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Thoughts on Protests and Activism
Monday, July 2, 2012

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Monday, July 2, 2012
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LaUra
Environmental Humanities Department
University of Utah
Salt Lake City UT USA

Observations about how the world works from a semi-nomadic 20-something.
"I have felt the pain that arises from a recognition of beauty, pain we hold when we remember what we are connected to and the delicacy of our relations. it is this tenderness born out of a connection to place that fuels my writing. Writing becomes an act of compassion toward life, the life we so often refuse to see because if we look too closely or feel too deeply, there may be no end to our suffering. But words empower us, move us beyond our suffering, and set us free... We are healed by our stories." Terry Tempest Williams, An Unspoken Hunger
If we mess this planet up, can't we just colonize mars?

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hello! I'll begin by saying a little bit about me and my background, passions, and the type of writing you can expect through this weblog.

Here it goes: I graduated with my undergraduate degree in 2009 with three majors: biology, environmental science, and religion from Central Michigan University.Throughout college, I worked in a Plant Systematics laboratory as a research assistant doing lots of cool stuff, like scanning electron microscopy, field collecting, and a variety of laboratory techniques (DNA extractions, sequencing). College was my first introduction to the real world and for the first time, I was exposed to vastness of our current ecological crises. (I was focused on a lot of other things in high school.)

After graduating, I've had the opportunity to travel and hold several random jobs. I'm originally from Michigan, though I have also lived in Louisiana's bayou-region and on the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina. Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, I was hired in as a "Gulf Response" Americorps VISTA member. Living about 1.5 hours southwest of New Orleans (in a small community adjacent to the spill), I certainly experienced "bayou culture" and a rich environment that is incredibly imperiled (land loss and now the effects of the oil spill).

A job I'd held the previous two summers transformed into a big girl job after my VISTA experience. I was hired in to lead a department for a large recreation company on the coast of North Carolina. While there, and throughout my summers, I've realized how captivated I am by the ocean. Knowing that there are ecosystems that survive underneath the surface of the water.... watching dolphins jump out of the water and observing that they sometimes watch me as I'm playing in the water... standing on a pier investigating what the fisherman reel up.... and staring so far into the distance that the edge of the ocean blends into the edge of the sky... It's all so incredible. The big girl job, although I rocked at it, wasn't something I wanted to make a career out of. I don't care enough about money and the accumulation of wealth to maintain my energy in such a position. I care more about conserving the natural world and it's inhabitants than how much money the company made last quarter. The opportunity to live and work in the OBX has certainly helped me grow professionally and with regard to my respect for the world around me. I did make the decision to quit that job and pursue graduate school at Michigan State University last fall. That program hasn't worked out, so I'm transferring to the University of Utah this upcoming fall. I'm excited for the new opportunity.

Anticipating my move to Utah, I've been reading a lot of Terry Tempest Williams (TTW). She's kind of a big deal and will be an instructor for some of the classes in my program. TTW combines observations from the natural world with her own personal/life experiences. I'm intrigued and in awe of her ability to combine nature writing with memoir. But, to my point, she reflects a lot on "place" and being tied to the land. Her passion for the ecosystems of Utah parallel how I feel about the ocean. I joke with my friends that I was a dolphin in the past life; I love gliding through the water, I love the salty odor, and I have a huge respect for the intricacies of the ocean ecosystems.

That being said, I hope to blog about ecosystem health and other fellow earthlings, I want to discuss the ongoing effects of the BP oil spill, and I will try to inform or bring to light a lot of the information that doesn't readily volunteer its self.

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Lynn(e) Schmidt

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This was a fantastic introduction, and I look forward to what you have to say. And also, who's to say that you -weren't- a dolphin in a past life? I was a sea turtle once.


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Welcome!  I'm excited to read what you have to say.  I've always had a love of the ocean, that might be why there's a 150 gallon reef tank in my research lab :P

Southern Fried Scientist

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Very cool, can't wait to read more.

Suzanne

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Welcome Laura! 

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