The March for Science (and Climate)

2017 marks the first year I marched — starting with the Science March in D.C. on Earth Day and continuing on with the People’s Climate March in New York City a week later.

I’m not the marching type, but all bets are off with our current administration threatening to take away national monuments, removing climate information from various government websites, considering exiting the Paris Agreement…. and the list goes on.

Being a part of the March for Science was surreal. Despite the rain, the streets surrounding the National Mall were flooded with scientists protesting the administration’s threat to science and science funding. And it wasn’t just regular people (like me). Climate Central’s chief scientist, Heidi Cullen, spoke to a soggy crowd about the value of extreme weather reporting and attribution science. Jason Box, climate researcher (and an important part of my favorite climate film), spoke to the importance of melting Greenland on the world’s coastlines (in case you didn’t know, sea level rise is coming for us all, and estimates keep getting more extreme), while Bill Nye stressed to lawmakers that “science is for all.”

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Signs at the March for Science in D.C. on Earth Day, 2017.

The People’s Climate March hoped to continue the momentum of the importance of science, so all over the U.S. (and the world), thousands marched in the People’s Climate March. In Staten Island, a sister march walked along the coast where Superstorm Sandy devastated homes and buildings along the shore.

Signs here overwhelmingly pointed to renewables, rising seas, and the importance of protecting the Earth.

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Activists march on Staten Island

I marched for science and a clean planet, and for everyone in my life who is dedicated to science (including us science communicators!). The March for Science organizers are aiming to make this a movement, and I’ll be there every step of the way.

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The Great Outdoors: My Nautilus #SparkofScience

It should be no surprise to anyone that my spark of science, a term coined by Nautilus Magazine, came from the great outdoors.

Nautilus was kind enough to accept my submission, wherein I talked about how my love for science, even though I’m not a scientist, came from spending time in wild places with my family.

I always thought my spark of science came from my Earth 100 class at Penn State with Dr. Laura Guertin, a kick-ass marine geologist and professor who introduced me to the connection between educational technology and Earth science. Who better to teach me about our changing planet than an American Geophysical Union blogger (and #SparkofScience blogger)?

But after a bit of introspective thought, I found that Dr. G’s class was just different path on my love for the Earth.

Read the whole post here. Thanks, Nautilus!

Outdoor Exploration: Southern Arizona

What’s better than a January vacation to Arizona? Basically nothing.

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Sitting on the edge of Arizona (or, more specifically, the Wind Cave trail outside of Phoenix)

Despite Arizona’s record warmth, the week I chose to go was quite cool and damp due to El Niño’s impacts of increased precipitation and cool air in the Southwest. There was even snow at the Grand Canyon!

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I spent part of my trip in Southern Arizona outside of Phoenix, and OH MAN. THE CACTI.

We spent one day in the Desert Botanical Garden, which is home to hundreds of species of cacti, desert plants and wildflowers, as well as roadrunners! The garden also focuses on conservation genetics of rare desert plants, all showcased throughout the gardens.

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Next up — snowy Sedona! Stunning red rocks surround the valley.

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Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona.

After visiting the Grand Canyon, we headed back down to the Phoenix area — and back to the saguaros.

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We also visited the Biosphere 2 in Tucson, and ended my trip with a hike! Until next time, desert Southwest!

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Outdoor Exploration: Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is everything I expected it to be — and more. There was snow! I traveled all the way from the snowy East Coast to hang out at the snowy Grand Canyon in January 2016.

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Yup. I love National Parks.

We walked around the icy South Rim to take pictures, and then headed down the road to a few overlooks. Unfortunately, due to snow and time constraints, we were only able to walk around for a few hours and not take on many trails. But I still stood on the edge of it.

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Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in the U.S. (if not the most!) and has been a big driver of park traffic this year for the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration.

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Seeing it in person is MIND-BLOWING. You’ll never know how majestic it is until you visit.

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Alexa and I at the South Rim. Thanks for taking me!!!

Until next time, Grand Canyon!