The Island View
Monthly Newsletter
November 2018
Dear Friends of Shoals Marine Laboratory,

In this time of year of reflection and gratitude, I want to focus on two things: wonder and you. Last week, I gave a PechaKucha talk in Portsmouth. I spoke about the positive benefits of a sense of wonder about the natural world. Wonder is the entryway to knowledge, step one in the scientific process. It also brings many positive mental and physical benefits. I recently read a report that doctors in Scotland are prescribing time in nature to wonder as a means to reduce risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, strokes and more. The story reported that “there is overwhelming evidence that nature has health benefits for the body and mind”. I know this to be true on Appledore; for all you who have spent time on the island, I suspect you know this as well. We are so lucky to be cultivating wonder and awe at SML. This cultivation doesn’t not have to stop, nor should it, when we hit the mainland. Nature is accessible to us all and I invite you all to cultivate your sense of wonder during this holiday season to induce more gratitude, happiness, and health.

Speaking of gratitude, I want to express my thanks to you for supporting SML all year round. Your enthusiasm and excitement about our programs and mission inspires us to work hard toward providing outstanding experiential, place-based education and to supporting innovative research programs focused on understanding and sustaining the marine environment. I appreciate that you really get what it takes to run a marine laboratory on an island ten miles off shore. The ocean is rough on equipment and housing. You help us build roofs (often literally), mentor students, support our operations and students. I have to be honest with you- we really need your support for scholarships. This is what keeps me and several of the SML staff up at night: do we have the resources we need to enable our students? Eighty percent of our students need financial support to take advantage of the life changing experiences of SML. Last year we had hundreds more students who wanted to come to SML than we had funds to support. The need and desire by students is there. In this newsletter, you will meet some of the students who have been transformed by the generous support of SML donors. I hope you will help a deserving student cultivate their sense of wonder and transform into a scientist this summer at SML. Please consider an end-of-the-year gift. We are so grateful for all you do to help enable SML to make lasting positive impacts on our students' lives.
With deep appreciation and warm wishes,
Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Kingsbury Executive Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory
Engaging Students Through Scholarship Opportunities
As one of SML’s Academic Coordinators, I am responsible for advising external college students (those coming from institutions outside of Cornell and UNH) and high schoolers about opportunities at SML. Connecting students with the SML programs that best fit their individual interests and academic goals is the easiest part of the job, given our diversity of programs. The real challenge is working to ensure that the programs we offer are affordable for students. Not surprisingly, scholarships play a critical role in making a summer at SML financially feasible for many students. Beyond the obvious fact that scholarships lessen the financial burden of tuition, our ability to offer a diversity of scholarship opportunities has important synergistic effects on student engagement and enrollment at SML:

  • Offering scholarships of any kind brings students to the table that we might otherwise never engage. This includes individuals with financial need and non-traditional students who might not have considered SML to be a viable option.
  • Scholarship competitions attract a broad audience, particularly international students, who may never have heard of SML otherwise. Competitive scholarships also benefit the entire applicant pool, in addition to the scholarship recipient, as we can often connect applicants with other forms of financial support to make their summer studies possible.
  • Scholarships engage a greater diversity of students during critically formative years, and many of these students go on to pursue further studies in STEM, both at SML and beyond.

Through the generosity of individual donors and foundations, about half of all external students attending courses at SML receive some level of financial assistance. Unfortunately, we currently cannot support every applicant to the full extent of their financial need. If you are considering a donation towards student scholarships, know that, beyond opening a world of opportunity for the recipients, the impact of this support has far-reaching benefits for student diversity and engagement at SML as a whole.
 
Dr. Liz Craig, SML’s Academic Coordinator
Cornell Student Spotlight!
Hannah Gottesman (Cornell ’20) was one of five SML semester students during the summer of 2018. (Semester students enroll in four courses in one season.) Hannah’s summer at SML started with Sustainable Fisheries followed by Field Animal Behavior and Investigative Marine Biology Lab. She ended her semester at SML by taking Underwater Research, in which she learned the techniques needed to conduct sub-tidal research and obtained her AAUS Scientific Diver status. All told, Hannah received 12 credits during her time at the lab and is well on her way to completing the Marine Biology concentration as a Biological Sciences major at Cornell. Her connection to the lab continues as she now works as a student administrative assistant to Academic Coordinator Eugene Won. Hannah shares the experience of a summer at SML with her grandmother Karen Kamfjord (nee Klitgord), a member of the inaugural summer session in 1966. 
 
Hannah and her grandmother in the Maine intertidal, pictured above.
From Hannah: "This summer at Shoals was one of the best in my life. The island community of students, scientists, professors, captains, cook, engineers, and artists supported my growth as a scientist and as a person. Plus, nothing beats an Appledore sunset."
UNH Student Spotlight!

Alex Gross (UNH ’21) is a Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology major and was able to enroll in Sustainable Fisheries last summer due to the generous support of SML donors. He learned about the history of fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, spent time dragging and trawling vessels with local fishermen discussing issues in the commercial fishing industry, worked with a local lobsterman on trap efficiency, and even did some rod and reel work for ground fish, such as cod. All this was done in pursuit of understanding the complexities involved in managing the local fishing industry that satisfies the needs of today and tomorrow. Alex's involvement in fisheries did not stop when he left the island! He has been an active member in the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Club on UNH’s campus, and holds a position on the executive board. The club allows him to make an impact in the local community, visiting nearby schools to teach the next generation about the importance of sustainable fisheries.  
 
From Alex: " Shoals taught me lessons inside and outside the classroom I’ll never forget. The course was led by faculty who knew every aspect of the Gulf of Maine fishery from the viewpoint of local fishermen to policy makers. I was able to interact with local lobstermen and fishermen on their vessels one day, and even meet officials from NOAA the next. This course gave me insight on issues within commercial fishing in the Gulf of Maine and made me eager to make a difference in the future. Most importantly though, the feeling of community and belonging Shoals gave me was something truly special. The relationships I made with peers from UNH and across the country is something I’ll have for the rest of my life."
Citizen Science Needs You!
While the gulls may be gone from Appledore this time of year, they are still on the seacoast from Maine to Florida! Researchers track the winter whereabouts of the gulls gulls based on the colored bands on their legs and rely on observations from people like you to. See a gull with a green or black band on its left leg in a parking lot or along the beach? Take a picture and share its whereabouts! You can read more about the Appledore gull banding project here and report a banded gull sighting here.
Banded gull sighting captured by Erica Nardone.
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Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between
Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.