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:
Heading Back to Shoals in 2016
I am excited to be teaching two courses at the Shoals Marine Lab this summer:
- Marine Mammal Biology: June 6-20
- Shoals Ecology: Seabirds, Seals & Seaweed: September 2-4, this is a brand new (!!) adult education course that will highlight oceanography, marine mammals, and ornithology over Labor Day weekend.
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.
Song of the Sea
The other night, we watched Song of the Sea for Movie Night. It’s an Oscar-nominated animated film that brings to life the Irish folktale of the selkie – mythical creatures that live as seals in the sea but can shed their skin to become a human on land. Besides being visually stunning, the story explores family dynamics and sibling relationships, grief, and even a little magic. It’s not to be missed!
Week 1 @ Shoals
The first week of Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology 2015 is off to a great start. We have seven students who are giving it their all – it’s a lot of material to cram into two weeks! Highlights include: hikes around Appledore Island, a skulls and skeletons lab where students solved bone puzzles, a whale watch, a Duck Island seal survey, bioacoustics lab, porpoise dissection, and of course – lots of gorgeous sunsets.
IMMB 2014 Student Post
IMMB student Alex Kirby wrote a nice post about her time at Shoals this summer. Alex is working as a Communications Intern at The Ocean Foundation. Best of luck to her in her work in communications and science education.
“Shoals Marine Laboratory provided me with the extraordinary opportunity to study the ocean and the remarkable marine animals that call it home. Living on Appledore for two weeks opened my eyes to a new way of living, fueled by a passion to better the ocean and the environment. While on Appledore, I was able to experience authentic research and real field experience. I learned a great amount of detail about marine mammals and the Isles of Shoals and I glimpsed into a marine world, but I also kept thinking back to my communication roots. Shoals has now provided me with high hopes that communication and social media are powerful tools that can to be utilized to reach the general public and improve the public’s superficial understanding of the ocean and its problems.”
Island Gardener 2014
Erica Anderson, Horticultural Intern @ Shoals Marine Lab, has a great blog about her work in Celia Thaxter’s garden.
Thanks for a great class!!!
Day 16 @ Shoals
I took a walk out to Celia Thaxter’s garden to take some photos. The garden really came to life during my two weeks on Appledore, and it is really stunning in person. Even more so once you learn that many of the plants are the same ones that were originally placed there in the late 1800s (they spend the winter in the UNH greenhouse). Mary and I spent a few minutes sitting on the porch, and reading over the “what was the most interesting thing you learned” question on the student’s exams. We all helped load gear on the R/V Kingsbury, and headed for Portsmouth harbor at 10:00 AM. Until next year, SML!