Duke Nicholas School – 101 State Parks and Counting

I’m a goal-oriented person. When I suggested to the Florida State Parks staff back in 2015 that I could write about visiting all 175 state parks, trails and historic sites, I lodged the goal in my psyche with such force that even after my freelance contract with the parks ended, I remain determined. In December,…

Duke Nicholas School – Building an Oyster Reef

I felt a little silly as I searched my closet for gloves and a winter hat. Sure, it was December, but I lived in Florida. Only the weekend before I had been sweating in temperatures that had reached nearly 80 degrees, and now I was layering long underwear, sweatshirts and jackets. The sun may have…

Duke Nicholas School – Tap the Local Media

Imagine this: you have an amazing project you want to share with the world. You head out into the field or the lab with your camera, carefully taking shots of your plots or instrumentation or study species, painstakingly stitching the clips together back at home. You choose the perfect song to go with your video,…

Duke Nicholas School – Lifelong Learning

Tuesdays are busy for me this semester. In between my regular work tasks, I tune in for “Social Media for Environmental Communications” from the Duke Executive Education Program, take a break, then drive to the University of West Florida for back to back “Academic Strategies” and “Strategic Communication.” By the end of the evening, five hours…

Duke Nicholas School – Restoration and Education

The kids jumped out of the bright yellow bus one by one, landing on the ground with a sharp thwack and scurrying over to the grass of Mattie Kelly Park in Destin, Florida, waiting for the rest of their friends. The bus would take two groups of students that day from their summer programs at the Boys…

Duke Nicholas School – Why You Should Buy a Duck Stamp

Every year since 1934, hunters hoping to go after waterfowl or other migratory birds have been obligated to buy a Duck Stamp. Once purchased, 98 cents of every dollar spent on the stamp goes to buying wetland and wildlife habitat, which in turn goes back into the National Wildlife Refuge System. The idea is simple: hunters…

Duke Nicholas School – Record-breaking Global Big Day

On May 13, smack in the middle of Mother’s Day weekend, birders fanned out across the world to count birds as well as bird species. Organized by eBird, an online bird observation platform run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Global Big Day aims to get as many birders out in field within a 24…

Duke Nicholas School – New Office, New Trails

I have recently switched to a position at the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, moving from an office on the beach of a barrier island to a building within the forest. Right away, I noticed a network of trails weaving in and out of the woods and around the various buildings in the complex where I work….

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…