J Nichols believes we'll better understand the value of ocean conservation if we think about our emotional connection to the sea.
On a Sunday afternoon this past March, Wallace J. Nichols took out a cloth drawstring bag and distributed its contents: oversized glass marbles the color of a tropical sea. “Hang on tight to your blue marble,” the tousle-haired marine biologist told the room full of adults celebrating Creek Week at the Durham County Library. “Don’t let it roll. Don’t drop it. Don’t throw them at the speaker or eat them.”
Nichols M.E.M. ’92, a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, had flown in from his home in Northern California. He told the audience to hold their glass spheres at arm’s length. “That’s what we look like right now from a million miles away,” he said. “The single defining feature, at least on the surface of our planet, is our water. That makes us special in the universe—there aren’t as many water planets as you might imagine—which means everything we do relative to our water matters. Everything.”
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Read Duke Magazine's Summer 2001 issue cover story about Dr. Nichols' work with sea turtles HERE.