Category: Marine Biology

Giants Among Us: Tribute to Gary Brusca

As an undergraduate student at Cal Poly (SLO) in the mid-1970s I was educated in the shadow of the giants before me, Gary and Richard Brusca. My advisor and zoology Professor Dave Montgomery never hesitated to mention the near-miraculous accomplishments of the mythical brothers that preceded us as undergraduate students before getting their PhDs: how they knew this, or studied for that, or memorized thousands of scientific names; feats us mortals would be lucky to even approximate

What is a Surfer?

It’s a common question: what is a surfer? The answer varies, depending on your perspective. Here’s mine. To some it is an art, a sport, a religion, a profession, an addiction, something you do on vacation. Maybe it’s the biggest thing in your life, maybe it’s your entire life, or just an occasional joy.

Our Environmental Past Can’t Become Our Future…

Forty-eight years ago millions of people in 192 countries across the globe created Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The first celebration took place in 2,000 colleges and universities, 10,000 primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the US involving over 20 million Americans.  That day changed the world. Lately, it seems like we are forgetting what…

SmartFin: Environmental Wave of the Future

As the world’s environmental problems expand the challenge is to keep up with the increasingly larger scale of the issues. Decades ago we worried about individual beaches, now we are focused on whole coastlines, and indeed entire oceans are at risk.  To keep pace marine biologists and oceanographers have deployed huge arrays of sensors across the…

Crush Depth: Adventures with Scientific Submersibles

“What’s your depth?” echoed down from the surface radio, unanswered for the third time in a row and sounding increasingly desperate. It was 2002 and I was riding inside the scientific submersible Delta, heading towards the seafloor off Anacapa island in an area known simply as the “footprint,” a deep-water fish, coral and sponge hot spot…