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Evan Forde

Oceanographer Evan B. Forde was born on May 11, 1952 in Miami, Florida and received his early education in the Miami Public School System. Forde earned his B.A. degree in geology with an oceanography specialty and his M.A. degree in marine geology and geophysics from Columbia University in the City of New York.

In 1973, Forde became an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami, Florida. He was the first African American scientist to participate in research dives aboard a submersible and completed successful dive expeditions in several submarine canyons utilizing three of these vessels. Forde remains one of only a handful of African American oceanographers in the United States. Forde has conducted research in a number of oceanographic and meteorological disciplines and has been a versatile pioneer in scientific research. His current research includes using satellite sensors to observe and analyze atmospheric conditions related to improving hurricane forecasting and improving intensity prediction models.

Forde has also worked extensively in the area of science education. He created and taught a graduate level course on tropical meteorology for the University of Miami's INSTAR program for seven years. Forde also created and teaches an oceanography course for middle school students called Oceanographic Curriculum Empowering Achievement in Natural Sciences (OCEANS) that has been featured in nationally distributed periodicals and web sites. He originated and authored the “Science Corner” in Ebony Jr! magazine for three years, and later created a Severe Weather Poster for NOAA that was distributed nationally to fifty thousand teachers.

Forde has spoken to more than fifty thousand students during career days and other presentations. Forde has also been the subject of the museum exhibits, including the Great Explorations section of the Staten Island Children's Museum, and has been featured in numerous periodicals, text books and many other publications on prominent African American scientists. Forde has also served as a PTA President, Scoutmaster, youth basketball coach, Sunday School and youth church teacher, church webmaster, neighborhood Crime Watch chairman, official photographer for the South Florida Special Olympics and in numerous other roles that have fostered youth and improved his community.

Forde has a host of career and civic awards that include being named NOAA’s Environmental Research Laboratories EEO Outstanding Employee, South Florida’s Federal Employee of the Year (Service to the Community), a U.S. Congressional Commendation, NOAA Research Employee of the Year and in 2009 he had days named in his honor by both the City of North Miami and Miami-Dade County, Florida. In 2010, the Miami-Dade County School Board issued a proclamation honoring Forde’s contributions to students citing his ongoing efforts to enhance public education. Forde was named as the recipient of the NOAA Administrator (Under Secretary of Commerce) Award for 2011 for his outstanding communication of NOAA science, sharing the joy of science with students, and helping to foster a science-literate society.

Evan B. Forde was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 3, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.137

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/3/2013

Last Name

Forde

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Columbia University

Miami Carol City Senior High

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Evan

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

FOR12

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

Aging Is Not For Sissies/ Be Gentle With Yourself, Enjoy Life/ Every Day Above Ground Is A Good One/ If You Don't Believe Me, Miss One-All From His Father.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

5/11/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster, Shrimp Tacos

Short Description

Oceanographer Evan Forde (1952 - ) became an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami, Florida in 1973. He was the first African American scientist to participate in research dives aboard a submersible and remains one of only a handful of African American oceanographers in the United States.

Employment

NOAA Center in Atmospheric Sciences

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evan Forde's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evan Forde lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evan Forde describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evan Forde talks about his grandparents and mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evan Forde talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evan Forde talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evan Forde describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evan Forde describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evan Forde talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evan Forde describes his family household

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evan Forde talks about his father's involvement in the community

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evan Forde talks about his father's knowledge of science

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evan Forde talks about his the role of church and religion in his growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evan Forde talks about his elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evan Forde talks about the Boy Scouts and learning to play the trumpet

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evan Forde talks about his father's positions at his junior-senior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evan Forde talks about his summer as a Boy Scout at Camp Sebring

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evan Forde talks about his middle school physical education class

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evan Forde talks about the integration of his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes when his house caught on fire

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evan Forde describes quitting band in high school to join the football team

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Evan Forde describes getting football scholarships for college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Evan Forde describes being on his high school football team

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evan Forde talks about the college counseling he received at his high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evan Forde describes attending Columbia University to study oceanography

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evan Forde talks about the summer after his high school graduation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evan Forde describes getting a summer job at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes his first semester at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evan Forde talks about his Spanish professor at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evan Forde describes becoming interested in marine geology and geophysics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evan Forde describes his acceptance into Columbia University for graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Evan Forde describes receiving his M.S. degree in marine geology at Columbia University pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Evan Forde describes receiving his M.S. degree in marine geology at Columbia University pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Evan Forde talks about his mother wanting him to be a doctor

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Evan Forde describes his master's thesis pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes his master's thesis pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Evan Forde describes what happened when he was not credited for his research pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Evan Forde describes what happened when he was not credited for his research pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Evan Forde describes how he became the first African American oceanographer to conduct research aboard a submersible craft

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Evan Forde describes his first dive on a submersible pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Evan Forde describes his first dive on a submersible pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Evan Forde describes being on a submersible dive

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Evan Forde describes being caught under a mud slide in a submersible canyon

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Evan Forde talks about how he was nicknamed Willie Cousteau

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Evan Forde describes his most memorable discoveries from his submersible dives

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Evan Forde talks about creating the prevailing theory explaining mid-Atlantic submarine canyons

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Evan Forde describes his involvement in science education pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Evan Forde describes his involvement in science education pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Evan Forde describes how he became a writer for 'Ebony Jr.'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Evan Forde talks about being a science educator

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes his involvement in satellite remote sensing research pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Evan Forde describes his involvement in satellite remote sensing research pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Evan Forde describes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration severe weather poster

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Evan Forde describes creating the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Evan Forde describes writing oceanic curricula pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Evan Forde describes writing oceanic curricula pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Evan Forde talks about one of his speeches

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Evan Forde reflects on his life

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Evan Forde talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Evan Forde talks about his father's influence on his life

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Evan Forde talks about his community service in science education

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Evan Forde talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Evan Forde describes his research on hurricanes and Saharan air layers pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Evan Forde describes his research on hurricanes and Saharan air layers pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Evan Forde describes receiving his M.S. degree in marine geology at Columbia University pt. 1
Evan Forde describes what happened when he was not credited for his research pt. 1
Transcript
So, Dr. [John] Sanders mostly assuredly had a significant on my education. Not only that, but when I went to graduate school, he became my advisor. And it was a significant event for a number of reasons. First of all, I knew that he believed in me. But when I took my qualifying exam, which at Columbia [University, New York, New York], the way it works, is the qualifying exam allowed you to get the Master's degree, but qualified you to go on for the Ph.D. And there was a teacher in graduate school who was the only teacher who I ever earned a "B" in his class, he insisted that I go on a field trip in the snow when I had strep throat and a hundred and four degree fever, and told me that I'd fail his course if I didn't go on the field trip that weekend. And so the qualifying exam consisted of ten questions, and you had to answer seven of them. They were in different areas: paleontology, marine geology, geophysics, geochemistry, oceanography, marine biology; that sort of thing. And I knew who was going to grade the marine geology and geophysics question. It was that professor I had. And so I found seven other questions to answer on the qualifying exam, which generally speaking, you do answer the question in the field you're going to get your advanced degree in, but I didn't want any problems out of him. And I actually--what I--I took a paleontology question instead, 'cause the others, they were--there was a certain group that you pretty much knew "I'm going to do this one, I'm going to do that one," and that sort of thing. And so when the scores came back, this professor went to the--and I passed the qualifying exam--he went to the head of the department at Lamont [Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University] and said that I should not be allowed to get my degree because I had not answered the marine geology and geophysics question, which is the area that I was getting my degree in. And it was not written anywhere in the rules that I got along with the tests. He said, "Yeah, but it's customary and everybody knows." So there was this brouhaha at the school. And the head of the department didn't know me from Adam, and was--had gotten him to agree that if I would answer that question for him, you know, a separate setting and all that, successfully, that he'd allow me to pass the exam.$What does a person in academics can do about such a thing? I mean, is it--either they or--what could you--I mean, what were you thinking at the time that--?$$Okay. So what I did was, I--when I found out that the paper was being published without my name on it, because my supervisor was away for the summer, and I was opening her mail. I'm trying not--the person went to a very, very high position in another government agency by the way, after that, but hadn't published a paper in several years, and knew nothing about the sediments and the bathymetry and the geophysical methods I was using. And it was actually her cruise that I was one, and one of her instruments didn't work, and that's when she came to me. She said, "You're very familiar with this area. What would you do if you had the ship for three days?" And I said, "Well, I suspect there's these underwater landslides that we could use seismic reflection profiling, and we can use the 3.5 kilohertz profiler, and the R-beam echo sounder. We could do the survey." And she said, "I d-- How would the survey lines go, I don't know." So I--because I made the map, the underwater map, right, the map of the bottom. From memory I sketched it out. And I said, "This ship will go this way, this way, this way, this way." And I was on watch that night when we got the evidence we needed that the underwater landslides had actually taken place. And I called my mentor who is no longer working here, the guy who had originally hired me that summer, who said, "With these grades, we need to find a position for him," and he was very excited, but he was no longer my lab director, and told him about it. And so I called him and asked him what I should do when I found out that the paper was being published without my name. And he said, "Go to the director, your division director and tell him." And he said, "But before you do that, Xerox the paper and highlight everything in yellow that's directly attributable to you." It was three-quarters of the paper. Even the estimates I'd made of the size of the underwater landslide. I said it was twenty-eight cubic kilometers. Her final estimate was thirty cubic kilometers. You know, it was very close. These are calculations I'd done on the back of an envelope basically, you know, and she had her computer programmers, you know calculate that stuff. And so the director, 'cause she still wasn't here, he said, "You did the right thing to come to me, and don't you say a word about this to anybody." Now, I had already said something to my mentor, who's no longer here, and he said, "I will handle this. Don't confront her, don't say anything." And so I was being obedient. And when I saw that the paper was--appeared on the list of approved for publication, I called my mentor back and I said, "What do I do?" He said, "It is not too late to get your name on that paper." He said, "It's awful suspicious, why would anybody be acknowledged twice in the same acknowledgments? That's just a line or two, you know. That's suspicious to begin with." And he called the Lab Director here, and I don't know what that conversation went like, but then I got called in by the Lab Director who said, "Where do you get off airing dirty laundry for this laboratory outside?" And I said, "I'm not airing dirty laundry. He hired me. He's my profession mentor," and all that. "If you," he told me, "If I hear you breathe a word of this to another living soul, I will fire your ass. Do you understand me? Have I made myself clear?" I said, "Yes, sir." "Not another word to anybody." And so I was threatened with being fired if I cried rape, or help, or I've being taken advantage of here. And it happens occasionally in our profession. And I understand that it happened to the person who was supervising me then; that when she was in graduate school, something similar had happened to her. So she should have known better in how traumatic it could be. But, like I said, her career continued to rise, and she became the deputy director of a government agency.$$Now, so how--$$By the way, it would be pretty easy to find out who it is, so I don't--I mean somebody who would know, you know, but I'm not trying to, you know. So I was never able to discuss it with her. And she left here in, like, a few years, and-

Dawn Wright

Professor and oceanographer Dawn Jeannine Wright was born on April 15, 1961 to Jeanne and Robert Wright. Wright grew up on the island of Maui, Hawaii, fascinated by stories of adventure and discovery of the open seas. She graduated cum laude with her B.S. degree in geology from Wheaton College in 1983. She then earned her M.S. degree from Texas A&M University in oceanography in 1986. During her graduate studies, Wright served as a graduate research assistant and a marine laboratory specialist with the Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M University. Following her work as a marine laboratory specialist, Wright received her Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1994 with her dissertation entitled “From Pattern to Process on the Deep Ocean Floor: a Geographic Information System Approach.”

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hired Wright as a postdoctoral research associate following graduation. She began her teaching career in 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University. By 2002, she was promoted to full professor. Wright is an expert on geographic information systems, and her work has focused on mapping the ocean floor in locations around the globe including: Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in American Samoa, the East Pacific Rise in the Pacific Ocean, the Tonga Trench in the South Pacific Ocean, and the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the North Pacific Ocean. Along with her work in mapping the sea floor, Wright has assisted with a number of outreach programs, hoping to encourage more minority and female students to consider a career in the sciences.

Wright has published a large number of papers detailing her investigations. She has received several awards in recognition of her work, both as a teacher and as a leading scientist in her field. She won the United States Professor of the Year for the State of Oregon in 2007, and has been listed as one of fifteen scientists featured in Portraits of Great American Scientists. She was also named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Wright has co-authored the reference book, Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet.

Accession Number

A2012.204

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/27/2012

Last Name

Wright

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jeannine

Occupation
Schools

Texas A&M University

Wheaton College

Wide Lake High School

Henry Perrine Baldwin High School

Aptos Middle School

Lao School

Wailuku Elementary School

University of California-Santa Barbara

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Evenings, Some Days

First Name

Dawn

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

WRI06

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, Adults, Seniors, people interested in science and maps of oceans

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches, National Parks

Favorite Quote

Just do it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/15/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream (Vanilla), Ice Cream (Coffee), Apricots (Dried), Cherries

Short Description

Oceanographer Dawn Wright (1961 - ) is an expert on the Geographic Information System and has traveled the world mapping the ocean floor.

Employment

Oregon State University

NOAA

University of California, Santa Barbara

Texas A&M University

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dawn Wright's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's education and her career as a college professor

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright talks about the medical complications surrounding her birth

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dawn Wright talks about her mother's decision to move from Baltimore to Canada and then Hawaii

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's decision to move to Canada and then Hawaii, and her family's early lives there

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright describes her family's early life on the island of Maui, Hawaii

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Hawaii

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about the people of Hawaii and her experience while growing up there

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright talks about adjusting to her new life in Hawaii as well as her experience at school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes her childhood attraction to the ocean and its influence on her career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright talks about her interest in space exploration and science fiction

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about her interest in Christianity at the age of eight

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes the influence of her fourth grade teacher, Sue Okata

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about growing up in Hawaii and the weather and sports

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright talks about attending middle school in Hawaii and California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright talks about her high school coach and her interest in track and field at Baldwin High School on Maui, Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright describes her mother's decision to return to the Baltimore, Maryland in the 1970s to take care of her ill grandmother

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her experience at Wild Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland and how it differed from Hawaii

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright talks about the teachers who mentored her at Wild Lake High School, and the community of Columbia, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright talks about her athletics and academic performance at Wild Lake High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to attend Wheaton College and major in geology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes her experience at Wheaton College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about majoring in geology at Wheaton College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes the non-conflicting emphasis on religion and science at Wheaton College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright talks about her social life at Wheaton College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright describes her involvement with sports and the BRIDGE program at Wheaton College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright describes her geology field training experiences at Wheaton College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to pursue graduate studies in oceanography at Texas A&M University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright describes her first research experience aboard a research ship

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her master's degree dissertation research

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes the principles that underlie bathymetric measurements

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright talks about her master's thesis advisor, William Sager

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her experience as a marine technician for the oceanic drilling program at Texas A&M University - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright describes her experience as a marine technician for the ocean drilling program at Texas A&M University - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to pursue her doctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about her Ph.D. dissertation research committee

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright talks about her first encounter with oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright describes her historic dive aboard the Deep-Submergence Vehicle, Alvin

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her bicycle team's third place win in the 1992 NCAA Collegiate Road Nationals

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright describes her doctoral dissertation research on mapping the ocean floor using the geographic information systems (GIS) technique

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright describes her decision to work at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and at Oregon State University

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright describes her experience at Oregon State University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright talks about the importance of mapping the oceans

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about her book, 'Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright talks about her research activities in Samoa

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about the ArcGIS model and its applications

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright talks about her professional activities - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dawn Wright talks about her professional honors and awards

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dawn Wright talks about her professional activities - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dawn Wright reflects upon her life and career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dawn Wright describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dawn Wright reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dawn Wright talks about African American oceanographers

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dawn Wright talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dawn Wright talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dawn Wright describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Dawn Wright describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Hawaii
Dawn Wright talks about her research activities in Samoa
Transcript
Now tell me, we always ask this question in terms of growing up, what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Ooh, well in Hawaii, growing up for me the ocean, the sights and the smell of the salt water. I spent a lot of time in the water swimming, a lot of time on the beach playing and I loved growing up in Hawaii because it was, it is such a cross roads of the Pacific. So I actually grew up with children, Japanese American children, Chinese American, Filipino, Hawaiian, Portuguese, and everybody was mixed race. So all of these foods from these different cultures were a big part of our lives, even in our school lunches we would have Japanese food or poi, the Hawaiian poi and so all of those smells and tastes, I just loved it. Absorbed all of that and loved it. I loved all of the local foods so that was another big thing and all of the different kinds of plants, the trees and flowers. I loved to climb trees and there was a big banyan tree that was down the street from our house in a little park and I loved that tree. Banyan trees have these huge root systems and huge trunks and they've got long vines so for children it's just fantastic. You can swing on the vines and climb up them and you can sleep on the branches because they're such big voluptuous trees so that was a big memory. So there are so many things, just the landscape and the culture of Hawaii and then the ocean as well so all of those things made a big impact on me right away.$Okay. All right, now in 2001, you spend your sabbatical year in Samoa, right?$$Yes. Now I wasn't living in Samoa the whole year. I was actually living in Santa Barbara so I was able to return to Santa Barbara and that was a--Samoa was important at the time because, so this is where Sylvia Earle comes back into the picture because Sylvia Earle at that time had launched this initiative called the Sustainable Seas Expeditions. And she had gotten some major funding to map all of the or most of the national marine sanctuaries and she was educating the world, but certainly educating the United States about the importance of our National Marine Sanctuary System and how these are really our national parks that are off shore and I think most people at the time just didn't realize that. Similar to Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park we have these sanctuaries such as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Most of the sanctuary is underwater and these are essentially part of the United States, very important parts of the United States that have been--that are being protected and preserved and parts that you could, you can actually visit. Well the smallest and most remote of the National Marine Sanctuaries is the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa. So I wrote a proposal, a research proposal to do mapping in that sanctuary along the spirit, same lines as Sylvia Earle's sustainable seas expeditions initiative to map that sanctuary. And so that's where the Samoa connection came in. Fagatele Bay is actually, it's going to be--happily this sanctuary has just recently been expanded so they're changing the name of it and it's going to cover larger areas. American Samoa a lot of people don't realize is also a part of the United States because it's one of our territories.