Shoals Marine Lab 2016

Marine Mammal Biology at the Shoals Marine Lab was a fantastic experience this year!!  We had a wonderful group of students from Cornell, Brandeis, Skidmore, UNH, & URI.  Here are some highlights:

Week 2 @ Shoals

The second week of IMMB 2015 flew by faster than the first.  The students were busy with more seal surveys, another whale watch, a fish lab, a scrimshaw art project, a seal necropsy, a post-necropsy swim call (water temp = 56 degrees!), and a stranding response to the rarely seen Delphinus inflatus.  In addition, each student completed an oral presentation for our class symposium, Seal Week – a theme that we modeled after Shark Week – to educate people about the misconceptions about the recovering seal populations of New England.

MIDWAY – Message From The Gyre

Marine plastic debris is a problem of overwhelming concern, from how the massive quantities of material that have accumulated in mid-ocean gyres (areas of ocean circulation that retain particles in slow moving whirls) to the effects of plastic debris on marine animals that accidentally ingest it.  MIDWAY – Message From The Gyre is a documentary that focuses on the albatross, which uses Midway Atoll for nesting.  Albatross chicks are unwittingly fed plastic by their parents, who are foraging in the Pacific Garbage Patch – a floating mass of plastics and other trash in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  The chicks starve to death, despite their stomachs being full [of plastic trash].