Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Hello one and all! It’s that time of year when you might spend time with family, go on a trip, or just enjoy life. Staff here at the Marine Science Institute come from all walks of life. During our winter break MSI staff will be having their own adventures.

Let’s start with Rachel Wong, Marine Educator/Science Instructor.

xmas Rachel

“I love this time of year. It always allows me to spend time with my loved ones and eat lots of sweets.”


Rachel is looking forward to spending time with family and going on a few dive trips, most likely in Carmel or Monterey. One of the marine organisms that the Marine Science Institute is known for are our local leopard sharks. Rachel is excited about the possibility of seeing these beautiful sharks in their natural habitat. She always enjoys seeing sea lemon nudibranchs, brown sea nettles, orchre stars, bat stars and other benthic invertebrates (animals with no internal skeleton that live on the sea floor).The weather during the winter season is Rachel’s favorite. The grey, dreary whether makes her want to curl up under a comfy blanket, grab a mug of tea, and watch a good black-and-white movie.  “I love this time of year. It always allows me to spend time with my loved ones and eat lots of sweets.”


What about Courtney Hunt, Marine Educator/Science Instructor?

for winter Courtney and CA skate 2

“I am looking forward to spending time with my niece and nephews.”

Courtney is really looking forward to traveling to Kentucky and Florida to visit her family. Courtney worked as a fisheries biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Her primary job was to write grants for stream restoration projects. She provided written comments on upcoming construction projects that could potentially cause environmental damage to streams and rivers. Courtney’s favorite things about winter include pumpkin spice lattes and Christmas.

We can’t forget about Erika Bland, Marine Educator

Erika and sevengill

“I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!”





Erika is looking forward to help decorate her childhood home for the holidays with her family, whom has a lot of holiday traditions, and baking cookies for all of her friends and neighbors! Erika is going to take a trip to Disneyland and is excited to see the park in all of its’ holiday glory for the first time ever.

kittens and decorations

“My absolute Favorite part of the holiday season is to see everyone’s faces and how much joy and love there is at this time of year.”





As for myself, I am really looking forward to spending time with my family. I am one of those people who love the cold, damp weather. It’s a great time to curl up on the couch and read a good book. It will be interesting to see how my kittens react to all of the Christmas decorations.

Speaking of decorations, I am always trying to find a way to use less plastic in my home. This is a slow process but each day my husband and I think of something we can do to reduce plastic use. One way is in our christmas gifts. My husband is a fabulous chef and loves to create something edible for everyone. We have made homemade candy and boxed it ourselves; we made home made barbeque sauces and lemon curd. There are so many ways to create a delicious gift and package it using glass or even compostable materials. For your holiday, think about creating something special and homemade. Once you’ve created a gift, you can wrap it in an earth-friendly way.

Ways to wrap a gift that use less plastic

You can use recycled material you have in your home, like newspapers, fabric, re-used wrapping paper, or you can buy recycled wrapping paper. You can even create your own wrapping paper using newspaper, non-toxic paint, and scissors!

Step 1: Decide what colors and how many pages of newspaper you want to use.

Step 2: Paint the newspapers; let dry completely.

Step 3: Cut some of the paper into patterns or strips to create bows or other exciting embellishments

Step 4: Wrap gift using plastic free package tape. Try http://www.ecobox.com.

Step 6: If you are going to send the gift through the mail make sure you use plastic free packaging. Check out http://myplasticfreelife.com for great information about using fewer plastics.

“My absolute Favorite part of the holiday season is to see everyone’s faces and how much joy and love there is at this time of year.”

Happy Holidays from the Marine Science Institute! See you all in the New Year


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