Nathan Briggs, a graduate student in the University of Maine's School of Marine Sciences and based at the Darling Marine Center, has won two awards for outstanding research, a Graduate Research Excellence Award and a Doctoral Research Fellowship.
Briggs works in the field of optical oceanogarphy with Dr. Mary Jane Perry who describes him as "insightful in his thinking and meticulous in his technical approach; he has the ability to think about data in creative ways. His research has the potential to be quite influential in the burgeoning field of ocean observations." Posted 5/9/13.
Dr. Rick Wahle and Dr. Rhian Waller, faculty in the University of Maine's School of Marine Sciences (SMS) and based at the Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole, have received promotions from the UMaine Board of Trustees. Dr. Waller and Dr. Wahle were among 22 UMaine faculty to be promoted. The professors were nominated by UMaine President Paul Ferguson based on a peer and administrative review of their successful work in teaching, research and public service.
“These faculty are among our academic leaders, providing some of the best teaching, research and community outreach in their fields,” says Ferguson. “We appreciate their caliber of excellence, innovation, inquiry and commitment to our students and state, and we celebrate their achievement. They are key to helping UMaine reach its goal of being among the most student-centered and community-engaged research universities in the country.”
Dr. Rick Wahle and Dr. Jeff Runge, faculty in the UMaine School of Marine Sciences, were quoted in a front page article of the Maine Sunday Telegram on March 10, 2013. They commented on the physical changes, increasing temperature and decreasing pH, in the Gulf of Maine and what these changes might mean for the ecosystem and our fisheries. Read the full story here. Posted 3/11/13.
Graduate student Skylar Bayer is featured on the Colbert Report. Last fall, a cooler of scallop gonads was put in the wrong car. Though the matter was quickly resolved, the Colbert Report's news team picked up the story which aired Monday, March 4th. Watch it here. Posted 3/5/13
Dr. Ivona Cetinic reports that the spring phytoplankton bloom has begun in the Damariscotta River Estuary. The event marks the beginning of the 2013 growing season as these plant-like organisms are the base of the marine food web. Track the bloom's progress on the Perry Lab website http://perrylab.umeoce.maine.edu/docksampling.php
Oceanographers know that vast amounts of particulate organic carbon (POC) are found in the surface waters of the world's oceans, yet its global distribution and role in the global carbon cycle are poorly understood. Dr. Ivona Cetinic has received a three-year grant from NASA ($406,000 in 2013) to collect and analyze POC data from all platforms (shipboard, autonomous vehicles and satellites), from pole to pole, to expand our knowledge of global POC, it's role in the ocean ecosystem, andits role in the global carbon cycle. Co-investigators include Dr. Mary Jane Perry(UMaine School of Marine Sciences based at the DMC), Dr. Nicole Poulton (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences) and Dr. Wayne Homer Slade (Sequoia Scientific, Inc., Washington) a recent UMaine School of Marine Sciences graduate. Posted 2/22/13.
Here is an online National Geographic interview with Rhian. Posted 2/19/13.In celebration of its 125th anniversary, National Geographic is paying homage to scientists and explorers who "press the limits." Dr. Rhian Waller will be featured in the March edition of National Geographic for her underwater research on cold water corals in the Antarctic, Chile and Alaska.
Dr. Rick Wahle has been quoted in several media outlets (MPBN, Boston.com, Newburyport News, among others) supporting the Federation's findings that climate change is indeed affecting wildlife on land and in the ocean. He speaks specifically about the changes he's observed in coastal ecoysyems in the Gulf of Maine. Posted 2/7/13
Participants in the 2012 Natural Science Illustration Workshop had a group exhibit at the Teaching Gallery of Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Participants in the workshop and exhibiting at the gallery included a professional illustrator and fine arts painter, a research drawing specialist, an electrical engineer, a college instructor and a 17 year old student who “loves being in nature and learning from it.”
The 2013 Natural Science Illustration Workshop will be held at the DMC August 5-9. Follow the link for more information and registration material. Posted 2/7/13.
The DMC welcomes two new postdocs, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Rachel Lasley-Rasher studies tiny shrimp-like "mysids" and their role in coastal marine foodwebs. Dr. Doug Rasher will be studying the effects of ocean acidification on coastal marine ecosystems and commercially important species such as the green sea urchin. Posted 2/5/13.
Science360, a web-based science news service funded by the National Science Foundation, featured a video produced by the University of Maine on cold water corals. In the video Keri Feehan, an undergraduate in the School of Marine Sciences, talks about her Capstone Research in Dr. Rhian Waller's lab. The video can be viewed at Science360 or on YouTube. Posted 1/22/13.
From sunup to sundown the students in the Semester by the Sea program are in the field collecting samples and learning about the marine environment. Eric Glidden (SBS 2012) used time lapse photography to create this video. Posted 1/22/13.
In this new YouTube video, Holly Martin and Skylar Bayer, students in Dr. Rick Wahle's laboratory, explain current research efforts on the spawning and fertilization of wild sea scallops Placopecten magellanicus. Posted 1/16/13.
F1000 Prime website. Posted 1/16/13.The Faculty of 1000 recently recognized a paper Dr. Bob Steneck co-authored with three of his past graduate students (Amanda Leland, Doug McNaught and John Vavrinec) entitled "Ecosystem flips, locks, and feedbacks: the lasting effects of fisheries on Maine's kelp forest ecosystem." The paper was selected by Dr. Nick Graham, James Cook University, and Dr. Aaron MacNeil, Australian Institute of Marine Sciences. The Faculty of 1000 is an international group that reviews noteworthy publications and brings them to the attention of the scientific community at large. The review can be read on the
November 27-30 in Portland, Maine
The American Lobster in a Changing Ecosystem: A U.S.-Canada Science Symposium will be held Nov. 27-30 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine.
Aiming to promote broad dialogue among academic, industry and government researchers on both sides of the border, the event will feature more than 80 scientific talks and posters on four main themes: anthropogenic and environmental stressors; foodweb dynamics; human-natural systems and ecosystem-based management; and population connectivity. The Conference is co-chaired by Dr. Rick Wahle of UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences/Darling Marine Center, Dr. Andrea Battison of the University of Prince Edward Island, and Paul Anderson of Maine Sea Grant.
"Top Lobster Scientists Gather in Maine" as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Posted 11/26/12.
WCSH TV interviewed Dr. Rick Wahle. In this video Rick discusses the status of the lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine. Posted 12/4/12.
Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant, and colleagues have recently assembled a web portal to give Maine shellfish producers information that will help them improve their businesses, and to inform others of the issues relating to biology, husbandry techniques and equipment, regulations, science, business development and the market. www.seagrant.umaine.edu/resources-for-shellfish-growers/industry-overview. Posted 11/16/12.
Dr. Rhian Waller's National Geographic blog brings you on a research trip to the Patagonian fjords off the coast of Chile. She and Chris Rigaud donned dry suits and scuba tanks in search of deep-water corals that are normally found at 1000m depth, but that also live in the frosty fjords at depths shallow enough to be studied with SCUBA. Posted 11/16/12.
Graduate student Skylar Bayer has posted a blog entry on StrictlyFishwarp titled Scallops-R-US. Skylar is a Ph. D. Student in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and based at the DMC. Working with Dr. Rick Wahle, she is studying the effects of population density on fertilization success of the sea scallop, Placopectin magellianicus. She is also interested in policy issues surrounding the commercial scallop fishery. Alice Anderson of College of the Atlantic. Posted 8/1/12.
Twenty high school students from ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NM, NY, VA, WI, and Hong Kong came to the DMC to learn about coastal ecology, oceanography, marine invertebrates, aquaculture, and the academic programs offered by the UMaine School of Marine Sciences. Take a look at what they did! Dive In 2012 slideshow. Posted 7/30/12.
The 2012 Natural Science Illustration Workshop drew a talented group of high school students, sketchers, and professional illustrators to the DMC for 5 days of instruction by David Wheeler. In addtion to drawing the group toured the research labs and explored the tidepools at Kresge Point. An exhibition of the participants' art will be held in October at SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Posted 7/30/12.
Dr. Mary Jane Perry and her colleagues have pieced together some of the great mysteries of phytoplankton blooms. Of particular note are the eddies that keep the microscopic plants in the relatively warm, sunlit surface waters, thereby allowing the plants to blooms in late winter, before the seasonal warming of spring. The results of their NSF funded research was published in Science this week. Read the full NSF news release. Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory. Posted 7/6/12.
An unexpected spawn occurred back in May, and the hatchery team at the DMC (Mick Devin, Chauncey Devin, Molly Flanagan) were able to take some of the larvae through to settlement, and now have happy little razors in the hatchery. When looked at under the scope, the feet and gills are active, and stomachs are nice and full. Some photos and video are on the project page at: http://www.seagrant.umaine.edu/resources-for-shellfish-growers/species/razor-clam
Contributed by Dana Morse, Sea Grant Extension Agent, 6/15/12.
A week-long professional development workshop on techniques for culturing marine phytoplankton was held at the DMC June 10-16. Presented by the National Center for Marine Algae at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, the schedule included basic and advanced techniques for isolating, growing, cryopreserving, identifying and harvesting marine phytoplankton. Posted 6/15/12.
School of Marine Science professor Dr. Emmanuel Boss convened a three-day meeting of colleagues at the Darling Marine Center, June 6-8. The group of scientists, all leaders in the field of remote sensing and participants in the Ocean Observatories Initiative, met to access QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) of various metrics used to measure physical and chemical properties of the worlds ocean. Participants came from ME, MA, NJ, MD, DC, FL, CA, OR, WA, Canada, France and Australia.
The American Lobster Settlement Index (ALSI) is a compilation of data collected in a long-term monitoring program of lobster nurseries across New England and Atlantic Canada and measures the strength of each year class. In this latest update, Dr. Rick Wahle and Charlene Bergeron summarize data from last year's field season and report historically high lobster settlement rates in Maine waters and historically low rates in the waters off Rhode Island. More information about the ALSI is available at the Wahle lab web site. Posted 5/18/12.
Over 70 graduate students and faculty from the University of Maine's School of Marine Sciences convened at the DMC for a a two-day symposium focusing on graduate student research. Over 50 oral presentations and posters highlighted research in the field of fisheries biology and management (lobster, scallop, cod, sea urchins), harmful algal blooms (red tides), the use of satellite to study the Gulf of Maine, advances in aquaculture, and tidal power. The research covers the Damariscotta River and the Gulf of Maine, and reaches as far as Alaska and the Arabian Sea. Symposium abstracts.
With essentially the entire School of Marine Sciences in attendance, accolades were given to Dr. David Townsend, Dr. Pete Jumars and Dr. Andy Thomas. David received congratulations for the publication of his new textbook "Oceanography & Marine Biology, An Introduction to Marine Science." Pete and Andy received many thanks for their work as Director and Associate Director, respectively. A new Director for SMS will be announced soon. Posted 5/17/12
Dr. Rhian Waller recently returned from the 5th International Symposium on Deep Sea Corals in Amsterdam where she gave a keynote address on the "Seasonal Reproduction of Alaskan Fjord Corals." Highlights of the symposium including an interview with Rhian are captured on a video produced by ScienceMedia.nl. Posted 4/13/12
The spring K-12 calendar is filling up quickly, but there is still time for teachers to schedule a class field trip. Best of all, field trip costs, including boat trips, can be defrayed thanks to a generous donation from the Edward A. Myers Marine Conservation Fund. Schools within the Damariscotta River Watershed get first access to this financial support. Schools outside the watershed will be accommodates as funds permit. Visit our K-12 web page or contact Lili Pugh for more information. Posted 4/12/12
Dr. Rick Wahle and Charlene Bergeron received a two-year grant $126,416 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) National Sea Grant Program. Working with their colleague Christine Tilburg, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, the scientists will evaluate the predictive power of the American Lobster Settlement Index (ALSI). The ALSI developed from a long-term monitoring program of lobster nurseries in New England and Atlantic Canada and measures the strength of each year class. Now the index will be used to estimate recruitment of juvenile lobsters to the fishery. Read more about the ALSI project at the Wahle Lab web page. Posted 4/12/12
Dr. Rhian Waller has received over $165,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Geographic Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the University of Maine to further her research on cold-water, deep-sea corals in Chile, Alaska and Maine. Cold-water coral communities are notoriously hard to study due to the extreme conditions of their arctic and antarctic environs. Rhian has identified a handful of locations where these deep-sea invertebrates are living at relatively shallow depths, within reach of SCUBA divers. The relative ease with which these populations can be studied will certainly lead to a better understanding of the ecology and biology of cold-water corals. Read more at UMaine News where a full story was posted 3/13/12.
Applications for Dive In 2012 are now being accepted from college-bound high school students interested in pursuing a career in the marine sciences. Scheduled for July 23-25, Dive In will give students a taste of one of the most popular scientific majors. Participants will spend three days in residence at the DMC exploring the marine realm on foot, by kayak and aboard the Center’s 42' research vessel with UMaine faculty and staff. Information and application material are available on the Dive In web page. Applications are due June 1.
Whether you want to illustrate your natural history journal with sketches or watercolor, hone your observational skills and artistic talents to create scientifically accurate drawings, or bring art and science into the classroom, instructor David Wheeler will take you where you want to go. No prior art training required for this five-day workshop scheduled for July 16-20. Details and registration form are available on the workshop web page. Register by June 1.
The Antarctic Service Medal is awarded to persons who have served as members of a United States expedition to Antarctic and who have spent a considerable time below the Antarctic Circle. Rhian has been exploring antarctic marine environments since??? Her most recent expedition was in the 2011 when she spent five weeks aboard the ARV Nathaniel B. Palmer studying cold-water coral in the Drake Passage. Read the blog of this exciting cruise.
Lobsters and scallops continue to be the focus of Dr. Rick Wahle's research. Funding from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is currently supporting two projects. One is a resurvey of lobster nurseries in Narragansett Bay to determine the response of juvenile lobsters to environmental change. It's been 20 years since the last survey and in that time there has been considerable trauma to southern New England's lobster population from shell disease and increasingly frequent thermally stressful summers. The other, supported by NOAA's Scallop Research Set-aside Program, is a collaboration with Dr. Pete Jumars, and evaluates spawning and fertilization dynamics in ocean scallop beds. The results will help hone management strategies for this commercially important species. Visit the Wahle Lab web site for more information on his research.
What do mussels and kelp have in common? They are farmed in Maine and taste great together. Maine Sea Grant Extension Agents Dana Morse (based at the DMC) and Sarah Redman are helping commercial mussel growers explore the possibility of raising kelp on their sea farms. Known as Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), the arrangement balances the systems: kelp needs CO2 and nitrogen, both of which are byproducts of mussel culture. Another project aim is to increase the market for kelp. One night for dinner, Sarah cooked up some kelp and opened a box of smoked mussels. The leftovers went back into the mussel box and a Japanese Bento Box-style meal was created - something for the gourmet market perhaps? You can find a picture of the kelp/mussel bento box at Dana's blog.