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Showing posts from October, 2010

Diwali Festival of Lights

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[I broke down and had to check out Bollywood] [The view from my apartment building]
This weekend was not only Halloween, but also the Diwali Festival of Lights and the Auckland City Marathon. From my apartment I could hear lots of music and I could look out the window and get a good view of the stage. The music was very loud and quite distracting from my exam studying, but today I took a look at what all the commotion was really about. It was really cool! A variety of Indian food, some clothes and jewelry, and then the weekend long Bollywood Dancing competition. It was really fun to watch!

Another countdown:

6 days to the first exam of my final year in NZ 22 days til my mom arrives in Auckland42 days til I fly to Norway
In other news, I have been constantly asked if I am Canadian. But then I tell them Michigan and they say "oh, well I was pretty close!" A good handful of customers have thought I was Canadian. And there have even been a few from Michigan and one told me "Nice to hear a familiar accent again." Love customers like that! It makes the work day so pleasant.

The Moelling gene

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I have been getting more active in conservation efforts, but it has been limited to posting my opinions on the New York Times website. I commented on the Climate Denial by republicans and am proud to say my comment (out of 200+) is a highlight in the top 7 and has been recommended by 29 readers so far. [I'm proud of myself, and happy that people out there actually read comments and agree.] I've got the Grandpa Con gene! I bet soon I'll be protesting and writing letters to the paper just like he does. This has got to be in the blood!

The gannet colony

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Saturday was a day at Muriwai Beach. Not to go swimming or sun bathe, it's too cold for that still. But instead it was to count the gannets at the local colony and study their behavior. It was very interesting to observe the meanings behind their behaviors. Watching birds will never be the same. Our recorded population counts had to be accurate because the Auckland Regional Council uses them to keep an eye on population dynamics. I also managed to get lots of bird poop on me. But on a bright note, I saw a seal! I wasn't embarrassed on the trip about all the bird pooh on me, but once I got back to the city I started to get a little self-conscious. All part of being a biologist though!
[The seal] [Covered in bird poop!] [Beautiful Muriwai gannet colony site]

Da Big UP Deal

Proud to say that 10 years and $58 million later, Michigan will protect 271,000 acres of land from development in the upper peninsula with the 'Big UP Deal'. This connects and protects nearly 2 million acres of wilderness in da yoop. So how does this relate to a New Zealand context? 10 years ago New Zealand told countries in Copenhagen that it will have 10% of its coastline divided into no-take Marine Protected Areas by 2010. They have yet to accomplish this because of a fight back from the public that wants to continue fishing in certain areas that are subject to no-take zoning. Goat Island was the first no-take marine reserve in the world. Where are we now? Certainly not 10% of the coastline and 2011 is fast approaching. Time for Kiwis to learn from Michigan and lead the way in no-take marine reserves and show the world that an ecosystem can certainly fight back under this management plan.