Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Prepping for Sea + A New Paper!

Well, today promises to be a very busy one. We're loading up the boat, rigging our equipment, stocking up on provisions, etc. 

But my collaborator Dr. Susan Parks (at Penn State) emailed me to let us know that our paper on right whale foraging behavior in Cape Cod Bay has just been published in the journal Biology Letters.

Right whales are an endangered species and our results indicate that they may be particularly susceptible to ship strikes when they are in this area because of where there prey (copepods) are located in the water column. And the right whales spend a lot of time eating so they'll be wherever their food is.

Working with charismatic megafauna also leads to the press being interested in our work so several news outlets and blogs already have stories about the paper. I think it's even been "tweeted"

Science News
Penn State's Press Release
Discovery News

Off to the dock,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

West Coast ALES

Latitude: 58o 19' N  Longitude: 134o 25' WLocation: Downtown Juneau, Alaska

The ALES lab is ignoring the thousands of folks who head to the Hamptons in August each year and instead I've headed to the west coast. Um, make that the north north north-west coast.

First up, a week-long cruise in the bays and fjords of Juneau, Alaska investigating humpback whales and their prey. Then we'll go a bit south to the Pacific Northwest of the United States and participate in a two week cruise with the National Marine Fisheries Service on one of the legs of their Hake survey. 

More posts to come from the boats, airports, and places in between. Right now, my brain is trying to explain to my body that a 4 hour time difference and an overnight layover in Seattle last night is no reason to be sleepy at 9pm Alaska time. 

We are scheduled to leave the dock around 5pm tomorrow so hopefully the weather will stay clear and we can get all our gear and equipment set up and tested.