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Cyclical Row

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California's sardine fishery crashed in the late 1930s, much like how Mack and his gang crashed Doc's laboratory in John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row."

"Device" heads to sea to speak with the biologists and oceanographers on how the sardine bounced back.

The men and women in John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row" live by the sardine fishery. They rise when it comes to port and rest when it's out at sea. But what happens when some local derelicts want to do something nice for Doc, the resident scientist? California's sardine fishery provides the backbone for this story, but it goes through its own cycles as discussed with researchers on the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations, or CalCOFI program. "Device" heads to sea on the NOAAS Reuben Lasker with biologists from NOAA and oceanographers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Cover art: 'The Fish Cannery Woman' by Mario Torero. This 2010 mural in Barrio Logan depicts San Diego's own multicultural Cannery Row legacy between 1912 to 1985 in Logan Heights.

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Device is a monthly book discussion with a science-based twist. In each episode, we discuss a novel that uses science to drive the story’s action, and dissect the plot device for scientific plausibility.