The Island View
Monthly Newsletter
Photo by Dr. James Coyer
May 2021
Dear Shoals Community,

As I stand here on the edge of the sea and look for the incoming SML research vessel on the horizon, I think what an exciting moment this is. Now is the transition from preparing for the season to welcoming our first class, Field Ornithology. As many of you know, my scientific expertise is in ornithology, so I am particularly excited to greet these students. I remember learning my birds in a field ornithology class at a field station…the symmetry of this moment is pretty awesome. You never know, there may be a future marine lab director in this group or a future Ph.D. student like Micheline Labrie, who was so inspired by SML programs she pursued a Ph.D. in Marine Science and Technology that she JUST completed this spring. Congrats Dr. Labrie, you did it! You can read more about Micheline below.

If you haven’t heard, SML was recently recognized with a UNH Platinum Sustainability Award for our work in sustainable engineering education! Check out the story below. We are so proud of our 20 years of leading green power development. Extra shout out to SML’s Ross Hansen and Mike Rosen for all they do to support undergraduate engineering students (which is a lot by the way!). Also big thanks to Unitil for decades of supporting this transformative program!

I want to end by saying, YOU can get involved and visit this summer. We will be hosting our Marine Science Seminar Series again via Zoom on Thursday evenings (details below). The lineup is looking spectacular. The beautiful thing about video calls is that travel is not required, and our speakers from all over the world certainly reflect that. Finally, our public programs are now open for registration. Demand is high and seats are limited so don't delay. I cannot wait to welcome you to the island of learning this summer!

Okay, I better go catch lines for the boat.
With deep appreciation,
Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Exec. Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory
Register NOW For SML Overnight Public Programs
Registration for our 2021 overnight public programs is OPEN! We will be offering the following programs this summer:

These programs have a limited number of spaces available, and we anticipate them to fill quickly. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at We look forward to hosting you on Appledore this summer!
Seascapes and Landscapes artist in action
Please note: As the COVID-19 situation continues to change, CDC guidelines may not perfectly align with the safety protocols currently outlined in our 2021 Operating Plan. SML's operations are determined by our parent institutions, Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. There will be a lag between CDC policies and those of large institutions such as ours. We expect policies to evolve over time and we ask for your patience. We will inform all program participants of any lessening of restrictions. In the meantime, we are taking a conservative approach to promote the safety and well-being of our community. Thank you!
SML Rock Talk Seminar Series Begins June 3rd!
Our Rock Talk Seminar Series is just around the corner! Starting this June and running through August, we will be continuing this well-loved tradition that offers SML community members the opportunity to hear from STEM professionals from around the world.
Date: Thursday, June 3rd from 7:30 - 8:30 PM ET

Speaker: Dr. Emily Choy, McGill University

Talk Title: Arctic seabirds as sentinels of environmental change and anthropogenic stressors in marine ecosystems

Talk Description: Arctic ecosystems are undergoing rapid change, and long-lived top predators are considered sentinels of the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. Over the past 30 years, thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) in northern Hudson Bay have experienced a long-term shift in diet, from 50% Arctic cod to 50% capelin, with the warming of Hudson Bay. To examine the impacts of climate-induced prey shifts on the energetics of seabirds, heart rate was examined as a proxy for O2 consumption in murres and black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and were calibrated with GPS-accelerometers to classify behaviors and activity rate. We also examined the direct effects of warming temperatures on murres. In response to increasing temperatures, murres exhibited limited heat tolerance and low ability to dissipate heat, with one of the lowest evaporative cooling efficiencies recorded in birds. Finally, inter-annual variation in diet inferred from stable isotope ratios, habitat use, and changing ice conditions affect mercury concentrations and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in murres. These results highlight the various impacts of climate change on marine predators and their broader implications on Arctic ecosystems.
Due to the complications presented by the pandemic, these presentations will continue online via Zoom. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our biweekly Shoals Livestream Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming talks. We hope to see you there!
SML Receives UNH Platinum Sustainability Award
We are proud to announce that SML has received a Platinum UNH Sustainability Award for our Sustainability Engineering Internship program. Environmental stewardship is a core value at SML, and the unique, hands-on training this internship delivers helps to advance our sustainability initiatives and prepare the next generation of engineers. We are grateful to receive this award, and we look forward to the innovation that lies ahead!

Thank you to our hard-working engineers, interns, and staff who help us meet the needs of our living laboratory island campus, and to our partners at Unitil for helping to make our Sustainability Engineering Internship possible!
Alumni Spotlight: Micheline Labrie
We'd like to give a shout-out to Shoals alum, Micheline Labrie, for successfully defending her thesis last week at UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science & Technology! Micheline was recently featured in UMass Dartmouth's Commencement Spotlight, where she reflects on the steps that eventually led to her passion for the marine environment:

Most notable was my time spent at Shoals Marine Lab located on Appledore Island, one of nine islands just eight miles off the Maine/New Hampshire coast. I spent two weeks on the island as a student in the intensive Underwater Research course. There I met my mentor and advocate, Dr. James Coyer.”

Congratulations, Micheline! We are honored to have been a part of your educational journey!
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Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between
Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.