No Backbone, No Problem: I’m an Invertebrate

By: Rosie, Aaron, Peter —

Meeting with renowned photographer Susan Middleton, invertebrate specialist Dr. Bernadette Holthius, and scientific illustrator Sharon Massey brought us with a flurry of colors and textures into the world of the spineless.

After the first full night of sleep in a week, we ventured over to Friday Harbor Laboratories, and met with Spring Street International School science teacher and local naturalist, Sharon Massey who tutored us in scientific illustration.  When trying to draw the invertebrates that we captured on The Centennial on Monday, many of us struggled with our limited artistic abilities.  However, our scientific drive motivated us to continue.  Many students were surprised by how much detail they observed about the organisms by attempting to draw them.

Upon returning to the campus, we received a hearty lesson in scientific communication from Megan Cook, the Community STEM Program Coordinator at the Ocean Exploration Trust.  We took an hour to explore Friday Harbor before enjoying a scrumptious meal prepared by local cook Tom Grauman and the dinner prep squad.  Our evening guests were Susan Middleton, author/photographer of Spineless and her friend Robin along with Megan whom we had met earlier in the day. We had an inspiring presentation of some of the images included in the book. The whole room had their jaws hanging.

Today was a great day to be an invertebrate!

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