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

Learning that occurs in a field setting is a powerful experience that promotes the development of new generations of creative scientists, enhances environmental literacy, and instills social responsibility in our citizens. – Fleischer et al. 2017

The journal BioScience published an interesting article  this month outlining the danger of reduced opportunities for field studies at universities today. In it, the authors argue that field-based education is critical to the future of biological sciences. This is a sentiment that all of us at Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) have been passionate about for years! Every single day at SML, I bear witness to students benefiting from active, hands-on interactions with science and nature. Studying the physiology of diving in seals has so much more meaning when you are in a Zodiac with gray seals swimming right beneath the surface. Knowing that marine mammals are impacted by humans theoretically is very different than observing them, photographing them, analyzing your data to draw conclusions about the frequency of fishing gear entanglement in harbor seals around Duck Island.

In the face of big, world-wide environmental challenges like climate change and plastic pollution in our oceans, the next generation of leaders and citizens need to see the impact of these hazards. The challenges need to be made real, and students need to interact with data in a place where they can see, touch, relate to, and care about it. Without such experience, we isolate ourselves from the very essence of what our lives depend on: a clean functioning ocean. We need to foster field education in marine settings that allow for students, and all of us for that matter, to connect with this life-giving and beautiful natural resource.

Recently, I had the chance to overhear some SML research interns talking about the first few days of their project on seabird breeding biology. They were sharing stories of individual gulls whose nests they had visited that morning. They were amazed by the variety of behavior among the individual gulls. This new information was actively challenging their previously-held views that gulls were all the same! During this conversation, they were realizing the need for lots of data and the importance of consistent field protocols. Perhaps even more importantly, they were falling in love with science, the field, and enjoying the wild side of this 99-acre island, six miles out…

With deep appreciation and warm wishes,

Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory
June is World Oceans Month
The month of June is celebrated as World Oceans Month and June 8th was World Oceans Day! Appledore Island was abuzz with discussions about "Why oceans matter" to our students, staff, and faculty, and we captured some great videos of student messages.

"I choose to study the ocean because I want to know more about this vast region we're still learning about today." - Ian Breslow (Cornell University '17)

World Oceans Month reminds us to pause and think about what the oceans mean to us, as well as what the SML community can do to empower the next generation of scientists and ocean stewards. 

"No water, no life. No blue, no green." - Dr.  Sylvia Earle
SML Internship Spotlight: Parasite Ecology with Collin Love and Rebecca Barnard
During his first few weeks as an undergraduate research intern at SML, Collin Love (Michigan State University '18) has been working with graduate student Rebecca Barnard to study invasive green crabs as part of SML's new Parasite Ecology InternshipThe green crab ( Carcinus maenas) made its way to the East Coast of the Unites States roughly 200 years ago and has been the subject of invasive species research throughout the Gulf of Maine, especially in recent years.

For her graduate work in Dr. April Blakeslee's lab at East Carolina University, Rebecca is interested in determining how parasites are impacting the green crab’s behavior and physiology. Later in the summer, Collin will be running his own independent research project to determine whether parasites are impacting the crab's susceptibility to predators. He predicts that infected crabs will be more likely to be eaten by shorebirds, as opposed to uninfected crabs.

As global trade and transportation increases across our oceans, the risk of introducing invasive species increases. Research such as Collin's and Rebecca’s expands our understanding of these foreign creatures and our ability to respond appropriately.
Pictured Above: SML intern, Collin Love (Michigan State University '18), is extracting tissue samples from a green crab. After the tissues are removed, they are analyzed under a microscope for the presence of parasitic cysts.

Thank you to Collin and Rebecca for writing this newsletter feature and sharing your work with us! 
Isles of Shoals Archaeology Project is back on Smuttynose!
A determined crew of four students from Cornell and the University of Southern Maine with faculty archaeologists, Dr. Nate Hamilton and Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, is back on Smuttynose Island this month.  They are excavating at the site of previous Island Archaeology classes' archaeological digs.

The students are studying and learning about biological remains, such as the 3 cm diameter shark vertebra shown in the photo, as well as finding cultural remains, such as the lead glass English goblet stem from 1710-1750, also shown here. 

Back in the lab on Appledore, the students are learning how to sort, identify, and interpret cultural activities and maritime lifestyles based on the remains. 

Follow the dig's progress on social media via the Isles of Shoals Archaeology Project page , or on their new Instagram @ShoalsArch.  

Thanks to Robin Hadlock Seeley for the archaeology update and photos!
Garden Planting Day 2017
June 13th was "the day"! A little later than usual for Garden Planting Day due to challenging weather conditions earlier this month, but we did it! Marie Nickerson (SML's Garden Steward) and an amazing team of volunteers successfully transported and planted Celia Thaxter's Island Garden. We love the picture of the plants motoring six miles into the Gulf of Maine aboard the R/V John B. Hesier. 

During planting, careful attention is paid to the precise location of each plant as indicated on the original garden schematic, published by Celia Thaxter in her book An Island Garden (1873). Annuals are grown during the off-season in the University of New Hampshire's greenhouses. Now, we'll give the plants time to mature in their beds before the first tours arrive on Appledore Island at the end of the month!
We are thrilled to announce that Garden Tours are SOLD OUT for the 2017 season and we are already taking requests for summer 2018!
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 25-27, 2017

Our always-popular program for families! Adults and kids alike will trek around the island, wade through tidepools, use microscopes in the lab, see the seal colony, and there will even be time for games and crafts! This is the perfect long-weekend getaway for families to reconnect before another busy school year begins!
(Best for ages 7-14.)

August 28-September 1, 2017

Join local visual artists Wendy Turner and Hannah Phelps for a week of drawing, painting, and printmaking. Use the rugged seascapes and landscapes of the Isles of Shoals as your palette. Work at your own pace with your preferred medium. Instruction, daily demos, exploration, inspiring scenery, and an art exhibition – with island ecology mixed in! 

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