A Box of Memories and Remembering “One Small Step”

A Box of Memories and Remembering “One Small Step”

As a ten-year-old science nerd, excitement during the days leading up to July 20, 1969, eclipsed that of the Superbowl, the World Series, or any other normally major event. All of the steps taken by scientists and engineers, and all the daunting hours of work and...
The Murky Future of Our Wild Rivers: 3

The Murky Future of Our Wild Rivers: 3

Part 3: Bristol Bay, Trolls, and the Pebble Mine    The third and final post of this blog series focuses on a concentration of wild rivers located in Bristol Bay at the northeastern end of the Alaskan peninsula. This watershed supports the world’s largest...
The Murky Future of Our Wild Rivers: 2

The Murky Future of Our Wild Rivers: 2

Part 2: A Long Stretch of Rough Water.   The West Coast’s wild rivers served as the lifeblood of indigenous tribes for thousands of years before the first settlers arrived. Coastal tribes relied on massive migrations of salmon for subsistence, and mountain tribes...
The Murky Future of Our Wild Rivers: 1

The Murky Future of Our Wild Rivers: 1

Part 1: It’s All About the Fish.   We stood on a sidehill shaded by redwoods and Douglas firs, water cascading down the rugged canyon below. My uncle pointed to a deep pool at the base of a towering waterfall. “Look close—see ‘em?” he whispered. Dark...
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) revealed that it had secretly shipped one-half metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to a nuclear security site in Nevada. Despite the state’s protests and an injunction, the...
John Steinbeck’s “Western Flyer” to Sail Once Again

John Steinbeck’s “Western Flyer” to Sail Once Again

We peered through the Port Townshend Shipwrights Co-op doorway, the smell of machinery and wood filling the cavernous building along with a chorus of power tools. “Come on in. You can see what’s going on from overhead.” One of the workers pointed to stairs leading to...
The Last Free Place in America

The Last Free Place in America

There were no signs leading to our destination. We only knew that it was located about twenty miles from the Salton Sea, and cell service was spotty at best as we kept an eye on our GPS. We rolled into Slab City well after sunset, and driving unfamiliar dirt roads...
Apocalypse Now: The Demise of California’s Largest Lake

Apocalypse Now: The Demise of California’s Largest Lake

The dying lake faded into an eerie haze as we stood atop a layer of sun-bleached fish carcasses. The lack of wind and numbing silence only added to the surreal feeling of standing at the edge of the world, teetering toward an apocalyptic end of days. The springtime...
California Dreaming: Keeping the Coast Oil-Free

California Dreaming: Keeping the Coast Oil-Free

It’s easy to daydream about California beaches in the middle of winter, especially when eight feet of snow is piled outside one’s window. I enjoy life at the 6200-foot level, but this is the time of year I’d also enjoy some warm sand under my feet. And additional...
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