The SeaDoc Society newsletter is sent out once a month. Read the latest below, and subscribe to the letter here.
Every two years, the SeaDoc Society Awards the Salish Sea Science Prize to a prominent scientist or team of scientists whose work has resulted in the marked improvement of management or policy related to the conservation of marine wildlife and the Salish Sea marine ecosystem.
Non-scientists who have used science in a substantial way to improve management or policy related to healing the Salish Sea also will be considered. This is the only award of its kind. The recipient(s) do not need to be a resident of Washington or British Columbia as long as their scientific efforts or use of science have led to measurable impacts on the Salish Sea ecosystem. The $2,000 prize comes with no strings attached and is designed to highlight the importance of science in providing a foundation for designing a healthy Salish Sea ecosystem. This award is given in recognition of and to honor Stephanie Wagner, who loved the region and its wildlife.
In 2009, the SeaDoc Society awarded the first ever Salish Sea Science Prize to Ken Balcomb for his research on the population dynamics of southern resident killer whales. His annual census work was the basis for the population assessments that ultimately led to the Canadian and US listing of the southern resident killer whale community as endangered and served as a foundation for our understanding of resident killer whale longevity, toxics loading, and the implications of disease on the long-term viability of this population.
In 2011, the Salish Sea Science Prize was awarded to John Elliott for his work documenting the high levels of forest industry derived pollutants, dioxins and furans, in marine birds as well for his work documenting the deleterious effects of these toxins on reproduction and embryonic development in multiple bird species. In countless meetings and presentations, Elliott worked with industry and regulators to communicate this science and in so doing, influenced subsequent national and international regulations that halted the use of molecular chlorine bleaching, and restricted the use of chlorophenolic wood preservatives and anti-sap stains.
In 2014 the Northwest Straits Foundation received the prize for scientifically quantifying the impact of derelict fishing gear and the benefit of removal. A peer-reviewed manuscript demonstrated the importance of escape cord for reducing Dungeness crab mortality, which spurred Marine Resource Committees to increase efforts to educate recreational crabbers on this topic. Another manuscript quantified the impact of lost nets on marine species helping funders and policy makers to further support net removal. The additional scientific documentation of drop out and decomposition rates showed that early impact figures were actually gross underestimations as they did not account for the short life of carcasses in a net and the sometimes decades of killing that many of these nets had done prior to removal. Moreover, that same work documented a cost-benefit ratio for net removal at 1:14.5, demonstrating that derelict net removal not only benefits marine species, but also is cost-effective.
In 2016 the prize went to a group of NOAA scientists (Drs. Jenifer McIntyre, David Baldwin, and Nathaniel Scholz) who’s research on copper and its affect on salmon was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in Washington State to phase out the use of copper and other metals in motor vehicle brake pads.
This action will benefit salmon recovery and reduce the loadings of toxic metals to the Salish Sea by hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
Nominations The SeaDoc Society requests that members of the community nominate highly deserving award candidates. All nominations must be sent electronically to SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos (email@example.com) by December 20, 2017.
Nominations must be in the form of a narrative (2 pages or less, Times New Roman 12 point font) describing the nominee’s work and the impact of that work. Please provide the nominee’s affiliation, address, email address and phone number. Be sure to describe how the scientist’s (or team of scientists’) efforts have resulted in tangible improvements in management or policy related to the conservation of marine wildlife and the Salish Sea ecosystem. Or, if you are nominating a citizen or group who has used science in a substantial way, be sure to describe what science they used and how it led to improved management or policy. Specific reference to peer-reviewed manuscripts or studies conducted that produced the important and pivotal information must be cited. Please also include the names and contact information for two external referees who can vouch for the role that this scientific work played in effecting positive ecosystem change or the use of scientific work to improve Salish Sea management or policy.
The SeaDoc Society will consider all nominees and select a prizewinner. This is not a lifetime achievement award. Selection will be based on the nominee’s production of valuable science that informed management or policy – or – for using science to improve management or policy related to the conservation of marine wildlife and the Salish Sea marine ecosystem. The decision will be made public when the Prize is awarded. The Salish Sea Science Prize will be given at the April 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle, WA (http://www.wwu.edu/salishseaconference/).
- October 30, 2017 – Call for Nominations
- December 20, 2017 – Nominations Due
- April 2018 – Prize awarded at the Salish Sea Conference in Seattle, WA
About the SeaDoc Society
The SeaDoc Society is a program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, a center of excellence at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. We fund and conduct research and work to ensure that managers and policy makers use science to improve the health of the region’s marine wildlife and ecosystem. Since 2000, the SeaDoc Society has had a regional focus on designing a healthy Salish Sea. For more information or to sign up for free SeaDoc monthly updates, Wildlife Posts, and calls for proposals visit www.seadocsociety.org
SeaDoc is focused on improving the health of marine wildlife in the Salish Sea, but occasionally we’re called up to train experts in other parts of the world. Last month, Wildlife Veterinarian and SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos went to Chile to help train nearly 90 wildlife veterinarians on new advances in conservation medicine.
At a large conference that included lectures and hands-on labs, Joe and Dr. Terry Norton, a sea turtle expert from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, spent multiple days training an inspiring group of young veterinarians from all over South America. When we asked him about it, Joe said he was, “humbled by the group and their commitment to conservation. They were smart, energetic, and soaked up new information like sponges. They’re leading the charge for marine conservation in South America.”
Joe and Terry spent the long weekend before the workshop exploring the Humboldt Penguin Reserve on Chile’s north coast. “The coast was wild, the views spectacular, and the wildlife amazing, but the islands that make up the Humboldt Penguin Reserve are not without threats. It made me happy to know there are so many dedicated wildlife veterinarians working to save such places.”
While Gaydos was discussing his work with one man in Chile (pictured), he mentioned that he works for an organization called SeaDoc, like Sea Doctors. “He got the biggest smile,” Gaydos said. “ He looked at me and said, ‘oh yes, because our ocean is sick.’ I just loved that! He’s part of the cadre of up and coming ocean advocates that I met down there – very inspiring!”
Check out some photos from the trip:
Thanks to the recommendation of world famous kayakers Shawna Franklin and Leon Sommes (who own Body Boat Blade International), SeaDoc was awarded an environmental grant from Patagonia.
SeaDoc Regional Director Markus Naugle reflected, “It was a huge honor for SeaDoc to be recognized as a group that is making a positive change in the world of marine conservation.”
Specifically, SeaDoc will use this generous donation from Patagonia to help with our efforts to better understand the health of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales and further develop our medical record system for these endangered animals.
Thank you Shawna and Leon and thank you Patagonia!
SeaDoc recently honored Dr. Gary Greene for 18 years as a SeaDoc Science Advisor. Gary is an Emeritus Professor of Geological Oceanography at San Jose State University and has been mapping and characterizing marine habitats in the Salish Sea for almost two decades.
He was a founding member of the SeaDoc Society’s Science Advisors, a group of almost a dozen scientists who volunteer their time to help ensure SeaDoc maintains robust and rigorous scientific standards and focuses on science issues critical for ecosystem recovery.
Gary was given a beautiful wooden carved map of the Salish Sea as a small token of appreciation for all he has done to help the SeaDoc Society and to further species recovery and ecosystem restoration in the Salish Sea. Learn more about SeaDoc’s Science Advisors.
If you’re familiar at all with the San Juan Islands, you’re aware that there is no lack of small black-tail deer bounding around, or standing dangerously close to the side of the road. Ruth Milner, a wildlife biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, held a discussion on the topic with a room of approximately 30 people at the Emmanuel Parish Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The gathering was sponsored by WDFW and SeaDoc Society.
Read the full story in the Islands’ Sounder and watch the full discussion with Milner below.
The SeaDoc Society newsletter is sent out once a month. Read the latest below, and subscribe to the letter here.
From October 14th to January 7th, glass artist Raven Skyriver’s amazing display of Pacific Northwest-inspired aquatic creatures will be featured at the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA) in La Conner, Washington.
Trained in Venetian glass blowing techniques, Skyriver’s works of elegance and skill push the boundaries of size and color and reflect his long-standing respect for the creatures of the sea and the delicate balance in which all things in nature hang.
As scientists, we are not often asked to participate in art exhibits. We were honored when MoNA asked scientists at SeaDoc and SR3 Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research to provide facts about each of Raven’s pieces that would help further inspire the audience to both know, connect, and eventually help protect these amazing living resources.
Be sure to check out the exhibit and come to the panel discussion on November 4th. Joe Gaydos will be a panelist!
Thanks to you, the Salish Sea now has twice the potential to be the healthy, vibrant ecosystem we all love and depend on. Through your kindness and support, more than 200 donors helped us close our $1.5 million Salish Sea Forever campaign. That will double our research, competitive grant making and translational science efforts.
We’ve already hired a Regional Director to steer the program, providing more time to our Science Director for science. We’re in the process of improving our science communications by hiring a full-time Communications Specialist and plan to eventually hire another full-time scientist.
The Salish Sea is a stunning and inspiring ecological jewel that provides unparalleled quality of life for all of us who live, work and play here. Our important mission to restore and protect this extraordinary place is only possible because of you! With so much gratitude, we give thanks for you!
Last year Steve Alboucq and Josie and Wally Barrow donated a beautiful 15-foot Boston Whaler to SeaDoc. Yesterday we had the pleasure of christening her the “Nancy Bee” in honor of Steve’s late wife and Wally and Josie’s daughter Nancy, who died a few years ago. Nancy loved the ocean, was a SeaDoc volunteer, a beach naturalist, a KWIAT volunteer, loved SeaDoc’s summer interns and loved bees and other pollinators. Now her boat namesake will safely carry SeaDoc interns for summers and summers to come.
SeaDoc Board member Rochelle Severson and Barb Clever cooked up a storm and hosted the event. We ate Fresh Thai veggie rolls, Thai basil wrapped shrimp with sweet chili sauce, pork, scallop and shrimp su man, kibosh with sumac and yogurt cheer labna, vegan butternut soup with bacon and parmesan, focaccia flat bread with all the fixings and goat cheese and crab kisses. Now that’s how you christen a boat.
We are eternally grateful to Steve Albouq and Josie and Wally Barrow for donating the Nancy Bee and to Rochelle and Barb for hosting a wonderful evening. It takes a lot of supporters and donors to make SeaDoc’s good work happen and we appreciate it all. Thank you!