicate, graceful, the Least Tern embodies all we love about birds and then some. Have you seen their chicks? Adorable. Every spring, we birders along the Emerald Coast wait for their arrival with bated breath, grinning from ear to ear when they patrol the beach once more, diving for food in the shallow waves. Read…

Nat Geo – Kayaking Within Rookery Bay Mangroves

A group of intrepid adventurers and I met at exactly 9 a.m. at the end of Shell Island Drive in the Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Reserve. Multi-colored kayaks had been set up by reserve staff, and were glistening in the morning light. Read the entire blog at Nat Geo Voices!

Press – Winner in National Federation of Press Women’s At-Large Contest

For my article on banding Snowy Plovers, I placed 2nd in the 2017 NFPW At-Large Professional Communications Contest for feature stories in an online publication. Yay! The judge wrote: I appreciate the great detail this writer has given on these birds, their habit[at] and efforts to keep the birds in existence. Despite the clear expertise…

Duke Nicholas School – How much nature do you need?

In health class, we often learned about food pyramids. Whole grains are on the bottom, because we need 5-7 servings per day. At the next level, we have fruits and veggies (two servings a day each), then meats and proteins (2-3 servings), followed by fats, sugars, and salts, which should be consumed rarely. In a…

Florida State Parks – Cedar Key Museum

It was morning on Cedar Key, and I stood in front of a tall green sign near the Cedar Key Historical Museum. Though I gazed at the sign in 2017, my mind was over one hundred years away, when the famous naturalist John Muir visited Cedar Key on his 1,000 mile walk to the Gulf…

Duke Nicholas School – Delisting the Manatee

igh. These days it’s no fun to read the news. Most of the environmental stories are bad, and even the “good” ones don’t hold up to closer inspection. Take the West Indian Manatee, which lives in the coastal waters off of the Southeastern United States. I love manatees (I’ve written about the species multiple times). Because…

10000 Birds – Shorebirds in Abaco, Bahamas

Abaco is beautiful. My family and I were staying at the edge of a sand beach, facing a wide flat in a house charmingly named “Bone Ami.” The color blue dominated the senses, changing from a deeper hue during high tide to nearly silver at the lowest ebb. The best part? The sand exposed during low…