Author Archive | Liz Devitt


An Ocean Journey with Brandon Southall

Brandon Southall is adept at inhabiting vastly different worlds—similar to the elephant seals and sea lions he studies. While the marine mammals successfully navigate the opposing environments of land and water, Southall is a marine scientist who moves smoothly among the diverse realms of research, business, consulting, and university affiliations. His expertise in ocean acoustics—…

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The Swallows of Cabrillo

It isn’t Spring until the cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) return to Cabrillo, a community college located in the hills along the Central Coast. Like their famous counterparts, the legendary swallows of Capistrano, these winged harbingers of warmer weather regularly return to campus every March. Although their migration schedule stays the same, recent research shows some…

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Broken Hearts

I started writing this post when I discovered one of my fittest friends, Rick*, a 50-year-old Ironman triathlete and veteran marathoner, has a surprisingly unfit heart. So unfit, that he didn’t show up for the Sunday morning run, a ritual rarely missed in our running community unless there’s a race to attend or a death…

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Don’t Pick Your Poison

I’ve spent decades running trails that wind through the state parks of California. But even though I’ve logged at least ten thousand miles in the middle of nature, I just discovered I’ve been a stranger to an entire kingdom living among the trees—the realm of mushrooms. Not an animal, yet not exactly a plant, a…

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Sounding Off

When my neighbor cranks up his stereo, the bass makes my adjoining apartment walls hum. If the percussion ramps up, then my ears ring, too. But, I don’t mind, since I usually like music my neighbor plays. If I don’t like what I’m hearing, I’m quick to ask him to turn down the volume. I’m…

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My favorite morning run at New Brighton Beach

Can numbers save our oceans?

On an early morning run at New Brighton State Beach, I take the salt-tanged air deep in my lungs, grin at the seagulls shuffling out of my way, and glimpse the dark arcs of dolphins rising above the wave break. I count myself lucky to live beside the ocean—even when I’m forced to skip over…

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