Documentary Film – Midway: Edge of Tomorrow

While I was on Midway Atoll, a team of filmmakers from Tandem Film arrived by request of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and to document the ongoing conservation efforts on the island. Ian Shive (founder of Tandem) and his underwater cinematographer James Scott filmed daily for a period of a couple weeks, highlighting the cultural significance of the island, as well as the natural resources it has to offer.

Check out the film now on Google Play, Apple iTunes, or Amazon Prime (free to watch for Prime members).

North Dakota and the Honey Bee Summer

Welcome to the NPWRC. Jamestown, ND

In May 2017, I packed up my car and headed north from Austin toward the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) in Jamestown, North Dakota. I was granted a temporary contract position with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as an ecological science technician on a project researching how land-use change affects the health and pollination services of commercial honey bee colonies. After a grueling 20 hour drive through the less-than-stellar and overwhelmingly agricultural landscapes of central Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, I arrived at the USGS facility just as the sun was starting to set.

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Turtle Power & Microplastics

On this fine Memorial Day I decided to do a little more marine debris removal from the beach. While swimming or working at this particular beach on the north side of the island, sea turtles are a common sight mere feet from the water’s edge. They’re somewhat timid and won’t typically swim toward you. They can be seen coming to the surface for air and taking a quick peek at their surroundings. If there are any human occupants on the beach, they do their best to avoid you. However, that was not the case on this gorgeous afternoon.


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Midway Is A Bird Colony

Recently the NOAA research vessel Hi’Ialakai stopped at Midway after visiting a handful of the other northwestern Hawaiian islands. They picked up the NOAA Marine Debris crew and also dropped off members of the monk seal recovery team to a few different islands for demographic/population studies. The monk seal team’s veterinary technician named Angie is also a Texas Longhorn!
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Ten Days on Midway

It’s been close to two weeks since I arrived at Midway. I spent one night in Honolulu waiting for my flight to the island via a private chartered Gulfstream jet. It was my first time on one of these executive flights and it was pretty luxurious, including faux-gold finishes everywhere and as much potato chips and soda as we could handle. On the flight was a team of about six NOAA Marine Debris people, a couple US Fish & Wildlife employees, a cook, and two other volunteers.

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Three Days Before Departure

Well it’s three days until my six-month stint at Midway Atoll begins. This is just a sample of the gear I’m packing and doesn’t even include all the photography and video equipment!

Questions or comments? Email me: james (at)