The SeaDoc Society newsletter is sent out once a month. Read the latest below, and subscribe to the letter here.
SeaDoc is excited to announce our newest addition to the team, Justin Cox, who will serve as Communications and Marketing Manager starting in January. If Justin’s name rings a bell, it’s because he has contributed to SeaDoc for the past few years in his role with the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at UC Davis. He and his family will arrive at the island at the end of January. Allow Justin to introduce himself:
My family and I are extremely excited for this opportunity and we look forward to our arrival on the island come January! A few years ago, while editing the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center’s online magazine, I pitched the idea of a themed volume dedicated to the Salish Sea.
I connected with the SeaDoc team and booked a three-day stay on the island, with only a vague idea at the time of the specific stories we would create. Joe Gaydos lent me his pickup truck (Rage Against the Machine queued up in the CD player) and stacked my agenda with boat trips, interviews, lunch meetings and more. I used the gaps in my schedule to film b-roll atop Mt. Constitution, watch Joe’s daughter play in a high school soccer game, edit video in Eastsound cafes and bars, etc. I was amazed by the place (the sea, the town, the mountains, the valleys…all of it) and I shared that with my family upon returning home.
In the years that followed, I began working with SeaDoc more routinely, which resulted in more trips to Orcas for the Wine and Sea Auction. I turned the most recent auction into a family road trip so that they could experience it as well. They were equally amazed.
All of which is to say, we’re thrilled by this exciting opportunity! SeaDoc is a special program, and I absolutely love working with the team and its dedicated supporters. Aside from that dense reporting trip a while back, I’ve never had time to dedicate myself fully to telling their stories, but in January that will change. There’s so much potential for SeaDoc in the coming years, and I can’t wait to be a part of realizing it.
A bit more about me: I have a Bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Monterey Bay and a Master’s degree in multimedia storytelling from Northwestern University. I worked in journalism (online and print) prior to joining the UC Davis One Health Institute/Wildlife Health Center four years ago. Outside of work, I write music and play in a band. I snuck in a couple of songs at the Random Howse open mic last time I was on island and look forward to doing it again sometime.
I’m moving to Orcas with my wife (Bianca) and two kids (Noah, 5 and Milo, 2). Bianca is a photographer, gardener and lover of libraries. Noah has deep affinity for marine life (especially octopuses and other cephalopods) and Milo is into whatever his big brother is playing with at any given moment. They both have fond memories of their time on Orcas Island. Oh, we also have a cat named Pele.
Please come by and say Hi if you find yourself near the SeaDoc office in late January, and reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Markus Naugle
Over the weekend, The Semiahmoo Yacht Club gathered to celebrate end of year holidays and the SeaDoc Society with a generous donation of $1,000 towards our important work! Located in Blaine, Washington, the yacht club promotes recreational boating, water safety, facilities improvement and good fellowship and sportsmanship with members, friends and the public.
This is one great example of how motivated individuals with a shared mission can make a difference in preserving and protecting this extraordinary ecosystem we call home…the Salish Sea. Thanks so much to Commodore Brian Carpenter and the Yacht Club!
Not only does SeaDoc conduct important conservation-focused research, but we also fund other prominent scientists to conduct needed studies. This year we request proposals in two topic areas:
- Deep sea research that needs a submersible platform for data collection
- Research that will provide objective science on pressing wildlife and ecosystem health issues to inform and guide policy and management
Deep Sea Research:
In partnership with OceanGate Foundation, SeaDoc will bring a submersible to the San Juan Island sub-basin of the Salish Sea in fall 2018 for 5 days of data collection. This platform will be available for scientists to collect data that cannot be gathered by other research methodologies such as scuba or remotely operated vehicle.
Science needed to address pressing wildlife and ecosystem health issues:
This year the SeaDoc Society requests proposals only for projects that scientifically address one of the four priority topics below. We anticipate funding one meritorious project in each topic area.
Infectious diseases (like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi) and non-infectious diseases (such as those caused by contaminants, trauma, allergens, and biotoxins) have the capacity to affect population health and hinder species and ecosystem recovery. Despite the important role that disease can play in hindering Salish Sea recovery, it is understudied.
2. Ocean Noise
Human-caused underwater noise can create a wide range of negative effects on a variety of taxa and is a problem in the Salish Sea and worldwide. We seek projects that work to better understand (i) the individual and population-level effects of non-injurious noise on species of concern or (ii) scientifically evaluate solutions to increased underwater noise. Of special concern are diving marine birds, teleost fish and marine invertebrates due to scarcity of data about the effect of noise on these taxa.
3. One Health
One health is the concept that human health, wildlife health, and ecosystem health are intimately connected. We are looking for research that addresses health using an interdisciplinary approach that goes beyond pathogens and parasites and includes other contributing factors such as habitat loss, globalization of trade, land-use pressure, ocean acidification, contaminants, and climate change.
4. Social Science
Salish Sea recovery requires the integration of social and biophysical science to better understand drivers of change and tradeoffs among strategic recovery opportunities. We seek social science projects that help identify and prioritize ecosystem recovery strategies and actions.
Proposal Due Date
Email your proposal as a single document (PDF) to Dr. Joseph K. Gaydos at email@example.com no later than 5:00 pm (PST) January 12, 2018
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.