When you look at an extremely zoomed in picture and you see a blurry, orange color, what is it a picture of? Is it an orangutan? A flower? Maybe it’s a tiger? Sometimes when you look at a picture too close up, you can’t actually tell what the big picture is. The same is true […]


A Steller Study

Paper in a Nutshell: Bishop, Dubel, Sattler, Brown, Horning. 2019. Wanted dead or alive: characterizing likelihood of juvenile Steller sea lion predation from diving and space use patterns. Endangered Species Research. Endangered species is a topic that we can all relate to. Whether it is a Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) that is living in your […]

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Sunset on Shark Season 2019

We had our last day sharking on this past Sunday, but no weekend sharks were to be found. So as we pack up the totes of line, buoys and gear— it looks like it’s a wrap for shark season 2019! And what a season it was!   Our team spent over 30 days on the […]

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Gummy Bears and Math

Electronic mark-resight studies: part 1 Aspiring young scientists often joke that they should put “expert counter” on their resume. Counting seals, counting barnacles in a quadrat, counting birds, counting cells… you name it, an intern has counted it. This is because a lot of ecological research and conservation requires knowing how many of something there […]

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Déjà vu

Translocations Season 1 Recap Last season, Obedient Juvie (a.k.a. O.J.) and Curious Juvie (a.k.a. C.J.) helped me out with my first pilot study to test heat flux biologgers (what are these?) on freely swimming juvenile elephant seals. Not only did we learn what worked and what didn’t work in terms of sensor attachment and configuration, […]

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Shark Tag Recovered!

On May 31st, our ASLC Shark Research Team caught our first Pacific Sleeper Shark (we posted the picture of our success a few weeks ago here). As she was too big for our main study, we collected various measurements, samples, and attached a satellite tag to track her movements and diving patterns after release (Permit […]

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It’s a shark!

To wrap up Shark week, we will continue the story of our Pacific sleeper shark research project. Now where did we leave off…? “It’s a shark!” Everyone clambered to the side of the boat to lean over and get a look. Sure enough, on our last hook of the day was a huge shark! Days […]

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Sleeper Shark Season Wrap-up

Lessons learned and new horizons Well our first season of researching sharks is wrapped up! It has been a roller coaster and an example of teamwork in action. Since our first efforts at camera deployment and attempts at fishing, we have logged over 20 days on the water, from 3 different boats, and with a […]

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Here Sharky, Sharky, Sharky

A few weeks ago we posted about the surprising saga of the shark satellite tag scavenger hunt. Due to the unexpected nature of that occurrence, we actually got ahead of ourselves here on 60N on the story of the Sleeper Shark Research Project. Before the tag could be lost and then found–we first had to […]

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Home Sweet Home Range

Paper in a Nutshell Bishop AM, Brown CB, Rehberg M, Torres L, & Horning M. 2018. Juvenile Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) utilization distributions in the Gulf of Alaska. Movement Ecology, 6:6 Open Access *** It is a Saturday morning. You wake up, walk to your kitchen, and make breakfast. Maybe you then head out […]

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Can you hear me now?

In our last post (click here if you missed it!), we chatted about tools scientists use to monitor and estimate wildlife population size. While we mentioned several techniques that can be used, we ended with the question: Can Argos satellite transmitter tags be used for electronic mark-resight studies? The short answer: probably yes. The long […]

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Animals on the Move

We have posted many blogs about our fieldwork, in-house, and collaborators’ research projects on 60N. But we haven’t talked much about the other big part of doing research: data and data analysis.

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Citizen Scientists find my seal!

Back in August, we started the story of Toby and Xena (link), two juvenile elephant seals that are part of my graduate research investigating how marine mammals thermoregulate while diving. I don’t know if researchers are allowed to have favorites, but Toby definitely had me and my team feeling grateful for such a cooperative seal, […]

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Science on Exhibit!

This summer at the ASLC there is a new exhibit in town and it is all about science! As you walk past the model ship and across from Harbor Bottom, you notice a door. Last year in celebration of our 20th Anniversary, this room showcased our history and our mission. It reminded us of where […]

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Instruction manuals for scientists

Horning M, et al. 2019. Best practice recommendations for the use of external telemetry devices on pinnipeds. Animal Biotelemetry, 7(1), 1-17. Open Access As scientists, we often connect with each other over a coffee at conferences, through message boards on online forums, and more recently through various social media outlets such as blogging and twitter.  Connecting with […]

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Needle in a haystack

Back in August we caught our 4th Pacific Sleeper shark. This animal was tagged with a Wildlife Computers mini-PAT (satellite pop-up tag) and then was released right off Caines Head in Resurrection Bay. The mini-PAT had been scheduled to detach itself 90 days after deployment, which was Monday. And right on schedule, on Monday, the tag […]

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Cue the Jaws Theme Song Please

The Horning Lab spent the day on Resurrection Bay simulating predation events in an effort to test the accuracy of the Life History Tag. A simulated predation event is not as scary as it sounds! Read my blog about how this data will ultimately provide more information about the role of predation on Steller sea lions in our study area.

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Pills and x-rays

The Pills If this sounds like a medical story, it is not. The pills in this case are stomach temperature pills. Stomach temperature pill (STPs) are telemetry devices we use to record or transmit the stomach temperature in an animal. But why would we want to know the temperature in an animal’s stomach? When the […]

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How we get research ideas

You’ve probably heard stories about how scientists get ideas that might include ‘it came to me in a dream!’. This blog post shares a different kind of story–one about how scientists take an idea, design a scientific study, discover an answer, and excitingly, end up with more questions!

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