Another morbid website, and goings on in the Gulf of Maine

19 05 2015

You may already be familiar with WHER, the Wildlife Health Event Reporter, where members of the public can submit their reports of sick, injured, or dead wildlife. Your SEANET beached bird data gets hoovered up by that very site, so you can see what birds your neighbors, or distant SEANET kin are finding. Now, there’s an additional tool out from USGS National Wildlife Health Center, conspiratorially named WHISPers. This site draws together wildlife mortality reports from government agencies and other partner groups. Though you, as an individual citizen (scientist) cannot contribute to this particular database, you can see what’s turning up. Here’s a screenshot of the results I got when I searched for events in my home state of New Hampshire:

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.25.57 AM

Cool, huh? One gets not only geographic information, but in many cases, a confirmed or suspected diagnosis. Take a look around the site when you have a chance.

Now, I abruptly turn to some happenings here in the northern SEANET reaches over the next couple weeks. First up is our annual pilgrimage to Appledore Island to band gulls for the ongoing work of our own Julie Ellis. Through the generosity of a private donor, I was able to select four worthy students from my institution, Northern Essex Community College, to join our Gull Team this May. They are packing their bags and borrowing binoculars in preparation for the trip, and truly, none of them have any idea what they’re getting into.

Finally, in June, I will be meeting with faculty and administrators from my college and from the Gulf of Maine Institute to discuss possible collaborations and partnerships for our students. This is an exciting prospect and I will, no doubt, have some news on that front as the summer progresses. Never a dull moment, Seanetters. Though sometimes I do wish for a bit of a breather…

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