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One Cubic Foot of Biodiversity

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an exhibit of photographer David Littschwager's work at Cavallo Point Lodge near Sausalito, California. Littschwager is known for his images of flora and fauna around the world. His most recent work, known as "One Cubic Foot," depicts wildlife from ecosystems worldwide. In each location, Littschwager photographed every species he could find in a cubic foot. The resulting images are a lifelike index of biodiversity. When blown up in proportion, the tiny beetles, crabs, and centipedes are revealed in their true glory; many of these creatures boast vibrant colors and patterns that would be unnoticed without Littschwager's perceptive lens.

111-1111_IMG.jpg OfficeArt14.jpgHanging on one of our office walls is a Miao Headdress pictured to the right. The Miao people are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in China. Our executive director, Duane Silverstein, purchased this hat from a local woman (pictured above) on Hainan Island during Seacology's 2005 expedition to China. Although not a small island (with a population of millions), the residents of Hainan seemed to have very little contact with the western world, and, according to Duane, many were quite surprised to see a group of foreigners walking down the street!


Carvings from various types of wood can be found throughout the world. The four examples from the Seacology office that follow are from Palau, Vanuatu, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

OfficeArt10.jpgTraditional Palauan Storyboard: Presented to Seacology by Chief Urong Victor Joseph of Ollei Village, Babeldaob, Palau. Carvings such as this were traditionally found on bai, or the beams of the men's club houses, but under the influence of Japanese artists during the Japanese occupation of Palau, the depiction of these stories was transferred to a smaller portable board.

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OfficeArt05.jpg Seacology has initiated over 20 projects in Fiji, thanks in part to our field representatives in the region. The work of the field representatives was discussed in Karen's most recent blog, "How a Seacology Project is Born". Because we work so often with Fijian villages, we have received many thank you gifts from these wonderfully generous people - and most of these have ended up on the walls of the Seacology office.

One of Ellen's recent blog entries, containing a photo of a Balinese dancer that hangs in our office, inspired me to photograph more of our incredible office artwork to share. I decided to start with the masks (my favorites), which have hung in a spot advantageous for me to view ever since I started working for Seacology - both at our old office and at the new.

OfficeArt04.jpgThis mask is a traditional Kolam (folk theatre) mask from Sri Lanka. Seacology's work in Sri Lanka has focused on conserving and protecting mangrove forests. We have helped fund the construction of a mangrove resource center, including a store selling local handicrafts to help provide a livelihood for young women, and have helped to plant thousands of mangrove seedlings around Kiralakele, in the Hambantota district of southern Sri Lanka.