The SeaDoc Society newsletter is sent out once a month. Read the latest below, and subscribe to the letter here.
Each summer, SeaDoc brings one or more rising third-year veterinary students to Orcas Island to assist with research projects in conjunction with the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor. The eight-week internship is a great opportunity for vet students to get involved in wildlife health issues.
One of their primary roles is to help respond to marine mammal strandings, but they also participate in medical rounds at the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and they work closely with volunteers and spend a good deal of time educating and speaking with the public. This year’s interns are Alyssa Capuano and Devon England from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Amber Backwell from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.
Summer housing for the interns has been generously provided by the Hoglund family, whom we thank deeply for their support of SeaDoc. Get to know each of the interns below!
It is a dream come true being a part of The SeaDoc Society as a veterinary intern this summer! Originally from Long Island, I have moved coast to coast following my passion for science, education, wildlife, and the ocean. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara where I experienced the life-changing world of scuba diving, I worked as a marine science educator at the Catalina Island Marine Institute. My curiosity for marine biology brought me to the University of Miami where I completed a graduate degree in marine mammal science. My career goals to protect marine wildlife and their ecosystems through research, education, and medicine encouraged me to attend veterinary school at UC Davis. My research with Dr. Walter Boyce at UCD focuses on influenza virus exposure in marine mammals, an important link between marine mammal disease, the ocean environment, and human health. In my free time I love hiking, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and spending time with family, friends, and fellow ocean enthusiasts. I am very grateful to connect my love of the ocean and marine mammals this summer as I contribute to the important mission of The SeaDoc Society!
My love for the ocean and the animals that inhabit it started pretty much from day one—born and raised in Southern California just 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, some of my favorite childhood memories are of spending hours at the beach looking for sand crabs or admiring the huge range of mollusks and anemones at local tidepools. This love of both science and animals transformed into a desire to become a veterinarian when I was eight years old, a path I have been following ever since. All throughout my many years of education, first during my undergraduate at Cornell and continuing through my first two years of vet school at UC Davis, I have sought out experiences to work with and learn about marine life: from volunteering at marine mammal rehabilitation centers in San Pedro and Sausalito to spending a semester abroad in Queensland, Australia home of the incredible Great Barrier Reef and the multitude of oceanic life that call it home. The SeaDoc society internship program has thus been on my radar for quite some time now, and I am beyond thrilled to be spending my final summer vacation before entering my clinical year on the beautiful Orcas Island! Working for an organization like the SeaDoc Society—which combines two concepts I am extremely passionate about: veterinary medicine and environmental stewardship—is a dream come true and I am loving taking part in just some of projects the fantastic team of Joe Gaydos, Jean Lyle and Markus Naugle have devoted their careers to. I hope to take what I learn here this summer into my future career—which I hope will in some way involve caring for marine wildlife and their ecosystems—and continue to spread the ideals of SeaDoc wherever on this planet life might take me!
My passion for wildlife and being outdoors is what led me to beautiful Orcas Island and the SeaDoc Society! I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia (from Ontario) in 2009 to pursue a Masters in Public Health and immediately fell in love with the west coast. I worked in spinal cord injury research for two years upon completion of my Masters, after which I flew one-way to London, England and travelled the world for just shy of a year. I needed time to recalibrate personally and professionally and reflect on what it was that I wanted to do with my life. It was in the far west of Nepal, near Bardia National Park, on a tuk tuk ride that I realized I needed to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. Upon returning home to Canada I completed the prerequisite courses and applied to and was accepted at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where I am now in my fourth year of the DVM program. My time at the WCVM has been difficult albeit rewarding in so many ways. Last summer I had the opportunity to travel with a school club to three African countries where we volunteered with some amazing wildlife veterinarians and were able to work with many different wildlife species, my favorites being large cats and rhinos! When I’m not in school or traveling the world, I enjoy hiking, camping, horseback riding, reading and spending time with my two cats. The Pacific Northwest is my home now and I hope that through my career I can help protect our beautiful environment and the animals with which we share it. The SeaDoc Society does incredible work in this area and I am so thrilled to be here learning more about the Salish Sea and helping out with Society’s various projects!
Every year, the SeaDoc Society hosts interns for the summer in collaboration with The Whale Museum and the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In this video, two of our interns respond to a call about a harbor seal pup on Orcas Island. One of our 2016 interns, Megan Mangini, a student at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, explains how the response network works and what she gained from her experience as a summer intern. SeaDoc is part of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, which is part of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Big thanks to the Hoglund family for supporting the SeaDoc Society and generously donating lodging to the interns each summer. We deeply appreciate it! Stay tuned for some darting practice footage from our 2017 interns next month!
Note: The pup in the video above was re-sighted in the wild once after being tagged, but specifics beyond that are unknown.
By Robert Dash
Review by Joe Gaydos
Science Director, SeaDoc Society
When Bob Dash asked if we’d review his book, On An Acre Shy of Eternity: Micro Landscapes at the Edge, I admit questioning how a book about one acre of land could be relevant to the Salish Sea and the world’s oceans.
I wasn’t even through the Preface when I realized that Dash’s fascination with edges, or what he calls the places “where alien worlds collide,” was akin to my preoccupation with how little separation there really is between the land and sea.
To convey the concept, I often tell stories of salmon, bears, American dippers, and marbled murrelets – animals that defy the land and sea segregation. Dash, the artist with a camera and poet with a pen, does it ever more subtly and more convincingly. By the time you’ve admired and re-admired his photographs and read and re-read his poems, you see how interconnected this one acre is and you’re left wondering how you could have ever doubted that the land and sea are inseparable.
At first glance, you will be inspired and wonder where in the Salish Sea you can find Dash’s magical little acre of land and how you can arrange a visit to take it in first hand. After enjoying beautiful photographs of birds and scanning electron microscope images of their feathers or thinking about “this land as an essay” while reading free verse poetry juxtaposed to striking photography, you will realize that a visit to Dash’s acre is not really what you need.
Instead what you need to do is open your eyes and see that we are all living on our own “acre shy of eternity,” we just didn’t know it. Dash opens our eyes so subtly and so convincingly that you, like me, may walk away from reading his book thinking you already knew what you really just learned. On An Acre Shy of Eternity will intensify not only your view of the world, but your love for it as well.
By Markus Naugle
Can you hear me up there? It’s gotten so noisy down here I can hardly hear myself breathe. I’m also having a hard time seeing over distance and the water feels a bit different. My quillback rockfish family and I have seen a lot of change over the past 100 years, and much of it makes me wonder if we’ll live to see another century more. But I know there’s hope.
The SeaDoc staff, its volunteers and veterinary interns, the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisors, and the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine have been helping to understand and heal our Salish Sea ecosystem through science over the past 15 years. We celebrate your dedicated effort to educate, connect, restore, and protect this place we call home; with your ownership and tireless work, we swim hopefully toward new waters. But some of my friends are still threatened or disappearing at an alarming rate.
From down here, it’s difficult to see exactly what is causing the problem. Tanker and container ship traffic, unsustainable fishing techniques, waste water and sewage runoff…at the core of our problems is a growing population of humans who need to eat and work. So please use your creativity and human connection in making every effort to educate and include them as part of the solution, rather than alienating them as part of the problem.
We’re immensely grateful down here for the SeaDoc Society funders and concerned citizens who provide resources to understand our precarious web of life, and the elusive, shifting balance that is necessary for its viable future. With your support, the scientific and academic communities can seek and find objective information with new insights into the extent of human impact, leading to development of strategies that support sustainability. Government entities at the municipal, state, federal, and tribal levels use these scientific findings to define new regulations, policies, and procedures that manage and protect, helping to ensure that their constituents and Salish citizens enjoy a quality of life that breeds health and happiness as a foundation for peaceful coexistence.
While my friends and I swim, fly, and move freely, many of the two-leggeds are flummoxed by those imaginary black lines that define countries, states, and tribal nations, impeding progress towards area-wide solutions that preserve our home. To the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who are working in harmony to find trans-boundary solutions, we give thanks for your focus on connection and sharing to implement solutions that will restore and protect our Sea.
My hauled-out pinniped friends and spy-hopping cetacean residents share that they see myriad outdoor enthusiasts cycling to Lime Kiln, paddling sea kayaks, and peering wide-eyed over rails of all shapes of bi-national boats, funding Salish Sea tourism and commerce such as restaurants, hotels, and guesthouses as well as the advertisers, printers, and web developers who publicize their services, and airlines, car rental agencies, and collective transporters who deliver them to our teeming waters. Businesses and the residents whom they employ in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, and entire Salish Sea depend, in some capacity, on our fragile existence.
The employees, stockholders, and billions of worldwide customers of thriving Seattle corporations, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, and REI, also benefit from our Salish existence. They attract high quality, diverse workers for not only career opportunities and financial benefits but also this magnificent natural backyard playground that supports their health, well-being, and quality of life.
In fact, all of the human population of approximately 8 million people in the Salish Sea can be considered stakeholders in our shared future. Like the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, diverse, abundantly rich, natural resources and unparalleled beauty are fueling creativity and the development of industries such as high tech, biotech, and money management with entrepreneurship becoming a regional norm. It would be difficult to find a person or group within the Salish Sea region that does not hold a direct interest or shared investment in our sustainability.
But perhaps the biggest stakeholders of all, should we choose to acknowledge fully our interconnected sacred balance, are the 38 species of mammals, 172 species of birds, 253 species of fish, 2 species of reptiles and more than 3,000 macro-invertebrates who call the Salish Sea home. Without us, without clean water, air, earth and falling sun rays that support our critical viability, there is no jewel of the Pacific Northwest. So, on behalf of my rockfish kin and all the creatures that inhabit the Salish Sea, we thank you from our depths and urge you to keep going. We need each and every one of you to invest in our shared future and keep this jewel sparkling.
The SeaDoc Society newsletter is sent out once a month. Read the latest below, and subscribe to the letter here.
Tufted Puffins are iconic seabirds. Adapted to “flying underwater” to catch schooling forage fish and invertebrate prey with their large orange bills, puffins were once considered common in the Salish Sea. Historically, more than 40 puffin nesting colonies were documented in Washington, however recent work found nesting birds at only 17 sites and the population is thought to number less than a thousand birds.
With the support of private donors like you, SeaDoc helped write the scientific Status Review for Tufted Puffins, which the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) used to list the bird as Endangered. This State-private partnership, based on trust and scientific respect, was so unique that we even published a paper on it.
Thanks to a very generous donation by SeaDoc Founder, Kathy Dickenson, we’re back at it. This time, SeaDoc is teaming up with WDFW to write a recovery plan for these amazing birds. Recovery plans are action plans, often seen as the place where the rubber meets the road for conservation. This plan, which will be written by Drs. Thor Hanson (a SeaDoc special hire for this project), Scott Pearson (WDFW), and Peter Hodum (Univ. of Puget Sound), will detail what we need to do to bring this bird back.
We can’t wait to make the puffin common again and look forward to keeping you updated on the recovery plan, but more importantly, on puffin recovery.
By Markus Naugle
We’re extremely grateful to Seattle-born philanthropist and environmentalist Nancy Skinner Nordhoff who has put us one step closer to completing our Salish Sea Forever Campaign! Thanks to her generous $50K matching grant, every dollar you donate will now be counted as two. One more person has made a difference and you can, too. So please tell all your friends and give today to help us achieve our $1.5M goal, doubling our capacity to protect the Salish Sea…forever.
Nancy Nordhoff has dedicated her life to philanthropy, learning first through the family’s Skinner Foundation then honing her skills and expanding her reach through efforts such as the United Way, Seattle Junior League, Seattle CityClub, Pacific Northwest Grantmaker’s Forum (later renamed Philanthropy Northwest) and the Goosefoot Community Fund for sustainable community development on Whidbey Island. Her tireless work has earned many accolades and honors while empowering women, supporting rural communities, and promoting environmental protection of Washington state’s flora and fauna. In 1985, she founded Hedgebrook, a women’s writers retreat on Whidbey Island. She is a mother of three, a former pilot, and an avid baseball fan. And obviously, a fan of a healthy Salish Sea. Thank you, Nancy, for your lifetime of support, of SeaDoc and so many others!
If you haven’t already donated to the Salish Sea Forever Campaign to help SeaDoc increase our impact, please make a difference today by doubling your donation to restore and protect our extraordinarily diverse and uniquely beautiful Salish Sea ecosystem for generations to come.
Book review by Joe Gaydos, SeaDoc Society
A Sea of Glass: Searching for the Blaschkas’ Fragile Legacy in an Ocean at Risk
By Drew Harvell
University of California Press, Oakland, California
With highly cited publications in Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and every other prestigious scientific journal you can imagine, Cornell University Professor Drew Harvell is a scientist. And honestly, scientists are not known for being art aficionados. But when Drew was appointed to curate a stunning collection of glass invertebrates purchased by Cornell in the late 1800s as a teaching tool, she had the wisdom to recognize beauty and the power it has to change us for the better. These 569 glass animal pieces were made by the famed European glass artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and purchased with the help of Cornell’s first President to teach land-locked students about the ocean’s incredible biodiversity. Dusty, long forgotten, and often broken, these artistic pieces were still so beautiful and so true to life they compelled Harvell to undertake a worldwide quest to find their living counterparts. Like the fate of the actual glass collection since its creation 160 years ago, the world’s oceans too had been neglected, not well cared for, and in more places than we care to admit, broken.
A Sea of Glass is Harvell’s personal story. One where the joy of experiencing the perfection of Blaschkas’ glass counterfeits actually shrinks the fabricated gap between art and science. It also takes a hard look at how the oceans have changed since the Blaschkas’ created their first piece … a time when the oceans’ were unexploited, healthy, and teaming with exciting creatures, most of which had yet to be discovered or described. The fragility of our oceans and what we have done to them is well detailed in Harvell’s imaginary discussion with Leopold Blaschka where she shares her passion for the artistry of the ocean’s vast invertebrates and also explains to him how we have squandered the ocean’s riches in our quest for improved life and material goods. After a heartfelt monologue that includes the toll that ocean acidification is already taking on so many shell-forming invertebrates, Harvell herself recognizes that the depressing story she portrays sounds more like science fiction than fact.
Just as Harvell was able to recognize the value of and restore the Blaschkas’ neglected art, she too reminds us that there is so much we can do to revive our fragile oceans. In the end, Harvell’s well-written story makes the reader want to create a future that generations look back on as we do the work of the Blashkas – with pride for having created something lasting and inspirational that makes the world a better place. After all, shouldn’t that be the goal of both art and science?
Coming next: Gaydos reviews Robert Dash’s new book, On an Acre Shy of Eternity: Micro Landscapes at the Edge
We’ve made it easy for you to purchase one or more bottles of wine (at a 20% discount) for donation to the SeaDoc Wine ‘n’ Sea auction. Here’s how it works:
- Look below to see the list of hand-selected wines
- Pick the wines you want to donate.
- Call Compass Wines in Anacortes to give them your order and payment. 360-293-6500
- Be sure to mention this is for the SeaDoc Auction, (you’ll get 20% off), and let them know how you’d like to be acknowledged on the bid sheet.
- We’ll take care of the rest! The wines will be delivered directly to SeaDoc in time for the auction.
Prices shown below are actual value for the auction. The price to SeaDoc members for the auction are 20% off the prices shown.
Bergevin Lane Intuition 2008 $58.99
Betz clos du Betz 2011 $61.99
Bunchgrass the Bard 2011 $28.99
Buty Connor Lee 2013 $45.99
Cadence Taptiel Vineyard 2012 $45.99
Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot 2010 $39.99
Cayuse Horsepower Sur Echalas 2013 $235.00
Cedergreen Cabernet 2009 $29.99
Co Dinn Cabernet 2013 $54.99
Covington Cellars Syrah 2007 $45.99
Damsel Boushey Syrah 2013 $42.99
Den Hoed Andreaus Cabernet 2012 $80.99
Dunham Lewis Vineyard Syrah 2005 $79.99
Fidelitas Quintessence Cabernet 2013 $60.99
Figgins Red 2013 $104.99
Finn River Artisan Cider $23.99
Force Majeure Collaboration VI 2010 $51.99
Gilbert Cellars Pinot Noir 2013 $54.99
Gorman Evil Twin 2013 $65.99
Gramercy Idiot du Village 2011 $54.99
Grand Reve Collaboration III 2008 $51.99
Leonetti Reserve 2011 $199.99
Lobo Hills Right Bank 2014 $35.99
Lullaby Laylee 2010 $52.99
Mark Ryan Water Witch 2014 $55.99
No Girls Tempranillo 2012 $175.99
Pondera Jackalope 2010 $50.99
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 $200.00
Rotie Cellars dre 2012 $64.99
Ryan Patrick Reserve Cabernet 2013 $36.99
Sheridan Block I Cabernet 2013 $135.99
Sight Glass Cellars GSM 2014 $34.99
Sleight of Hand Archimage 2012 $56.99
Sparkman Wonderland 2011 $49.99
Two Vintners Sal Cabernet 2013 $55.99
Walla Walla Vintners Sagemoor Cab 2014 $54.99
Woodinville Wine Cellars OMO 2010 $38.99
Woodward Canyon Charbonneau 2013 $91.99