mussels and steamers, noank, connecticut.

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One more “I refuse to let summer go” picture. This was from a trip to Abbott’s in Noank, Connecticut on Memorial Day weekend.

When I’m not using and abusing my camera, at school/work I’m researching marine policy, economics, and conservation issues. Seafood has always been tangentially related to what I study, and I’ve learned that what you’re eating and how it arrived on your plate are important questions to ask. Shellfish can be some of the most environmentally sustainable seafood, since they are filter feeders (and therefore use fewer resources to produce a serving of food) and they grow relatively quickly. I have the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app on my phone for when I’m at a restaurant or grocery store, because it lists seafood according to whether it’s good/okay alternative/bad. Mussels are definitely good. 🙂


sailboats on the sound, groton, connecticut.

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Hello there, long lost WP friends! Talk about falling off the wagon there. I have a whole virtual stack of photos from traveling in Europe to still share with you, including trips to the Azores and France. I’m doing some local traveling related to the job search this month, but hopefully I can work on those posts in my downtime.

This photo was taken on a trip to Groton on Memorial Day weekend and has been waiting in the hopper ever since, poor thing. I miss summer but I’m excited about cider donuts and sweater weather, too. 🙂

The gratitude post.

jenclinton/07172013mThe past 60 odd days of my life have been some of the best in recent memory. In any memory. Yesterday was my last day of work at my internship and MAN am I going to miss it. The projects I contributed to, the little ways I could help around the office, my coworkers, even my little desk that turned into a jungle with all that plant life.

That’s not just it though. It’s like being here in Europe has made me more aware of things. Like all the little ways and all the big ways that I am so completely and unbelievably fortunate and blessed and all those good things. I do think luck sometimes has something to do with it, but also hard work, and putting yourself in the right place, and then sometimes things just fall in your lap when you least expect it and for seemingly no reason.

I’ve become aware of these ‘seemingly no reasons,’ too, those hints that the universe is listening, gosh darn it. I don’t want you to think I’m narcissistic enough to believe that  things happen because I want them to or because I’m important and the universe must pay attention to me. But I think it drops hints sometimes, like when I noticed the other day that the houses I’ve lived in so far have been numbers 322 (3+2+2=7), 17, 77, and 7. 7 is home. Or when you see  someone succeeding and thriving doing something you’re afraid to do, exactly when you need to learn to do it, and you finally can start telling yourself, hey, me too. Let’s do this.

Before I get lost in my own tangent, I wanted to make a short list of the things I am grateful for today, the universe-hints and the things that make me so crazy proud of my friends and things that just make me stupidly happy.

1. I passed in my thesis today.

Passed. In. Done. No more writing and stressing and reviewing and checking sources and hating SAS. I feel more like I’m going to toss my cookies rather than feeling relieved at this point; it’s a little scary to throw it out into the world, but that will come.

c/o dickens molo osano

c/o dickens molo osano

2. I’m completely broke (it happens with unpaid internships in Europe), had no more plans to travel, and then I won a trip to Paris. And then a friend had housing. I’m going to Paris, for free. I’ll take that as a universe-hint, that I’m supposed to see this city, haha. Thank you a million times over to Cheeseweb for this opportunity (it’s an expat-focused blog for Belgium, and I highly recommend it even if you’re visiting for a short while. They showed me where to get the best waffles in town).

3. Also down the completely broke but still somehow traveling path… my dad surprised me with a trip to the Azores!! I don’t know much about anything there, besides I can go swimming with dolphins and hiking and laying on the beach and there are festivals, so that’s all I need to know really. Epic.

4. I’m grateful for those of you who make me laugh just because.

5. The thing that I am most super proud of today is the announcement that came from the Sierra Club. I’ve held onto this nugget of knowledge for FAR too long – UConn was selected as the #1 “coolest school” in the US by the Sierra Club!!! This is a huge deal for the university and to me, as my friend LD and I, as the university’s sustainability coordinators, and my fantastic group of 8 interns were mostly responsible for UConn’s submission. It was hours and hours and spreadsheets and phone calls and tears and late nights for days, for MONTHS, but it was alllll worth it in the end. So, GO HUSKIES, this is wonderful news.

what would we do without our people?

what would we do without our people?

Five things is a lot of big things to be grateful for today.

(Also this is the first time I’ve posted anyone else’s photos on my blog, that feels odd. PbyP gone rogue. And thanks again Dickens!)

japanese shore crab, groton, connecticut.


japanese shore crab, groton, connecticut. these crabs are an invasive species in long island sound, as they compete with native crabs for food and habitat. they look similar to the green crab, but they have three spines per side of their carapace rather than five. if i knew they were my direct competition for mussels and steamers he probably wouldn’t have made it back to the tidepool! (but there was a smiling face on his shell, so he won points for that)