Posts

January 23, 2015

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9:38 PM | Fun Science FRIEDay – Darwin Says Survival of the… empathetic?!
Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology and founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has been pushing an idea – Humans are built to be good, because it aids in human survival. This seems to immediately contradict the framework of evolution that has been popularized,  which champions individual survival and competition to […]
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1:28 PM | To dyke, or not to dyke: A debate coming to a town near you
Finally, President Obama’s state of the union called out Congress’s problem with climate change. Their denial is merely a symptom of overall scientific ignorance, a simply medieval issue that has temporarily stalled many great nations’ progress throughout history. Yet, President Obama’s points about climate change and it’s relevance to the nation gives one hope that […]
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3:26 AM | Grad School is a Job
Grad school is a job. A conversation on Twitter tonight got me worked up about this point, but I’ve heard it questioned a number of times in my five years in postgraduate education. And it seems that each time I’ve … Continue reading →
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1:59 AM | Unhappy feet – why we need more than a day of penguin awareness
A couple of days ago (20th January) was penguin awareness day1. But do we really need to be more aware of penguins?  Well, actually yes.  Photo by Chris Parsons  We conducted a study a couple of years ago  (pdf also available) to look at public awareness of penguins (using university students as a sample) and […]
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12:15 AM | A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale
Ever wonder what Bowhead whales, the only baleen whale that spends it’s entire life in the Arctic and sub-arctic, do all year round? Well now you can find out by watching this gorgeous new movie put together by Native Alaskans, marine scientists and the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska. I just watched the […]
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12:15 AM | A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale
Ever wonder what Bowhead whales, the only baleen whale that spends it’s entire life in the Arctic and sub-arctic, do all year round? Well now you can find out by watching this gorgeous new movie put together by Native Alaskans, marine scientists and the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska. I just watched the […]

January 22, 2015

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2:00 PM | Volunteers Track Long-Term Trends in Beach Erosion
Wells Reserve is looking for volunteers to assist with year-round data collection at beaches in Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, Wells, Ogunquit, and York. If you are interested in helping out please contact Jacob Aman at jacobaman@wellsnerr.org or 646-1555 ext 112. To learn more, please check out the Southern Maine Beach Profile Monitoring Program web page. Sand beaches represent only a small portion of Maine’s coastline. Even so, they are incredibly valuable economically as well for […]
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12:59 AM | 10 Fabulous Facts About Sea Turtles
1. Sea Turtles are reptiles that breathe air. 2. There are 7 species of Sea Turtles: Kemp’s Ridley, olive Ridley, flatback, hawksbill, loggerhead, green and leatherback. 3. The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest turtle and heaviest reptile on the planet. It can grow up to 8 feet long (2.4 m) and weigh 1 ton […]

January 21, 2015

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11:28 PM | Some light reading
On last week’s Dead Bird Quiz, we ended up with more responses than I had anticipated! Edward and Wouter engaged in a bit of back and forth in the comments, and both concur that this specimen, pathetic as it is, is too small for an oystercatcher. Their verdict ended up being some sort of plover–most […]
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4:42 PM | Underwater Parks in 3-D
[php]As I readied myself and my camera for a dive in Yellowstone Lake, the largest body of water in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, I thought I was on top of my game. I had recently specialized in underwater photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and had most photographic techniques figured out. I knew enough to wear several layers of thermals under my drysuit to withstand frigid water temperatures of 38° F. Yet I was in for a surprise. When my boss told me that we […]
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2:44 PM | Many scientists, conservationists and fishermen support our trophy fishing paper recommendations
Last month, a team of marine scientists (which included Andrew and I) published a paper pointing out that intentionally killing the largest and most fecund members of IUCN Red List Threatened species is not a good thing and could be easily stopped (by stopping record awards entirely for these species or moving to a catch and release […]
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1:25 PM | Beyond Ivory
Dr. Andrew Wright is a British marine biologist that has been working on the science-policy boundary around the world for over a decade. His experiences have led him to champion a better communication of science to policy makers and the lay public. His research has included a population viability analysis for the vaquita, sperm whales […]

January 20, 2015

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2:57 PM | Sizing Sizing Ocean Giants: Patterns of #scicomm outreach in a marine megapaper
Last week, Craig McClain and many friends published Sizing Ocean Giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna, a research paper that would better be described as a monograph. The response to the paper has been overwhelming. Since it’s publication last Tuesday, Sizing Ocean Giants has been viewed almost 44,000 times by 38,000 people and […]

January 18, 2015

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11:31 PM | The dangers of excessive self-citation
Warning: This blog contains themes of a professional ethical nature that some readers may find offensive. Intended for a mature academic audience only. As I was spending a lazy Sunday morning, tucked up in bed fiddling with my iPad, a perky little blog came across my Twitter feed (read it here). Some rather sad data […]

January 17, 2015

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10:06 PM | The words we use matter in climate change adaptation
In 2012, North Carolina outlawed climate change, receiving major press as the face of conservative climate policy. The intent of the law was to stop planning processes from basing their decisions on modeled climate change scenarios of the future, which would halt large investments in coastal development. But the letter of the law actually outlawed […]
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9:39 AM | 5 Reasons Why Great White Sharks are the Blackberry of the Seas
The following post is authored by Lindsay Gaskins as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. 1. They are sleek yet functional. The aesthetics are impeccable, and signal just how well designed these sharks/smartphones are. Blackberry is one of the most easily-recognizable brands out there, and not for nothing. Its […]
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9:39 AM | 5 Reasons Why Great White Sharks are the Blackberry of the Seas
The following post is authored by Lindsay Gaskins as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. 1. They are sleek yet functional. The aesthetics are impeccable, and signal just how well designed these sharks/smartphones are. Blackberry is one of the most easily-recognizable brands out there, and not for nothing. Its […]

January 16, 2015

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3:08 PM | Dead Bird Quiz answer?
I managed to harangue an answer out of Edward! Hurrah! Also, it makes me feel better when other people find a carcass as daunting to identify as I did. Looking at our Bird here, there’s not a lot to go on, but we might get farther than we expected on initial inspection. We can see […]
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2:00 PM | Talking Green Crabs at Northeast Aquaculture Conference
Wells Reserve science was on the program for the 2015 Northeastern Aquaculture Conference & Exposition held in Portland this month. Here are the abstracts we shared with our colleagues and those in the aquaculture industry. European Green Crabs in Southern Maine Marshes: Trends in Abundance and Marsh Impacts Kristin R. Wilson, Jacob Aman, Jeremy Miller, and Daniel F. Belknap* Recent studies indicate that intertidal crabs contribute to marsh erosion and loss through foraging and burrowing […]
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2:00 PM | Talking about Green Crabs at Northeast Aquaculture Conference
Wells Reserve science was on the program for the 2015 Northeast Aquaculture Conference & Exposition held in Portland this week. Here are abstracts from the presentations I made to colleagues and representatives of our region's aquaculture industry. European Green Crabs in Southern Maine Marshes: Trends in Abundance and Marsh Impacts Kristin R. Wilson, Jacob Aman, Jeremy Miller, and Daniel F. Belknap* Recent studies indicate that intertidal crabs contribute to marsh erosion and loss through […]
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9:37 AM | Whale Shark and Manta Ray Gif Roundup
Dr. Simon Pierce (@simonpierce) is a marine biologist extraordinaire focusing on whale sharks. He is the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Science Coordinator of the Global Whale Shark Photo-ID Library.  You can visit it gorgeous website here.  On Twitter Simon shared some gifs of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and manta rays (Manta ???)  taken last month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. […]
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9:37 AM | Whale Shark and Manta Ray Gif Roundup
Dr. Simon Pierce (@simonpierce) is a marine biologist extraordinaire focusing on whale sharks. He is the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Science Coordinator of the Global Whale Shark Photo-ID Library.  You can visit it gorgeous website here.  On Twitter Simon shared some gifs of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and manta rays (Manta ???)  taken last month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. […]
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1:43 AM | Ocean Sunfishes: The Eeyore of the Sea
The following post is authored by Catherine Chen as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. Sixty million times. That’s really big, but just how big? 60 million kilometers is almost half the distance from the Earth to the sun. 60 million times bigger is a baby born at […]
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1:43 AM | Ocean Sunfishes: The Eeyore of the Sea
The following post is authored by Catherine Chen as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. Sixty million times. That’s really big, but just how big? 60 million kilometers is almost half the distance from the Earth to the sun. 60 million times bigger is a baby born at […]

January 15, 2015

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11:34 PM | What is the world’s largest barrel sponge?
It is the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant (photo below) that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in the Caribbean in the early 1990s.  Unfortunately frequent touching by scuba divers likely caused lesions that lead to an infection of the sponge tissue (show as the dark spot pointed to by the arrow in the […]
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11:34 PM | What is the world’s largest barrel sponge?
It is the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant (photo below) that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in the Caribbean in the early 1990s.  Unfortunately frequent touching by scuba divers likely caused lesions that lead to an infection of the sponge tissue (show as the dark spot pointed to by the arrow in the […]
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9:24 PM | Six Reasons to Supersize
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. For those who have seen elephant seals up close and personal, there is no questioning the fact that elephant seals are not afraid to put on the pounds. This guy surely doesn’t seem […]
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9:24 PM | Six Reasons to Supersize
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. For those who have seen elephant seals up close and personal, there is no questioning the fact that elephant seals are not afraid to put on the pounds. This guy surely doesn’t seem […]
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4:51 PM | James Cameron, Back from the Deep
“Hi, I’m James Cameron. You may remember me from such blockbusters as Alien and Titanic. But today, I’m here to talk to you about something different: trends in deep-sea epibenthic biodiversity.” Well, that’s how Troy McClure might say it. On … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | The Great Thing About Science Is...
It is NOT about easy answers, shortcuts, or even [usually] a-ha revelations. Why on earth is that great? Here's a shallow post today about something I really enjoy thinking deeply about. Consider some recent examples of science's apparent un-greatness: Grandmothers have always contended that if you get cold, you'll catch a cold. I have heatedly shot back, many times, that cold weather does not cause colds. Then a study came out recently that *apparently* showed that lab mice […]
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