The anticipation I felt was more than I expected—every couple of hours I was logging into the Argos system database to check the latest satellite hits. Where were my seals going? Earlier that day: As a first-year graduate student in The Costa Lab at UC Santa Cruz, I was conducting my first field experiment with […]Read More Translocations: science with some plot twists
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 […]Read More Sunset on Shark Season 2019
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 […]Read More AMSS 2020: THE BIG PICTURE
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 […]Read More A Steller Study
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 […]Read More Shark Tag Recovered!
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 […]Read More Gummy Bears and Math
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 […]Read More It’s a shark!
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, […]Read More Déjà vu
Steingass S, Horning M, Bishop AM. Space use of Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) from two haulout locations along the Oregon coast. PloS one. 2019 Jul 31;14(7):e0219484. Click Here for Open Access Paper A quickly changing coastline The Oregon coast is a dynamic and vibrant 363-mile stretch of the eastern Pacific. While a few […]Read More Paper in a nutshell: Harbor Seal movements along the Oregon Coast
Seals and sharks can be oceanographers too!Read More BLS6: Marine Mammals as Oceanographers
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 […]Read More Here Sharky, Sharky, Sharky
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 […]Read More Sleeper Shark Season Wrap-up
Imagine this scenario: You’re going for a jog outside, but seeing some snow on the ground, you decide to put on a thermal long-sleeve shirt underneath your sweatshirt. Right as you step out the door, you sure are glad you added that extra layer. After a few minutes into your jog, you notice you’re breathing […]Read More Coping with lots of fat: A marine mammal’s perspective
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.Read More Animals on the Move
It’s 5:30 am and we just loaded up the Costa Lab truck with the cages and gear and pulled out of Long Marine Lab. Some heavy lifting early in the morning will sure do the trick to get your blood flowing and wake you up. The cages are not usually needed for most fieldwork days, […]Read More A Glimpse into the Graduate School Journey
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 […]Read More Home Sweet Home Range
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 […]Read More Can you hear me now?
Read about Casey Brown’s transition from studying moose in Fairbanks to Steller sea lions in Seward.Read More A Moose Biologist’s Journey to the Sea
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 […]Read More Science on Exhibit!
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, […]Read More Citizen Scientists find my seal!
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 […]Read More Needle in a haystack
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 […]Read More Instruction manuals for scientists
Well, after an exciting summer of 2018 where we captured and worked with nine Pacific sleeper sharks here in Resurrection Bay, we are at it again for the summer of 2019. Our capture efforts are for a research project funded by the North Pacific Research Board. The project is carried out in collaboration with the […]Read More We need a smaller shark (or a bigger boat)!
Updates on how Otto and Yankee Doodle, two sea otters rehabilitated at the MMC, are doing after their release, and how telemetry is helping us monitor their health.Read More Otto and Yankee Doodle are doing well!
A collaboration between the Alaska SeaLife Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Marine Mammal Center is enhancing the conservation of sea otters in the North Pacific Ocean!Read More New milestones in southern sea otter conservation
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.Read More Cue the Jaws Theme Song Please
Learn about how Argos and Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) contribute to our economy, livelihoods, and science–and how these systems are in jeopardy.Read More Tracking EPIRBs and Wildlife: Houston – we’ve got a problem here.
Hot off the press, in this new feature, we will share key aspects new papers published by researchers at the ASLC in an informal narrative. This first paper shares the results of a study that sought to investigate any unexpected or potentially problematic response to surgeries or tagging for LHX tag implantation in harbor seals.Read More LHX tag implantation in harbor seal pups
New Paper in a Nutshell: Best practice recommendations for the use of fully implanted telemetry devices in pinnipeds. Horning et al. 2017Read More Best Practice Recommendations
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 […]Read More Pills and x-rays
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!Read More How we get research ideas