My Thesis: I've submitted my PhD thesis! Titled "Three Dimensional Modelling of Coral Reefs for Structural Complexity Analysis," the thesis examines the correlation between reef structural complexity and ecosystem health.
For my thesis, I developed a new technique for creating and analyzing 3D models of underwater scenes using computer vision and machine learning. The methods are already being used by researchers in Indonesia, Madagascar, Bonaire, Cuba, Honduras, and the Maldives. I've published part of the research, and have five related publications nearing submission or under review. I hope the research will make a significant impact in our understanding of the ocean.
Ocean and Space Collaboration: I postponed submitting my thesis by two months because I was offered a position in a NASA artificial intelligence accelerator last summer in California (blog post here) where I was asked to apply my knowledge of 3D modeling underwater ocean scenes to the challenge of 3D modelling near-earth asteroids. It was a fantastic opportunity that not only augmented the last chapter of my PhD thesis, but also allowed me to grow personally and professionally.
Our team of four engineers at NASA's Frontier Development Lab used a range of machine learning techniques to automate asteroid 3D modelling. My team's results were well-received by NASA's Planetary Defense community and the tool my team developed will be implemented this year at the Arecibo Observatory to help track near-earth asteroids.
Upcoming Events: While waiting for my PhD defense in March or April, I've committed to a few speaking events, listed below.
Celebrating thesis submission.^
NatIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Interview About conducting Research, Living Underwater, and STAYING CONNECTED DURING Fieldwork
Last week I hopped across the pond for the opening of National Geographic’s first immersive entertainment experience. “Ocean Odyssey” in Times Square draws visitors under the sea to experience ocean life thanks to clever videography, staging, virtual and artificial reality. Virtual explorers witness a battle between Humbolt squid, get lost in a kelp forest, and see a whale leap from the depths to feed on a school of fish. They can also play quiz games that show how they can improve the ocean.
Pictures tell the story best. More information about how you can visit the exhibit is in the Act Now page of this blog. Your ticket purchase supports the National Geographic Society’s great work!
Other Update from Yellow Rectangle
"It was CERN's high-powered global community of scientists congregated in one beautiful place to solve big problems that was a magnet for me." -- Grace C. Young
CERN's Symmetry publication recently published an interview I did with them a few weeks ago. Excerpts are below, and you can read the full interview at ww.symmetrymagazine.org/article/cern-alumna-turned-deep-sea-explorer
My interview from time at CERN just published in Symmetry magazine. Excerpt below.
What unique experience did you take away from CERN? CERN had a huge impact on my development as a scientist and engineer. My experience was truly transformative. My first experience was when I was age 17. A classmate and I won a week-long trip to CERN from the Intel Science Fair for a physics project. It was a dream come true; I'd read so much about CERN. I'm still incredibly thankful to Wolfgang Von Rueden for organizing that trip and becoming a mentor. A year later, CERN’s openlab took a chance on a first-year MIT student and let me into its summer internship program. I got to work with phenomenal people and write software to help physicists (perform Dalitz analysis within the ROOT data analysis framework).
Although I veered away from physics into ocean engineering (I like to sail and I love the water), CERN taught me many things that I often think back to. One is the genuine power in community. It's not just about putting capable people in the same place -- it's about having those people, from diverse disciplines work together to solve discrete problems, and work towards a common purpose. Another thing it taught me is that fundamental science pursued for the sake of science (or art) spawns innovation.
Even my visitor's badge to CERN reinforced its core purpose. I thought the text on the badge aptly described CERN's mission and motivation. It read:
What value do you see in the CERN alumni network? I see the alumni network as a potentially powerful tool. Of course it's a great way to stay in touch with friends, make new ones, and enhance career connections. Its greatest value, however, may be in harnessing the power of our great community to solve big problems like CERN proper does. Alumni know the value of cooperation and the power of working across disciplines, across cultures, public-private sectors, and that's a powerful thing.
What’s next for you? I'd like to create a CERN-for-the-ocean. Right now we don't understand how the ocean works -- how it holds so much biodiversity, how it maintains weather, sequesters so much carbon. At the same time it faces big problems including overfishing, pollution, acidification and warming. These require technical and policy solutions. I'd like to copy CERN's model for research and innovation and apply it to the equivalent for the ocean of confirming the Higgs boson.
ANOTHER NOTE ON POSITIVE MESSAGES
So far so good! My previous blog post explains why I'm at NASA this summer. In short, I'm still 'Team Ocean' (of course!), but the 3D shape modelling techniques developed for my PhD on coral reefs have direct application for NASA's research on near-Earth asteroids (and vise versa). It's been a fantastic collaboration. Here are more details about what we're doing and why.
What We'RE Doing and Why
NASA's Frontier Development Lab (FDL) is an experimental tool in NASA’s innovation portfolio that emphasizes artificial intelligence, inter-disciplinary approaches, rapid iteration, and teamwork to produce significant breakthroughs useful to the space program.
This summer, four of us at NASA FDL are creating 3D models of asteroids. Our core team comprises two planetary scientists (Agata Rozek and Sean Marshall), two machine learning engineers (Adam Cobb and me), plus mentors from both disciplines (Chedy Raissi, Michael Busch, and Yarin Gal). We’re creating the 3D models from radar data. It's a difficult computational problem, but knowing an asteroid’s 3D shape helps us predict its future trajectory (/whether it will collide with Earth!).
The formal introduction to our problem reads as follows:
It took me a bit to understand exactly what our goals and motivations were. The most common questions my friends ask are, “What are you doing?” and “Why?” My short answer: We're generating 3D models of asteroids from radar data so that we can better determine asteroids' physical properties and orbital trajectories. There are over 16,000 known near-Earth objects, and on average 35 new ones each week. It's too much data to keep up with without sophisticated data analysis techniques, so we're using machine learning to speed up and automate the process of generating 3D models from radar data of asteroids.
I'm also interested in the task of 3D modelling asteroids because the techniques can be applied to 3D modelling coral reefs, the topic of my thesis, as further discussed in my first post about NASA.
More details will be in our final presentation and report at the end of the summer. Register here if you'd like to attend our final presentation in Santa Clara, California.
This post is modified from the original published on the NASA FDL page (here). All work was developed while at NASA Frontier Development Lab, working with Agata Rozek, Sean Marshall, Adam Cobb, Justin Havlovitz, Chedy Raissi, Michael Busch, and Yarin Gal.
UPDATE - 12 Sept 17
My colleague Adam just posted his perspective on the project. Read his blog post here.
Update - 20 Nov 17
The video of our final presentation at Intel Headquarters is live! It's on YouTube at this link.
Update - Jan 2018
The results from our team of four engineers and scientists were well-received by NASA's Planetary Defense Community. The tool we developed will be implemented this year at the Arecibo Observatory to help track near-earth asteroids.
Last week I had the honor of attending National Geographic’s first-ever Explorers Festival. It was many things: It was a gathering of explorers from all disciplines and corners of the globe; it was my introduction to the NatGeo “family;” it was an excuse for NatGeo to roll out the 'yellow carpet' for James Cameron, Sylvia Earle, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bob Ballard, and other explorer-celebrities.
As a 2017 Emerging Explorer, I gave a 10-minute talk about my work and dreams and then contributed to a panel discussion on “Transformative Technology;” both are online here.
The week was a gear-shifting process for me. For the past several months I’ve been up to my ears in my PhD thesis. This week forced me to take a few steps back and think big-picture, about major goals and priorities in terms of ocean technology development. It also forced me to reflect on my personal story --- the twists of fate that pushed me to where I am now.
NatGeo focuses on human elements of any story; I believe this is one reason why it effectively engages across disciplines. Explorers are encouraged not just to talk about their work, as they might at an academic or technical conference, but also to speak of their motivations – how and why they got to their unique position. Usually these stories take us back to childhood, but not all the time – sometimes the story starts later in life. Distilling one’s life into a story is a difficult task if you overthink it. How can one figure out which moments of the past millions and millions of moments to cut and which to mention? How do our brains remove the signal from the noise? Only in hindsight have I identified some of the more transformative moments. The storytellers at NatGeo helped me bring out the bits of my story that linked my path in ways I hadn’t considered before. For that I’m very thankful to the NatGeo community.
Excited to announce that I’ve been offered a research position this summer at NASA’s Frontier Development Lab in Mountain View, CA. I’ll be working alongside other scientists and engineers for eight weeks in an intensive research accelerator focused on artificial intelligence.
They've asked me to develop a project with cohorts on near-earth object 3D shape modelling and lunar water detection, topics that directly relate to my thesis (minus the "lunar" part and replace "near-earth" with "underwater" of course!). It's a fantastic opportunity to develop skills and learn from NASA in ways that will not only further develop our underwater 3D modelling techniques, but also vise versa; they'll learn from our research techniques.
Still Team Ocean
Ocean and space are commonly pitted against each other – upward vs downward – astronaut vs aquanaut, etc.
It’s not an either-or debate, however. We can explore both.
I’m looking forward to this summer opportunity at NASA for a number of reasons. I’m eager to learn from NASA methods that will enhance our underwater 3D modeling techniques while sharing what we’ve learned underwater. The experience will also provide another perspective on how public-private partnerships can work effectively to achieve defined research objectives. I believe public-private partnerships like NASA FDL and what I observed at CERN OpenLab, are the key to tackling our most urgent ocean research objectives---a vision I outlined in my 2015 TIME op-ed. Finally, I’m excited to spend weekends diving, surfing, and reuniting with West Coast friends.
Many astronauts are also aquanauts, but most people don’t realize more people have been to space than have lived underwater! Several acquaintances work in both arenas: Pisces VI submarine owner Scott Waters is also on a space advisory board. FDL founding member, Jordan McRae, invented OctoTalk, a system for divers to transmit voice communications underwater. Jonathan Knowles, who is involved with FDL through Autodesk, also advises The Hydrous, an organization that 3D models corals around the world.
That said, I’m committed to Team Ocean. I’m personally drawn to water, a connection many humans have (see Wallace Nichols' book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.).
Moreover, engineering-wise, while space may seem more exotic, I’d argue the ocean, particularly the deep ocean, is a more challenging work environment considering that E&M waves, upon which wifi, GPS, and many modern innovations are based, do not work, and salt water kills electronics. We’re forced to innovate.
(Thanks Somerville (Oxford) for the article with video!)
Next week we are hosting what we think is the FIRST LIVE UNDERWATER SEMINAR at Oxford! Come along if you're in the area! It'll also be video-recorded/posted online at a later date.
Aside: A piece titled "We Need a New Approach for Saving the Oceans!" for the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources by David Wills mentioned
my 2015 TIME op-ed article about a new vision for ocean research, including creating a CERN-like organization for the ocean. David supports the vision, and explains why fisheries management based on “maximum sustained yield” must be revised (snippet below).
Read David's full article here.
Yesterday on a podcast I heard the host say "everything in engineering seems to be collaborative," as if that was surprising. It reminded me of a misconception, that great engineers are geniuses working alone in basements, that I speak of often with students. That couldn't be farther from the truth; but it's a misconception that keeps many students from pursuing engineering as a profession - they think engineering isn't a career for "people persons."
I spoke about what I call the "Iron Man" myth exactly three years ago as a 20min "TIMTalk" at MIT, titled "No Engineer is an Island." The video is no longer available online (at least for now), but a transcript is below.
After Kansas, I headed to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit and to reunite with the SailFuture crew. SailFuture, you might remember I sailed across the Atlantic for them last winter, is at the moment setting up a new home in St. Pete for the young adults they work with. At BLUE, I was fortunate to reconnect with familiar faces like Billy Snook from Mission 31, Dr. Sylvia Earle from Mission Blue, and Zach Ponder from Utila; I also met plenty of new people, like the founder of Nekton, Erika Bergman, researchers at University South Florida and University of Miami, and an handful of submarine pilots. I was surprised to see my main thesis supervisor, Professor Alex Rogers, featured in one of the films!
Until Christmas (when my family visits the UK!), I'm focused on thesis work and four more papers in the pipeline (see my thoughts on peer review publishing). I'll also be at the Reef Conservation UK Conference at The Zoological Society of London on November 26th and speaking at the Royal Russell School on December 7th.
1. New (SAD) Scientific Discovery by LABMATE
2. SPEAKING IN LONDON, OPEN TO ALL
3. Speaking at Oxford Animal Ethics Society
I'll also be speaking alongside two other scholars again at the Oxford Animal Ethics Society, where we're sharing our presentation on how SeaWorld could replace their captive animal shows with virtual and artificial reality entertainment. It's the same presentation we won for at the 2016 International Business Ethics Competition (that story here).
"Because we share nothing so completely as our ocean, each of us also shares the responsibility to protect it.” ~ US Secretary of State John F. Kerry
In Washington D.C. last week I attended the Our Ocean conference hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry at The State Department and the affiliated Ocean Leadership Summit hosted by Georgetown University. Following the main events, I spoke on a panel at the French Embassy for an event on climate, ocean preservation and scientific cooperation with Fabien Cousteau (Ocean Conservationist, Mission 31), Dr. Sylvia Earle (Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-in-residence, former NOAA Chief Scientist), Dr. Margaret Leinen (Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and UCSD’s Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences), Dr. Françoise Gaill (Research Director at CNRS, Scientific Committee Coordinator of the Ocean & Climate Platform), and Bertrand Delorme (PhD candidate, Stanford).
The concurrent two-day events, Our Ocean and the One Future Leadership summit, were jam-packed with activities from early morning breakfast meetings to late night working dinners all focused on solving our oceans most urgent problems with leading scientists and policy makers from around the world.
The first day ended with a concert at the Kennedy Center for visiting dignitaries (and student attendees!) featuring singers Grace Potter and Norm Lewis. The last time I was in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower theatre I was performing in Washington Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet. After the concert, I waited around the corner from the stage door, under the Center’s iconic huge golden pillars, for my mom, who picked me up just like she did countless times during that performance nine years ago.
The second day ended with dinner at the French Ambassador’s residence with the other panelists and Segolene Royal, France’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, and President of COP21.
I arrived at the conference with little expectations; if anything I was feeling discouraged about the state of our ocean. I left, however, feeling more educated, inspired and optimistic than ever about our ocean’s future. Secretary Kerry reported that during the conference $5.24 billion was committed towards sustainable oceans from a combination of governments and foundations. He emphasized his deep personal connection the ocean (he grew up sailing) and alarming facts about the ocean. For example, it will contain more plastic than fish by weight in 2050 if we do not change our ways (on a bus I sat next to the State Department that proudly wrote that fact into his speech; everyone can help in this fight!). I asked Secretary Kerry about the US’s commitment to the ocean, especially regarding the Law of the Sea Convention, last spring when he gathered Rhodes and Marshall scholars at a pub in Oxford (that story here). I knew he was dedicated to ocean issues, but I hadn’t realized the full extent of his work, nor did he necessarily allude to all of it in that first response. Now I am really impressed. President Obama expressed the same sentiment:
Also at the conference, nations committed to designating 1.5 million square miles of ocean as a marine protected area (MPA). Yet MPA designation doesn’t necessarily mean protection in practice. It must be monitored and enforced; otherwise it is a “paper park.” Plenty of attendees, including Secretary Kerry, acknowledged this, and solutions were discussed, combining new technology with policing. These are works-in-progress; but are an excellent start.
Secretary Kerry announced key features of his Safe Ocean Network, which aims to build a global community to better combat illegal fishing. “Various nations are working hard to track and address illegal fishing, but the fact is no nation is currently capable of policing the entire range of the oceans,” he said. Enforcement is where technology can play a huge role in how we manage and protect the oceans, so this gets into my particular area of interest. Various uniformed members of the military explained aspects of the Safe Ocean Network, as well as representatives from partners including Google, SkyTruth, and Oceana. It was a beautiful example of public and private sectors working together for a common goal. This diagram (that I can't find online; pardon bad quality scan) explains the facets of their operations well:
True to their mission of getting other nations involved, the State Department flew out nearly 50 student leaders from select countries, particularly those reliant on fishing, for a two-week tour of NOAA operations in California and New Hampshire, culminating at this Our Ocean conference. I met the student representatives from Fiji, Philippines, Indonesia, Italy, and many more, each of whom is leading or involved with an ocean project, ranging from simple but effective initiatives such as installing mooring buoys around dive sites, to more nuanced like initiating culinary ventures that educate consumers about the ecosystem.
I was incredibly impressed by the Georgetown University student group Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), which co-hosted the Leadership Summit alongside the State Department. It was founded by Daniela V. Fernandez (who, fun fact, is a fellow recipient of Glamour magazine’s “Top 10 College Woman of the Year” scholarship).
During the Summit, I was put into a group of about 30 engineering-minded young people to roundtable with David Lang and Monica Medina. Lang spoke of the low-cost underwater robotics company he co-founded, openROV. I assembled one of their products last year to use in Honduras and have collaborated with some of their employees, so we had a good deal to talk about. Medina, Deputy Director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Program, spoke about what it took to get whales protected in Boston shipping channels. She didn’t gloss over anything. She impressed on us the need for perseverance and patience in order to achieve practical results. If I were based in DC again, I’d love to sit in on the ocean governance class she’s teaching at Georgetown University as an adjunct professor.
I look forward to watching several new films introduced at the event, including Sonic Seas, A Plastic Ocean, A Fragile Legacy, Nuclear Sharks, Second Century Stewardship, Vey nou Lagon, and Wild Galapagos, Pristine Seas.
Now it’s time to bottle up all the inspiration and hunker down in Oxford to finish reporting the results from coral reef fieldwork (and finishing my thesis!).
I’m heading across the pond (flying! not sailing this time, although that story <here>) later this month for a number of exciting ocean-related events.
“Wouldst thou”—so the helmsman answered--
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
My first stop is Washington, D.C., where I’ll catch up with family and attend the 3rd Our Ocean Conference, hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, whom I met in Oxford earlier this year (that story <here>). Discussions will focus on marine protected areas, climate and oceans, sustainable fisheries, and marine pollution. Richard Branson’s organization, <Ocean Unite>, suggests following the conference via the hashtag #OurOcean or on Twitter through @StateDept @StateDeptLive @JohnKerry @StateDeptOES @CathyNovelli. I’ll of course be writing/tweeting as well, but not as regularly as those accounts. I'm at @grace_h2o.
I’ll participate in the Our Ocean Leadership Summit hosted by Georgetown University. Each participant, as well as members of the public, have submitted pledges for the <1000 Our Ocean Actions Campaign> that we’ll share with Secretary Kerry and other global leaders. Pledges include big commitments from NGOs, governments, and the private sector; but the organizing committee also will highlight “the equally important commitments to action that individuals and community groups can make to protect our ocean.” I've three:
After the conference, I’ll be speaking at the French Embassy on a panel with Dr. Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Dr. Françoise Gaill, and Bertrand Delorme. It’s open to the public so if you’re in the area this Friday evening and are interested, you can register for the event <here>.
I’m most looking forward to seeing my family in D.C. and to meet the other participants of the Leadership Summit.
The event piggybacks off a few other important ocean meetings, including the 2nd of four preparatory meetings to negotiate a new High Seas Treaty at the United Nations in New York. From the Ocean Unite’s newsletter:
OCEANS'16, organized by the Marine Technology Society, which I’ve been a member of for almost eight years now, including a council member for two years, is held Monterey Bay this year. I’m looking forward to meeting other ocean engineers and reconnecting with many friends and colleagues there.
Finally, in November Fabien Cousteau is opening his Ocean Learning Center in Bonaire. If any readers want an invitation, please message me. I won’t be there, but it’s sure to be a blast!
Last spring three friends made a bet that they could live in a château in Burgundy more cheaply than they could in a two bedroom London flat. They decided on a summer trial run.
* * *
I'm once again on the island of Utila conducting research with Operation Wallacea. I'm leading a team of four students 3D mapping the coral reefs here and retrieving 3D printed artificial reefs we placed last year. Our studies will help reveal how how reef structure, or architectural complexity, affects marine communities. My upcoming papers and thesis will be on the topic! Stay tuned!
Today for World Oceans Day I did a Google Hangout with school kids in Canada and the US. It was hosted by non-profit Exploring By the Seat of Your Pants, which aims to connect students with guest speakers to give them "virtual field trips" around the world. The founder, Joe Grabowski, calls it "knocking down classroom walls." This World Oceans Day they broadcasted 12 hours (6am - 6pm EST) of ocean-themed talks. You can watch my full talk here, or see the snippets from Q/A below.
This Memorial Day I'm thinking of those who lost their lives in military service both on land and at sea. There are a few good books on the subject of military underwater exploration. My favourites are Sealab: America's Forgotten Quest to Live and Work on the Ocean Floor, Blind Mans Bluff: The Untold Story of Cold War Submarine Espionage, and The Silent War: The Cold War Battle Beneath the Sea, although much of the research work is still classified.
I'm also thinking about my Grandma Bonnie, who passed away earlier this year. She served in the Air Force as a captain and nurse who ministered to many servicemen and women.
Last week I had the opportunity to join a handful of Marshall and Rhodes Scholars for an informal discussion with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the King's Arms pub. He'd just finished a speech at the Oxford Union and was kind enough to chat with us for a hour or so before dashing off to dinner with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.
I asked Secretary Kerry: If the US won't ratify the Law of the Sea, how can we stay a leader in global ocean policy? The conversation was off-the-record, but it's fair to say he basically reiterated his stance from his 2012 Huffington Post op-ed "Law of the Sea: A National Security Issue that Unites," yet was more pessimistic (or perhaps realistic in light of the political gridlock of the last four years) about getting Congress to pass anything. You can read more about his position and the issues in Chapter 5: Possibility of US Accession to the LOS Convention and its Potential Impact on State Practices and Maritime Claims in the South China Sea by Yann-huei Song in the book:
In early 2009 when President Obama entered office and Senator Kerry took over chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty was one of his priorities:
In his 2012 op-ed, he reiterated then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's support:
Again in 2014, Kerry stressed law, not coercion, is the key to resolving sea disputes.
Yet the the Law of the Sea is still not US law 34 years after we negotiated the treaty. We are the only major country that hasn't ratified this treaty while 166 countries and the EU have done so. If we are to remain leaders in global ocean policy we must keep this issue at the forefront of discussion until the Senate takes appropriate action.
Other than the above, there isn't much photographic evidence of our encounter. On the US Department of State's Flickr, however, my shoulder makes an appearance, which is pretty exciting.
Yes, that is my shoulder. (Credit US Department of State Flickr: "U.S Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with U.S. Rhodes and Marshall Scholars attending Oxford University who assembled at the historic King Arms pub in Oxford, U.K., on May 11, 2016, after the Secretary delivered an address to the Oxford Union membership.")
From the inside...
I'll also be talking at Somerville College in Oxford as part of their "Will Power Lunch" on May 21st.
... and again at Somerville College, on May 23, as part of a series on emotional well-being in research and fieldwork. Please message if you'd like more details.
SUMMARY OF OUR VISION
Here are some facts that struck me emotionally from former trainer John Hargrove's article "I trained killer whales at SeaWorld for 12 years. Here's why I quit."
SeaWorld's predicament and the ethical issues it faces are highlighted in the documentary Blackfish and subsequent media focus. The film isn't perfect, however; it has been criticized in this Medium article by Isaac Wadd and SeaWorld refutes the film's claims. That said, SeaWorld must make changes in order for it to not only remain a viable business, but also stay true to its mission of providing inspiring, exciting, and educational experiences to its visitors.
Thanks especially to the University of Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, especially its deputy director, Clair Linzey, for helping us prepare. Also thanks to Professor Tom White, author of In Defence of Dolphins, for his inspirational talk last November at the Centre for Animal Ethics.
Press release from the Centre for Animal Ethics: "Oxford University Animal Ethics Society Wins at IBECC 2016."
Last fall (or "autumn" as they say here in England) I attended the Global Ocean Commission's symposium on the future of the High Seas hosted by my Oxford college, Somerville. A summary of the symposium and its recommendations is in the Commission's most recent (and last) report, The Future Of Our Ocean: Next Steps and Priorities. This report, as well as the Commission's initial report, From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean, are now available to download online here. I highly recommend both, especially the first for its straight-forward, engaging, and well-researched perspective on the political actions needed for a healthy ocean.
The MIT campus paper I wrote for as an undergrad, The Tech, is re-doing its website, so I thought it was a good time to revisit and compile my articles from back in the day. I wrote quite a bit as a staff writer and Arts Editor (and now I miss having a press pass to cultural events!). Next academic year I'm hoping to do some freelance arts writing for other publications; if anyone has ideas, please let me know. Meanwhile, feel free to browse the archive below.
Thanks Council for the Arts at MIT for making the experience so great. Most are surprised to see MIT ranked as the world's second-best school for art and design (QS Rankings).
Grace Young is an MIT ocean engineer, aquanaut, and scientist/engineer with Cousteau's Mission 31. She's currently a PhD student at University of Oxford, chief scientist for the Pisces VI deepsea submarine, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.