Record Number of Right Whales Sighted in Block Island Sound

A NOAA marine mammal aerial survey team based at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, has sighted nearly 100 endangered North Atlantic right whales feeding in Block Island Sound, the largest group ever documented in those waters.

A “flukeprint” is the whale equivalent of a footprint. It appears on the water’s surface when a whale dives and when just underwater flexes its tail, or fluke, upward to help propel itself deeper. This creates a smooth patch of water on the surface that looks somewhat like an oil slick, and to whale spotters is one of the telltale signs whales are present.

All of the whales were actively surface feeding, indicating dense patches of copepods, the tiny marine zooplankton on which right whales feed. During this time of year, right whales are migrating through southern New England waters generally headed northward to feed at different times and places throughout the summer.

North Atlantic right whales are particularly susceptible to collisions with vessels, causing serious injuries and deaths of the animals. The likelihood of a seriously harmful collision is reduced when vessel speeds are slowed.

The whales were sighted both within and just outside of waters that are also part of a seasonal management area for large whales intended to reduce the risk of harmful collisions. Within the area, vessels 65 ft or larger are required to abide by a speed limit of 10 knots or less between November 1 and April 30 of each year. NOAA has extended protection in adjacent areas by implementing a short-term management area that mariners are expected, but not required, to either avoid or to voluntarily reduce speeds to 10 knots or less while transiting.

Climate Change Online PD Workshop

Oregon State University E-Campus offers Global Climate Change Issues and Impacts Workshop, taught by Vicki Osis.

The course will provide information geared for teachers and general audiences about climate change and impacts of warming that are being expressed in various bioregions of the world. Topics in the course will also include current reports about oil supplies and the concept of peak oil, as well as alternative energy research, development and conservation. Teaching activities will be provided for various topics such as impacts on coral reefs and forests etc. A focus of the course will be how to teach a controversial and scary topic to students.

July 19-August 13, FW 808 1 credit professional development credit. Total Cost $75.00 ($50.00 for 1 credit. $25.00 admission to OSU if you are not an active student.)  Contact Vicki if you wish more information or to receive a syllabus of the course and to enroll in the class.

Job Opportunity: Facility Supervisor, California

The SEA Lab is looking for a facility supervisor.  The SEA Lab is based in Redondo Beach and is a program of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. The Facilities Supervisor implements the mission of the LA Conservation Corps by providing a space for young people and adults to gain an understanding and appreciation for our local marine environment and training for young adults and volunteers in the care and maintenance of marine animals, display systems, and research experiences thus contributing to their personal and career opportunities. The Facility Supervisor is responsible for the supervision, work project leadership, public aquarium maintenance, education support, and animal care requirements of the SEA Lab.  To learn more about the LA Conservation Corps, visit

For the full job description

STEM Teaching Scholarships

The AFCEA Educational Foundation will offer scholarships of $5,000 to students actively pursuing an undergraduate or graduate education degree for the purpose of teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) subjectsat a U.S. middle or secondary school.   Applications Deadline: June 10.

Questions? Email Norma Corrales <>

Job Opportunity: Projects Coordinator, Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) is seeking applicants for a Special Projects Coordinator to work on a wide range of progressive estuarine protection and restoration initiatives throughout Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bay. The Special Projects Coordinator will manage diverse habitat protection and stormwater mitigation projects, develop outreach initiatives related to core program areas, and cultivates relationships with key partners. The coordinator will also assist the MBP Director in many additional aspects of program administration including the facilitation of management committee meetings, responding to program inquiries and requests, and managing the MBP Municipal Grant Program. Applications are due by May 14.

Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary Seeks Advisors

NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank/ /National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill 16 seats on its advisory council, which represents the public’s interests in sanctuary matters and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent.  The sanctuary is accepting applications for primary and alternate seats representing Research, Conservation, Whale Watching, Fixed Gear Commercial Fishing, Mobile Gear Commercial Fishing, Diving, Education, Business and Industry, and At-Large.

Applications are due June 1, 2010/. /To receive an application kit, or for further information, please contact Elizabeth Stokes by e-mail at ; by phone at 781-545-8026 X 201; or by mail at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 175 Edward Foster Road, Scituate, MA 02066.

New Sea Grant Documents Available

The March 2010 listing of new Sea Grant documents received by the National Sea Grant Library is now available:
Copies of these documents are usually available from the originating Sea Grant program
or may be borrowed from the National Sea Grant Library Many of these
titles are also available as PDF documents and can be accessed directly from the NSGL website.

Online Course: Teaching About the Marine Environment, Grades 5-12

The Department of Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington will be offering an online course this fall: EVS 592 Teaching about the Marine Environment.  This course, developed and taught by Dr. Rosanne Fortner, former President of the National Marine Educators Association and Director of COSEE Great Lakes, offers classroom-based methods for ocean education. Explore online sources and exemplary print materials for grades 5-12, many adaptable for informal learning. Match the lessons to your [prospective] curriculum and adapt to your setting with expert assistance. The course is completely online and asynchronous.  Since this course carries 3 hours of graduate credit, you must first apply to UNCW as a non-degree graduate before registering for the course (click here). Information on course tuition and fees can be found here.  Applications must be received by July 1, but the earlier, the better because seating is very limited.

Marine Science in Virgin Islands for High School and College Students

MANTA is a non-profit organization that offers marine science education programs to high school and college students.  Students live aboard a large catamaran sailboat in the British Virgin Islands while being immersed in marine science, receiving their PADI scuba diving certification, and learning to sail.  MANTA’s research scientists and instructors teach in a “flippers on” style, and the syllabus includes lectures and labs on several aspects of marine science based on the Ocean Literacy principles and concepts, as well as active participation in publishable marine research.  The summer 2010 programs are scheduled and open for enrollment.   Visit for additional information, including trip details and the online application.  The college program is offered through the Center for International Education of the College of Charleston.  Feel free to email with any questions.

Long Island Sound Educators’ Conference

Looking for ways to incorporate Long Island Sound into your curriculum?  Need some new ideas for activities and games about Long Island Sound?  There is still time to register for the 2010 Long Island Sound Educators Conference to be held at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT on Friday, April 30.  Go to for conference information and on-line registration.