The Island View:
A new season begins at Shoals Marine Laboratory
June, 2014
Dear Friends of Shoals Marine Laboratory,

The students are buzzing around me as I stand outside the Kiggins dining hall on this warm June day. As the new Director,  I am especially aware of the anticipation and excitement among them as I too have those same feelings. For me, this change is full of promise and, at times, a bit scary. I hope that you also sense the promise of the Shoals Marine Laboratory's (SML) future, but I can imagine that there is also some trepidation about the changes in leadership and institutional roles that are taking place at the laboratory that you love. I suspect some of you are wondering about me and what is happening at SML, so I am launching these newsletters straight from my desk to establish a direct flow of information from me to you. On my end, I am looking forward to getting to know you and learning about your hopes and dreams for SML.  At the institutional level, I can assure you that Cornell and the University of New Hampshire are 100% committed to the vision of SML to advance the understanding of marine and coastal resources and natural resource sustainability through experiential learning.


On the island right now, the Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) faculty, staff, supporters and volunteers are once again hard at work to provide life-changing learning experiences for the students on Appledore Island.  Amidst all of this, I want to take a moment to share with you some recent news and developments.

Undergraduate Research Internships
2 students-close-up-JFactor
Shoals Marine Laboratory will support 15 interns this summer: 4 in Field Ornithology, 4 in Intertidal Ecology; 4 in Sustainable Engineering; 2 in Nearshore Ecology; 1 in Horticulture. The Nearshore Ecology and the Horticulture Internships are new this summer! We welcome Dr. Jenn Dikstra from UNH who will serve as the Nearshore Ecology Academic Mentor and Chris Robarge from UNH who will serve as the Horticulture Academic Mentor. The horticultural intern, sponsored by Cornell's Plantation, will also work with Portsmouth's Strawberry Banke Museum to help us bring a message of landscape stewardship and sustainability to the visitors of the Thaxter garden.  
Academic Courses and Faculty

SML enrollment is up 15% over 2013 levels. We are expecting over 140 students in credit courses this summer. Cornell students continue to make up the majority of our students this year, but enrollment among UNH students is up over 127% from previous years. I would personally like to give a public thank you to SML's Recruitment Team, under the leadership of Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley for their success.


Due to popular demand, a second offering of the Marine Environmental Science course for high school students was added to our programs this summer. Leading this second course, SML welcomes Dr. Elizabeth Halliday from the Coastal Studies for Girls program in Maine. Dr. Halliday brings heaps of Marine Science expertise built during her time at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT.


SML also proudly welcomes Dr. Nadine Lysiak also from Woods Hole, the Marine Studies Consortium, and the New England Aquarium, to teach a new course this season: Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology for undergraduates.

New Shoals Marine Laboratory Appointments

We are taking a wonderful step forward toward our commitment to better serve UNH and Cornell students this month by bringing on two new part-time Academic Coordinators for Shoals Marine Laboratory. Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley will parlay her vast SML knowledge to focus on the Cornell/SML program development.  

Dr. Gregg Moore of  UNH's Department of Biological Sciences and the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, will use his experience in curriculum development and student advising to enhance UNH/SML programs.  


Both Gregg and  Robin will help integrate SML academic programs more fully into our parent institutions and allow us to meet our student's educational needs. 


SML is a contender in the UNH $50K Challenge for UNH Alum. In this contest UNH Alum pick their favorite program to receive up to $25K from the UNH Foundation. UNH Alums can participate until June 30th at

With the help of wonderful volunteers and supporters, the SML's Energy Conservation Building project has been completed! A new 300kWh battery bank along with an existing 7.5kW wind turbine, plus a new 26kW / PV solar array comprise the Appledore Island campus green grid. As of today, 50% of our energy comes from the green grid. We expect this number to increase over the sunny summer months and as we refine the operating system.   


SML joined the New Hampshire Community Seafood program. This new local cooperative of fishermen and consumers has joined together to protect the ocean, sustain New Hampshire's fishing industry and support the local economy. We look forward to enjoying sustainable seafood cooked by the fabulous SML kitchen staff!


The SML veggie garden is back! Just another part of our effort to be more sustainable.

New Leadership 
This spring Cornell University's Board of Trustees named me the John M. Kingsbury Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory. There are three unique qualities of my appointment that I would like to highlight. First,  I hold faculty positions at UNH and Cornell. Second, I am a full-time director, without departmental faculty level obligations. Finally,  I am based in Durham. I plan to make several trip each year to Ithaca to ensure that I am accessible in person to Cornell faculty and administration. These changes will allow close attention to SML operations and development.
Reaching out to the Next Generation of Shoalers 
RIFS 2011 Sarah MacLean

New this summer, SML is working with local schools to encourage future marine science majors and Shoalers through special reduced rates. We hope this will inspire local high school students to appreciate the natural world and consider working SML into their college plans, perhaps as a Cornell and UNH student.

 In closing, 
As we embrace a new season on Appledore, the entire SML staff, university leadership, our supporters, and I remain very committed to creating the best undergraduate experiential educational and research experiences. We are proud of our 48-year history and eager to find ways to make it even better. 


As the Executive Director, I am actively working with institutional leadership at Cornell and UNH to finalize a new Memorandum of Understanding that will formalize the collective commitment to the future of SML. Once this agreement is in place, my focus will turn to increasing the number of students who participate in the Shoals experience each summer.  This effort will include an evaluation of program costs, how our curriculum can best serve students at our parent institutions, as well as finding innovative ways to support student and faculty involvement at SML. Finally, I am also actively building and enhancing collaborations and partnerships to make SML's programs even stronger and available to more students in the future...more on this next month.


There is much to do, but what remains a guiding constant is the special place and unique educational experience that is SML. I look forward to working with you in this effort and welcome your input. After all, I know it will take a village to keep the community of SML a vibrant place and extraordinary experience for our students.

With Deep Appreciation and Warm Wishes,


Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory

Appledore Island, ME
Shoals Marine Laboratory
102 Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory, 24 Colovos Road
Durham, NH 03824                            Shoals Marine Laboratory Website

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