Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mariana Trench in Outside Magazine

According to Outside Magazine, I am an "up-and-comer with a strong marketing instinct." Those eight words will be in every job application and every cover letter I write for the next 20 years. Thank you, Outside Magazine!

On Saturday I received my July 2010 issue of Outside Magazine. This is an issue I have been waiting for for almost a year. This is the issue that contains the story on last year's expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

Patrick Symmes, Outside Magazine contributing editor and the writer of this article, did a fantastic job. I thought the story was going to focus mostly on the trip we took to the monument, but he took it to the next level and interviewed Sylvia Earle and officials from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. What could have simply been a story about going to a far off place turned into a great retelling of some of the best conservation that has taken place during the last decade.

The story starts before the creation of the monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and carries us through the creation of Papahanaumokuakea and the creation of Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

I have to say, it literally hurts when the story of the monument campaign, something that took so much effort and caused so much stress, is cut down to a few paragraphs, or as in the case of MSNBC, a single sentence. One day I'll be able to let go of that; perhaps after my book is published.

The Outside Magazine website says that the magazine will be available on newsstands June 29, but I was able to find it online. I'd love to hear your reactions to the story, so please feel free to leave comments.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saipan World War II Marine Heritage Trail

Saipan's Underwater Heritage:
Developing an Underwater WWII Heritage Trail

A public lecture by:
Jennifer McKinnon, PhD
Flinders University, Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology

Friday, June 25, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Visitors Center Theater - American Memorial Park

Dr. McKinnon will provide an end-of-fieldwork report on a project to develop a World War II underwater heritage trail in the waters of Saipan Lagoon funded in part by a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program.

The project involved completing an underwater survey supervised by marine archaeologists to locate, assess and document objects associated with the World War II battle for Saipan. Sites documented during the project include three tanks, four airplanes, two landing craft, a possible sub-chaser, a freighter and an LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked).

The planned heritage trail will consist of individual site brochures, diving and snorkeling guides, and a website that tourists and divers can use to learn about the history of the sites. The trail will promote sustainable heritage tourism and stimulate the economy of Saipan while showcasing historically significant heritage sites in the beautiful Saipan lagoon. Dr. McKinnon will also discuss management strategies to ensure the long-term protection of these significant historic resources. The lecture will be illustrated by photographs and videos taken during the project.

This presentation is sponsored by the NMI Council for the Humanities as a part of its Community Lecture Series. Please contact the NMI Council for the Humanities at 235-4785 for more information about this upcoming event.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off Topic, but The Next Generation

Robert Rudolph (Rudy) came to Saipan and worked as the Executive Director of Costal Resource Management. He eventually married Emelita (Miles) Guance and they had two children born in Saipan. At some point he turned to running a pizza restaurant and bar, but always remained dedicated to the environment. He worked as a consultant here in Saipan, and then returned full time to environmental work when he moved the family to Florida and then Hawaii and back to Florida.

His older child, Mara, is a college student (or recent graudate?). And she continues the focus on environmental concerns. It's just exciting to see our children growing up and continuing in whatever ways they can to keep our planet green.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


SAIPAN – Every first Friday of the month, starting in July, a free environmental film will be shown to the community at American Memorial Park Theater.

“First Friday Films” was inspired by the exceptional turnout and response to the films played during Environmental Awareness Month in April. Hundreds of people came out to see the Lorax, HOME and The End of the Line. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the films illustrated the power of cinema to educate and inspire a wide variety of people.

Each month a film will represent a month-long theme of activities aimed at inspiring the community to become actively involved and make environmentally friendly choices.

Sponsored by the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), the first film to be featured on Friday, July 2nd at 7 p.m. is Black Wave, a documentary about the 20-year legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In the early hours of March 24th 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil supertanker ran aground in Alaska and discharged millions of gallons of crude oil into sensitive Artic waters. The incident became the biggest environmental catastrophe in North American history.

Given the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the allowance of further drilling by the Obama administration, “Black Wave” is a timely and relevant feature that will educate the community about the risks associated with offshore oil exploration. Following the film, local oil spill responders will discuss the Gulf of Mexico spill and the response plans in place for the CNMI.

“First Fridays” is coordinated through a partnership between the Division of Environmental Quality and American Memorial Park, with the generous support of organizations such as MINA.