Science for Solutions

Tyson Bottenus at Congressional Briefing
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Tyson BottenusCitizen Science, photographing whalessalt humpback whale family treeJason Patlis, Mitchell Tartt, Sylvia Earle, Daniel Moffatt, Tyson Bottenus
Tyson Bottenus our program coordinator reports from DC!

Yesterday our program coordinator Tyson Bottenus spoke on a panel concerning our National Marine Sanctuaries with none other than esteemed oceanographer and Time Magazine’s first Hero of the Planet, Dr. Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue.

The panel was gathered by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to give decision makers in Washington, D.C. a better understanding of changes occurring in our ocean and the Great Lakes and how we can create partnerships within sanctuaries.

Tyson spoke about efforts to engage the boating community in a project aimed to collect behavior and migratory patterns of humpback whales. We published an essay in January about this project, called CARIB tails, which relies on photographs of flukes by boaters.

Researchers have been tracking whales in Stellwagen Bank since the 1970's. A breakthrough in whale migration was made in 1975 when one humpback whale, named Salt, was photographed off the Silver Bank in the Dominican Republic, and then 34 days later, in Stellwagen Bank. Since being first photographed, Salt has been photographed with 12 of her calves!

Today, with the preponderance of digital cameras and smartphones in so many peoples’ hands we can get in on the science too. To participate in the CARIB Tails project, all you need is a good picture of a humpback whale’s fluke, location, and date to be part of this important study! 

For more information on this program read check out January’s Ocean Watch Essay