UM Student Leads Fight On Climate Change; A Chef's Insatiable Work Ethic

Dec 14, 2017

Most young people are concerned with juggling academic responsibilities, chores and maintaining a respectable social life. But there is always an exception to the norm. Meet Delaney Reynolds, published author, environmentalist and freshman at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. She is the founder of the Sink or Swim project, an initiative determined to raise awareness about sea-level rise and climate change. 

“I like to say that my life has been surrounded by water,” said Reynolds. “I am enthralled by nature and that’s what inspired me to become a marine biologist and study marine topics.”

Reynolds has a long list of accomplishments for someone who just started her first year of university. By the time she was in the eighth grade, she had published three books about the Florida Keys and its majestic wildlife. As a 17-year old, Reynolds led the climate change conversation during the Tedx Talks in Miami and addressed the General Assembly at the United Nations on behalf of  Everglades National Park and UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Program.

“It was an amazing experience,” Reynolds said about her trip to the UN. “It really showed me that children from all over the world are really passionate about the environment and we really care about solving the issue of climate change.”

Reynold sits on the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Committee for Miami-Dade County as the only youth representative. The committee’s efforts championed a new law that requires all new homes in South Miami to install solar panels.

Reynolds has a keen interest in politics and is considering how she can unite her love of marine biology and studying the effects of climate change with policy change.

You can hear the conversation with Reynolds on Wednesday’s edition of Sundial:

Famed South Florida chef, author and cooking instructor Norman Van Aken is known for trailblazing the gastronomic industry with his vision and originality. The indefatigable chef has a new restaurant and a new book out for sale.

Three, located in Wynwood, is Van Aken’s latest enterprise. It is a triple-threat eatery that is part restaurant, roof-top lounge and school for those wanting to hone their skills in the kitchen.

The culinary classes will be overseen by Van Aken and his industry friends. It is not a degree-seeking school, but rather a place where people of the community can learn new techniques.

His new book, "Florida’s Kitchen," invites readers to explore the richness of Florida’s culinary landscape through a collection of recipes he has amassed  over 40 years.

Van Aken was one of the first chefs to use the term fusion. He pioneered this trend by mixing what he referred to as aristocratic cooking practices with feel-good home cooking techniques. “I did not do it with consciousness,” Van Aken said of his creations. “I did not see why it needed to be one or the other.”

His motto when coming up with new fusions is simple. “I wouldn’t serve anything that I wouldn’t serve my mother on her birthday,” he said.

Van Aken is also the host of WLRN’s A Word On Food, which airs every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.