The neighborhood that made me a marine biologist

The question I used to be asked most often is “What’s the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?” (Answer: dolphins and porpoises are members of two different but closely related families of toothed whales.) The question I’m most often asked now is “Isn’t all that garbage in the ocean terrible?”  (Answer:  It’s terrible that … Continue reading The neighborhood that made me a marine biologist

The Proof is in the Pudding…or Fish Stocks

Source: NOAA        The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recently completed a study on fish stocks off of the coast of California.  NOAA found that not only was there an increase in hauls, but an increase in monetary value to the fishermen. Why the increase?  NOAA hypothesizes it was because of the catch … Continue reading The Proof is in the Pudding…or Fish Stocks

Exclusive interview with the two-headed shark

As an observer of the sea and its life, I always want to report on the latest ocean stories while they’re hot. Yesterday the media learned that a fisherman had found a two-headed pre-term bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Realizing that it had a most unusual perspective on the world, I managed to obtain the shark’s cell … Continue reading Exclusive interview with the two-headed shark

Fighting for Ocean Conservation Programs

Last week I had the privilege of testifying before members of the US House of Representatives subcommittee that directs funds to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  What an honor and a challenge. The NOAA ocean conservation programs that we care about are suffering.  As the federal budget continues to get squeezed, it is … Continue reading Fighting for Ocean Conservation Programs

"Sound Conversations" with Dr. Elliott Norse at the Seattle Aquarium

Dr. Norse (left) and Jeff Renner (right) Today marks the end of my first week as executive assistant in the Seattle office of the Marine Conservation Institute. I have really been enjoying my first few days in Seattle. I have begun exploring different neighborhoods and seeing beautiful landscape—including several mountains, which was a treat for … Continue reading "Sound Conversations" with Dr. Elliott Norse at the Seattle Aquarium

Marine Protected Areas Sustain Communities

You spoke and we listened! A recent survey of our readers indicated that you believe one of the most important things Marine Conservation Institute does is advocate for the protection of ocean places. We recognize that the oceans are important places to protect marine life and we are dedicated to the protection of these special areas.The … Continue reading Marine Protected Areas Sustain Communities

The 29th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force

Source: NOAA        On Thursday, February 21, 2013 Mike Gravitz, Rachel Keylon, and I attended the 29th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting at the Department of Interior.  This was an opportunity for concerned citizens and conservation groups to offer public comment on the federal government’s efforts to preserve coral reefs and their associated marine … Continue reading The 29th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force

Smart like a rock? Kind like a rock?

Being a biologist requires me to think differently than most people.  Most people are driven by questions such as: “How long will it take me to get downtown in this traffic?” “What do I not pay so I can make my rent this month?” “How’d we do versus our competition last quarter?” “What do I … Continue reading Smart like a rock? Kind like a rock?