Saturday, August 1, 2009

HCC Revealed!

The conferecce was SO COOL! We woke up at 5 AM on Tuesday to catch an early morning flight into Honolulu, and made it in time for the opening speech at 8:30. Dr. Stephen Schneider, who works with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) and is also a Stanford fellow, was the keynote speaker and he was GREAT. Very engaging and funny, and also very relevant. It’s nice to hear from a scientist who also understands the policy requirements to make science effective, and I found him very engaging and insightful.

The rest of talks throughout the conference made me appreciate the HumBio core more than I ever expected. A lot of the talks had to do with avoided loss, marginal benefits, and other economic terms that took me FOREVER to understand during HumBio, but that background made the conference much more accessible. I attended a lot of the talks about the ocean’s potential responses to climate change, especially with regards to corals and algae. There’s a ton of very cool research going on in the Hawaiian Islands!

The convention center was beautiful and very nicely structured. One side was open and only the rooms were air conditioned (see the view from the open side).
There was also a running path/walkway at the bottom that looked onto an inland section of the ocean.

I saw rowers paddling both with the current and against it!

I stayed at the Maile Sky Court hotel, which was halfway between the conference and Waikiki Beach. The location was convenient, although the satellite TV kept cutting out so I missed some of the best parts of the Food Network shows (when they show all the food at the end) because it kept freezing. Boo! I ended up spending most of my day at the conference, but I explored a bit both Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Tuesday night, Jake, Russell, Russell’s friend, and I went to Zippy’s for dinner. It’s a Hawaiian food chain and the food was really good! I’ve had a sore throat for a couple days now, so I couldn’t really enjoy it fully, but it was still tasty and the chocolate milkshake really hit the spot. Jake and Russell ended up sharing a bit of Jake’s cream puff at the same time, just for fun, and it was hilarious! Oh boys.

Wednesday night, I walked around the beach after the conference ended and explored “The Strip,” or the streets near Waikiki Beach that have tons of really nice shops. It was fun and I liked window shopping, but I really enjoyed people watching. TONS of people go to Waikiki for all different reasons, and there is a crazy amount of diversity just looking around the street.

Thursday morning, I wasn’t interested in any of the talks so I went to Waikiki Beach until around 11ish and hung out in the ocean. It was GORGEOUS, although the waves weren’t great for surfing. I think that was probably a good thing because otherwise people would’ve been getting run over right and left. From where I was sitting, I could hear Spanish, Australian accents, Japanese, and Midwestern accents. Like I said, people come from all over!

We flew back on Thursday night and this morning Jake and I went straight back to work. We had to collect the rat tracking cards from the rat tunnels, and then move the litter samples from the Berlese funnels. It took us from about 8-3, and then I dropped off Jake at the airport so he could pick up his girlfriend. I drove the truck back to work, and then tried to ride Jake’s moped back home, but the front wheel was a little screwy so the moped kept vibrating weird! I’m also too short to use the kick-start while on the moped, so I ended up majorly bruising my ankle before getting off the bike to start it. Tommy was actually in the parking lot at UH and saw me struggling with the moped because the front wheel was loose, so he helped me get back to the apartment. Super embarrassing, but kind of funny at the same time. *sigh*

Tomorrow I have scuba at 8 AM! I’m going to get in a couple more dives and hopefully get that much closer to being certified! Yay!!

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