Kenneth R. Weiss, a Los Angeles Times staff member since 1990, has covered the California coast and the oceans for the past five years.
Covering narrow policy disputes over such issues as catch limits on fish and permissible levels of ocean pollutants prompted him to think about the long-term health of the seas. He was further inspired by scientific lectures and papers describing a gradual but profound transformation of the world's oceans, marked by the decline of fish and marine mammals and the proliferation of primitive life forms — algae, bacteria, jellyfish.
Weiss began reporting this series in 2005 and traveled widely — to Australia, Panama and Jamaica; to Midway, Palmyra Atoll and the Hawaiian Islands; and up and down the coasts of California, Washington, Florida and Georgia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Times photographer Rick Loomis, whose own travels have taken him around the world, accompanied Weiss to most of those places.
Times reporter Usha Lee McFarling contributed to the series. McFarling has worked for the newspaper's science desk since 2000, covering earth science and the space program. In recent years, she has focused on climate change, particularly its effects on the Arctic.