Online Resource – Podcast of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life’s Education and Learning Group announces a new biweekly podcast, the Podcast of Life, Podcastium vitae. Beginning with a cache of 13 episodes and hosted by Ari Daniel Shapiro, the first in the series features the North Atlantic Right Whale. In addition to links to classroom resources, each episode offers ways for students to call in or record online to add their voices and ideas to the Podcast of Life.

3rd Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Conference – Call for Papers

The 3rd Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Conference will be held September 19, 2009, at the Egan Maritime Institute at the Historic Coffin School, 4 Winter Street, Nantucket, MA.  Any person or organization who has conducted biodiversity related research on Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Long Island or other similar habitats is invited to apply for a place on the program either for an oral (15 min plus 5 min for questions) or poster presentation. Please submit abstract no later than 11 August 2009. Questions: Please contact Bob Kennedy at rkennedy@mmo.org or 508-228-1782 or any member of the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Committee.

Gulf of Maine Area-Census of Marine Life Newsletter

July 29, 2009

CALENDAR: Gulf of Maine Symposium – Early registration ends July 31st

Early registration ends Friday, July 31st for the Gulf of Maine Symposium, to be held in scenic St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, October 4-9, 2009.

GoMA will host a one-day workshop on Biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine on Monday, October 5th.  We invite members of the science, management and conservation communities to join us.

The symposium is sponsored by the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine, in collaboration with COMPASS, Department of Fisheries and Oceans – St. Andrews Biological Station, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and the Gulf of Maine Area – Census of Marine Life.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS: Isles of Shoals (NH), Platts Bank (ME), Cobscook Bay (ME) and Discovery Corridor (Canada)

Here are a few highlights of summer research activities from our partners:

Leading a team of students at Shoals Marine Lab, marine archaeologists Nate Hamilton and Ingrid Brack (photo) found evidence of prehistoric Native Americans on Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire.

Studies of biological hotspots – areas teeming with marine life – continue at Platts Bank, an off-shore bank 30 miles east of Portland, Maine.

Sampling of intertidal and nearshore species continues in Cobscook Bay, near the Maine/Canadian border.

A two-week cruise is underway in the Discovery Corridor, from the shores of the Bay of Fundy to the deep sea.  A 2008 National Geographic video shows you what this Canadian project is all about.

PUBLICATIONS: Recent papers on ecosystem dynamics

Gulf of Maine researchers have published two recent papers on changing ecosystem dynamics and fish communities using decades and centuries worth of data:

Using fish survey data from 1963 to the present, Peter Auster and Jason Link co-authored Compensation and recovery of feeding guilds in a northwest Atlantic shelf fish community (April 30, 2009, Marine Ecology Progress Series ).  The abstract begins “Disturbance by fishing activities in marine ecosystems has resulted in significant shifts in the distribution, abundance and diversity of fish communities.” Dr. Auster (photo) is a key contributor to the GoMA Census of Marine Life.

Based on historic records dating back to 1630, a team of researchers led by Stefan Claesson and Andy Rosenberg published their final report on Stellwagen Bank Marine Historical Ecology (2009, Gulf of Maine Cod Project, UNH). Dr. Rosenberg is a project leader for the Historical Marine Animal Populations of the Census of Marine Life. Recent guest lecturers and historians, Karen Alexander and Bill Leavenworth, contributed to the report.

Congratulations to all on their significant contributions to our understanding of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

EDUCATION NEWS: Student video wins national recognition

A poignant and well-produced video, Our Oceans, Our World , by high school students Eric Kao and Jorie Heilman of Lexington, Mass. captured the admiration of regional and national judges.  The winning video will be on display at the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall throughout the year.  The winner and runners-up can be viewed on our website – kudos to all who participated in the contest.

Living on the Ocean Planet video contest is a project of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, initiated by GoMA and co-sponsored by the Census of Marine Life.

Editor’s Note

A special thanks to Census of Marine Life scientist, Dr. Michael Sinclair of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, NS for his recent interview for our blog, Celebrating Darwin.  In Part 1, Reflections on Darwin , Dr. Sinclair discussed how scientific theories come to be, and in Part 2, Music and Darwin,  how music inspired – and was inspired by – Darwin.

As part of our ongoing celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Origin of Species, we invite colleagues to contribute to our blog in the coming months.  If interested, please contact Susan Ryan.

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If you know someone who may be interested in receiving this newsletter, you can easily forward up to five copies at once.

Researchers Looking For New Forms of Marine Life, Clues to Deep-Sea Communities

A team of researchers, led by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, is surveying an underwater mountain chain in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean to study its biodiversity. The international research team is working aboard the 208-foot NOAA ship Henry B. Bigelow as part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem Project, or MAR-ECO. This project is one of 14 field programs that are part of the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year global study of the abundance, distribution and diversity of marine life in the world’s oceans. The Census began in 2000 and seeks, by 2010, to determine what lives in the ocean and how this life has changed with time. More information about the expedition is available online.

Lecture at Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Join the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and the Census of Marine Life (CoML) for an ongoing public lecture series, Sea State 4.0.  On June 11, Tom Trott of Suffolk University presents Where Land Meets Sea: Diversity Along our Shores.
Science lectures: 2-3:00 pm, Public lectures: 7-8:00 pm.
Visit the GMRI Sea State 4.0 website.