Citizen Science: Searching for Microplastics

While our 6-month commitment to daily turtle patrolling is the most significant volunteer activity of our summer, we are also involved in another interesting citizen science project through ANERR (the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve). In our second gig, we are sampling Gulf of Mexico water and beach sand and analyzing it to determine the … Read more

Citizen Science: Losing Sleep Over Turtle Patrol

Since we are not traveling this summer, we decided to volunteer with sea turtle patrol during nesting season, which runs from May 1 through October 31. Five species of sea turtles nest on Florida beaches, all of which are endangered or threatened. The most common are loggerheads, greens, and leatherbacks, while Kemp’s Ridley and hawsbill … Read more

Christmas Week in Houston

From reading the news, I get the impression that some of our fellow Americans would consider it a sign of the apocalypse if they pulled into a state park campground and discovered that their neighbors were a Chinese family and the over-the-air TV options included several stations in Vietnamese. This is exactly what happened to … Read more

So Many Stars at Davis Mountains State Park

My ill-fated trip to the East coast last week affected our planning for the fall, since after leaving El Paso we needed to traverse many miles of West Texas and fit in several planned visits before getting ourselves to Austin in time for Thanksgiving. Our hop-scotching across the state started with a drive to Davis … Read more

Sun, Sand, Space, and Nuts in Alamogordo, NM

Driving from T or C to our next destination in Alamogordo was a challenge, because a weather front brought us 20 mph winds that whipped up the fine New Mexico sands into fog-like sandstorms. Despite the inauspicious start to our stay, we ended up really enjoying Alamogordo. We took our cues directly from our friends … Read more