Wishing Miriam fair winds and a following sea

In early 2010, DSN comprised of just Kevin and I.  We discussed plans of expanding and made up a wish list of bloggers to assimilate like the Borg.  At the top of that list was Miriam Goldstein.  I knew Miriam from her excellent writing at the Oyster’s Garter.  Her posts were well written, informative, and of course humorous.  They were truly some of the best writing on the web, not just the best science writing, but the best writing on the web.  Oyster’s Garter was one of the few things I would read regularly.

I wanted to grow DSN into something more, the DSN you see before you now.  I needed talent and Miriam was online outreach rockstar.  For whatever lapse of judgment she was experiencing at the time, she said yes when Kevin and I propositioned her at ScienceOnline in 2010 (propositioned her about blogging, get your mind out of the gutter).  With sad heart I announce today, on her three-year anniversary, this will be Miriam’s last day at DSN.

The DSN you see today, Miriam was instrumental in creating (for example Reverently irreverent: a Deep Sea News core value).  She helped us last year when we created a mission statement and core values that help legitimize DSN and start us on a new path.  Her passion for ocean, science, and conservation pours over three years of pages at DSN and runs through this blog’s blood.  She strengthened DSN and her departure no doubt weakens us.  It will be hard to envision the future here without her presence.

But while DSN loses, we all gain.  Miriam was offered a prestigious Knuass Marine Policy Fellowship and will be working with the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, Democratic staff.  Miriam’s past is marked with outstanding contributions to both science and science outreach.  And as she explores the new realm of policy, I have no doubt she will make significant contributions.  While I am sad to see her leave DSN and I am excited that our government’s decision making will benefit from Miriam’s intellect and passion.  I could be selfish and say that after Miriam’s one-year fellowship is finished I hope she returns. This will always be her online home.  But if she does then perhaps we will all lose.

I knew this day was coming for several months.  As the countdown continued, I wondered what Miriam’s last posts would be.  She started off DSN with her characteristic moxie tackled a “ludicrous NYT article about couples who bicker over sustainability”.  Of course only Miriam could start off the first line of post on that by mentioning hypodermic penises.  She ended her tenure with a staggering post titled “A field guide to privilege in marine science: some reasons why we lack diversity”, one of the most insightful posts that exists anywhere, not only detailing the problems but provide a roadmap.   It is difficult letting Miriam depart when in the last week she reminds you how awesome she is.

I’ll end here as I’m getting a bit teary eyed and I don’t want to electrocute myself. I wish Miriam fair winds and a following sea and long may her big jib draw.

Below I give all of my favorite Miriam posts, and my favorite line from each, from the last three years.  I’ve tried to capture the heart and soul of Miriam here at DSN.

Now everyone raise his or her pint …TO MIRIAM.  While I’m drinking mine I’ll be thinking of this.

I have to start off with one of her brilliant and always humorous “Dear Miriam” posts “I seem to have sprouted a penis from the right side of my head.” and then there is this “I’m a pretty peaceful dude-lady – I just chillax on the ocean’s surface, spinning my flagella and soaking up the sun”

Classic Miriam How To Cuddle Your Lady Right, by Smoove A “I will carry around a lady until she molts and is ready to get down all day long. Cause the crustacean ladies, they are not ready for freakstasy until they drop their shell.”

Sea slugs have self esteem, too “Well, sure, Glaucus might eat each other in a time of extreme deprivation…Isn’t Glaucus sensitive? Charming? Adorable? “

The Seasick Oceanographer “I get seasick Dr. Seuss style – on a boat, on a float, here and there, everywhere.”

Down with talking dolphin science fiction! “Seems like science fiction & the oceans go together like Old Bay on an oyster.”

How anti-science politics may harm the U.S. Gulf states “I find it personally as well as professionally saddening that when it comes time for BP to pay, the denialists may prevent the people of the Gulf Coast States from getting full payment for the damage done to their livelihoods.”

“Recycled Island” not a cure for plastic trash in ocean “And as your friendly neighborhood ocean blogger, it is my duty to crush my own hopes and dreams of completing my graduate studies on a luxurious and environmentally correct island, sipping tropical drinks adorned with tiny recycled umbrellas.”

Why ocean scientists can’t ignore geoengineering “Geoengineering is already on the table, and it is critical that the true costs and benefits be considered. As any ecologist can tell you, we should not accidentally make things worse while trying to fix the errors of the past.”

DON’T PANIC: Sustainable seafood and the American outlaw “ am fully informed as to the environmental cost, and yet I regularly lose my battle against that delicious burrito. It’s just really fun to rebel against a smug environmental scold, whether that scold is your annoying vegan cousin or, as in my case, just your own conscience.”

Let’s talk about sex (in science) “I have an “Intermediate Hotness Hypothesis” based on the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis in ecology that it is best to be unremarkable. I have no doubt that really beautiful women are taken less seriously – but unattractive women have it really bad too”

Yes its book review but how can you stop reading after the first line is “If I ever write a popular environmental book, I am going to call it “I Hate Thoreau’s Bastard Children: Why Modern Environmental Writing Sucks.” Book Review: Carl Safina’s The View from Lazy Point

So You Want to Be A Marine Biologist: Deep Sea News Edition “being a marine biologist is not about pulling golf balls out of whale blowholes or hugging dolphins.”

How to eat sardines sustainably “I’m unusual for wanting to get even that close to the tiny, oily fish”

Eating Wicked Tuna: A marine scientist tries to figure out what the heck is going on “If a marine scientist such as myself can’t read through the peer-reviewed scientific literature and ICCAT stock assessments and form a reasonable opinion on whether eating Atlantic bluefin tuna is Good or Bad, what hope does the general public have?”

Secrets of the clam tongue: a case study in opportunistic science outreach “For people in the know, it can be easy to be scornful of a public so ignorant that they think clams lick salt. But that’s the wrong reaction.”

SeaOrbiter: amazing breakthrough or cool-looking boondoggle? “I swear, I don’t want to be a nay-saying science crankypants. I want to dream big and have my own submarine and frolic on the Deep Sea News private island hideout”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. M (1629 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





3 comments on “Wishing Miriam fair winds and a following sea
  1. Oh, Blog Poppa, you know there was no way I could say no to such a fine proposition from you & Kevin. Also I can’t believe you remember all those old posts – I am so flattered. I have so enjoyed these past years at Deep Sea News, and I know that we’re going to make more beautiful mischief together somehow, someday. Thank you for a wonderful 3 years.

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