Volume 25, Number 8


August 2014

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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.


Ground Broken for Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network Research Center at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Photo caption: (Top) Putting the foundation in for the new Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network Research Center at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. (Bottom) Artist’s rendition of the finished building, expected to open mid-2015.

Work has begun on a new research center for the Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network (ALMMSN) at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL). Expected to open in mid-2015, the ALMMSN is breaking ground not just on a state-of-the-art research building, but also in data collection and research for Alabama’s marine mammals, including manatees, dolphins and whales. (READ MORE)

Dr. David Gallo Guest Speaker at DISL Foundation’s Marine Environmental Awards Luncheon – November 4

Photo: Dr. David Gallo (l) and a swimming octopus seen through Alvin during a dive. Photos courtesy of WHOI.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation will host the Third Annual Marine Environmental Awards Luncheon on Tuesday November 4, 2014 from 11:30 until 1:00 pm at the Renaissance Battle House Hotel. This will be a wonderful luncheon featuring award-winning and TED talk phenomenon, Woods Hole Scientist Dr. David Gallo. Awards will also be presented to an individual and a business that have made outstanding contributions to marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region. (READ MORE)

A New Class Swimming into DHP

Photo: An unusual fish, called an “oarfish,” caught off the coast of Alabama (photo courtesy of Dr. Frank Hernandez & the Fisheries Oceanography Lab).

Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) has offered field trip classes to K-12 students for over 30 years. One highly popular class, and until now the only class available to K-3 students, has been the Just Touch Lab. Students learn about a wide variety of marine creatures, from invertebrates like mollusks, crabs and sponges, to vertebrates including sharks, rays and bony fishes including the opportunity to touch and ask questions about the specimens. Teachers and students alike have come back year after year for this hands-on class, but have often wished for just a bit more as well. (READ MORE)

Me opiskelemme (We’re studying) in Finland!

Photo: (l-r) Aaron Macy; Kristen Dahl; Julia Nystrom (Finnish student); Dr. Johanna Mattila (instructor); Saara Makelin (Finnish student); Laura Stone; Brian Klimek; Meagan Schrandt; Steve Garner; Maddie Kennedy; Dr. Ken Heck.

In DISL’s ongoing educational exchange with the Husö Biological Station in Finland, a group of seven graduate students recently visited the lab in a field marine ecology course taught by Dr. Ken Heck, Senior Marine Scientist. This is the sixth time students have participated in this intensive field course at Husö, located in the Aland, a group of islands in the Baltic Sea. (READ MORE)

Seafood, Science and Celebrity

The South Mobile County Tourism Authority will host its fourth annual Seafood, Science & Celebrity event, as well as the inaugural Sunday Supper Gulf Coast, a Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner, on November 1-2 at Dauphin Island, AL. The Estuarium will be the venue for the Sat., Nov. 1 “Sustaining Heritage” Glaa from 4-8pm. This event is traditionally sold-out, so get your tickets now! (READ MORE)

Making the link between across the watershed for middle and high school students

Photo: Ms. Lori Blubaugh from Good Hope Middle School using her Alabama Water Watch kit on Dauphin Island (photo credit: T. Miller-Way)

We all live downstream. Alabama’s students may have heard this slogan, but not thought about it in the context of their behavior. Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) is trying to change this with a program known as BWET-WEB. They have received a grant from NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training program (B-WET) designed to help Alabama’s students learn about watersheds, water quality and the important role animals can play in affecting water quality. (READ MORE)

Sea Lab Notes

Photo: Top – (l-r) Wells Fargo’s Chuck Harmon (Business Banking Manager for the Mississippi/Alabama Coast); Leigh Vincent-Collier (Retail Bank Regional President for the Mid-South); Chris Tracey (Retail Bank Area President for the Mississippi/Alabama Coast); DISL Foundation Executive Director Helene Hassell; and DISL Executive Director John Valentine. Bottom: Dr. Behzad Mortazavi at NSF

• Thank you to Wells Fargo for their recent $5,000 donation to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) Foundation to support K-12 educational programs at the Sea Lab. (READ MORE)

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