The Island View
Monthly Newsletter
October 2019
Have you peeked at the SML live web camera lately? The sumac, shadbush, and poison ivy of Appledore have transformed our island into a glorious palette of fiery fall color. Fall is here in all its New England glory. I was in Belgium this fall equinox, giving my first international talk about a recent collaborative SML research project that explored the influence of the SML Artist in Residence (AIR) Program on science education (you can read more about that below).

As a lab that focuses on undergraduate education, some underestimate the science productivity of our students…but they regularly produce a lot of robust science! During the 2019 season, 18 students came from a dozen diverse institutions to participate in the Shoals Undergraduate Research Group (SURG) collaborating on subjects from parasites to marine mammal biology to sustainable engineering—and the work didn't end when the students left the island. SURG research continues this fall on the campuses of Dartmouth College, UNH, University of Massachusetts, Rutgers University, University of Magdalena in Columbia and more, as students continue to analyze and interpret data collected over the summer. In an amazing display of initiative and dedication to career progression, the 2019 SURG cohort successfully raised funds allowing SML to take the Gulf of Maine 2050 Symposium by storm this November!

SML is successful in supporting undergraduate science productivity because of the amazing amount and diversity of mentorship students receive. Each student has no less than five Ph.D. mentors to advise them, sometimes more. Using a team approach to mentoring has been proven to promote great science training to develop high calibre scientists. In the ultimate display of this success, many SURG participants have or will publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Check out the story below of SURG science. We are extremely proud of our Shoals undergraduate researchers throughout the decades. Many of you continue to conduct and promote science in a myriad of important ways. Bravo to all of you past and present! If you have a SML science story to share, we would love to hear from you !
With deep appreciation and warm wishes,
Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Executive Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory
Collaboration of Art and Science
Appledore Island has a long and rich history in the arts and sciences, from Celia Thaxter and her salon and artist colony in the late 1800's to the Marine Zoological Laboratory founded by Dr. C. Floyd Jackson in 1928. SML endeavors to blend Appledore's history of art and science through the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program, wherein artists teach science students how to look at the natural world in a new way.

SML would not be a research laboratory without conducting some research on the impacts of this program. This summer, our article Integrating Entrepreneurship and Art to Improve Creative Problem Solving in Fisheries Education was accepted by the American Fisheries Society Journal. Students enrolled in 2017's Sustainable Fisheries course participated in a module designed to exercise creativity and decision-making, which was then repeated with students at the Universidad Austral de Chile. Evaluations of the results found an improvement in originality scores, class performance, and positive student feedback.

As mentioned in Jennifer's introduction above, she presented this paper at the annual Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) meeting in Belgium this past September. This is not her first foray into the subject; she co-authored an article in 2016 titled Integrated science and art education for creative climate change communication in Ecology and Society.
Photo credit: Jan Factor
Alumni Spotlight: Aliya Caldwell
Aliya Caldwell (Rutgers '20) wears multiple hats in the SML community. She's a former undergraduate researcher, staff member, and recently had a paper accepted for publication as an undergraduate student! Here's what Aliya had to say about her SML experience:

"My experiences at SML began in the summer of 2018 as an undergraduate researcher studying plastic ingestion by seabirds breeding on Appledore Island. Though I had participated in research and field work previously, my first summer at SML was hugely instrumental in building my skills and defining my direction as a scientist. The ability to immerse myself in the system I was studying, while also being surrounded by inspiring mentors and peers, was incredibly impactful for both my project and my personal growth as an aspiring field ecologist. 

After my internship in 2018, I continued to engage with my research throughout the year by developing a manuscript with my mentors Drs. Elizabeth Craig and Jennifer Seavey. During the summer of 2019, I returned to the islands as a Seabird Technician for the SML Tern Conservation Program. I developed valuable field work skills and participated in a number of research projects centered around seabird conservation. I am now in my last year as an undergraduate at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I am working on a senior honors thesis, which is a continuation of my research at SML during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. I am applying to Ph.D. programs with the hope to study seabird foraging ecology during my time as a graduate student. Looking back, it is evident that my work at SML and the relationships I have fostered there over these past two years have had a hugely important impact on my education and my career as a scientist."

Congratulations to Aliya on the acceptance of her paper by the peer-reviewed journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters !
Photo: Aliya during the Seabirds and Plastic Pollution Internship in 2018.
Closing up Appledore Takes Many Hands
You may have wondered recently…What does it take to put Appledore Island to bed for the cold season ahead?

SML’s volunteers and staff members have been busy this past month doing just that. Their projects ranged from deep cleaning and organizing the labs, dorms, classrooms, and Kiggins Commons (properly cleaning the kitchen top to bottom takes nearly a week!)—to servicing equipment and vehicles, winterizing the engineered systems, and generally preparing the island’s infrastructure for a safe winter. Additionally, SML’s fleet of vessels are in the process of being serviced, cleaned and tucked in — and the floating dock and mooring balls pulled up and secured. On top of all this, they prepared and applied three coats of finish on the dining hall floor (see photo ) and two coats of paint on the kitchen floor. Director of Operations Mike Rosen and Director of Facilities & Planning Ross Hansen will periodically visit the island between now and next spring to make sure all is well.

Special thanks goes to the dedicated volunteers who helped the seasonal and year-round staff to complete this extensive close-up and maintenance process!
Photos top to bottom courtesy of Ross Hansen, Jim Coyer, and Mike Rosen.
Welcome to SML's New Staff Member
We are pleased to introduce Isabel Aley, SML's new Director of Community Relations. The key mission of this new position is to nurture meaningful relationships with the SML community and the public. Isabel will be managing SML donor relations in partnership with both UNH and Cornell, guiding the development of the new Alumni and Friends Association, and managing SML's communications and public events.

Isabel brings 15 years of experience with environmental conservation organizations working in communications, fundraising, event planning, and public relations. She is a graduate of Bates College and alum of the Williams-Mystic interdisciplinary marine studies program. She is a Mainer by birth and lives in Exeter with her family. You can reach her at .
Follow us on social media:
Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between
Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.