Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"The ocean is impossibly complicated, intricate, turbulent, and nonlinear, and it touches every part of life. Humans can only understand it by trying to grasp far simpler proxies, such as: every tear you cry ends up back in the ocean system. Every third molecule of carbon dioxide you exhale is absorbed into the ocean. Every second breath you take comes from the oxygen produced by plankton."
"I wonder whether humans have become symbionts who have lost the knowledge that we depend on other creatures for the basics of life support. In terms of pure self-interest, this is a problem. If we depend on corals, algae, plankton and millions of other species, and if we are killing them off, how will we survive?"
Alanna Mitchell, author of Sea Sick
This next course is titled, Coastal Ecology and Culture: Islands, Reefs, and Mangroves. I'm very excited about this one- it probably was the initial attraction to the Thailand semester. We are half-way through a week of reading and lectures to prepare us for our next field course down south. Along with reading Alanna Mitchell's book Sea Sick (which is about the degradation of the global ocean and it's ties to climate change), we are learning about coastal ecosystems (corals, plankton, fish, mangroves, nutrient cycles, food chains, etc...).
some pictures:
this is what we all usually look like, in our uniforms. just like every other student in the country.

this is what we look like out of our uniforms, when we celebrate, for instance, cinco de mayo.

this is the biggest and best market in chiang mai, and i love it. right now mangos are cents a piece.

this is what we look like in our little thai classrooms. we meet here in the mornings (thai class), then as a big group in the afternoons (field course).
this is a pagoda with bamboo construction

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