Monthly Archives: August 2013

Day 21: Saying Goodbye

It wasn’t easy to say goodbye. We rose to a day that beckoned us to explore a new estuary, rocky intertidal or row together once again (okay, sail!). The day before, some had said that they wished the program would have lasted four weeks not just three. Others pointed out how much more they were ready to learn. Everyone agreed with the person who said that the group had bonded like a family, noting that by the end of the longboat trip they were rowing completely in synch. From a programmer’s perspective, this could not have been a better moment. After a filling university cafeteria breakfast, we met with regionally-based … Continue reading

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Day 20: University of Washington Main Campus and Seattle

By Tim: The group rose bright-and-early to say goodbye to Tom and Toffee the Dog, then boarded the van for the ferry ride and 1.5 hour drive to the University of Washington’s flagship campus in Seattle.   Straight out of the van, we were treated to a tour of the collection of preserved fish maintained by the Burke Museum in cooperation with the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Participants stood rapt as collection Curator Katherine Maslenikov explained the value of the 8 million specimen collection to research in taxonomy and population biology and then brought us in to see the collection. She showed off small sharks, a sunfish and … Continue reading

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Day 19: Packing Up, Wrapping Up, Final Barbecue and Nightlighting

By Tim: Susan started off our final full day on San Juan Island with a breakfast of blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes, sausages and fruit! Fueled by this high-energy meal, we spent the morning packing our bags and cleaning out rooms to prepare for our guests arriving later in the day. After we all passed the “white glove” test, the group convened with Tom to finalize project image choices and order, and then to give the script a final read-through before recording voice-overs. To show our appreciation for all of the numerous scientists, teachers and parents whose assistance and guidance were essential to the program, we hosted a barbecue of … Continue reading

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Day 18: Bird & Mammal Survey, Project Development, and the County Fair!

By: Caroline A beautiful day again and they are off with binoculars and notebooks in hand to do a bird and mammal count aboard the inter-island ferry that cruises between San Juan, Shaw, Orcas, and Lopez islands. Participants used methods developed by the Pelagic Ecosystem Function apprenticeship taught each fall at UW-FHL to identify and quantify birds and mammals along the “transect” run by the ferry. Bird and Mammals Survey Timelapse After their return, participants worked for several hours on their project development and management skills, reexamining their storyboard for their shared photo project on the creatures of the intertidal zone. The good news with digital photography is that you … Continue reading

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Day 17: Marine Mammal Necropsy and Documentary Development

By: Julie The day jumped out at us as we ate a quick breakfast then headed over to FH Labs for the necropsy of a baby harbor seal; a necropsy is just like an autopsy, only it is performed on an animal instead of a human. Joe Gaydos, a distinguished veterinarian and Director of the SeaDoc Society, led the operation, with assistance from Patrick Charapata and Eric Eisenhardt (our guests from last night), as well as volunteers from SeaDoc and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. We had a great view from one of the upper docks at FHL, looking down on the procedure from above. We learned that the harbor … Continue reading

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Day 16: Field Data Analysis, Storyboarding, and Contra Dance

By: Julie and Matt After some breakfast delays we all headed up to the science classroom and analyzed the data we collected on Day 7. We reviewed the protocol used to collect the data then split into two groups to graph it. One graph showed the percent cover of macroalgae for the two transects, as well as the percent cover of sessile animals; the x-axis was height above water and the y-axis was percent cover. The other showed mobile animal count with the x-axis as height above water and the y-axis as number of animal. Then we moved back to the common room of the dorm to start storyboarding and … Continue reading

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Day 15: Documentary Development and E/V Nautilus

By: Saymirah Being considerate, Caroline let us sleep in after a late night at the play, which led to a nice brunch of chocolate chip pancakes and eggs with cheese. Afterwards,we had down time to either go to the Art Market or walk around town. When we got back to the dorm, we were surprised to get iPads from the Friday Harbor Laboratories for our documentary on tide pools. Tom gave us an introduction to how to document the photos we took.   Dennis Willows joined us for dinner. He is a retired professor of neurobiology as well as a former Friday Harbor Labs Director for over 33 years. He explained how he found his way into biology research … Continue reading

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Day 14: Lime Kiln State Park and Island Stage Left’s Shakespeare Under the Stars

After a leisurely morning of pancake and eggs brunch, as well as moving forward with laundry chores and enjoying the Friday Harbor Farmer’s Market at Brickworks, the crew gathered evening picnic supplies and headed out to a beautiful late afternoon at Lime Kiln State Park. Lime Kiln is noted not only for its history and spectacular beauty, it is the principal viewing spot for orca and other wildlife. At the Lime Kiln Lighthouse, scientists log orca sightings by individual. Each orca has unique saddle patch and dorsal fin markings. In addition, Lime Kiln houses a webcam and hydrophone to help with research affiliated with the Whale Museum and Beam Reach. … Continue reading

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Day 13: Saddlebag Island to Anacortes and cleanup

By Tim: After a long row yesterday afternoon, we spent the evening on Saddlebag Island once again. After a quick breakfast of oatmeal, nuts and the last of our snacks, we broke camp, loaded up Discovery and rowed back to Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes. Once there, we completely emptied the boat and washed everything with freshwater; every dry bag, every tarp, every mug, every bowl, every utensil. After the van was loaded, we crewed Discovery one more time through the marina for her haul out at the boat lift. After giving three cheers for Captain John “Sockeye” Calogero for an unforgettable voyage (and for delivering us safely back to land) … Continue reading

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Day 12: Vendovi Island

This morning Tim called to let us know that the crew would be headed to Vendovi Island today. Vendovi Island is protected by the San Juan Preservation Trust; our large group has been given special dispensation to visit! We’ll look forward to hearing about it later. The story remains to be told, but we received some pictures! Here they are!      If you are not familiar, you may be interested to learn that the San Juan archipelago is a unique 743-island chain in the Salish Sea that includes the Canadian Gulf Islands to the north and several off-shore islands along the mainland. The Salish Sea to the south across the … Continue reading

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