Shoals Marine Laboratory's Monthly Newsletter - The Island View
December 2017
Dear Friends of Shoals Marine Laboratory,
All of us at SML want to wish you and yours a warm and joyful holiday season and New Year! 2017 was an exciting year for SML. We made new plans and improved your favorite existing programs. The buzz is out for the Shoals Semester, which will be even more incredible and valuable in 2018 for students looking to fulfill academic requirements (like an entire Marine Biology minor in one summer!). In addition to innovative academics on deck for 2018, we have a growing roster of fabulous SML public programs being planned for August and September. Get ready to be wowed by the amazing line-up that will be announced soon!

Perhaps our most anticipated event in 2018 is the offic ial launch of our Strategic Plan that will guide SML for the next decade. I am grateful to the entire SML community for making this happen – your input and guidance formed the foundation of this plan. It is exciting and inspiring! We are already making progress on action items, and I know that together with our community, SML will continue to offer life-changing positive experiences for our students and visitors. I am personally so proud of the role SML plays in pr omoting the value of science and supporting science-informed policy, resource management, and the quest for knowledge. This is critical work, and I hope you are proud to be our partner!

In the end, SML’s success is tied directly to the strength of our community. We need your support to pilot our course into the future and to ensure that SML meets the needs of our amazing students, scientists, and visiting public. As I write this, we are so close to achieving our annual fundraising goal and really need your help to push us over the finish line only $12,000 left to raise by December 31st! If you have already contributed, thank you! If you have not, here is where you can make a year-end gift . Thanks to each and every one of our supporters. We hope you feel a deep sense of accomplishment this holiday season knowing that SML students, faculty, researchers, and operations will benefit from your generosity.
Peace to you,
Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory
Ready for 2018? We are!
Undergraduate and High School Courses

Calling all undergraduate and high school students: SML's 2018 course roster and pre-registration period is LIVE! Alongside our flagship courses, we will be introducing new, innovative programs this coming summer. Combine 4 courses and join us for the Shoals Semester, or enroll in the 4-week Research Apprenticeship and advance your field science skills.

Research Internships

Our Research Internship offerings were just posted for the projects taking place on Appledore Island this summer. Interns will join a vibrant community of scientists to conduct independent research at SML. Winter Break is the perfect time to start compiling application materials and planning for the summer!

Scientist-in-Residence Fellowships

Early Career Scientists: we want YOU for our Scientist-in-Residence Fellowships! These paid fellowships aim to support one postdoc and one assistant professor for a summer residency at SML. In addition to working on their own projects, fellows serve as mentors for SML's undergraduate research interns and become a central part of the SML research community by enhancing the research breadth at SML.

Interested? Know someone who would make a great fellow? Please help us share the link to our Scientist-in-Residence page .

Since 2015, SML has supported an Artist-in-Residence program in which professional artists blend personal creative time with art programming for students in SML's academic courses. Art experiences help to encourage and develop students' observational skills in order to foster deep inquisitiveness and creativity in the process of scientific inquiry. 5-6 artists are selected for 2-3 week residences each summer.

Cultivating Communicators
For many scientists, communicating the results of their research relies on graphs, tables, charts, maybe a PowerPoint presentation, and ultimately a peer-reviewed manuscript. These modes of communication are an important component of advancing science. However, in today’s world, communicating the results of scientific research requires creative approaches and new tools. To help develop these skills in the next generation of scientists, SML is offering an Applied Science Communication course this summer, June 11-25, 2018.

The course will be taught by Dr. Mark Sarvary of Cornell University’s Investigative Biology Teaching Laboratories, and M s. Kitty Gifford, a professional in the field of integrated marketing communications. Dr. Sarvary was recently recognized by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) organization for his innovative approaches to teaching biology and his attention to mentoring and motivating students. We are excited to welcome Dr. Sarvary and Ms. Gifford into the Shoals family!

“In this course, I want students to learn the importance of being well-rounded scientists who can communicate their work effectively and translate information through storytelling.” - Dr. Sarvary in a recent Cornell Chronicle feature about his on-campus Science Communication course.
SML Research Hits Radio Waves!
Back in July, SML was joined on-island by Chris Martin of New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR)'s "Something Wild" radio program. Chris tagged along during different research activities around Appledore and the Isles of Shoals to get a firsthand taste of science at SML.

One of his favorite trips was aboard the R/V Heiser for a seal colony survey with SML's 2017 Marine Mammal Interns, Ian Breslow (Cornell '17) and Kadianne Tommasi (UNH '18). Ian and Kadianne introduced Chris to the survey protocol and photo-ID techniques that undergraduate researchers at SML have been using to monitor the Duck Island seal colony since 2011.

SML seal surveys have revealed key information about population trends of harbor seals ( Phoca vitulina) and gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus) in the Isles of Shoals and, more generally, the Gulf of Maine. While both populations of seals appear to be on the rise, the gray seal population is increasing at a faster rate on Duck Island than the harbor seal population.

Thanks to Chris for spending time with us this summer and diving headfirst into SML science and research, and thanks to Ian and Kadianne for being such well-spoken seal survey hosts and Shoals ambassadors!

Top photo taken under NOAA/NMFS permit #16260-01. SML is permitted to conduct boat-based surveys around endangered marine mammals.

Bottom photo shows Ian Breslow and Kadianne Tommasi presenting their seal research poster at the RARGOM 2017 meeting in October.
SML Alumni Spotlight:
Holiday Cookies for the Birds!
Get in the holiday spirit with these realistic bird cookies made by SML alum, Sarah MacLean (Cornell '13, SML '10-13)!

Sarah took Field Ornithology at SML in 2010 and returned to the island as an ornithology intern and undergraduate researcher working with Dr. David Bonter. These days, Sarah is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley studying bird distributions in California. In her spare time, she is a stellar cookie artist and biological illustrator. Her bird cookies recently landed her in Audubon Magazine !

Sarah has an entire blog cataloging her "Cookie Guide to Birds." Each post includes a photo of a species-specific cookie, detailed biological and ecological information about the species, and even cookie recipes!

Way to go Sarah! Pictured here as an SML intern during Gull Chick Banding Week 2011.

RIFS 2011 Sarah MacLean
Parting Wishes & Looking Ahead
Thank you for taking the time to read and enjoy SML's monthly newsletter year-round! Your enthusiasm, involvement, and support mean so much to us.

Amidst the excitement (and sometimes chaos) that the holidays bring, we hope you'll find time for calm and reflection. If you need an "island getaway" don't forget to check out the Appledore Webcam . Maybe you'll be lucky enough to spot one of the gorgeous snowy owls residing in the Isles of Shoals this winter.

We are excited to ring in the New Year and embrace all that 2018 has to offer – our 52nd season!
Snowy owl photo thanks to Forrest Seavey.
Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between
Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.