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

Sharks, whales, and seals! These three words are repeated over and over by students at Shoals Marine Laboratory, and in science circles we call these creatures "charismatic megafauna" of the sea. They are the flashy, fascinating marine animals that draw the interest of the public and, of course, our students.  SML's marine mammal and shark courses are among the most popular every summer, and our marine mammal research internship is among the most competitive. I was once asked by a reporter from a national science magazine if the desire by students to be the next marine mammal veterinarian was a problem - the premise being that since there is a limited job market for these folks, should we discourage this career track? I don’t buy into this premise for a minute!

I think a passion for these amazing animals is a huge opportunity for marine science education and for Shoals Marine Laboratory. If a student comes to SML due to an interest in whales, we have the perfect platform to showcase and prove just how important ocean health, plankton diversity, commercial fishing, commercial shipping, mathematical modeling, ocean floor mapping, social science, human history (and more!) can be for whale conservation.

At SML, we are committed to teaching every student about the great complexity of marine ecosystems and conservation issues regardless of any one species of interest that brought them to Appledore Island.  It is our duty to show students all the many ways they can have a wonderfully satisfying career supporting ocean health in jobs ranging from academic research to the business sector.

So, welcome dolphin lovers! Welcome Shark Week fansWe invite all charismatic megafauna admirers to take Field Oceanography, Marine Invertebrate Biology, Sustainable Fisheries, Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods, and more. Come celebrate the charismatic megafauna of the ocean through the lens of a wide variety of topics in marine science that make the lives of dolphins, whales, sharks, and seals possible on our blue planet.

With deep appreciation and warm wishes,
Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory
Course spotlight: Anatomy & Function of Marine Vertebrates

Anatomy and Function of Marine Vertebrates (AFMV) is a perfect example of an SML course that attracts lovers of charismatic megafauna and introduces students to an array of other topics in science and technology.

AFMV combines classic vertebrate anatomy and physiology with advanced field and lab experiences. Students study structure, evolution, and biomechanics of marine vertebrates using local species. Research vessel cruises and hands-on dissections expose students to a variety of marine vertebrates.

Each student also completes an individual research project, and numerous AFMV students have gone on to develop undergraduate theses and even publish papers based on work that started in this course!

AFMV faculty, Dr. Stacy Farina and Dr. Nick Gidmark, are sure to make waves with innovative course material this summer. Dr. Farina introduced a 3D printer to P-K Lab during AFMV last year, and we're excited to officially welcome Dr. Gidmark to the SML faculty, though he's been in the Shoals family for many years!

Course dates: July 17-31, 2017

2017 Scientist-in-Residence Fellow: Dr. Kylla Benes
Introducing  our second Scientist-in-Residence fellow! Kylla Benes is a marine ecologist whose research addresses how organisms cope with spatial and temporal changes in the environment. She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of California, Irvine in late 2016 and, most recently, was a science communication intern at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

As a Scientist-in-Residence fellow, Kylla is excited to participate in two activities she is passionate about: research and undergraduate mentorship. Her research will focus on seaweed reproduction, specifically how it varies across different habitats and over time. Since seaweeds are at the bottom of the food chain and create habitat for other species, basic knowledge of their biology is essential for further understanding how seaweeds and the communities they support persist over time. This summer, Kylla will also be co-leading undergraduates participating in the Intertidal Ecology Internship program. This program provides training and experience in conducting transect surveys while contributing to SML’s long-term data set on rocky intertidal biodiversity. Welcome Kylla!

Thanks to Kylla for providing this description and photo! To learn more about Kylla's research, visit her website:
Appledore Island Gull Research in the media!
Many of you have run into Dr. Mary Caswell "Cassie" Stoddard on Appledore Island over the years. Cassie joined the Shoals community in 2007 as a summer research intern, and continued to stay involved with SML and seabird research throughout her undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc years.

Cassie recently authored an article for BirdWatching Magazine's June 2017 issue, titled "Lesser is More: The true story of the first Lesser Black-backed Gull to breed successfully in North America" featuring a bird that many of you will know by his band code, F05, or by his nickname, Pierre. F05 was indeed the first recorded Lesser Black-backed Gull to breed in North America, successfully fledging chicks with Herring Gull mates over several years - right here on Appledore Island!

The online version of the article is not yet available, but in the meantime you can purchase a copy of the June 2017 issue of BirdWatching magazine. Here is a link to the magazine's website.

It is a wonderful article and a fascinating story about a very special gull. Well done, Cassie!
Pages 22-23 of the June 2017 issue of BirdWatching Magazine, featuring Cassie Stoddard's article on Appledore Island's Lesser Black-backed Gull.
2017 Adult & Family Programs!
Come experience SML's innovative public programming in August and September, and enjoy the magic of Appledore Island and the Isles of Shoals. Each of our Adult & Family Programs is all-inclusive, and their unique themes reflect SML's mission to educate our community about the marine environment and sustainability.

August 28-30, 2017

Enjoy t he best of everything Shoals has to offer! This adult program is geared towards science-based exploration in three subject areas: ornithology, marine mammals, and the ocean environment. This fun-filled, hands-on program will offer a relaxed pace for those interested in learning about the wonderful world of marine biology from SML scientists!


August 21-24, 2017 - NEW!

Walk in the footsteps of Thoreau, Emerson, and Thaxter. 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!

Guaranteed to be the perfect Mother's Day gift! Don't forget this perennial SML favorite - a tour of Celia Thaxter's restored, historic garden. Each tour has 34 tickets so large groups can all come enjoy the garden together! 

2017 Dates: June 29, July 6, July 8, July 21, July 25, July 29, August 4, and August 9

Reserve your tickets before they sell out!
Cornell CALS announces financial aid support for Shoals Semester
Exciting news from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell! Thanks to the amazing efforts of CALS administrators and SML's academic team, Cornell CALS undergraduates will now be able to apply their Cornell financial aid package to a full summer of study at SML - the Shoals Semester.

This is a BIG deal because it allows students to replace a regular fall or spring semester with a summer on Appledore Island. Student can use a Shoals Semester to accelerate their academic program in order to graduate early, or they can take advantage of unique internship and job opportunities during a fall or spring semester. 

Read the official CALS announcement here.