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World Wetlands Day

On 2 February 1971, 18 nations met in Iran to sign the Convention on Wetlands. 45 years later, over 2000 Ramsar sites across the world conserve the diverse and productive ecosystem that is the wetlands. On the same day 45 years later, the 17 students returned to the Duke University Marine Lab after two weeks learning about marine ecology on St. John Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Don’t be scared of trillions

Xander Kent and Richard Branson.

A report from the outskirts of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

River Retreat 2016: Structure and Function


To some, January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar, the beginning of a new semester, or just damn cold; but for the River Center, January is also associated with River Retreat. What is the River Retreat? It is not the gradual retreat of rivers back to their montane source (because water flows downhill), but rather, a weekend retreat for students, post-docs, and professors for the purpose of expanding our minds, creativity, family-feud skills, and camaraderie. River Retreat is an annual tradition (now in its 12th year), founded by Nic School professor Martin Doyle, and is organized around a […]

Goodbye, Dear Friend


We met in 2009. My life was in limbo but exciting things were happening. I had just completed a 6-month internship at a weekly newspaper in Santa Barbara and returned from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico assisting a now quite successful underwater photographer, Thomas Peschack, through an expedition with the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Giving the Gift of Carbon Neutrality


I was fortunate enough to return home to Maine for part of the holidays this year. As I unwrapped Christmas gifts, one large manilla envelope balanced delicately on the branches of the Christmas tree. It had my name on it as well as one word: “Paris.” Opening the envelope, I removed a certificate from, notifying me that for my gift, my mother had offset two tonnes of carbon. “Paris” referred to the international climate summit that had just taken place! I have written about carbon offsets before. The details can be complicated, but the concept is simple: as I […]

Highlights from South Africa: Monkey See, Monkey Do


What does one do when a troop of baboons decide to disrupt your sleep? Reflect on the different cultural perceptions of primates and possible solutions to human-wildlife conflicts from the warmth of your bed of course.

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