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The SeaDoc Society is a program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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June 2014 SeaDoc Society Update

In the water with coastal cutthroat trout

Trout movie

This month a SeaDoc-supported team from Long Live the Kings, Wild Fish Conservancy and KWIAHT will be in streams around the San Juan Islands capturing and taking genetic samples from coastal cutthroat trout.

These fish, which are freshwater fish that move into marine waters to feed, are part of an important recreational fishery in many parts of the Salish Sea. The status of the population in the San Juan Islands is unknown, as are the their genetic structure and their spawning habits.

Watch the video on our website to see parr and adults found in streams in the San Juan Islands.

Video footage courtesy of Mike O'Connell of Long Live the Kings.

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Mapping the Pacific flyway

Rhinoceros Auklet USFWS Peter Hodum/USFWSWe recently learn that Connor Bailey, son of former board member the late Molly Bailey, recently took charge of GIS mapping for the Central and Pacific flyways for the National Audubon Society. Tracking birds throughout their range is a vital part of understanding how to keep them healthy in the Salish Sea. Audubon has an interactive map of over 200 locations that are considered "Important Bird Areas" on the Pacific flyway. See it here.

Well done, Connor!!

Photo: Rhinoceros Auklet on Protection Island: Peter Hodum/USFWS

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Surprise donation

Lancaster and EhrmantroutLast week SeaDoc received a great surprise donation at the Orcas Island Community Foundation's awards presentation.

Each year a generous donor gives $5,000 to the graduating class at the high school for them to pass on to one or more non-profits; sort of a primer on philanthropy. The students discuss and debate which non-profits they would like to support.

We were thrilled when seniors Lindsay Lancaster and Brigid Ehrmantrout (pictured) named SeaDoc to receive a $2,500 donation to recognize not only our work protecting the marine environment but also our efforts to educate people about the cutting-edge science that's being done to protect wildlife. As Joe Gaydos said to a local newspaper reporter who was there, "What an honor to have this donation, and even more importantly, this vote of confidence from tomorrow's leaders!"

Our thanks and congratulations go out to the graduating seniors!

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Intern invasion

2014 interns

June means our summer interns are arriving! Finally! The office is buzzing and we're gearing up for a busy and productive summer.

Arlena Ulrich, a veterinarian and Ph.D. candidate from Germany, is here for a week doing work on marine mammal parasites.

Sofie Thixton, a junior at Scripps College, is here for the summer working with Joe Gaydos and some Coast Salish tribes to help evaluate cumulative impacts of multiple energy projects that are in the works in the Salish Sea (the Kinder-Morgan pipeline, the Bellingham coal terminal, the Vancouver LNG terminal, and increased rail shipments of oil and coal) on species that are culturally, environmentally and economically important to the tribes. This project is a science-based look at ecosystem level issues from a transboundary perspective and is right up our alley.

Our two UC Davis veterinary student interns, Sarah Bahan and Keiki Cunningham, will be assisting us and the Whale Museum with marine mammal stranding response, necropsies and disease investigations, in addition to doing independent research projects.

Also, Colgate undergraduate student Jacq Zier is back from last year to continue to work on some writing projects with us. She recently won "Best Undergraduate Presentation" at the Salish Sea Conference for some of the work she did last year. Her work was also featured on the homepage of the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.

Want to meet this next generation of scientists? Come to our Wine and Sea Auction on Saturday, July 12.

Photo (left to right): Arlena, Keiki, Sarah, Sofie

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Small bites

The Tombolo Mapping Lab has been busy preparing their 1:20,000 scale maps for publication. These geologic and habitat maps will be useful in planning how to protect important coastal habitats from oil spills and other pollution.

We loved this video about derelict fishing gear removal, featuring the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative.

SeaDoc recently received a grant from the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to provide dedicated funding for killer whale stranding response and mortality investigation. These funds will be used to purchase an ultra-cold freezer for long-term storage of samples and will provide funding for response and sample testing to learn more about the causes of mortality in free-ranging killer whales.

The latest issue of Evotis, a publication of the One Health Institute at UC Davis, focuses on pandemics. It features some pretty incredible stories about the work of our colleagues at the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center. In the Salish Sea, SeaDoc has studied diseases of wild animals that can potentially infect humans as well as diseases that can go from humans or our pets to wildlife.

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SeaDoc in the news

The Islands Sounder covered the first place award Jacq Zier received for her presentation at the recent Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. Details here.

The Islands Sounder also featured the gift of $2,500 from the senior class of Orcas High School. Details here.

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Upcoming Events

2014 Wine 'n' Sea Auction: Our 2014 auction will be on Saturday, July 12th, 2014 on Orcas Island. Buy tickets online.


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About SeaDoc

The SeaDoc Society uses science to find solutions to the problems facing marine ecosystems. We are a program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, a center of excellence at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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