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Whitney, 2011
Ecuador's Machalilla National Park, where one of the study sites is located.

Moorea, 2012
In Tahiti this is how the road signs indicate you're leaving a town (in this case, the Moorean village of Teavaro).

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Wow. Flying Fox at rest in Sumatra.

Whitney, 2011
Research team hard at work at the study site on Ecuador coast.
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The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.

Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.

And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give. I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.

Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Below are some highlights from past posts.)
Knock Me Down and I'll Just Grow Back Stronger

This year got off to a fantastic start with my 40th birthday, which I celebrated by organizing a 40x 25 meter butterfly relay with the youth swim team. Two years ago, I was recruited to the project of helping to build this ragtag collection of swimmers into a legitimate age group team. In 18 months' time, with a dynamic and talented coaching staff, we were beginning to gain some real traction with the team's progress. It was incredibly rewarding to see the kids energized by challenge, including this unique format of collaborating to complete 1000 meters of fly.

I worked all week to organize the details of the event, complete with hot cocoa for swimming outside in January! I made posters, silk-screened t-shirts, and butterfly shaped cookies as prizes. That Friday, the sight of 34 kids swimming butterfly in a massive team effort was the best birthday gift I could imagine. They had a blast and I was peppered with questions after, "When can we do that again?!" I was on cloud nine.

It was only two weeks later when everything came crashing down.

My employer had recently hired a new manager, one who was fixated on quick profit. He wanted his staff to share his vision and enthusiasm for extracting as much money as possible from the pockets of our affluent members. I had been honest with him about my discomfort with using aggressive sales pitches.

Coincidentally, I was fired shortly thereafter, ...

Posted by Kimberly 03/11/2020
Nik graduates from UTI

In December 2001, Nik graduated with honors from Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, with a degree in Automotive and Truck Technology. He made the Director's Honor List 13 times and was named Student of the Phase three times. His final GPA was 3.95.

Nik now works for a boat repair shop on the SF-Bay waterfront in Alameda. He performs maintenance and repairs on all manner of recreational watercraft, including fishing, power and sailboats.

Posted by Dan 01/07/2002

You live and you learn: Adventures in Bureaucracy

Well, now that we're fairly up to date on my fun adventures, I suppose it's time to spice it up and throw in some not-so-fun adventures! The one I am specifically referring to is my current past-time: Adventures in Bureaucracy!

In early January, I arrived in Ecuador on a 90-day tourist visa (I've recently learned that while it's called a tourist visa, it's not actually a visa... which makes a difference in how many blank passport pages you need). As of last Saturday, this time has run out. My Adventures began last Wednesday, when I first went to Quito to obtain what I hoped would be an easy, quick renewal stamp, granting me another 90 days. I had no idea what I was entering into... How could I? Every single internet site/ guidebook/ friend/ lawyer/ government institution had different information regarding visa extensions and renewals.

Posted by Whitney 04/12/2011
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