Looe Key Reef (Mooring 11, 18 Aug. 2014) 0035

LOOE KEY REEF, Fla. — Chub (Xyphosus sp.), blue hamlet (Hypoplectrus gemma) and juvenile bluehead wrasse (Halichoeres garnoti) hide among the shelter of the arms of the elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) on Looe Key Reef near Mooring 11 on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014).

MECHANICSVILLE, Va.—Last Call for Corals: Life, Death, and Conservation of an Ocean Ecosystem is, like another blog I recently created, Wanderers and Wonderers: Rambling through the Realm of the Exploration and Environmental Narrative, an adjunct to my dissertation research—an ecoliterary project focusing on the life of Looe Key Reef, ocean ecosystems, and the ethics of our relationship with the natural world—in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The older blog is a place where I share my critiques of and lessons from my readings of exploration and environmental narratives as well as in environmental ethics—all three are areas that will serve as models and inspiration for my dissertation work. The readings are selected from a wide range of historical eras, geographic regions, and ethical approaches.

This blog is more focused, grounded most firmly on the main location of interest for my dissertation—Looe Key Reef, the Florida Keys, and the surrounding regions (South Florida and the Everglades, the Gulf of Mexico, and the North Atlantic Ocean) that significantly affect the environment of the Keys.

The original idea for the blog was to serve as a platform to present digital content that complements my dissertation. That it will do.

But it will also serve as a platform for me to distill my observations from my all-too-infrequent trips to the Florida Keys, to share anecdotes from those travels, and to comment on intriguing or relevant news from the region while I research, write—and ultimately defend—my dissertation.