I’m Alex, one of the two Nick Mahoney interns sharing time between Appledore and Star Island, I thought I’d tell you a bit of what I do. I’ve been out on the Isles of Shoals since June 14th, and I know I’ll miss it once I leave this Monday. Since June I’ve been learning a lot about the culture, history, and natural science of the Isles of Shoals, and I use this knowledge to help give tours on both Star and Appledore Island. On Appledore I participate in the UNH Marine Docent program, and on Star I help out Arthur in the Lyman V. Rutledge Marine Lab. In addition, Ana (my co-intern) and I have also been working on our own project. During the month of July we surveyed children and adults on their opinions on Gulls. This information helped us create a Gull education program, and if you return to the Isles of Shoals next year, you will see the fruits of our labor in the form of informational posters, signs, and pamphlets around the island. Ana and I find the Gulls to be fascinating, charismatic, and at times, humorous birds. We hope you can learn to feel the same way. I’ve learned a lot and really enjoyed my time on Star this year, and I am truly grateful to have been one of your Nick Mahoney interns this year.
For those of you who missed it, one of our fellow shoalers had a busy summer (at least part of it) diving in the U.S. Navy-owned Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin and living aboard the R/V Nautilus (based out of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution).
Check him out during his pre-cruise interview where he describes his research into the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep sea ecosystems:
Erik Cordes, an associate professor at Temple University, is a collaborator in the ECOGIG project which works to understand the impacts of oil and gas—naturally occurring and accidental—on the deep sea ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico. Find a photo album and description of their work on the Nautilus web site here.
As for Erik’s summer—which may also have yielded footage for the film he is working on with other Star Islanders, Acid Horizon—his quote on the Nautilus Web site summarizes it well:
“I have loved exploring the oceans since I was a kid playing on my grandfather’s boat in the Gulf of Mexico and in tide pools on the Isles of Shoals in the Gulf of Maine. I am always excited to join the Nautilus as we go more places that no one has ever seen!”
Follow the Nautilus all the time here: http://www.nautiluslive.org/
Find the ECOGIG album here: http://www.nautiluslive.org/album/2014/06/25/ecogig-beginning
Find Erik on the Nautilus here: http://www.nautiluslive.org/tr/node/6487
Just in time for Star’s September birding weekend, we bring you an interview with Eric Masterson, a land specialist for the Harris Center for Conservation Education. He also happens to be a birding expert (author of Birdwatching in New Hampshire) and leader of the Island’s birding weekends.
A snowy owl.
This interview about a recent influx of snowy owls to the state aired on March 20 in the “Word of Mouth” section of New Hampshire Public Radio. But island naturalist, Arthur Eves, recently witnessed a snowy owl at work on Star this past week during LOAS I. An unusual time of year to see one for sure!
We’ve also seen evidence of their work during the winter, with a Red-breasted Merganser left on the tennis court and eaten over the past year undoubtedly by a snowy.
Hope you listen in and enjoy. Find the story here.
When you’ve finished listening, remember to sign up to see Eric this September 19-21 on the Island as well. Sign up for the conference here. You can also find out more about Eric’s conferences this past May by reading his blog or talking to folks in Natural History Week when he served as the theme speaker.
Find the link for Star’s conference page here: http://starisland.org/conferences/2014-conference-listing/birding-weekend-september/
Find the interview link on NHPR here: http://nhpr.org/post/snowy-owls-granite-state-and-beyond
Find Eric Masterson’s Web site here: http://ericmasterson.com/
By Linnea Huston
This week in the lab, we got to see two of our Atlantic rock crabs (Cancer irroratus) in the process of mating. To some, it looked like they were fighting, or like one was eating the other alive. In fact, they were in the “doubler” position, which looks as though the two are hugging each other.
In the pictures, the male crab is the larger of the two and the female is the smaller. Female crabs will molt right before or during mating, and this one did just that—an object came away from the pair that looked like a second crab. We realized that that was her shedded outer shell and that she
was now darker in color (Which you can see
in the second picture).
These two were in the doubler position only a few hours, but mating crabs can stay like this from five hours to three days. The female will store the male’s sperm under her abdomen, which will later attach to her eggs. She’ll then carry the fertilized eggs under her abdomen for about two weeks until they hatch.
Always something interesting to see in the Marine Lab!