SURG ENT APRI L SURGENT APRIL SURGENT
SKY OF SEA AND SKY
OF SEA AND SKY SKY For six months during the spring and summer of 2016, I teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program as artist in residence. After a month of training in Honolulu, I worked as an embedded member of a three-person field camp at Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Accessible only by boat and some 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu, Pearl and Hermes Atoll lies in the protected waters of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the largest protected conservation area in the US and second worldwide only to the protected Ross Sea in Antarctica. The 450-square-mile atoll is largely underwater, with only six small islands and islets that have a combined total land area of
Left: S. Youngstrom approaches brown noddies (Anous stolidus pileatus/ Noio koha) while on patrol for Hawaiian monk seals.
Traver Gallery October 5–28, 2017
about 80 acres. Though the landmass is small, it provides critical habitat for untold numbers of green sea turtles, more than 150,000 nesting seabirds, and (in 2016) 164 endangered Hawaiian monk seals. During the residency, I worked as a field biologist, collecting important population assessment data on the Hawaiian monk seal. I have used the experience of working as a field biologist to inform a new body of work focused on wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship.My impetus for this research lies in Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy that awareness is the greatest agent for change and my belief that the dialogue between art and science is imperative for a most informed and diversified understanding of life on Earth. — APRIL SURGENT
Light sits softly. One bird steadily glides into the wind and another sings me a melodious song. Though I am a conscious being, I am smaller than a speck of dust. A microbe in the universe. ot even that significant. N Yet it is possible that even my tiniest of actions is capable of creating monumental ripple-effect, whether I am aware of or able to reconcile those impacts or not. We have irrevocably distorted the natural evolution of our planet: geological changes now transpire on a human timescale. How do our individual actions create impact and how can we transform negative effects into positive outcomes? What can we do to learn about the world and life, and how can we work together to make constructive change?
In an era when the world is experiencing immeasurable transformation, an engraving in glass becomes an archival record; in a time when our histories are stored in clouds, an engraving in glass takes a passing moment and saves it as a tangible object. I am a keeper of our times and a keeper of a dying heritage. And in this slow and meticulous craft, I am reminded that though the hyper-speed of the 21st century may disagree, it is OK to Stop. Look. See. Listen. Smell. Touch. Breathe. Think. Breathe. Think. curious. am curious. and II am Life curious and is curious Life is being conscious being be aa conscious to be How remarkable to How remarkable in universe. the universe. in the SURGENT APRIL —APRIL — SURGENT — APRIL SURGENT
That dream then, it was here.
19.25 × 13 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017
In the end it was the sea.
15 × 22.75 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (detail opposite)
The unnatural movement of the ocean with plastic.
30 × 30 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (detail opposite)
Ubiquitously. Sea and sky wrapped around me. The solitude here.
25 × 25 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (detail above)
Subadult Hawaiian Monk Seal Study. SE/PHR. 2-2.5 MASL. 6.27.16.
8 × 8 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017
Brewster’s Brown Booby in ʻĀkulikuli Study. SE/PHR. 2-2.5 MASL. 5.22.16.
8 × 8 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (detail opposite)
That which is beyond imagination.
25.25 × 25.25 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (details above)
The astonishing afterlife of our disposable objects.
25 × 25 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (detail opposite)
Sooty Tern Colony Study. SE/PHR. 2-2.5 MASL. 7.27.16.
Land and Sky Study. SK/PHR. 2.5 MASL. 7.27.16.
Pair of 8 × 8 × .75 inches each cameo engraved glass 2017
Cove Study. G/PHR. 2-2.5 MASL. 5.30.16.
Resting Juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seal Study. N/PHR. 2-2.5 MASL. 6.29.16.
Pair of 8 × 8 × .75 inches each cameo engraved glass 2017
‘In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.’ J. Muir
16.75 × 17.25 × .75 inches cameo engraved glass 2017 (details above)
The Art of Saving Seals Seals
Double exposure of the sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus / ‘Ewa‘ewa) colony in the invasive golden crownbeard (Verbesina encelioides) that covers most of the interior of Southeast Island in Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai). Golden crownbeard displaces native plant species and creates an inhospitable environment for nesting seabirds.
Previous spread: The ocean glows turquoise over the sand flats of Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai).
The story of the Hawaiian monk seal starts some 13 million years ago, when at some point these seals found the most remote chain of islands in the world — the islands that would one day be known as Hawaii. Hawaiian monk seals spent the majority of their lengthy tenure in Hawaii undisturbed, simply being monk seals. They foraged in stunningly blue tropical waters for fish and octopus, searching for food in the shallow coral reefs or down in the depths where the light of day cannot reach. They avoided the sharp teeth of their only predators: sharks. And each year, adult females gave birth to small, 20-pound, skinny, black pups that they nursed and defended for six weeks before leaving them to be on their own. This cycle repeated itself through the centuries, undisturbed and pure, until the day that man discovered the monk seals’ verdant isolated oasis. It is estimated that the first Polynesians arrived in the Hawaiian Archipelago 800 years
ago. Cultural and archaeological evidence indicates that monk seals disappeared from the main Hawaiian Islands (the high islands where people live and tourists flock to) relatively early in the islands’ settlement. The monk seals found refuge in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, a group of small islands and atolls stretching over a 1,000 miles beyond the island of Kauai, until the second wave of humans arrived, heralded by Captain Cook’s discovery of Hawaii in 1778. Seals were hunted for food and oil, were disturbed from their breeding habitat, and faced other insults that would bring them to the brink of extinction multiple times. By the late 1970s the population was a fraction of its peak numbers: monk seals were listed as endangered in 1976 under the US Endangered Species Act. This would begin the new age of monk seal research and conservation efforts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and their partners.
Over the decades, NOAA’s monk seal research teams evolved. The early, rag-tag group of biologists started by taking on the Herculean task of understanding the seals’ basic biology, ecology, and population trends, and then they began developing plans for recovery. NOAA’s monk seal program became one of the most proactive conservation programs on the planet. New innovations and conservation activities were introduced and the monk seal population decline slowed dramatically. In the late 1990’s, there was another development, largely unforeseen by scientists but critical for monk seal recovery: monk seals returned to the main Hawaiian Islands. Given the level of human presence and disturbance, it seemed an impossibility that the seals would ever achieve a foothold, much less significantly recolonize the main islands. As is often the case, however, we underestimated nature’s resilience and she proved us wrong. Today, 300 seals — or
roughly one-fifth of the monk seal population — lives along the shores of our main eight Hawaiian Islands. With this community of seals came a host of new issues for monk seal conservation, primarily in the form of human-to-seal contact. Monk seals had been missing from the main Hawaiian Islands for centuries and generations of people had been born and raised without ever being aware of the existence of monk seals. So it is understandable that with the arrival of the seal came conflict and concerns. Residents and tourists alike had no idea how important rest was to a monk seal’s survival. When a monk seal would haul out of the water for a snooze on a popular beach, instead of keeping their distance, curious humans would approach for photos or to try to feed them, causing the monk seal to retreat back into the water. Fishermen, many of whom rely on their catch to feed their families, were concerned that this new arrival
would consume the remainder of an already dwindling and overtaxed food resource. The monk seal conservation program suddenly had a new element to its mission: human-versus-seal conflict. The work could no longer be just about studying and saving monk seals. Instead a full-on engagement with communities was necessary to increase awareness of the seal, rally the public to support the species, and build a culture of coexistence between man and monk seal. While the NOAA program excelled in our science and conservation work, we initially struggled with connecting with the public. Our first successes in piquing the public’s interest and starting a groundswell of support for monk seal conservation were through traditional means such as nature documentaries. The most impactful of these was our work with National
From left: A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas / Honu) amongst black-footed albatross chicks (Phoebastria nigripes / Ka‘upu). Albatross chicks will practice using their wings on land before fledging. Pearl and Hermes field camp on Southeast Island. Buoys and floats litter the interior of Seal-Kittery Island. Derelict fishing gear is abundant in the Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai). Dr. Charles Littnan. Lead Scientist of the NOAA Fisheries’ Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program.
Geographic, using their seal-mounted cameras (or, Crittercams) to reveal the underwater secrets of the monk seal. The value to science was massive; the value to raising awareness was immeasurable. But despite this work, we knew there was more to be done, more people to connect with, and a variety of arts and media we could tap into to touch people’s hearts and minds. It was at this time I thought of emulating the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, a program designed to tap into the arts and humanities to increase understanding of the Antarctic and help document America’s Antarctic heritage. I put out feelers to colleagues to look for an artist who might be interested in a project with the monk seal program. I didn’t have to wait long. I was excited
when April Surgent first contacted me, as she seemed like a godsend: she had been endorsed by one of our most trusted field biologists and she had experience working in a remote field station in Antarctica. I had one simple and non-negotiable request of April. If she wanted to tell the story of our program or the seals we are fighting for, then she had to live the experience. It couldn’t just be a few days of field work on Oahu’s crowded beaches, or even a 2-3 week research cruise in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. April would have to commit herself to becoming one of our field biologists. She was going to have to immerse herself into a three to four month field camp and do all the work our other biologists would do. That would include learning to catch and handle seals, collecting and entering data, intervening to help seals, and more. She would have to experience all the highs and lows of field work. I wanted
her to experience growing so close to the animals you work with that you can identify them just by the patchwork of scars and birthmarks in their fur, becoming connected to them all the while knowing that some would be lost. I wanted her to be awestruck by the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that reveal an atoll that seems to hold every shade of blue imaginable, while scratching the seemingly never-ending itch of tick bites. I wanted her to fall asleep to the sound of trade-winds blowing through camp, punctuated by the occasional seal snore after scraping bird poop off her pillow. I thought it was important that she understand the highs and lows of conservation and the sacrifices our field teams make each year as they commit to life on a remote island. I wanted these experiences to contribute to the way April viewed our mission so that she could infuse that experience — that truth — into her art. Without hesitation, April took that challenge and committed fully to being part of our
team. She learned how to drive a small boat in complex coral reef, how to give an IV drip to a sick camp mate, how to safely handle and tag a young monk seal, how to conduct a necropsy, and more. In some ways, her workload was double that of the other staff, since every day she worked on her art as well, capturing the impressions this strange new existence made upon her. In all ways, April rose to the challenge. She worked with her team to overcome adversity (something always goes wrong in complicated field camps) and thrived through the season, conducting science and saving seals. She earned the right to call herself a conservation scientist. Today, as you read this or walk through the gallery, it is about the art — not the science — of monk seal conservation. I hope you get a greater sense, and maybe appreciation, of the humanity behind the efforts to save this species.
I hope you are moved by pieces that demonstrate the impact that our plastic addiction has on the natural world, even the world’s most remote island chain. And I hope you are moved to become part of finding a better way forward for the future. As I write this, the monk seal population is at 1,400 — up from 1,100 seals a few years ago. We’ve had three years of positive growth. After roughly 60 years of decline that is reason to celebrate. We also have an intensive conservation program that is making a difference for the seals: roughly 30% of the population is alive today because of our recovery efforts. But what gives me the most hope is the continued growth of our monk seal ‘ohana — our family — the group of government agencies, private groups,
volunteers, and others that have joined our efforts to save seals. These new relationships, like this collaboration with April, allow us to share our story with people far beyond the shores of Hawaii and rally them to our cause. So while some of these works will show the hardships of conservation and humans’ impacts on nature, remember, there is much to be hopeful for. CHARLES LITTNAN, PHD Lead Scientist, Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program NOAA Fisheries
A large ghost net pulled from the shoreline. This net was removed from Pearl and Hermes Atoll at the end of the field season, but many more like it were left behind. The logistics, high cost, and sheer volume of marine debris make it impossible for it all to be entirely removed from the remote islands of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
At first glance, nothing. But life will reveal itself When one stops to look.
Right: Self-portrait in personal tent.
Out of the studio and into the unknown, becoming a working part of an effort much larger than myself, an individual deed, or a single purpose. Learning how to look, see, and understand the world from a wholly new perspective to contemplate those elusive aspects of existence, full of meaning but without definitive explanation. S. Youngstrom hauls a ghost net up the beach from the shoreline in an effort to reduce the threat of wildlife entanglement. Each year, the monk seal program deploys five field camps to the remote islands and atolls of the PapahÄ naumokuÄ kea Marine National Monument that are accessible only by ship. The logistics are complex and the work is strenuous, requiring the generous dedication of dozens of intrepid souls.
Viewing life through a scientific lens makes me appreciate the diversity of human consciousness as I have never considered it before. Though it may take some time for my eyes to adjust, I am starting to look at the world differently.
A juvenile masked booby (Sula dactylatra / â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A) perches on marine debris (a tire placed to avoid the tripping hazard of a tent stake in camp).
One gallon of fresh water per person per day means dishes, laundry and bathing in the ocean. But the ocean is so bright and clear and blue that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to recall a hot shower with much envy. Whitetip sharks and chubs (both by the dozen) help us with the dishes and make it seem not a chore at all. Cleanliness has taken on a whole new meaning, and there are no worries over the vanities that can plague a body in the world of people.
A great frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni / â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iwa) swoops at S. Youngstrom, who is on patrol.
The small, low-lying islands and islets of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument provide critical habitat for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas / Honu) and Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi / ‘Ilio holo i ka uaua), who haul out on shore to rest.
Next page: An adult Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi / ʻIlio holo i ka uaua), green from algae after a long period of foraging at sea, rests on a bed of equally green sea purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum / ʻĀkulikuli), a native plant found in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the main Hawaiian Islands.
Noise. Noise. June 20, 20, 2016 2016 June 30°C 30°C tiger shark shark cruises AA tiger cruises the the shoreline, shoreline, and and Laysan Laysan and black-footed black-footed albatross and try out albatross chicks chicks try out their their wings. AA single single black-footed wings. black-footed parent parent arrives arrives and and gives aa retching, retching, guttural gives while dozens guttural call, call, while dozens of of chicks gather gather around chicks around hoping hoping that that itit will will be be their their high-pitched squeal that gets answered with a generous feeding. Seals haul out and quietly bask in the sun for hours, perfectly blending into their surroundings after rolling in the coral sand, looking much like a piece of chicken tossed in ‘Shake ’N Bake’. The occasional sneeze or bark throughout the day reminds me of their presence as I type away on data entry. The golden crownbeard looks dried-out but as soon as that rain comes it will perk right up and vehemently
Previous page: A view of camp from the interior of Southeast Island, at Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai).
spread spread itself. itself. The The sooty sooty tern tern colony colony chatters chatters loudloudly in the background and a curious Laysan finch ly in the background and a curious Laysan finch sings sings me me the the most most beautiful beautiful song. song. AA small small group group of brown noddies scuttle along the tent tops of brown noddies scuttle along the tent tops and and quietly quietly chatter chatter with with their their throaty throaty cackles. cackles. FrigFrigatebirds roost on anything they can cling to, and with little else available, they seem to find the piles of marine debris most suitable. The incessant sound of the water lapping at the beach is both soothing and gnawing. Many of the daytime noises continue into the night with the addition of the moaning howl of the burrowing wedgetailed shearwater… There is never a quiet moment here.
A great frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni / ‘Iwa) perches atop plastic marine debris crates and spreads its wings. Frigatebirds have a higher ratio of wing surface area to body weight than any other bird; it allows for outstanding aerial maneuverability.
From left to right, top to bottom: Black noddies (Anous minutus / Noio) perch on the deteriorating seawall at Tern Island, in French Frigate Shoals (Kānemiloha‘i). The monk seal team on Tern Island makes daily rounds of the seawall area to look for and rescue entangled or entrapped wildlife.
Juvenile plumage replaces the downy feathers on a Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis / Mōlī) chick.
A curious Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans) takes a look around camp. The Laysan finch is a land bird and endemic to Laysan Island (Kauō) in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In 1967, a subpopulation was introduced to Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai) to reduce the risk of extinction from a catastrophic event such as a severe storm, disease, or drought.
A ghost net caught on the shore. Ghost nets are often entwined with fishing lures, wads of monofilament, and a variety of other kinds of nets and lines.
A black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes / Ka‘upu) chick settled into a mess of derelict netting and line. Despite the remoteness of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, all wildlife there are affected by human impacts.
Juvenile masked boobies (Sula dactylatra / ‘A) perch on the privacy screen around the camp Lua, the open-air pit toilet in camp.
A white tern (Gygis alba A young, emaciated Hacandida / Manu o Ku) in waiian monk seal (Neoflight. monachus schauinslandi / ʻIlio holo i ka uaua) from Laysan Island (Kauō) onboard the NOAA research vessel Oscar Elton Sette. This Hawaiian monk seal is headed to Ke Kai Ola, a Hawaiian monk seal hospital on Hawai’i Island. This seal will be rehabilitated over a period of about seven months and then released back into the wild. The life of every seal is vital to the survival of this endangered species.
A threatening squall approaches camp.
Pearl and Hermes, August 8, 2016 The low angle of the morning sun absorbs into the marine debris that's scattered along nearly every surface of this tiny island in the middle of the ocean, sparkling all the way down the beach like glitter. Some days it is easy to put on your blinders and step past and over it; other days not so much. Last week I made an onsite installation of the disposable lighters that we've collected. As I was setting up, I found a seal entangled in a mess of line. And the day before I had found the skeleton of a Laysan finch stuck in a wad of monofilament. We've picked up nearly nine Bagsters of marine debris around the atoll and cannot see a noticeable difference.
Onsite installation of disposable lighters on the shore of Southeast Island. All of the disposable lighters were found and collected throughout Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai). Save for derelict fishing gear, the bulk of marine debris that washes ashore in the remote islands of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument are commonly used items, such as ‘disposable’ lighters.
The world here vibrates with palpable energy, as if life itself were boiling to the surface of the ocean, up from the ancient volcano we stand upon, sunken into the sea over countless millennia.
The sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus / ‘Ewa‘ewa) colony on Tern Island, the largest island within French Frigate Shoals (Kānemiloha‘i). Sooty terns are the most abundant bird species of the 300,000 birds at French Frigate Shoals, accounting for about 80% of all the birds there. At 34 acres of land mass and a mean elevation of 7.5 feet, seabird habitat on Tern Island is threatened by erosion from storm surges, king tides, and sea-level rise.
From left to right, top to bottom: A black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes / Ka‘upu) chick lays dead on the shore. Many black-footed albatross chicks perish from lack of food due to the death of a parent, heat exhaustion, ingestion of marine debris, or other unknown causes.
A great frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni / ‘Iwa) perches.
A black noddy (Anous minutus / Noio) adapts to a habitat filled with marine debris
Marine debris scattered along the high-tide line of Southeast Island includes a plastic wall clock, Croc shoe, glass bottles, plastic floats, plastic bottles, micro plastics…
We are reminded of both our vulnerability and our place in the world by the continual roar of ocean swells violently breaking on the fringing reef just to the south of camp. The reef can protect us against the weight of the ocean but it cannot protect us against ourselves.
A Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi / ĘťIlio holo i ka uaua) mother and pup. Pups are born with black fur and shed into a shiny, silvery coat around the time that they wean, five to seven weeks after birth. During the nursing period, the mother will generally not feed: she stays with her pup until she has used all of her stored reserves, while the pup gains up to seven times its 25 to 40-pound birth weight.
Brenda Becker, biological technician of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (NOAA) research vessel, Hiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ialakai.
From left to right, top to bottom: Life in camp is a dance around black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes / Ka‘upu) chicks.
Self-portrait with marine debris.
A plastic Trader Joe’s crate washed ashore. The familiarity of the objects found amongst the marine debris speaks volumes to the vastness and complexities of the problem. With the nearest Trader Joe’s over 3,000 miles away from Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai), people from very far away are unknowingly contributing to the issue of marine debris here.
Monk seal field biologists restrain and flipper tag a weaned pup at North Island. Seals are tagged with a unique number that permanently enters them into the recorded population of the species. Population assessment is crucial for understanding the status of the Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi /ʻIlio holo i ka uaua), a species in peril.
Necropsy of a Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi / ʻIlio holo i ka uaua) pup in camp. Monk seal field biologists will perform necropsies on deceased monk seals to gather information to help determine the cause of death. Specimens are collected to detect disease and provide genetic and histopathology data.
The Pearl and Hermes monk seal team prepare for a tagging. L. White holds a stretcher net used for safe and effective handling of Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi / ʻIlio holo i ka uaua).
L. White and S. Youngstrom put specimen samples into dewars. The dewars are filled with liquid nitrogen used to preserve biological specimens while in the field. Specimen samples are brought back to Honolulu and analyzed in laboratories.
The swollen, blood-blistered foot of field biologist L. White, caused by the bites of bird ticks (Ornithodoros capensis). Bird ticks are often a profuse and significant nuisance for field teams at Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai). Although they do not spread Lyme disease, bird tick bites on humans can itch, burn, blister, ache, swell, and ooze. They can linger for many weeks and even cause Laysan fever, a flulike illness.
A Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis / Mōlī) chick stands on wobbly legs. This albatross chick is near fledging but is still learning how to use its feet and wings.
Next page: A large log, origin and species unknown, washed into the interior of North Island in Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai).
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it”. — Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the Wilderness Act in 1964
Special thanks to: Sarah Traver and Traver Gallery for their tremendous support of this new body of work. Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program Lead Scientist, Dr. Charles Littnan, for making the collaboration possible. NOAA Fisheries, State of Hawaii, and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Shawn Farry for the recommendation. Brenda Becker, Jessie Lopez-Bohlander, and the entire Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program staff and volunteers. To ‘Pearl Girls’ Sadie Youngstrom and Laney White for their patience, support, encouragement, hard work, and dedication in the field. Jon Brack. Scott Morrison. Last but not least, gratitude to Zak and my family, whose endless support made this project achievable. All activities and photographs taken within and of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument were conducted under the authority of and in accordance to NMFS Permit No. 16632-01 and PMNM-2016-011.
Previous page: The sea and sky of Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai).
Close-up photographs of Hawaiian monk seals were taken during activities that required the researcher to be in close proximity to the seals. Approaching seals was done in such a way as to minimize disturbance but maximize the collection of important information about the animals. Members of the public should not approach wild marine mammals. All photographs were taken from the islands and islets of Pearl and Hermes Atoll unless otherwise noted. Cover: Pisces, one of two inflatable dinghies the monk seal field biologists used to navigate Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai). Page 1: Lagoon off of Grass Island at Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Manawai). Scientific and Hawaiian names appear in italics and are noted in parentheses throughout. Designed by Zach Hooker.
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