Volume 26, Number 1


January 2015

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There's always something happening here at the Sea Lab, and we hope to bring you frequent updates of the latest activities.


Manatee Rescue – DISL, Collaborators and Neighbors Join to Save Stranded Animals

DISL Stranding Coordinator Noel Wingers (left) and Graduate Student Allen Aven (right) monitor the first manatee rescued from Magnolia River on January 1, 2015. Credit – Jody Carroll Moore, Magnolia Springs.

As chilly temperatures predominate the holiday season, one does not expect to see manatees in cold Alabama waters. Sharp-eyed volunteers, however, first spotted several of these gentle giants near an area of the Magnolia River called the "Cold Hole," shortly before Christmas. On New Year's Day, DISL's Manatee Sighting Network (MSN) and the Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network (ALMMSN), along with collaborators from SeaWorld Orlando, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Audubon Nature Institute, attempted to rescue two of them. (READ MORE)

Alabama Master Naturalist – Year Two of Coastal Program Kicks Off January 22, 2015

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2014 AMN participants, led by local archaeologist Read Stowe, scour Dauphin Island's oyster shell mounds hoping to find Mississippian Indian artifacts. Credit: Chandra Wright

The Alabama Master Naturalist (AMN) program is a statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Alabama's natural world among Alabama's citizens and visitors. To help achieve that goal, the AMN program works to develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. (READ MORE)

Docent Training for the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Docents will learn about the inhabitants of the Estuarium's Ray Tank during their training session.

WHAT: Docent/Volunteer Training for the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab

WHEN: Saturday, February 21, 2015 – 8:30am to 4pm (lunch provided)
Pre-registration by February 14, 2015 is encouraged.

WHERE: The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, AL

INFO: E-mail volunteer@disl.org or call 861-2141 x7545


Watersheds and Sea Lab History – New Exhibits on Campus

Top - the new Watershed Exhibit along the Estuarium's Boardwalk. Bottom - a video kiosk near the Shelby Center will explain the Sea Lab's history. Credit - Mendel Graeber.

Visitors to the Estuarium and DISL campus can expect some new and exciting exhibits on view. The new Watershed Pavilion, added just outside the front deck of the Estuarium, highlights the Mobile Bay watershed. Its striking central piece is a beautiful metal water feature, crafted by metal artist extraordinaire, Frank Ledbetter. (READ MORE)

From the Beaches of Dauphin Island: Plastic Ocean Exhibit Opens in Atlanta

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Bounty, Pilfered by Pam Longobardi, is just one of 80+ artworks to be featured in Gyre: The Plastic Ocean.

As part of her PhD research, Caitlin Wessel's job involves surveying, well, trash. She is examining the location, abundance and effects of marine debris (ranging in size from tiny microplastics to large derelict vessels) on various ecosystems in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. One surprising byproduct of her research is that some of the debris she's picked up have been transformed into a new exhibit at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta titled, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean. The exhibit will be open January 26- June 19 2015. (READ MORE)

DHP Summer 2015 Camps Enrolling Now!

Campers have fun exploring the salt marsh in Gulf Island Journey!

Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) is once again gearing up for a summer full of fun! Summer 2015 dates are set, and enrollment for summer camps is now open. (READ MORE)

Sea Lab Notes

Left – Rene Collini counts this as great day in the office as she helps install a a stilling well for a water level sensor at Middle Bay Lighthouse, where one of the real-time weather stations is located for www.mymobilebay.com. Credit- Yantzee Hintz. Right – Dr. Jennifer Lewis, who is currently filming in Asia, and will be teaching Marine Mammals for University Programs Summer School this year.

  • DISL Technical Support Staffer Renee Collini recently joined the staff at the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium as the coordinator for the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative. The regional cooperative is one of five around the nation that is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sentinel Site Cooperative Program, which focuses on existing research and monitoring efforts related to sea level rise. (READ MORE)

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