The news from Shoals Marine Lab

12 02 2014

Though we are sunk in the depths of winter, it’s not too early to be contemplating plans for the summer. This year, our intrepid gull research/harassment team will be out at the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island seeking out banded gulls and banding the unbanded for Julie Ellis’ ongoing study of gull ecology. Our first customary stint is in May when the birds are arriving and setting up housekeeping, and we are pulling together plans and people for that week. Right now, it looks like we will be able to offer slots to three undergraduates on the team, including two from North Shore Community College in Massachusetts where I teach. I am strongly committed to broadening access to field biology experiences to my college population, who have, by and large, never had an opportunity like this. I will be inviting student applications soon and reviewing the candidates. I know they (and I) will be very grateful for the incredible support and generosity of the donors who pay their way on the island.

A greener time of year on Appledore. (photo: Cornell University)

A greener time of year on Appledore. (photo: Cornell University)

Shoals Marine Lab itself is undergoing some changes, and a major one has just been announced. New Director Jennifer Seavey will be taking over supervision of the lab, leaving behind her current gig at Seahorse Key Marine Lab in Florida. We’re excited to see what the future looks like under this new leadership. There is a strong contingent of faculty, staff and researchers at Shoals who want to┬ámake it more inclusive, bringing in students from more schools and more diverse backgrounds than the traditional population of mainly Cornell and University of New Hampshire, which jointly administer the Lab. I look forward to helping in some way with that mission and will keep you posted on the goings-on. And of course, you can be assured of a blog post or two in May featuring windswept rocky crags and eager undergrads scanning the horizon for birds while being pelted with feces.

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5 responses

14 02 2014
Robin Hadlock Seeley

hi Sarah, the Shoals Marine Lab has long been committed to diversity – we offer scholarship support to every student with financial need, from any school: http://www.sml.cornell.edu/sml_students_feesandaid.html

This diversity is one of the factors that makes SML such a lively place!

Robin Hadlock Seeley, Assistant Director for Academic Programs, SML

14 02 2014
scourc01

That’s why we love you! We’re hoping to eventually set things up so that students from my college (and other similar places) can get course credit for Shoals courses. That’s been a barrier up to this point–they can’t take those credits home and apply them to their associate’s degrees. But I know this is a surmountable obstacle, and I am excited to be a part of every increasing diversity at Shoals!

14 02 2014
scourc01

p.s. for any prospective community college students thinking of a Shoals course–if you get pushback from your advisor or other admin folks saying Shoals courses don’t fit into the curriculum, please get in touch! I want to know about these cases, and for most Shoals courses, there should be a way to have them count towards your requirements!

14 02 2014
Robin Hadlock Seeley

SML has never had a problem with transfer of credit and we have lots of students from all over the country come to SML. If you’ve had a problem, that is the first issue with transferring credit we’ve heard about. I’ll talk to you offline!

14 02 2014
scourc01

It’s not you, I assure you. It’s going to take a bit of work on my end, but nothing that isn’t doable. We can definitely chat offline–for this summer, it’s sort of moot, though I am encouraging my students to look into Shoals every year–but Julie and I have dreams of offering the seabird ecology course again one day! I’ll just have to sell that to my home department as a good thing for the students to take for credit. Looking forward to some more in depth conversations about how to get my students out there!

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