Beyond “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

There is no denying that plastic waste is a problem. Whether it’s trash scattered around the parking lot or 620,000 square miles of garbage gathering in the Pacific Ocean, plastic waste is everywhere.  Between nearly fifty years of public service announcements and campaigns promoting the familiar “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” slogan, many Americans have acknowledged […]

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What makes ringed seals so special?

If you’ve never heard of a ringed seal, prepare for your life to be changed for the better! Mine certainly was when I met these amazing marine mammals for the first time. Before I started at the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC), I thought ringed seals were just another seal species. They’d probably be cute and have […]

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Shedding Light on Molting Ice Seals

By Juliana Kim, Mammalogist and PHOCAS research trainer We previously posted a blog about the PHOCAS project, a research program at the Alaska SeaLife Center that exemplifies how science and animal training can intersect to achieve conservation goals. The ‘Training for Science’ blog showcased several different ways in which our resident ringed and spotted seals […]

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Sleeper Shark Science 2020

My forearms were starting to burn as hand over hand I pulled in the 950ft of line from the depths of Resurrection Bay. The first 3 lines we pulled in were empty, save for the salmon heads we used as bait, but this one sounded different. The whir of the hauler was a bit louder, […]

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Being Individual

Grey seal breeding colonies are stressful places. Hundreds or even thousands of females arrive on shore every autumn, jostling and moving about to find the perfect spot to give birth and nurse their pups. As the season progresses, pups begin to wander about, trying to avoid the hormonal males who are picking fights and waiting […]

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Where are they now?

The ASLC has offered an internship program, training the next generation of ocean educators, scientists and conservationists, for almost 20 years. Summer is typically our busiest time, with over 25 enthusiastic new recruits arriving from all over the US; however, this year we unfortunately had to press pause as part of our continued efforts to […]

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Summer of Science 2020

Right about now, we would be sharing stories about how our researchers are dusting off their field gear, checking xtratufs (wellies) for leaks, and making those first few voyages out onto the water. Research is a team sport—data collectors, observers, boat operators, laboratory technicians—and often requires travel to field sites either by the researchers themselves […]

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Where wonder exists

There are many things that don’t go well together. Water and cellphones.  Superman and kryptonite. Bare feet and LEGOs. Art and science? At first glance it might seem art and science are polar opposites too. According to the Oxford Dictionary, art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically […]

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Fly Away Home

All around a symphony, a cacophony, of birds. I woke up to those sounds every day for a week, even before the dim light of the sunrise could creep through my curtains. It was the soundtrack that accompanied me down the wooden-planked walkway, or as I biked past the citrus grove. The birds that didn’t […]

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Coastal Molecular Monitoring

Both wildlife and humans depend on marine coastal habitats and the species that reside there, but these places are experiencing changing environmental conditions and human activity, which could potentially harm coastal resources. In order for state and federal agencies to manage and protect these environments, methods are needed to detect changes in coastal environments over […]

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Stressful times

Sattler R, Bishop AM, Polasek L. 2020. Cortisol Levels for Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Human Care. Aquatic Mammals, 46: 146-151. Open Access Feeling stressed? Repeating the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy advice “Don’t Panic” to yourself? You’re not alone…in more ways than you may know! All animals experience ‘stress’. We’ve […]

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ASLC Science goes LIVE!

Even with our doors closed, the mission of the ASLC carries on–to generate and share scientific information. In fact, our organization was founded for the specific purpose of conducting marine research and we love sharing our research adventures, antics, analyses and accomplishments with you here on the blog. With everyone safely hunkered down at home, […]

Read More ASLC Science goes LIVE!

Data in the blind spot

Paper in a Nutshell:Constraint lines and performance envelopes in behavioral physiology: the case of the aerobic dive limit. Markus Horning, Frontiers in Physiology 2012; 3:381 All humans have a blind spot (puntum caecum in medical parlance): if you look directly at something it’s hard to see, but if you look to the side it becomes […]

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Ocean Connections

For those of you that follow this blog, you may have noticed at this time every year ASLC scientists, students and interns attend the annual gathering of scientists and managers called the Alaska Marine Science Symposium. For a week of science-filled fun, I am usually running around between sessions, learning about marine heatwaves, finding collaborators […]

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2019: A Year in Review

In case you missed any of our posts, over the past 365 days we have been very busy in the ASLC Science Department! Here are some of the highlights from 2019: Here Sharky Sharky Sharky! Our biggest research project of the year entailed an exploration into the world of the elusive and enigmatic Pacific Sleeper […]

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Age: Is it really just a number?

Allen et al. 2019. “Muscular apoptosis but not oxidative stress increases with old age in a long-lived diver, the Weddell seal” Journal of Experimental Biology. You’ve likely heard of “dog years” before, but what about seal years? Do wild animals age the same way that pets and humans do? Turns out – we don’t always […]

Read More Age: Is it really just a number?

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, […]

Read More Citizen Scientists find my seal!

Dinner table under the sea

Many of us will be settling down at our dinner tables this week, ready to dive into delicious turkey, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce with family and friends. In honor of that feast and festivities–enjoy theses videos taken by the Nautilus Live crew of a smorgasbord discovered deep on the ocean floor. Bonus: if your […]

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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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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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True Facts

Do you like random facts about animals? Do you like watching YouTube? Then you should definitely check out “True Facts” by zefrank1 This series of videos is the product of what is clearly some pretty rigorous research. They chronicle the lives of many of the overlooked species that aren’t as ‘charismatic’ as a whale or […]

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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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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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A Steller Menu

Often, when I was out on the floor monitoring the touch tank and pointing out California sea cucumbers to curious guests, people would strike up a conversation, asking how long I’d been working here. I would tell them that I was here for a 3 month internship doing research, and that this had been a […]

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Pick up a good book

Now that our summer season of sharks, fieldwork, and exploration is beginning to wind down, many of the ASLC researchers are retreating to their offices like bears to their dens. There, we find a never-ending conveyor belt of new papers and information that has piled up over the summer, waiting to be read. While reading […]

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What can we do?

When we’d discussed the idea of having questions and answers from our exhibit room this summer, I was happy to act as a Google search for simpler questions about animals because curiosity is amazing, and many of these questions make me smile (“Do Fish Yawn?” Yes, Evan R. they do!!). But, I also had really […]

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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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Live slow and prosper

I shivered as my legs slipped beneath the 42⁰F water; everyone was up to their thighs in the cold water for our first day of metabolic trials with the Pacific sleeper shark. Even with waders on, I could feel the chill in my toes. Angelica handed me a large red plastic board and I carefully […]

Read More Live slow and prosper

From field to lab

In partnership with Point Defiance Zoo, and with funding from the Dr. Holly Reed Conservation Fund, last year we set out to validate if eDNA could be a useful tool for monitoring the prey for Pacific Walrus. We geared up, went into the field, collected our samples, and enjoyed some sunsets–you can read more about that […]

Read More From field to lab

Operation Sleeper Keeper

“Straight ahead!” Dr. Horning called out to the crew, taking his binoculars down and smiling. We had been gently bobbing south down Resurrection Bay for the last 40min, listening for the soft beep of the goniometer to confirm we were getting closer to our target—a miniPAT tag that had detached from a Pacific Sleeper Shark […]

Read More Operation Sleeper Keeper

Question and Answer

As part of our new science exhibit at the Alaska SeaLife Center, we asked you–the visitors–to write down your questions about the ocean, tagging, or marine research. The participation has been amazing and we’re going to highlight answers to your burning questions here on 60°N Science and social media (follow us on Facebook and Instagram). […]

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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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Taking Flight

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its…..a DRONE! One of the hottest new tech gadgets, drones are not just for taking cool aerial pictures and for creating nighttime light shows. They are also a powerful tool for conservation. This summer, our researchers are starting a new project funded by the North Pacific […]

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Modern Discoveries

Almost 100 years before Darwin set sail for the Galapagos, Georg Wilhelm Steller made landfall in what is now Alaska. There, he was greeted with sun-edged mountains, windswept islands, and a host of species he’d never seen before. Steller is now credited with ‘discovering’ six species of bird and mammal many of which bear his […]

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Feeling Hormonal

A few months ago, we shared an initial update about our project funded by SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund looking into Steller sea lion pregnancy hormones. In that blog (read it here), we showed the multi-step process of taking a donated fecal sample and preparing it for hormone quantification.  In short, this process involved removing […]

Read More Feeling Hormonal

To build a tag

We had 5 days to prep 4 tags—should be doable, right? Add a couple extra pairs of hands to help and it should be a walk in the park…right? Maybe I should start with the fact that I had no experience refurbishing and prepping tags before the Tag Workshop hosted by Dr. Markus Horning at […]

Read More To build a tag

AMSS 2019: Presentation is Key

It goes without saying the actual work scientists do is important, but how that research is communicated is equally as significant. For what good does scientific research do if not shared with others so we can all move forward in our understanding and adapt to the ever-changing world? Hopefully by now you have been following […]

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AMSS 2019: Florida to Alaska

Opposite ends of our country, but science knows no bounds I currently work in Northwest Florida, which in many ways is the polar opposite of Alaska. Our Gulf doesn’t have majestic marine ecosystems littered with unique marine mammals and diving sea birds. We don’t have grandiose mountains and glaciers. And the only ice you’ll find […]

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AMSS 2019: Badass women of science

I was asked to write a post from AMSS – to share something that stuck with me from the many wonderful talks, presentations, and people at the meeting in Anchorage this week. Today’s focus was on the Arctic, the northernmost region represented at the conference and the portion of Alaska that encompasses some of the […]

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AMSS 2019

I am always excited when in the dark of winter, the Alaska Marine Science Symposium rolls around.  It’s a beautiful but long 126 miles from Seward to Anchorage. “We’re at the end of the road” quite literally—the SeaLife Center is at mile 1 of the Seward Highway with only the Pacific Ocean behind us.  There […]

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Friday Frontiers: “The shutdown chronicles”

Synchronicity and the butterfly effect are wreaking havoc with marine science. Synchronicity – syn.chro.nic.i.ty – /ˌsiNGkrəˈnisədē/ Definition: ‘meaningful coincidences’ – the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear related but have no discernible causal connection. Butterfly effect  Definition: ‘an African butterfly’s wing-beats can lead to hurricanes across the Atlantic’ – In chaos theory, the butterfly effect […]

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A look back at 2018

A co-worker recently said to me, “I don’t know what you do on an average day”. It isn’t uncommon in an organization of our size not to know the day-to-day happenings of all your co-workers. That was partially why we started this blog, to share with our ASLC family and all of you the highlights, […]

Read More A look back at 2018

Friday Frontiers 12-21-18

Drones, gliders, and ROVs are all being used to help scientists better study the oceans and marine animals. For example, students at Duke University Marine Lab have been using drones to survey pinnipeds on the Pribilof Islands, AK. Well, now robotic jellyfish have been added to the list! Check out this story from Science News […]

Read More Friday Frontiers 12-21-18

The power of poop

Poop is underrated in conservation biology. These smelly samples can tell you what animals are eating, their levels of stress, or whether they are infected by a disease. In a study led by ASLC Research Associate Renae Sattler, funded by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, we’re hoping to learn if poop can also […]

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Friday Frontiers 12-14-18

For our Friday Frontiers this week we get back to our favorite topic: sharks! In a recent study from California (appropriately published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science), scientists were trying to find new techniques for monitoring Great White Sharks.  Shark conservation and research is difficult. For some elusive species, half of the battle is […]

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Friday Frontiers 12-7-18

New Feature! Tune in every Friday for a story from the frontiers of marine science–new and exciting information, papers, or observations that are happening around the world. To kick things off, we need to travel to our neighbor to the south, Hawaii, where scientists on remote islands noticed something strange was happening to the monk […]

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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 […]

Read More Needle in a haystack

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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The beginning of a new project

Three distinct sets of bubbles moved around on the surface of the water, with Richard keeping a watchful eye. Renae and I knelt on the back deck of the boat, labeling bottles and sample vials. “They’re up!” We both looked up from our perch to see three divers now at the surface of the water […]

Read More The beginning of a new project

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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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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Sharks in Alaska

It is that time of year again: Shark Week is beginning on the Discovery Channel, so we decided to have our own “Shark Week: Alaska Edition” here on 60° North Science!! To kick things off–check out this Alaska Public Media podcast about sharks in Alaska waters. Guests included our very own Dr. Markus Horning as well as […]

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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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Welcome Summer 2018 Research Fellows!

Say hello to the summer 2018 ASLC research fellows! Kathryn  Hello! My name is Kathryn Appler, and I am a research fellow this summer at the Alaska SeaLife Center. I graduated from Coe College with a BA in Biology and Sociology. During my undergraduate career, I completed a scholar’s thesis on biofilm architecture of Shewanella […]

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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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Tundra Transformation on Eider ODL

The ASLC houses captive research flocks of both Steller’s and spectacled eiders, which are listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. At this time of the year, the eiders have been exhibiting courtship behaviors and building pair bonds, and the chosen breeding pairs of the season will be moved into breeding units. But […]

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Murphy’s Law: A day on the water

It was one of those rare truly epic days in Resurrection Bay: sun shining, sparkling calm seas, endless snowcapped mountain views.  Our team assembled, and everyone was sipping the last of their coffees as the Jubatus, the ASLC research vessel, pulled out of the harbor. “Everyone ready?” I asked. When smiles and nods were returned, […]

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Next week: Ocean Science Symposium

Next week Wednesday and Thursday, May 9th and 10th,  the Alaska SeaLife Center will be hosting its first Ocean Science Symposium! This two day event will feature science talks from researchers from around the world, and from researchers right in our south-central Alaskan backyard. Come and hear about research investigating great white sharks, salmon, dolphins, […]

Read More Next week: Ocean Science Symposium

Mighty Mussels Vs Oil

Paper in a nutshell based on the recent publication: Counihan, K (2018) The physiological effects of oil, dispersant and dispersed oil on the bay mussel, Mytilus trossulus, in Arctic/Subarctic conditions. Aquatic Toxicology 199:220-231.   Oil spills have a major impact on coastal environments, and dispersants are used to help speed up oil degradation. The combination […]

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Tooth and Claw

How does a seal capture and eat it’s prey in the water? Several people and institutions came together to investigate this question and explore the evolution of prey processing behaviors in phocine (seals) and otariid (sea lions). This collaborative work included researchers from Monash University in Australia, University of St. Andrews in the UK, Museum of […]

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Just Relax and Breathe Normally

Pregnancy in any species is often a critical, energetically demanding time. Females require adequate quantity and quality food intake to support their developing offspring. The Steller sea lion, the largest of the otariids, is no exception. In this species, females nurse their offspring for approximately 1 year, meaning at any given time outside of the […]

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Bear Necessities

The Changing Tides project is investigating the ties between intertidal invertebrates, brown bears and people in Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks. We previously posted the links to the National Park Service YouTube videos (here and here) talking about the invertebrate research. Below is a link to a great video on how collars were put […]

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Reading Recommendations

I’ve got my coffee, a delicious white chocolate biscotti from the cafe up the road, and all my emails from overnight have been checked. It is 7:30 am, technically a good half hour before my day starts, but I finally have a few moments to check through my bookmarked sites and see what my fellow […]

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Demystifying Models

Building a Habitat Suitability Model Part 3. Back in August/September, I started a series of blogs about my work here at the ASLC on habitat modeling. Since it has been a while, when I sat down to write this next installment I figured I should start with a recap. You can read the original posts […]

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Between a rock and a cold place

This nutshell is based on a recently published paper: Hoover-Miller and Armato. 2017. Harbor seal use of glacier ice and terrestrial haul-outs in the Kenai Fjords, Alaska. Mar Mamm Sci.  Background: Where ice meets the sea Many people come to Alaska to see the impressive tidewater glaciers in the fjords of southeastern and southcentral Alaska. […]

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Changing Tides: Update

The “Changing Tides” project is being conducted by researchers with the Alaska SeaLife Center, National Park Service and US Geological Survey to examine the connections between bears, marine bivalves such as clams and mussels, and human-caused change along the coastlines of Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks. In November 2017, we posted a video about […]

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Training for Science

How do seals and science intersect at the Alaska SeaLife Center? Through scientific research training! As a mammalogist at ASLC, my responsibilities through our training program are to first train our resident marine mammals for husbandry and veterinary care to ensure their well-being, and second, to train the animals to cooperate in behaviors and activities […]

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AMSS 2018: Top tips

It’s always good to start off the New Year with new experiences. This year marked the first time that I attended a scientific conference: the 2018 Alaska Marine Science Symposium.  On top of it being my first time just simply attending a conference, it was also the first time I made and displayed a scientific […]

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AMSS 2018 : New Directions

I have been attending AMSS for the past 6 years to learn about current research and present my latest research, but this year I had another exciting reason for going to the conference. I announced and promoted the COHO Lab, a new fee-for-service lab at ASLC that was developed by Dr. Hollmen and myself. The […]

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AMSS 2018 : Spotlight

I thought it would be relevant to spotlight a cool data set and reference tool that I learned about today through a presentation at AMSS.  It’s called the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. This is a peer reviewed, publically available, map-oriented dataset that details observations on the presence of a variety […]

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AMSS 2018: Education perspective

As an Informal Science Educator (ISE – yep that’s a real job) I come to these kinds of conferences with a bit of a different perspective. As a practitioner of the “soft” sciences (social and human dimensions) we don’t often have presentations here. Instead, we are looking to refresh relationships, build new connections, go to […]

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AMSS 2018: All Shook Up

Sometimes, conferences don’t always go according to plan. Take, for instance, the temporary loss of a number of federal agency employees for the first day of the 2018 Alaska Marine Science Symposium. Due to government shutdown, many of our colleagues, including two keynote speakers, were unable to travel to the symposium.  As of today, more […]

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Alaska Marine Science Symposium 2018

AMSS 2018 is happening this week in Anchorage, Alaska! This is Alaska’s ‘premiere marine research conference’ (as per organizers). From the conference website: “AMSS has been bringing together scientists, educators, resource managers, students, and interested public for over twenty years to discuss the latest marine research being conducted in Alaskan waters. Over 700 people attend […]

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Sadly, Otto has died

Alas, today’s post is about a sad event that happened recently, but is nonetheless important to share: Otto, the southern sea otter we had previously posted about, died on December 19th. His body was recovered floating in Morro Bay, California. As we previously reported, Otto was one of two southern sea otters recently taken to […]

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Pick. Click. Give.

Transcript The Alaska SeaLife Center is a public aquarium in Seward, Alaska, but that is not all we are. We are researchers, we are educators, we are wildlife rehabilitators. When you support the Alaska SeaLife Center you support Alaska’s Marine Ecosystems. If you are an Alaskan Resident and filing for your PFD online, click here […]

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A look back on 2017

Let’s face it 2017 was a tough year for many – in particular, those of us who work in the field of science – but some amazing things also happened this year: There was the March for Science (we had a great turn out right here in Seward)! There were technology breakthroughs advancements in green […]

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Christmas Bird Count 2017

  Started in 1901, the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest-running citizen science program in the United States! This video from the Audubon Society gives a short history of the program and an idea of how the counts work. In Seward, Alaska the count circle is 15 miles in diameter and covers […]

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78° South Science!

You’ve probably seen the Alaska SeaLife Center’s mission statement focused on generating and sharing scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. Why then do some of our scientists travel all over the planet, including extreme places such as Antarctica, in pursuit of scientific knowledge? Well, there are several good reasons: Paradoxically, […]

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Tis the Season

The nights are getting longer, the snow is falling softly, and holiday music has been playing for at least a month already. That’s right, it is Scientific Proposal Season! Here at the ASLC, many of us in the Science Department have been hunched over our computers since Thanksgiving, typing away as deadlines for some marine […]

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Sitka Whalefest 2017

This last weekend, we were fortunate enough to attend Whalefest in Sitka, AK. Whalefest is more than just a scientific conference where researchers come to share their work. The weekend is filled with events to bring diverse groups of people of many ages and expertise together in the name of ocean science.  Events like the […]

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Changing Tides

This new video on the “Changing Tides” project details some of the bivalve work being done in collaboration with the Alaska SeaLife Center and the US Geological Survey.

Read More Changing Tides

Audubon Watchlist Alaska

Audobon Alaska just published a new Alaska watchlist, ranking species that are vulnerable, at risk, or in severe decline. This list serves as a great reminder of the important work our ASLC team does to promote the conservation of the animals we work with.

Read More Audubon Watchlist Alaska

BLS6: Greetings from Konstanz, Germany!

6th International Bio-Logging Symposium Nope, ASLC scientists have not gone into green forestry science. Rather, biologging in the broadest sense refers to animal biotelemetry, that is the use of data recording and transmitting telemetry devices on wild animals. BLS6 follows in the footsteps of very successful prior symposia in Tokyo, Japan, in St. Andrews, Scotland, […]

Read More BLS6: Greetings from Konstanz, Germany!

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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A 45-year examination of moose genetic diversity on Isle Royale

This nutshell is based on a recently published paper: Decline of heterozygosity in a large but isolated population: a 45-year examination of moose genetic diversity on Isle Royale.  Renae L. Sattler, Janna R. Willoughby and Bradley J. Swanson. PeerJ 2017 5:e3584. (https://peerj.com/articles/3584.pdf)     Question: Should the loss of genetic diversity be a wildlife management concern for […]

Read More A 45-year examination of moose genetic diversity on Isle Royale

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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Chiswell Chronicles: June 12, 2017

Since 1998, scientists at the ASLC have been monitoring the behavior and population dynamics of Steller sea lions at a rookery in the Gulf of Alaska: Chiswell Island. Tune in each week to learn about how we use remote cameras to observe sea lion behavior and to monitor the number of pups born, and about specific wild sea lions the researchers know, and how to identify them!

Read More Chiswell Chronicles: June 12, 2017

Science “Rocks”!

Last week, we set out into Resurrection Bay on the ASLC research vessel Jubatus to test its new addition: an A-frame and winch system. The sturdy archway with hydraulic lift was outfitted to Jubatus to enable the deployment and retrieval of heavy moorings and equipment at sea, or in this case, some heavy rocks!

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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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An Eggcellent Time of Year!

The ASLC houses captive research flocks of both Steller’s and spectacled eiders, which are listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. Over the years, the captive birds have helped provide behavioral and physiological information that can be applied to wild birds and overall conservation goals for each species!

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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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Growing Up Fast

If you have visited the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) in the past few years, you may have seen young Steller sea lion pups swimming and playing from our underwater viewing area. We are working with these animals to construct a morphometric age determination model for sea lions 1 – 48 months old.

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Sea ice and smartphones

Our research in the Arctic village of Wainwright, Alaska shows that although it faces a suite of challenges due to climate change, this Iñupiat community has a lot of tricks up its sleeve to keep the subsistence lifestyle alive. By harnessing the power of social media, decision analysis, and traditional knowledge, people in Wainwright use a diverse array of strategies that help them adapt to rapid environmental changes in the Arctic.

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