Sending in the reinforcements! SEANET gets help!

26 03 2014

Normally, lean, mean SEANET gets by with a skeleton crew of 2 working a total of a few hours a week. We manage to get a lot done, but some of the work does pile up. We are therefore very relieved to have help this semester. Grad student Marissa Jenko has joined us as work study and I, for one, am most grateful for the help reviewing walk data, verifying reports, and hopefully even blogging on occasion for you all. In the meantime, I’ll let Marissa introduce herself:

Lucky for us, Marissa has embraced the work with good cheer!

Lucky for us, Marissa has embraced the work with good cheer!

“Hello! My name is Marissa Jenko and I’m originally from Floral Park, NY. I received my bachelor’s degree in geology from UMass Amherst in 2011 and spent two years working at an environmental consulting firm in Somerville, MA. Though I learned a lot in those two working years, I decided I needed a change and applied for Tuft’s masters in conservation medicine (MCM) program.

Conservation medicine studies the relationships between human, animal, and environmental health and seeks to develop policies, programs, and health management practices that maintain biodiversity and protect the ecosystems that are vital to human and animal health.

Recently, I’ve found myself gravitating back towards my geology roots and have been researching the geologic reasons behind certain human and animal health issues (for example, the prevalence of iodine deficiencies are strongly correlated to the soil characteristics and bedrock composition of the region).
I became interested in SEANET after a lecture from Dr. Julie Ellis about the program. I was intrigued by the idea of using these birds as indicators of an environmental contamination event (like an oil spill) before most people are even aware that something has occurred. I’m looking forward to being a part of the team!
In my spare time I’m an avid skier, crafter (particularly sewing), and reader.”

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SEANET presents to Master’s students

8 02 2013

OK, so I’m holding out for a few more responses on this week’s Dead Bird Quiz, though we did get one good response already. Come on people!

Master's students and instructor  (far right) bathed in the warm glow of laptops.

Master’s students and instructor (far right) bathed in the warm glow of laptops.

In the interim, I offer you a report on my Wednesday afternoon activities this week. I was invited by the gracious folks (Alison Robbins and Mike McGuill) of Tufts University’s Master of Science in Conservation Medicine program to speak to the Surveillence Methods and Techniques course about SEANET and our data collection methodologies, pitfalls, and hopes for the future. Despite the time (late afternoon) and the setting (a warm, dimly lit room) the students remained awake and asked a number of excellent questions about what we do.

One group of students will be working on SEANET for their required project, and I hope to be able to share their work with you at some point in the future.

I leap at any chance to talk about SEANET to any audience, and to share with them what a dedicated and committed group of volunteers you are.

Now, to my friends in the Northeast, stay warm, stay safe and if you’re looking for something to do during this epic blizzard, may I suggest a Dead Bird Quiz as a diversion?