Sunrise / Meera Subramanian

With perfect light, we head out again in boats to put some of our new-found knowledge about photography to use.

Munir Virani

We toss some more fish for fish eagles…

African fish eagle / Arianwen Jones

African fish eagle / Arianwen Jones

Meera Subramanian

…and spot other birds as well.

Pied kingfishers / Arianwen Jones

We observe the human use of the lake.

Meera Subramanian

We apply sunscreen liberally.

Meera Subramanian

In the afternoon, Meera dug deeper into environmental journalism, as the class dissected Mark Seal’s Vanity Fair article “A Flowering Evil” about the murder of Joan Root and the impact of flower farms in Naivasha. Then guest lecturer Don Turner, former tourist operator and long-time resident of Lake Naivasha, joins us. His message is heavy. As an older man, he has seen the transformation that has happened in Kenya.

“It’s terrifying to realize that the population of my country has gone from two to 42 million in my lifetime,” he said.

In Naivasha alone, the population has increased a hundred times over in the past 20 years, from 5,000 to half a million. He described the staggering loss of forests, birds, animals, and ecosystems and wondered how we’ll ever be able to offset the carbon being produced in the rising Asian tiger nations.

It is an ongoing challenge for those in (and entering) the field of conservation biology, but we all hope to err on the side of optimism.

Another guest, Rupert Wilson, who will speak tomorrow morning, tried to interject “a spark of optimism”to the conversation.

“Yes, you would have seen more if you’d come ten years ago, but you’re seeing more than if you’d waited to come in another ten.”

We bemoan the loss, even as we watch the ibis perch overhead in the acacias, hear the fish eagle making its last cries of the day.