Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

We’ve Got a Secret

You may remember the beautiful pieces of art that Melinda (Millie) Whipplesmith Plank created in collaboration with Point Blue scientists back in 2020 entitled “Nursery Guardians” and “Hidden Railway” (if not take a look at our previous post here). Well, she did it again! Except this time highlighting some of our coastal work with threatened Snowy Plovers. Millie went out into the field on the beaches around Monterey Bay with Lead Ecologist Kriss Neuman. Kriss led Millie on a tour of our work and helped her find and admire the hidden gems hiding in plain sight, our Western Snowy Plovers, and shared information about the work we’re doing to conserve these unique species and the coastal ecosystems they inhabit. That work includes supporting coastal dune restoration, monitoring and reporting on plover populations over time, and working with partners to include healthy coastal ecosystems as part of the solution to mitigating and adapting to climate change.

“I Have a Secret” original hand-pulled woodcut by artist Melinda Whipplesmith Plank.

We are thrilled with the result and, as with the first two pieces, Plank is donating 10% of proceeds within the first year of sales to Point Blue to support our conservation work. That means you have until November of 2022 to support Point Blue with your purchase of these original, limited edition, hand-pulled woodcuts. We love that Millie chose the title “I Have a Secret” for this piece. It speaks to the literal amazing camouflage adaptation the plovers possess but also the feeling you get when you spot one on the beach… like someone has just whispered a thrilling secret in your ear.

Order your print here.

Each piece takes layers of meticulous work to create, from taking photographs, sketching a final image, carving the image into the wood block, selecting the right colors and commencing the beautiful, revealing process of adding layers of ink to paper. Here are a couple of videos that show part of the process.


Adding Color