Shoals Marine Laboratory's Monthly Newsletter - The Island View
July 2017
Dear Friends of Shoals Marine Laboratory,

“From the moment I stepped on the island I was in awe. It seemed as if you could almost see past the island, and out into the vastness of the ocean beyond… These students are not ordinary students; they possess an undeniable passion for learning and the environment. Undisturbed by the distractions of the mainland, the students are able to immerse themselves in learning, studying, and growing. It’s as if Appledore was brought up intentionally out of the ocean to provide a sanctuary for study… The Shoals Marine Laboratory has given me an outlet to explore so many new things. I am beyond grateful for the past experiences and hope the lab will continue to be a part of my education and growth.”
This is a quote from Mackenzie Meier (UNH '19) who has taken two courses at SML, and continues to be a fantastic student ambassador for our programs. When Mackenzie applied for an SML scholarship last winter she said, “To get the chance to come to Appledore again and continue my summers and education [at SML] would mean so much. I believe that it will help push my knowledge, education, and growth as a person."

We were thrilled and enabled through the generosity of SML supporters to offer Mackenzie a scholarship to continue her studies on Appledore Island. Her passion is worn on her sleeve it's infectious and typical of our students  highly motivated, enthusiastic, and engaged in crafting their own futures. I love the imaginary Mackenzie uses: SML was brought up out of the sea to provide sanctuary for learning. In this analogy, then YOU – our community of supporters are the force that helps SML rise up to serve these students, to inspire them, and to transform them from students into scientists and informed citizens.

Please consider helping us bring even more students like Mackenzie to SML. Together we can sustain this learning island! To learn more about supporting SML and to give today, click here. Thank you!

With deep appreciation and warm wishes,

Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory
Welcoming new SML Associate Director, Jason Philibotte
We are proud to welcome Jason Philibotte as SML’s Associate Director! This is a new position for the lab and we are excited to have Jason take on SML programs, oversee day-to-day management of staff, and support SML’s overall mission.

Jason is a New England native with a Master’s degree in Marine Biology from Boston University, and an undergraduate degree in Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture from University of Rhode Island. He comes to us with over 17 years of experience and strong leadership skills honed in Hawaii as a program lead and manager for National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the former director for Conservation International's Hawaii program.

Fun facts: Jason founded Hawaii’s first community supported fishery and he is a former Peace Corps volunteer. We are thrilled to have Jason join the SML community!
Join us for SML Alumni & Friends Weekend, September 8-10, 2017
Registration is OPEN!

Building off the great momentum of SML’s 50th Anniversary Celebration last summer, we are poised to kick-off our 1st Annual SML Alumni & Friends Weekend on Appledore Island, September 8-10, 2017.

For Shoalers across all five decades of SML courses and programs, including alumni, faculty, staff, researchers, community supporters, and friends! Enjoy a low-key weekend to relax and connect (or reconnect!) with others who love SML as much as you do.

Spread the word and join us September 8-10th! If you can't make it this year, don't worry – we plan to make this an annual event over a weekend in early September each year.

Click here to sign-up for the 1st Annual SML Alumni & Friends Weekend.
Photos of the SML 50th Anniversary Celebration, by David Murray of Clear Eye Photo.
12th Annual SEI Symposium
On Saturday, July 15th, SML hosted our 12th Annual Sustainable Engineering Internship (SEI) Symposium on Appledore Island to showcase the research efforts of four undergraduate interns.

This year's SEI projects covered a wide variety of sustainable engineering subjects, from solar energy and battery storage in our Energy Conservation Building, to freshwater water conservation and research vessel design.

Our 2017 interns benefited from the knowledge and expertise of both academic and industry mentors, as well as SML's facilities and engineering staff. Thank you to all who contributed to the SEI projects this year!

The complete 2017 SEI report is not yet available, but will be posted to our website soon. In the meantime, you can read all of the SEI reports from the previous 11 seasons, on our Sustainable Engineering Internship page, here.
Congratulations to SML's 2017 Sustainable Engineering Interns! Pictured above, L to R:

Adrian D'Orlando (UNH)
Eesha Khanna (Cornell)
Leah Balkin (Cornell)
Sarah Jakositz (UNH)
Hermit Crab Research Spotlight
Hermit crabs are famous for carrying their homes around on their backs, in the form of snail shells. These shells provide the crabs with critical protection, but often shells are in short supply. So how do marine hermit crabs find new shells? A fascinating but still understudied explanation is that hermit crabs may ‘smell the shell’: that is, crabs may sense chemicals indicative of predation on snails, and then use these scent cues to locate their next shell home.

This summer Leah Valdes, an undergraduate working with Dr. Mark Laidre at Dartmouth College, is testing this novel hypothesis by undertaking critical experiments in the subtidal of Shoals Marine Laboratory. Leah is literally "fleshing out" the snail predation hypothesis by introducing different forms of flesh, including snail flesh that has been treated with predatory-like digestive enzymes. Since these enzymes degrade the flesh, while keeping the shell intact, crabs may use the smell of the peptide products to immediately sense when new shells become available.

Shoals Marine Laboratory is an ideal place to conduct this research, since this pristine island boasts an abundance of snails and marine hermit crabs in the subtidal, as well as excellent field and laboratory resources.
Thanks Mark Laidre and Leah for this research description and photo!
NEW Programs coming to SML in August!
The following two programs are NEW and exciting additions to our menu of Adult & Family Programs  taking place in August and September. SML's adult and family programs are open to the public and there are still spaces available! Check them out! Each program is all-inclusive, and their unique themes reflect SML's mission to educate our community about the marine environment and sustainability.
Smuttynose excav 2008

August 21-24, 2017

Participate in an archeological dig on Smuttynose Island with Dr. Nathan Hamilton and Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley! Explore historic sites around Appledore and Star Islands as well. You'll discover first-hand how archaeological work in the Isles of Shoals is providing new insight into the ecology of the Gulf of Maine dating back hundreds of years. Roll up your sleeves!

August 21-24, 2017

Walk in the footsteps of Thaxter, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Look, listen, imagine, and then translate from the natural world into new writing through a variety of writing prompts. This retreat will encourage creative, imaginative immersion in the historical and natural environment that has inspired authors, artists, and academics for generations on Appledore Island. Join us! 

SML alumni and invasive algae research - in the news!

Last month, a film crew from local TV channel WCSH 6 traveled to Appledore Island to cover a story about recently published invasive algae research conducted by Dr. Jennifer Dijkstra's team from the University of New Hampshire.

The video features SML alums Kristen Mello and Brandon O'Brien. Kristen and Brandon were undergraduate research interns at SML in 2014, and now both are based at UNH continuing their work in marine science. Kristen works in the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and Brandon is pursuing a Ph.D. in biological sciences. Field work during the 2014 season was also conducted by SML alum Amber Litterer, who now serves as SML's Island Coordinator. 

Amber and Kristen were a dive buddy pair during a 10-week Nearshore Ecology Internship, which was made possible by SML supporters, Morgan and Tara Rutman. Their generosity helped to fuel inquiry and discovery about algal ecology in the Isles of Shoals, and the internship experience clearly propelled some of SML's young alumni down their current career paths! Thank you, Morgan and Tara!

Great work by the Dijsktra team and SML alums involved!

Watch the WCSH 6 video here.
The invasive algae in this study is Dasysiphonia japonica (formerly known as Heterosiphonia japonica).

This work was published in the Journal of Ecology in April 2017:

Dijkstra, J. A., Harris, L. G., Mello, K., Litterer, A., Wells, C. and Ware, C. (2017). Invasive seaweeds transform habitat structure and increase biodiversity of associated species. Journal of Ecology . doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12775

Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between
Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.