June was Bowhead Whale Month

After the right whale cruise on the Gunter finished (with no more small boating days and no tags deployed), I started work on sampling bowhead whale baleen plate for stable isotope ratios.  I’m looking at how stable isotope ratios in bowhead whale baleen have changed over the last several decades, and what we can attribute those changes to (climate change, primary production rates, sea ice loss, etc).  Leah Danny (Wheaton College ‘13), a graduate of Intro to Marine Mammals and Biology of Whales, worked with me as a Guest Student at WHOI to complete the project.  Leah is pictured next to the largest bowhead whale baleen plate that we sampled, at least twice her height.  There is also a photo of a baleen plate being, by me and my trusty Subaru, transported from WHOI Shipping and Receiving to the lab – notice the baleen poking through the sun roof.

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