nite walker 0

Get idiocy in the skype call

18 signers. Add your name now!
nite walker 0 Comments
18 signers. Almost there! Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

For over 20 years, Florida was my home and the ocean was a major part of my life.  I lived both on the 
East and West coasts of Florida, and over the years I grew to appreciate the dynamic environment of the
ocean.  I knew both the calm waters and flat sandy beaches of the West coast, and the active waves and
rolling dunes of the East coast.  As a child, I enjoyed fishing, surfing, boating, playing sports on the sand, 
and just relaxing with friends and family.  I loved then, and still love, feeling the warmth of the sun and 
the sand under my feet, hearing the crash of the waves, feeling the strength of the ocean, and smelling the 
salt-sprayed air. 
When I moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina (3 hours away from the ocean) to attend graduate school at 
the UNC School of Public Health, I realized how much the ocean was part of my being.  Although I lived 
on the gorgeous tree-filled UNC campus, I longed for the coast and ocean.  I found myself driving to the
beach often to replenish my soul.  Luckily, after my coursework in the Department of Environmental
Sciences and Engineering was completed, I was able to join a coastal river project at the UNC Institute of 
Marine Sciences.  Now, once again, I am living by the ocean and feel at home, but this time I’m fortunate
enough to combine my love for the ocean with my professional career. 
The ocean is a diverse environment, and one needs numerous interdisciplinary theories and concepts to 
understand its geological  characteristics, physical mechanisms, and chemical  components.  The ocean 
acts as a buffer for temperature, drives weather patterns, supplies water vapor for exchange with the
atmosphere, and is a source of nitrogen, which is vital for primary production.  The ocean covers 70% of
the earth, houses abundant and diverse species of organisms ranging from very large to microscopic, and 
is a principal source of food for animals and humans.  A disruption of the oceanic system would have
hazardous effects on all species, regardless of their proximity to the coast.  
I believe that all people have a right to enjoy the beauty of the ocean; however, there must be a balance
between humans and the natural coastal/oceanic environment.  More than half of Americans live on or 
near the coast (NOAA).  Our hygiene practices, control of wastes, and development activities have had a 
detrimental impact on the coastal environment, and thus the ocean.  Although the best way to protect the
ocean would be to limit population and development, this is unrealistic.  The coastal population will only 
increase, and environmental health risks will increase  correspondingly.  It is vitally important that the 
United States design a comprehensive strategy to protect the public’s health, and to sustain important 
economic industries like fisheries, while protecting  the natural coastal environment.  Governmental 
agencies, academic institutions, and industrial operations must  work together to forge an equilibrium 
between humans and nature. 
My research focuses on the biological and microbiological aspects of coastal waters.  My doctoral project
entails studying human and animal wastes and fecal contamination in coastal waters and identifying the 
source, in order to protect the coastal river and shellfish beds.  I hope that this project will lead to a career 
that combines an understanding of the coastal/oceanic dynamic and the surrounding populations from the 
large scale (i.e., ocean-river  modeling, land-use  and human impacts) to the  microscopic (i.e., 
bacterioplankton, viruses). 
My passion for the ocean will drive my efforts to sustain the oceanic habitat and the organisms living in 
it, while acknowledging the inevitable impact of humans.  I want to educate the public for their own
protection, as well as that of the ocean.  My passion for the ocean has always been a part of my life and is
now the foundation of my career.

Share for Success