Ever since 9/11, I have limited my flying worldwide. It was a moment of change in my life.
Prior to this event, I flew to my home country every year, sometimes twice, travelling more than 10,000 miles each way. It was an exhilarating experience each time I dove into the Pacific Ocean to revisit my beloved coral reefs. I spend most of my waking moments in the company of butterfly fish, angel fish, lion fish, sharks, turtles, and the countless organisms beyond my ability to see. I came back to New York City ready to conquer whatever came my way.
I was in NYC when on Sept. 11, 2001 when the attack took place. I was pregnant with my daughter and my thoughts at the time was that of fight or flight. We left on Sept. 13 and drove to Santa Fe. She was born here, and here we have landed.
I have not been back in the ocean since. It is a privilege, yes, and I miss the country that I love. But I know that lowering my carbon footprint means saving the ecosystem I treasure and adore.
I am now a high school science teacher at the Santa Fe Indian School. I no longer do research or publish.