Volume 15, Number 1 Fall 2011
DiveintheMontereyBayAquariumkelp forest tank and swimamongstthefisheswhilewavingtovisitorsontheothersideoftheglass.
Walk miles of beaches at night intropicalPapuaIndonesiainsearchofleatherback sea turtles comingonshoretolaytheireggs.
Cruise through the ice pack inthe Bering Sea aboard an ice-reinforced vessel to look forbirdsandmarinemammals.
If youre thinking,Wouldnt it be funto hear about thoseadventures? youshould be followingalongwiththestudentblog.
Forthepastthreeyears,studentshavebeensharingtheirstoriesonThe Drop-In to Moss Landing Marine Labsblog,ajournalfilledwithcaptivatingpicturesand truly unique stories. Created bystudent Erin Loury and managed bya team of MLML students, the blogprovides an opportunity for others topeer into theworld ofmarine science
fromastudentsperspective,swimmingbeside them as they do their research,and sensing both the frustrationsand elations of their journey throughgraduateschool.
A recent graduate of MLML, ErinLoury started theblogasaprojectinher first semesterthat brought
togetherherloveofcommunicationandoutreach, and the diverse experiencesofMLMLstudents.Shehopedthattheblogcouldplayseveralroles,includingdemystifying the study of marinescience for ocean lovers, and openingup theworldofMLMLtoprospectivestudents.
The Drop-In to MLML has gainedrecognitionforbeingasuperbresource
for learning about the marineworld.Ranked16thinthe100BestBlogs for Studying the Ocean bywww.worldsbest.in, theDrop-In ispromotedasagreatplaceforsomeexcellent (and homework-free!)lessonsinmarinescience.
Youcanfinditatwww.mlmlblog.wordpress.com, andwehopeyouwilljoin the students in their adventures.Remember to check back often, asthey like to keep the content as freshasthefishtheypullupfromthedeep.Or, if you want a reminder aboutexciting new stories, like the MossLandingMarineLaboratoriesFacebookpage at http://www.facebook.com/mosslandingmarinelabs and well besuretokeepyouupdated.Photo Credits: Zach Kaufman, Erin
Loury, Nate Jones, Deasy Lontoh
Dr. Kenneth Coale has resigned asDirector of MLML after more than 10yearsofexceptionaldedicationandserviceto this institution. He was instrumentalin overseeing the construction of the newlab, and the quality and ambiance of thebuildingisinlargepartduetohisconstantattention to detail. An indication of hisdevotion to MLML was that he taughtthe Chemical Oceanography course andadvised students while attending to theduties of Director. He helped acquire anumber of pieces of property thatwill bedeveloped for the new marine operationscomplex,shorelabfacility,andSustainableOcean Science campus. In addition,he has represented MLML, SJSU, andthe CSU in numerous organizations andactivities, including: Operating InstitutionRepresentative on UNOLS Council,COAST Executive Committee, Trusteeon Ocean Science Trust, Advisory Teamfor the Ocean Protection Council, andservingontheSeaGrantResearchAdvisoryGroup.Hehasdevotedalargepartofhisprofessional life to serving the needs andfuture of MLML. We all appreciate hisservicetothelab,andhopeheissuccessfulandhappyinhisnextcareerchoice.UntilournextDirectorisappointed,IwillserveasInterimDirector.
I am pleased to write that our facultyand students continue to excel in thefrontiers ofmarine science. Faculty haveprovedremarkablysuccessful inacquiringresearch grants, and attract promisingstudent applicants year after year. Dr.MikeGrahamwasnamedmanagingeditorof the Journal of Phycology, and will bebringingthejournaltoitsnewhomeattheLabs.Dr.IvanoAiellowillbepresentedtheSJSU Research Foundation Early CareerInvestigatorAwardinOctober.
Students accomplishments amount to alonglistaswell.Atotalof28studentshavegraduatedsincethelastissueofThe Wave,and have proved their worth as emerging
Erin Loury won the coveted StoweAward for Best Student Paper at theAmericanSocietyofIchthyologistsandHerpetologistsmeeting, andwill begintheprestigiousScienceCommunicationProgramatUCSCthisfall.
Cori Gibble was awarded NOAAsDr. Nancy Foster Scholarship and ispursuing a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciencesat UCSC studying Microcystin toxinsproducedby freshwater algaeandhowtheyaffectmarineandestuarinebirds.
Mariah Boyle, Assistant OperationsDirector at FishWise in Santa Cruz,is working to help large retail chainssuchasSafewayimplementsustainableseafood policies, and recently receiveda grant from the PADI Foundationto conduct research on artisanal fishlandingsinJohnObey,SierraLeone.
Paul Tomkins is in Haiti working onforest restoration efforts, where morethan95%oforiginaltreecoverisgone.
ThesesuccessesareaclearconfirmationthatMLML producesmarine scientists ofthehighestcaliber.Wewillcontinuetodoso,aslongaswecansupportourstudentsduring their time here. I urge you toconsidermakingagifttoFriendsofMLMLso that they may provide much neededassistancethatstudentsrelyonthroughoutgraduateschool.
Notes from the HelmDr. Jim HarveyDirector of MLML
Fall 2011 3
Spot a Basking Shark ProjectNexttimeyouareoutonthebay,
keep an eye out for a large darkshape silently gliding under thesurfaceandafinbreakingthewater.Butdontbealarmed
OurPacificSharkResearchCenter(PSRC)isenlistingthepublictohelpcollectinformationabouttheworldssecondlargestyetpoorlyunderstoodshark species, the basking shark(Cetorhinus maximus). No specialtraining necessary; anyone with acamerawhocanpointandshootcanhelp.
PSRChasteamedwiththeNationalMarine Fisheries Service (NMFS)andcolleagueson thePacificcoastofCanada andMexico in an efforttobetterunderstandtheabundance,distribution,andmovementoftheselarge, docile giants. Reachinglengthsupto33feetandgatheringingroupsof500ormoreattimes,thebaskingsharkislistedasaSpeciesofConcernbyNMFS.
Since the 1900s, basking sharkpopulations have dramaticallydeclinedoffthecoastofCanadaandCalifornia. Its been probably 15yearsorsosinceweveseentheminanynumbersaroundhere,saidDr.
Dave Ebert, programmanager for PSRCand research facultymember at MLML.More troubling, thepopulation shows nosign of recovery sincethe closure of thebasking shark fisheryin the eastern NorthPacific over 60 yearsago. Currently, thepopulations geographic range,connectivity throughout thePacific, and population dynamicsare unknown. This information iscriticaltoassessingpotentialsourcesof mortality outside the UnitedStates, Canadian, and MexicanEconomicExclusiveZones,aswellas the relative impacts of humaninteractions and environmentaleffectsonpopulationtrends.Theneedto draft a comprehensive recoveryplanbutlackofvitalinformationledtoPSRCsinvolvement.
With funding from the NationalOceanic and AtmosphericAdministration and the David andLucile Packard Foundation, PSRCbeganabaskingsharkstudyin2010using an integrative approach. Thegoal of the project is to fill vital
informationgapsneeded todeveloparecoveryplanthatwillmaximizethepotentialtorebuildthebaskingsharkpopulation in the easternNorthPacific. First,PSRChas been actively studyingthespecies.Inamomentousstep, PSRC satellite taggedthree basking sharks, agreat feat given populationnumbers off the Pacific
Coast may be as low as 300-500.These are the first basking sharkstagged using satellite tags for ourcoastline, said Ebert. By usingsatellites, we can track the sharksmovementoveralongperiodoftimeandbetterunderstandthespecies.
The second component of theproject is gathering crowd-sourceddata to build a database includinglocations and identities of baskingsharks on our coast. Anyonewhosights one is asked to report date,time,andlocationofsighting,lengthof the shark, and other importantdetails they may have been ableto glean from their encounter.Photographs of the sharks areespeciallyvaluable,astheycanhelpPSRCidentifyindividualsharks.
PSRC has posted flyers up anddown the coast advertising thisproject and requesting help. Ifyou have seen a basking shark,please report your sighting firstname.lastname@example.org.PSRCwillthankyou!
More information on the projectcanbefoundat:
Photo Credit: Alex Macleod
Photo Credit: Green Massachusetts
Working With White Sharks
an Evening with John O Sullivan
Please join us Wednesday, October 19th at 7:00 PM
About the talk: Didn t get enough Shark Week on the Discovery Channel this year? This evening lecture s speaker was featured in Great White Invasion, the program that kicked off Shark Week and investigated why white sharks spend time in the coastal waters of