The Island View
Monthly Newsletter
July 2021
Photo by Collin Love
Dear SML Community, 
Sharks, drones, and parasites – oh my!! The island is teeming with education and research activities.  
The Shark Biology and Conservation course students experienced the thrill of catching and sampling blue sharks onboard the R/V Kingsbury this past week. Captain Steve led the catching operations with his vast experience in fishing and was guided by faculty members Dr. Heather Marshall and Maggie Winchester who guided the deck handling and sampling. Many aspects of the sharks’ health were checked, a geolocator tag was attached, and the sharks were safely and quickly returned to their watery home.  
Drones were flying in the Coastal Habitat Research Methods course this week for the purpose of mapping wetlands and making sea level rise predictions among other uses. You might wonder how the gulls react to drones: Dr. Moore guides the students to avoid taking them up or down over chicks or nests, which reduces the chance of the gulls getting upset. SML asks all researchers on the island to protect our study species and natural habitats when conducting their work- it takes a respectful village to understands the complex ecology of maritime environments.  
“Parasites are everywhere! And can be a great indicator of ecosystem health as well as disease”- says Research in Biology faculty Dr. Carrie Keogh and Connor Morozumi. They are leading students through independent research projects that include examining the relationship between parasite load and ocean plastic vulnerability. The students in this course have been so creative and innovative in their study ideas and designs- it has been a real thrill to follow them through this important career-forming experience.  
As you can tell here, there is a lot of advanced learning and research happening this summer. I feel grateful to have such dedicated, smart as all get-out, and fun scientists teaching students in a hands-on, active, self-directed manner in this incredible setting- what a recipe for the future of science! 
With deep appreciation,
Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Executive Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory
A Local Artist Returns to Appledore Island
Meet Abby McBride, a sketch biologist, science writer, and recent SML Artist in Residence (AIR) based in downeast Maine. Abby just finished a two-week stint on Appledore, creating art that told us stories about the Isles of Shoals and the curious creatures that call this unique environment home. She specializes in field sketching, which she uses as both an art medium and a tool for observing, and often focuses on organisms that straddle the boundary between the land and sea – species she refers to as "terramarine."

Abby came to us with an exciting background in seabird conservation. She has spent time sketching endangered seabirds all over New Zealand as a Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow, completed a graduate thesis on gull taxonomy for the MIT science writing program, and written numerous stories for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. And as a Shoaler from the past, she was a perfect fit for our AIR program...
"One summer day a long time ago, I went to the Isles of Shoals with my grandparents, a naturalist-artist and an engineer who were both avid alumni of Cornell. I vaguely remember a flurry of sights and stories involving gulls and gardens and rockweed and research and artists; by the end of the day, I had acquired a t-shirt with a drawing of a herring gull hovering across the back.

On the ferry home to the mainland, I crouched in the bow and watched the setting sun, certainly not anticipating that I would be back on the islands to revisit this experience decades later. By the time I heard about the residency program (in a conversation with 2018 AIR Ben Shattuck) I had lots of reasons beyond mere nostalgia to pursue it. As a sketch biologist and science writer, I’ve followed the pull of islands, boats, and field stations from New England to Iceland, Europe, Borneo, New Zealand, Galapagos.
By the time I heard about the residency program (in a conversation with 2018 AIR Ben Shattuck) I had lots of reasons beyond mere nostalgia to pursue it. As a sketch biologist and science writer, I’ve followed the pull of islands, boats, and field stations from New England to Iceland, Europe, Borneo, New Zealand, Galapagos.

I like to get in the middle of field research whenever possible. Anywhere with fluffy seabird chicks is a place I want to be. And besides infusing science into my sketching, I enjoy insinuating sketching into other people’s scientific endeavors. (I especially enjoy changing the minds of people who think they can't draw.)

On Appledore I led workshops on “sketching as an observational tool” for all three classes that coincided with my residency, advocating sophisticated techniques such as “being messy.” I got to spend extra time with the class in my pandemic pod, Evolution and Marine Diversity, who welcomed me into lectures, labs, and field trips and allowed me to add a sketching dimension to assignments. I was invited to sit in on several Anatomy and Function of Marine Vertebrates dissections of dogfish, sea turtles, seals, and porpoises. Students from Investigative Marine Biological Laboratory joined me for extracurricular sketching practice and conversation.
Meanwhile, in between downpours and hurricanes, I used any spare moment to roam around Appledore and the archipelago at large (thanks, skipper Roger!) with a sketchbook, pencil, paintbrush, and exactly six watercolors, sketching intertidal invertebrates in situ and in sea table along with landscapes, seascapes, gullscapes, and more. Sketching always helps me look at a thing and feel more connected to it. Sketching and looking at an island from so many vantage points—biological, ecological, evolutionary—felt like connecting to a microcosm of the world and all its history. I'm delighted to be part of the community."
Our Artist in Residence program folds creativity into critical thinking and is a unique opportunity for students to expand their observational skills. It was a treat welcoming Abby to our community – her contributions were as beautiful as the works of art she created. Be sure to check out her website and various social media platforms to follow more of her work!
Its Time to Hit the Gym on Appledore!
That's right! Students can now exercise more than just their brains on Appledore. Thanks to the generosity of SML supporter Dennis Chasteen, the island gym is officially open! This new facility features an elliptical, rowing machine, benches, three-tier dumbbell rack, TRX bands, yoga mats, and more.

Appledore is a fast pace environment, so it's important to encourage our students, faculty, researchers, and staff to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing. Whether you prefer to pick up a book or a dumbbell, we hope this facility will offer a new avenue for our community to destress.

We are very grateful for Denny Chasteen's generous contributions that have helped to make this project possible. Our students will enjoy this for many years to come!
SML Director of Operations, Ross Hansen, & SML supporter, Dennis Chasteen, installing the Appledore gym
Closing Out the 2021 Rock Talk Seminar Series
We can't believe it is that time of the season, but our guest speaker next week marks the end of our 2021 Rock Talk Seminar Series. SML has been very fortunate to work with ten incredible speakers from throughout the United States and beyond. For those who have joined our Rock Talks this summer – thank you! We are extremely grateful to have been able to connect with our community through these online seminars, and we are excited to return to in-person presentations on Appledore next summer with the option for our off-island friends to tune in via Zoom.
We hope you will join us for our last Rock Talk featuring Dr. Elizabeth Methratta from NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center who will be speaking about the impacts of offshore wind development on northeast fisheries.

When: Thursday, Aug 5, 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM ET

Talk Title: Offshore wind, fish, and fisheries in the Northeast U.S. Shelf Ecosystem
Become a Shoals Sustainer!
The Shoals Sustainer Program allows you to support SML all year long with secure, easy monthly gifts – of any amount that you choose. Your monthly donation supports the SML Annual Fund, which puts funds where they are needed most, whether that is bolstering student scholarships, implementing technology to improve educational experiences, or meeting the urgent needs of the island campus.

Initiate your monthly gift through UNH or Cornell online! For either donation portal, select the “Recurring” option and follow the prompts to set up your contributions. Thank you for supporting Shoals all year long!
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Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between
Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.