Day 5: USC Spring Break in Catalina Island

July 16, 2018

After an amazing day in Parsons Landing, it was almost time to go back to the mainland. Many of us woke up early on Day 5 to enjoy the last couple of hours at the beach. I have craved the smell of the sea breeze and the sound of the crashing waves that I grew up with in my hometown, so I joined some of my new friends for a nice walk barefoot on sand. We all had breakfast and chilled for a couple of hours on the beach, until it was time to started packing up the tents as well as the vans to head back to the Catalina campus where the Wrigley Marine Science Center (WMSC) is located.

As soon as we arrived to the WMSC, we unpacked all the vans and took all of our stuff back to the houses. We then packed and got ready to head back to Los Angeles.

It was such an incredible experience to participate in the USC Spring Break in Catalina Island. That week was truly an experience to remember and will stay with me for a long time. It was so interesting to learn about the Institute’s sustainability vision, current projects and future directions, and interact with some of the WMSC staff and researches who worked on the island. Everyone was very willing to share information about their projects and clarify any questions we had. I felt totally welcomed there. I personally also had great conversations with many other students who became my new friends.

Aside from the activity schedule, we had plenty of time to relax, experience the wildlife and explore the beautiful island, which is an amazing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. I strongly enjoyed snorkeling at night and kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. I also learned so much about the marine life, food waste composting using the Ecovim technology, food waste recycling using, for example, the natural life cycle of the black soldier fly, the positive relationships between animals (e.g: Hawaiian Bobtail squid) and bacteria (e.g.: Aliivibrio fischeri a bioluminescent bacterium), extraction of kelp for biofuel production, and much more. The Institute has an ambitious goal for the Catalina campus to become water, energy, and food independent while recycling 100% of our organic waste within 10 years.

After a quick trip to the gift shop and some final pictures, we all boarded the boat to head on home.

My special THANK YOU goes to Diane Kim, Amber Brown, Ken Nealson, Ann Close, Mark Liew, Maurice Roper, the volunteers and all the amazing people that made this incredible trip happen or somehow were a very important part of it!

See you in my next post!

Published on July 16th, 2018

Last updated on April 1st, 2021