We at SEANET are grateful for our affiliation with Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. But while the University can lend us its name and prestige, and give us much appreciated office space, the school is unable to offer any funding to SEANET. We raise all our own salary, training costs, and other funds ourselves, and we are particularly grateful to the individual donors who see fit to give to us year after year.
As we look toward the summer, our own Dr. Julie Ellis is gearing up for the year’s field season on Appledore Island in Maine. Appledore is the site of the Shoals Marine Lab, jointly run by Cornell and the University of New Hampshire. In the summer months, the island is alive with the hum of students taking classes and doing field research, as well as the incessant calling of the breeding gulls. Julie will be running two weeks of field study on the island: one in mid-May and a second in mid-July. The work is physically challenging and labor intensive, requiring several people divided into two teams. We are always excited to offer this opportunity to undergraduate students, and we have had many excellent ones join us over the years. Given UNH and Cornell’s role in running Shoals Marine Lab, it’s not surprising that most of the students spending time on the island come from those institutions. This year, we are delighted to cast the net a bit wider.
Thanks to the generosity of donors Tracy Holmes and Mary Wright, we will be able to fund two students from North Shore Community College in Massachusetts. The students’ boat transportation, housing and food will all be covered, allowing students of slim means to take advantage of this incomparable opportunity. I have begun the process of recruiting these students and wish to express both my and Julie’s gratitude to Tracy and Mary for making this possible. Shoals can change lives; I’ve seen it. And I am proud that students from the institution where I teach and which I have come to love will be able to have this chance.