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Britt Bravo's picture

Upwell Holiday Cookie Party (photos)

on December 21, 2012 - 9:50am

On Wednesday night, we invited a few pals to the Upwell offices to make ocean-themed holiday cookies!

We'd love to have you over in 2013. If you're in the neighborhood, let us know. We know your Twitter handle, but we want to meet you face-to-face (:

Matt measures

Ray mixes

Rachel readies the dough

Saray checks the guest list

Francesca Koe (Director of Campaigns, NRDC) makes the first batch

Ray & Deb Castellana (Director of Communications, Mission Blue/Syvlia Earle Alliance)

Saray & Matthew Tucker (Public Programs Presenter, California Academy of Sciences) creating an otter with a sea urchin

Decoration station

Marla Aufmuth (photographer), Maria Finn (author of The Whole Fish) & Vanessa Barrington (PR Manager, Save the Bay)

We believe this to be the first ever cookie depicting Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  This is what happens if you invite the community-minded map geeks from BlooSee to your open house.

Ray, Pedro Valdeolmillos (CEO & Founder, BlooSee),  and Tommy Chipman (Community Manager, BlooSee). Tommy made the awesome MPA cookie!

Happy Holidays!

Britt Bravo's picture

Online Ocean Activists Goodreads Group

on December 19, 2012 - 11:10am

I believe in the power of books, and in the power of book circles, which is why I've set up an Online Ocean Activists Goodreads group. It's a place for us to discuss books about online activism and communication with other ocean lovers to help us make the ocean more *famous* online. Every month, or so, we'll read a book and chat about it on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. We might also have tweetchats, conference calls, or webinars with the authors.

To get started, let's brainstorm a list of books we want to read in 2013 (e.g. The Power of Infographics, The Dragonfly Effect, The Networked Nonprofit, Social Media for Social Good, Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Likeable Social Media). You can share your book suggestions by emailing us at tips AT upwell DOT us, sending a tweet (, leaving a comment, messaging us on Facebook, or posting on the Goodreads discussion board.

Flickr photo credit: A tornado of fish, or fishnado by chucknado.

Britt Bravo's picture

Big Blue Blog Talk: Ocean Acidification, Sustainable Seafood & MPAs

on December 18, 2012 - 10:30am

Last week, we shared a list of Big Blue Blogs, which y'all have been sharing and adding to (we'll post an updated list in early January). This week, we're doing a round-up of what the Big Blue Blogs have been saying over the past month, or so about a few of the many ocean issues we track here at Upwell: ocean acidification, sustainable seafood and MPAs.


EPOCA's Ocean Acidification blog

Google Earth Tour of a More Acidic World
Oceana. November 5, 2012.
"[The video] above is a good primer on ocean acidification narrated by Dan Laffoley of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The video spans the vulnerable corals of Australia's Great Barrier Reef to the equally vulnerable shellfish industry of the Pacific Northwest, detailing the potential effects of a more acidic ocean."

Corals Call on Fish Bodyguards
Oceana. November 13, 2012
"Coral is under threat worldwide from pollution and ocean acidification from human activity. When corals are stressed, aggressive algae competing for sunlit patches of ocean floor can represent a death blow to coral reefs and the magnificent ecosystems they support. At least one fish, though, isn’t letting the reef go down without a fight."

Catastrophe looms over Antarctica; why you should release your inner psychopath
by Maggie Fazeli Fard on December 3, 2012
"In 'Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land,' marine ecologist and Antarctica expert James B. McClintock examines the impact of increasing snowfalls, melting ice and ocean acidification on the continent’s ecology."


Making Waves Nowhere Near the Ocean
One World One Ocean. November 7, 2012
"Casson Trenor, co-owner of sustainable sushi restaurant, Tataki, spoke about how everyone needs to know the 4 S's in order to decide if fish is sustainable: small, seasonal, silver or shellfish?"
Check out OWOO's Know Your Seafood infographic too.

James Beard Foundation likes our Seafood Watch
Monterey Bay Aquarium, November 12, 2012
Links to a recipe on for Tajine of Seafood Chermoula. Holiday dinner idea anyone?

New website lets student farmers connect, share resources
Grist. November 12, 2012
"The food-service company [Bon Appetit Management Company] has a reputation for leading the way on local food, humane meat, farmworker justice, and sustainable seafood. It’s also focused on building and supporting campus food networks."

The Ocean Project Small Grant Winners announced!
The Ocean Project. November 13, 2012
One of the winners was the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Desert-Ocean Connections project. "The project will develop new interactive interpretive stations for the Desert Museum’s 30 Junior Docents, focused on sustainable seafood and desert waters."

Year in PHOTOS: Greenpeace Celebrates a year of global victories thanks to YOU
Greenpeace. December 18, 2012.
"Applauded Safeway for offering sustainably-sourced tuna for their customers (and it’s cheap)!"


China Blocks Protection of Antartica's Waters: Report
Ocean Views on NatGeo. November 1, 2012.
"Some 1.2 million people asked the 25 member governments of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, composed of 24 countries and the EU) to take action during their annual meeting this week to conserve Antarctic marine ecosystems. Most of them answered this call and were prepared to work on proposals for marine protected areas and reserves in the ecologically important Ross Sea and East Antarctic regions. Ultimately, however, the Antarctic conservation aspirations of the majority of CCAMLR members were reportedly blocked by just a few countries, under the leadership of China."

BlooSee Mobile 2.2 now available for download
BlooSee. November 1, 2012.
"We are also excited to introduce the new infopoint areas feature. Members can now create areas surrounding an infopoint. This is a great tool if the infopoint you are creating is not a single point but a surrounding area. This tool is great for mooring buoys, marine protected areas, and dive spots."

The Weekly Dive. Vol. 44
One World One Ocean. November 5, 2012
"EU's largest marine protected area proposed in Scotland. The Scottish government has proposed to create a package of 'Special Areas of Conservation,' including a 15,694 km sq (9752 mi sq) area at Hatton Bank, off the west coast. [The Scottish Government]"

Sea Turtles: Raja Ampat's Ocean Nomads
Conservation International. November 5, 2012.
"[I]n marine protected areas (MPAs) we are seeing a reduction in the exploitation of turtles."

IUCN: CCMLR members fall short on their obligations and leadership
The Official MPA Blog. November 7, 2012.
"IUCN deeply regrets that no new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were declared by the thirty first meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), despite Members’ commitment to do so."

*What stories about ocean acidification, sustainable seafood and MPAs have caught your eye recently?*

Flickr photo credit: Sea Lion: Up Close and Personal by NOAA.

Britt Bravo's picture

Meet Saray: Coral Reef Lover and Newest Upwell Team Member

on December 13, 2012 - 2:58am

Meet Saray Dugas, the newest member of the Upwell team!

Saray loves corals, and is confident that she can identify most of them (you can send her a coral photo at saray AT upwell DOT us).

Originally from Costa Rica, Saray first fell in love with science and biodiversity as a child. Growing up, her heroes were conservationists and biologists who saved tracts of land. Today, her heroes are people who protect the ocean.

Saray's journey as an ocean communicator began while working at Scripps Institution of Oceanography where she developed a desire to communicate science, specifically ocean science, to a wider community of people.

She went on to work in science and communication nonprofits, and has been involved in campaigns for World Oceans Day and the Marine Life Protection Act. Before coming to Upwell, she worked with COMPASS helping scientists to communicate their messages. She also volunteered at the California Academy of Science's design department.

Saray specializes in teaching scientists how to use social media, and how to communicate visually. Her calling in life is to help scientists become better communicators.

You can learn more about Saray on her website,, and connect with her on Twitter at @SarayDugas.

Britt Bravo's picture

Big Blue Blogs: 88 Ocean Conservation Blogs

on December 5, 2012 - 11:45am

waves by james stark

*Jan 15, 2013: We've updated the list to 100+ blogs!

As most of you know, Upwell's mission is to  make the ocean more famous online.  One way we do that is by sharing ocean-y news in the Tide Report, and by asking you to amplify it.

We can't fit all of the juiciest ocean stories into the Tide Report, which is why we're sharing a list of 88 Big Blue Blogs that cover ocean conservation issues. Our hope is that they will be another source of shareable ocean content for you.

The blogs are in alphabetical order. Please let us know about other big blue blogs we should add to this list by emailing us at tips AT upwell DOT us, sending a tweet (, leaving a comment, or messaging us on Facebook.

You can also subscribe to the bundle of feeds here.

Big Blue Blogs

Stay tuned for Big Blue Twitter lists!

Flickr photo credit: Wave #1 by James Stark