I AM Scuba Miss USA!

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BIG NEWS!

After the Best Jobs in the World Contest, I got approached by a wonderful woman by the name of Ashlee Smith on Facebook. She informed me that she was the 2nd Runner Up in the 2012 Miss Scuba International Pageant, and that I would be a great representative for the USA this year. At first I was like, “Wait a minute..how did I not know of this amazing contest before?!” Well, after some research I learned that this pageant began in 2011. But, the basis of this pageant is right up my ocean conservation alley!

I turned in my application, and soon found out that I was a top contender to represent the USA in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I was actually chatting with a long time friend today about this whole experience, and he said:

Well, I know you’ve been laying down the bricks for something like this for a long, long, LONG time. If you ask me, you’ve created this path yourself. Things happen for a reason, and this is proof you’ve been on the right path all along. Super stoked for you.
I really took this comment to heart. My whole life has been dedicated to learning and continually falling in love with the ocean. I am meant to educate as many people as possible about protecting our planet. The Miss Scuba International Pageant is made for me.

Please feel free to review the history of the Miss Scuba International Pageant as stated on their website:

The Miss Scuba International pageant was held for the very first time in 2011. There has been many a beauty pageant held in the past, many embracing great causes, however none yet have focused on our oceans. Life on Earth as we know it today began with our oceans. Thus, we decided that it is time that an event such as this is produced to celebrate, not only, the inner beauty and courage of today’s modern women, but also to simultaneously advocate worldwide marine conservation.

The Miss Scuba International Organization is founded by Mr Robert Lo who is also the proprietor of the Sipadan Mabul Resort (SMART) and Mabul Water Bungalows, and as such is a strong believer in sustainable development within the realms of our marine environment. He hopes that by sharing the beauty and wonders of the underwater world via beauty queens, it will enable more people to understand how fragile our oceans are and how much more we all need to play our individual little roles to make a big difference in protecting it.

The winning delegate of the Miss Scuba International competition will undertake a year of ocean conservation campaigns to educate and inspire the desire in all of us to do our best to safeguard our oceans. The pageant will also offer her a unique and comprehensive platform to launch her career and personal development.

Additionally, we also aim to promote safe diving practices through worldwide professional training organizations, and elevate international tourism and cultural appreciation. As people travel to far off destinations to dive, they also learn to appreciate the cultural diversity that makes our world such an interesting tapestry.

Low and behold – I was chosen as SCUBA MISS USA 2013!!! I definitely did a little dance of joy and happiness after I got off that faithful phone call. I can’t express how honored and overwhelmed with compassion to represent my amazing country.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

I am going to Malaysia for 2 weeks in December to compete in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I never thought I’d participate in a beauty pageant before.. But to be honest, I view this pageant as something so much more. The MSI is sponsored by some big names in the marine conservation, tourism, and diving industries. As many of you know from reading my blog over the years, my passion is marine conservation and photography. I am hoping to gain some valuable connections within the marine conservation industry, and to of course just soak in this amazing once in a lifetime experience!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Although my accommodation while visiting Malaysia is covered, I am personally responsible for my roundtrip airfare (~$2000), plus all of my clothing/accessories needed for the pageant ($1000+). It sure does add up… which is why I am asking for help from all you kind-hearted individuals out there who recognize and appreciate passion when you see it.

I’ve raised almost $1000 so far from so many generous kind people in my life, and even some individuals I don’t even know personally. If you believe in marine conservation, ecotourism, women in science, and environmental education – please donate anything you have to spare :

Chanel’s PayPal Donation page

(Photo: Nicole Strack Photography)

(Photo: Nicole Strack Photography)

 

 Also, please visit my Scuba Miss USA FACEBOOK page and ‘like’ it! I can’t wait to share this amazing adventure with you all!

Natural Wonder

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If you stop and observe your surroundings once in a while, you’ll notice that you are indeed surrounded my hundreds of living organisms. You might be swapping one, stepping on one, smelling one, or feeling one brush against your body as you are walking down the street.

The environment utterly fascinates/boggles/excites my brain. Whether it be geology, hydrology, ecology, biology, physics, or chemistry, you can consistently learn new things every day by watching the world around you. .

I came across this video last week and my mouth literally dropped open in amazement. Sit back and expand this video to fill your screen..trust me..it will be worth it!

Stop by my Facebook Page : Photography + Science = Chanel

 Shoot me a Tweet : PSChanel
Check out my Pinterest : PhotoScience

Win A FREE Trip To Australia!

~ CONTEST NO LONGER VALID ~ 

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ARE YOU CHANEL’S BIGGEST FAN?

DO YOU WANT TO EXPLORE  AUSTRALIA?

Chanel is already a natural spokesperson for promoting ocean conservation, environmental sustainability, and exploration/travel to everyone she meets. To become a Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia would not only be a dream come true, but it could lead to some AMAZING opportunities to help pursue and utilize her passions in life. She’s made it to the Top 25 Finalists out of over 45,000 entries – the world is Chanel’s ‘South Australian Oyster‘ 🙂 !

Her love for Australia has been evident ever since she learned about the Great Barrier Reef when she was a young aspiring marine biologist. The intrigue only grew when she traveled to Queensland, Australia for a year-long student exchange program in college. The culture, the people, the places, the wildlife, the scenery, the history, the beauty; all these elements sparked her Australian infatuation even more. The photographs she captured during her year abroad are some of her prized possessions (some gaining recognition in photography competitions).

The compensation for this job ($100,000) is not why she’s interested in the position of Wildlife Caretaker – it’s about a journey of a lifetime. It’s about exploring exciting and unique locations/activities in South Australia, and sharing those stories with the world! It’s about assisting with conservation and research efforts spanning from the coastline to the Outback. It’s about walking up to strangers and sparking conversations which result in long-lasting friendships. It’s about preserving Australia’s natural ecosystems and wildlife. Chanel’s life has lead up to this moment for reason; this is her destiny.

Chanel wants YOU to experience South Australia for yourself. The outpour of support on this quest to win her dream job has been HUGE – so Chanel thought the least she could do would be to repay the favor and award one of her lucky followers a chance of a lifetime. Australia is country that should be seen and explored by all!

If Chanel is the last one standing and is announced South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker, she will randomly select one of you lucky participants, to win 1 ROUND TRIP AIRLINE TICKET to visit her Down Under as Chanel’s Biggest Fan (see contest rules and regulations for complete details)! 

Complete ALL The Steps Below to ENTER:
It’s so EASY! 

1) Follow PhotoScienceChanel.com using your email to register (find and click the “Follow Me” button on the righthand side of the blog)

2) Comment on this blog post answering all the following bullet points:

  • Give your reasoning why Australia should pick Chanel for Wildlife Caretaker (Feel free to Tweet @Australia and tell them your reasoning to pick @PSChanel #BestJobs #ChanelWC too!)
  • Name one activity/location you want to visit in Australia and WHY

  • List your NAME / CITY / STATE / COUNTRY

  • Post your personal/business blog URL (if applicable)

You are still eligible if you were previously a email/follower of Chanel’s blog before 8pm (PST) on May 4, 2013 – remember to just please state so in the comment. GOOD LUCK supporters! Reminder: the giveaway will only occur if Chanel Hason is announced the winner of Australia’s Best Jobs on June 21st, 2013. If awarded Wildlife Caretaker, Chanel will announce a winner on July 1st, 2013. So be sure to LIKE/SHARE her Facebook Page and Follow/Tweet her @PSChanel to increase her chances of winning!  To see the full list of rules & regulations for the giveaway, click here or find the tab at the top of the blog.

RE-BLOGGED: Day (439) – If It Was Your Dream

I am so honored and grateful to have this particular person in my life. Evan Sanders is not only a very talented and well-known blogger, he is also a man with a huge heart, published author, motivational/inspirational speaker, and very close friend of mine. Earlier today, he wrote this incredibly moving blog post (seen below) in support of my dream job to be South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker. Trust me, it brought tears to more eyes than just mine. Thank you Evan for everything! Please take a second to read this great piece of writing.

The Better Man Project ™

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I always knew she loved the beach, but as I walked up the long staircase to the main floor of her apartment, I was taken aback…we were 45 minutes away from the ocean, but somehow she had found a way to bring it to her. I was now walking in an aquarium. Pictures, posters, trinkets, stuffed animals – if she could house a group of penguins she would – but she had to settle for the octopus salt and pepper shakers. Turn on “Sounds of Nature” and close your eyes…you could be in the wild smack in the middle of Los Angeles.

And when you sit down and talk to the creator of this Sea World-esque masterpiece, you quickly realize that she’s a little bit different from many of us – she has salt water running through her veins. Every once in a while, you will be going throughout your…

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I Made It – Best Jobs TOP 25 !

Wow, I can’t even begin to explain how non-stop the past 36 hours have been.

AN INSANE WHIRLWIND OF EMOTIONS, NO SLEEP, PASSION, EXCITEMENT, AND UTTER DETERMINATION!

I posted a couple weeks ago my submission videos for Australia’s Best Job in the World contest. And yesterday was the big announcement forwhich applicants made the Top 25 qualifiers for each of the 6 available jobs. I had received and email the week prior from the Best Jobs people asking if they could use my Wildlife Caretaker video for media purposes, and I screamed when I read the email and quickly replied YES! They made sure to point out that this doesn’t mean I’ve made it to the next round, but I sure as heck felt like I did!

They announcement was to be posted on the Best Jobs website at 2pm PST – so I was anxiously awaiting on my computer when I arrived at work at 1pm. I refreshed my email on my phone at 1:36pm and saw an email from the Best Jobs starting with “Congratulations…” and I squealed and ran outside on the sidewalk and screamed and started crying all in one sort of huge fluid emotion haha. It must have been a sight to see for all the people that drove past me. I had officially made it the TOP 25 out of 600,000 applications from over 122 countries to become a Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia.

WOW. IS THIS REAL LIFE? CAN THIS BE HAPPENING? AHHHH?! 

BJITW Photo

Now for the next 2 weeks, I have to throw the biggest social media campaign of my life. Sleepless nights – attached to my computer – bursting with ideas – setting up meetings – writing letters – it will be a week of non-stop PUSH PUSH PUSH!

Luckily I have a strong group of family and friends that helping me get the word out across the globe. After less than 30 hours of creating my Contest Facebook Page – I am already at around 400 likes! I AM OVER THE MOON!

What can you do to help my chances of winning you ask?? REBLOG this post would be a great one to start 🙂 and these as well:

1) Like / Share / Comment on my FACEBOOK PAGE
2) ReTweet me or Tweet @Australia and @TourismAus to pick me for Wildlife Caretaker – @PSChanel and hashtag #BestJobs and #ChanelWC
3) Follow me on Instagram – @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker and add #ChanelWC tags to your pics of support
4) If you have any connections with Media, Celebrities, people who work in the Wildlife Profession – please email me CAHason@gmail.com
5) Write a letter of support addressed to the address below stating why you are supporting me on the journey to win my Dream Job! And then email me the letter so I can turn it in as one big package on May 7th.
Tourism Australia 
GPO Box 2721,
Sydney NSW 1006
Tel: +61 2 9360 1111

The overflowing support, kind words, positivity, messages from people I don’t know, and just all the LOVE I’m feeling right now is keeping this engine running strong. If I make it to the Top 3 Finalists – announced on May 15 – I will be flown to Australia for a week in June to interview in person with the Tourism Australia staff. I’m SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT!

Ask an Astronaut.

I’ve said it many times before – if I wasn’t so in love with the ocean, I would be pursuing a love for astronomy. It’s on my Bucket List to fly to the moon one day 🙂 – and it seems more likely than not, that possibility could be in my grasp (with the right amount of $$ of course). I wouldn’t mind (maybe the more likely scenario) flying in one of those zero-gravity simulation planes though!

Ever since I was little kid, whenever I looked up at the stars, I felt ‘one’ with the world. I also felt very small…we are only a TINY planet in a huge universe..inside another universe..and so on and so forth. It’s unlikely that we are the only planet in the solar system with life on it – which is hard for me to say because thanks to the movie E.T. I am afraid of aliens (I know I know make fun of me all you want – but E.T. is scary looking/sounding!).

Anyways, I wanted to share a great video with you today. The 10th-grade winners of a Nova Scotia School’s Science Fair, Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, won a very special unique grand prize. They got to connect on a live feed with the International Space Station, and have Astronaut Chris Hadfield perform their science experiment! HOW COOL IS THAT?! Take a look here to see what their experiment entailed:

“The space station is an orbiting laboratory where we work on unique experiments that may eventually improve life on Earth,” he said before adding that he was extremely proud to be performing an experiment designed by young Canadians. Addressing the winners and their 1200 classmates gathered at the school’s gymnasium, he added: “I was about your age when I decided I wanted to become an astronaut. I hope that you remember today and continue to be curious about science and space. You are the space explorers of the future and the sky is no longer the limit”. — Chris Hadfield

Mysterious Underwater Crop Circles

Hopefully you know that we as humans know more about the surface of the moon than we do our own oceans. We’ve only just begun to explore the depths of the seas (95% still left unexplored). Since the ocean really is the ‘new frontier’- it seemed fitting that the US Navy just announced they will name their newest research vessel after the late great Neil Armstrong. The ship will have acoustic equipment to map the deepest part of the oceans…and of course multiple laboratories to examine and discover new species!

Now let’s get to these mysterious underwater crop circles….

When I first saw this, I thought it was definitely something man-made. I mean, what could possibly produce something so symmetrical in intricate? The man who stumbled upon this off the coast of Japan was Yoji Ookata- who quit his office job 30 years ago to pursue underwater photography (umm..I might just be a bit jealous of him). Some people thought that these mysterious circles were made from UFOs trying to send us a sign from beyond, but no, it wasn’t.

The thing that made this was….(drumroll please)…..

A SMALL LITTLE PUFFER FISH!

Yes, I am just as shocked as you are. No one has ever witnessed this kind of behavior from fish before. I admit that I now  have respect for puffer fish as amazing underwater artists. I actually wanted a puffer fish really badly in high school as a pet- I think they are awesome creatures! Researchers believe that male puffer fish create these elaborate creations to attract a mate. The things animals in the world do for sex is fascinating and impressive! (If only human men took a hint from the animal kingdom sometimes…)

I guess this story is still in question of truth/fiction… but there has not been a confirmation that it is actually a hoax. So let’s hope that this is real because it’s a fascinating new animal trait discovery, and also it would make a cool vacation trip to add to my Bucket List 🙂

Welcome to LA Space Shuttle Endeavour!

I felt so lucky to be able to witness history as the Space Shuttle Endeavour flew over Pasadena last Friday September 21st, 2012 on its way home to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

My coworkers and I headed out to the Colorado Street Bridge to get an excellent view of the Rose Bowl, JPL, and Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Could you ask for a better background?! I think not 🙂 We definitely weren’t alone- there were many other people who congregated on the bridge to get that perfect shot of the shuttle pass by us!

I can’t even begin to describe the amount of excitement and exhilaration it was to see this magnificent historic shuttle fly in the air right ABOVE my head! My hands were literally shaking while I was taking pictures with happiness. I joined in the “Wahoooooos” with the rest of the spectators on the bridge. I’m surprised that no one started chanting “USA USA” or at least “NASA NASA.”

It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. Although, I’m not too happy that in order for the Space Shuttle to drive from LAX to the California Science Center they had to rip out 400 trees along the streets…horrible. The California Science Center said that they will plant double the amount of trees that were demolished- but I don’t think that will justify the historic 100-year-old trees that were displaced.

On a brighter note- please enjoy the photos I snapped below of this momentous occasion!