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When in Doubt, Paddle Out

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 13:24


Photo Credit: 

Matt Perko


Think you know the Most Interesting Man in the World? We bet UCSB’s Quincy Lee will give that guy a run for his money. Meet Quincy, a graduating senior in the honors geography program at UC Santa Barbara, with a minor in professional writing on the science communication track. During Quincy’s four years here, his interest in oceanography has driven him to travel the world by sea, sail up and down the Amazon River and lifeguard at his local beaches in Palos Verdes. Combining his love for traveling with his passion for storytelling, Quincy applied to be a part of the UCSB 2016-2017 inaugural group of The Raab Writing Fellows (RWF).

The Raab Writing Fellows Program provides mentoring and research funding to undergraduates seeking to develop writing projects in the field. Inspired by his experiences during his Semester at Sea, Quincy set his sights on the Amazon River and the communities along its banks. During this fellowship, Quincy went to Manaus, Brazil, where he traveled up and down the Amazon River via cargo boat, interacting with locals and exploring all the Amazon forest had to offer (including the chattering monkeys). Taking in the fishing practices of rural communities in Brazil, Quincy quickly adapted to life in the middle of the rainforest. Here, he immersed himself in the art and practice of travel writing in order to tell a story about “how to protect and serve the land so the land can continue to protect and serve its people.” His project, titled “Meeting of the Waters,” will be part of the RWF final project showcase.

Quincy’s Brazilian adventure was the culmination of his love for the ocean and his involvement on campus. Growing up by the beach, he knew he wanted to stay in California for his undergraduate career. He was attracted to UCSB’s beautiful location and, upon arriving, realized all this campus had to offer. For two years, Quincy became the voice of the Surfline, UCSB’s daily campus surf forecast, and later joined the campus publication The Bottom Line as a science and tech writer. Mentored by professor David Lopez-Carr in the geography department and by professor Kevin Moore in the writing program, Quincy strives to bring a human touch to his travel writing. As Moore describes him, Quincy is a “salt-crusted scholar [who] emblematizes UCSB and its relationship with the ocean at our doorstep.”

So where can you catch this ocean-prone, pelican-loving scholar next? Maybe running a half-marathon through Isla Vista, or emptying the sand out of his laptop upon arriving to class. Or, he might be preparing for his next big adventure: conquering the Seven Summits. This mighty endeavor involves tackling the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, from Everest to Kilimanjaro to Aconcagua, and Quincy looks forward to each and every step of this feat. Having already climbed Mount Olympus (elevation 9,573 feet), Quincy realizes why the ancient Greeks believed the gods resided atop this awe-inspiring peak. From sea to sky, we wish you the best on your travels, Quincy!

Written by Miranda Chan