By Deanna R. Pinkard-Meier
In recent decades there has been mounting evidence that humans are negatively affecting the marine environment on many levels. Although seemingly depressing to learn about, I find that many students are truly concerned about humans’ impacts on the Earth, and particularly the ocean. After learning about some of the changes occurring as a result of human activities, students often make insightful observations and ask important questions. Examples of students’ questions are the following: “What can I do?”, “What is our government doing?”, “How is ‘x’, ‘y’, or ‘z’ not illegal?!”, and in some cases “How has it come to this?”. (Figure 1: Students voluntarily participating in surveys to assess the biodiversity of the intertidal zone in La Jolla, California. No extra credit points necessary. Credit: Deanna Pinkard-Meier.).