Shoals Shark Biology and Conservation
Shark Biology and Conservation at Shoals Marine Lab
Last month, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks at Shoals Marine Lab. Shoals is a research station which is centered around undergraduate education and is run collabratively by University of New Hampshire and Cornell University. I was the teaching assistant for their Shark Biology and Conservation course. This was awesome, because not only was I able to talk about my favorite thing (sharks) all day- but it also solidified that I do in fact love teaching. Throughout the two weeks, I spent time setting up labs, grading, assisting with project development, and talking with students about my scientific path!
There were a lot of highlights over the course of the week- but I figured I would list my “top 10” experiences at Shoals.
- Tagging and releasing two blue sharks! My background is working with tropical shark species in Miami and the Bahamas, so working with blues was a first for me!
- Learning how to use a rod and reel along side my students. Surprisingly, I have never fished with a rod and reel! However, we had amazing success with “sabikis” fishing for Mackeral!
- Working with skates for the first time! Skates are a close cousin of sharks! We were working specifically with the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea)
- Helping students develop their own independent research questions! We had captive sharks and skates for our students to study a range of things from habitat preference to capture stress!
- Leading disscussions about readings outside while watching the beautiful Appledore Island sunset.
- Seeing all of our skate embryos hatch into adorable hatchlings!
- Teaching students to take muscle biopsies from sharks and teleosts! I was even able to take some samples for Stable Isotope Analysis!
- Meeting the other awesome Shoals faculty and staff.
- Working along side Maggie Winchester and Dr. Heather Marshall, two amazing women in shark science!
- Showing my students how Shark Science is not all glam! I had the task of making “chum buckets” to help attract sharks during our fishing efforts.
Easton joins CoastWise group for workshop at Shoals Next post
UNH Fall 2021 semester begins!