三角洲画: Raines Shares Devotion to Mobile-Tensaw δ as Environmental Fellow, 特聘.


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Ben Raines knows the history and politics of Alabama, but that’s just color and background 对于他的主要信息. 他的大部分故事都强调了非同寻常的生物多样性 莫比尔-天锯三角洲. “我们确实处于美国最富有的地区 提供,”他说.

The author and filmmaker Ben Raines, best known for discovering the remains of the Clotilda, the last ship to carry enslaved Africans to the United States, enjoys a new platform as the first environmental 研究员兼常驻作家 at the University 南阿拉巴马州.

At a September reception welcoming him to 南, Raines talked about building support 以及对莫比尔-天锯三角洲的欣赏.

“我们确实处于美国最富有的地区 to offer — we have more than twice as many species per square mile as any other state,” he told students, donors 和教育工作者. “这就是我想要分享的信息. 如果有人想帮忙, 让我们去. 现在是时候了.”

在三角洲的自然之旅中,他的听众要少得多. 10月,他领导了这次选举 从南方到斯普林特山沼泽保护区的诗歌学生. 其他行程包括 Bottle Creek Indian Mounds and one of the last great cypress trees in the region.

Raines, 53, doesn’t pretend to be a scientist — he jokes about taking his last biology class in high school — but he knows the flora and fauna of “America’s Amazon.” He identifies everything from lady orchids and sensitive ferns to whirligig beetles and 小龙虾的烟囱. 在头顶上,他看到了木鸭、大蓝鹭,偶尔也能看到 秃鹰.

“这太酷了?他问最近的一群人,并拿鹰着陆开玩笑 恰好在这个时候. “这就是我们从这里开始的原因.”

Raines knows the history and politics of Alabama, too, as a former reporter for Mobile’s Press-Register, but that’s just color and background 对于他的主要信息. 大多数 of his stories emphasize the extraordinary biodiversity 莫比尔-天锯三角洲.

在南方监狱,瑞恩斯同时为 斯托克斯海洋与环境科学学院斯托克斯创意写作中心都是以Dr. 史蒂文和安吉利亚·斯托克斯感谢他们对大学的支持. An interdisciplinary approach is part of what he’s sharing with students as an environmental 研究员兼常驻作家.

“这给了我一个家和一个头衔,”雷恩斯谈到他的任命时说. ”,它 makes it easier for me to film and interview scientists from 南 and Dauphin Island 海洋实验室,他们是我制作纪录片的重要资源. 他们一直在给予 我在过去的20年里接受了各种各样的教育.”

Dr. Sean Powers, director of the 斯托克斯海洋与环境科学学院, joined Raines to promote 南 on a “Midday Mobile” radio segment for FM Talk 106.5. He explained that the environmental fellowship follows efforts to increase research in the Mobile-Tensaw estuary, which covers more than a quarter-million acres of swamp, 开阔水域和低地森林.

鲍尔斯说:“我们真的需要把重点放在三角洲地区. “我们意识到我们没有做到 enough, and Ben was always there reminding us we weren’t doing enough, so we brought 在他的新职位上,他试图增加公众的关注和捐助者的关注. 这是 a wonderful opportunity for him to interact with students, do selected readings, show 电影和讲故事.”


9月,在南方的招待会上,雷恩斯做了所有这些事情. 他穿着一件蓝色的衣服。 西装和白衬衫衬托出他的棕褐色. 虽然他的头发和胡子已经灰白, he looked youthful and animated working a crowd at the MacQueen 校友 Center.

大多数人用手势说话. 雷恩斯更有表现力. 他挥动双臂 and chops the air with his palms, while his fingers mimic people running or talking.

他是由布朗博士介绍的. 创意写作总监夏洛特·彭斯称赞 his documentary films such as “The Underwater Forest” and “Saving America’s Amazon,” along with books such as “The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How the Clotilda 被发现,她的后代,和一个不寻常的清算.”

彭斯说:“就像我们被水吸引一样,我们也被故事吸引。. ”的协同作用 between the 斯托克斯创意写作中心 和 Stokes School of Marine and Environmental Sciences speaks to the connection between our hearts and minds. 无论 land and oceans meet, a rich biodiversity is formed — similar to when disciplines 聚在一起.”

On stage, Raines joked about “leaving his comfort zone” to read aloud portions of 他正在写的喜剧小说《爱情炸弹. 这个丰富多彩的故事是以钓鱼为背景的 village of Bayou La Batre during the late 1970s, when the Unification Church bought 并在墨西哥湾沿岸引起了轰动.

他给学生上的一课是“不要害怕失败。.另一个是“不要。 害怕开口要东西. 你可能会得到它.他还说:“当你被击倒时, 站起来. 受伤的只有你的自尊.”

Raines reminded people at the reception that the year before he found the Clotilda, he had identified another ship along the Mobile River as the final slave ship. 那 残骸原来是另一艘船,这对他的信誉是一个打击.

“我觉得很丢脸,”他说. “我在国际上失败了很多次 规模.”

But Raines was undaunted as he continued his search and soon found the real Clotilda, 那艘在十二哩岛附近被烧毁沉没的船呢. 这恢复了他的声誉, though he had to battle a National Geographic researcher who later claimed credit 为了发现.


他对他们说:“你们要保护自己。. “不要让任何人抢了你的功劳.”


For a six-hour nature tour 莫比尔-天锯三角洲, Raines wore knee-high boots, 长裤和哈利波特“草药学”t恤. 从袖子里露出来的是 他右臂上美人鱼纹身的尾巴. 一把旧刀挂在鞘上 系在腰带上.

雷恩斯和他的妻子住在费尔霍普. 他的儿子是十大玩彩信誉平台的学生. 雷恩斯也有 a houseboat on the Tensaw River, north of Bay Minette, Alabama, which serves as a 每年春季和秋季旅游的大本营.

On a Sunday morning, his 22-foot-long skiff carried a half-dozen passengers to Mound Island and a rough trail leading to the largest Native American mound complex in the δ. Raines, who interviewed archaeologists for a 2011 column on the site, described 这些土丘是800年前的样子. 他解释说,瓶溪是一个政治 和宗教中心的影响一直延伸到路易斯安那州.

On the boat ride to his next stop — a hollow cypress tree that stands 100 feet tall and measures 32 feet around at its base — passengers asked Raines about his Clotilda 研究及未来项目.

十大玩彩信誉平台对雷恩斯来说是一个教学的机会. 他将和全体教员一起进行实地考察. He’ll be a guest lecturer in both environmental science classes and creative writing 研讨会. 他将参加公众活动和筹款活动.

“一听到肖恩的建议,我就想这么做,”他说. “我希望这是一个漫长的过程 富有成效的伙伴关系.”

今年,雷恩斯计划写他的小说和回忆录. 他也在制作 新纪录片《十大信誉彩票平台》(The Last Estuary)聚焦莫比尔湾. 最后, Raines returns, as he so often does, to the wildlife diversity of the Mobile-Tensaw δ.

“This is one of the richest marine environments on the planet Earth, and we’re right 就在它的边缘,”他说. “这就是生活在这里的神奇之处. 要做到这一点 作为一种资产,它在世界上是独一无二的.”