Marine Science Graduate Student Receives Switzer Environmental Fellowship

Marine Science Graduate Student Receives Switzer Environmental Fellowship

Marine Science Graduate Student Receives Switzer Environmental Fellowship

Rhinoceros Auklet chick (photo by Dave Calleri)

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Ryan Carle, a graduate student in Marine Science who studies at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, has received a 2012 Switzer Environmental Fellowship.

The fellowship provides a one-year $15,000 cash award for graduate study as well as networking and leadership support to awardees.

The Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program supports highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field.

Carle is a master’s student in the Vertebrate Ecology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and a lead ecologist for the non-profit Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge.

His current work is centered on the conservation of a small and threatened population of Rhinoceros Auklets (a burrowing seabird similar to puffins) breeding at Año Nuevo Island. One of only a handful of islands off the California coast, the island is critical breeding habitat for seven seabird and four marine mammal species.

Professor and MLML Interim Director Jim Harvey is Carle’s advisor. View more photos on Ryan Carle’s blog.

CBS 5: Moss Landing Marine Labs Director to Aid Entangled Whale

CBS 5: How Moss Landing Marine Labs Saves Whales

CBS 5: MLML Director to Aid Entangled Whale

CBS 5 interviews Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Director Jim Harvey on efforts to help a whale entangled in fishing nets.

Experts Search Monterey Coast To Save Whale Entangled In Fishing Nets

Posted by CBS5 April 26, 2012

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Director Jim Harvey talks to a CBS 5 reporter about how his specially trained team would help “June,” a female gray whale spotted off the coast of Big Sur tangled in fishing nets.

Harvey, who has spent the past 35 years saving whales, including a rescue depicted in the recent film “Big Miracle,” describes the team’s tactics and tools, noting the netting could severely impact the animal’s mobility, making her susceptible to predators, including killer whales.

MLML administers the master’s of science program for a consortium of seven California State University campuses, administered by San Jose State.

Jim Harvey photo

Inspired by Personal and Professional Connections, Moss Landing Interim Director Gives to SJSU

Jim Harvey as a post-doc, assisting to rescue whales in Alaska.

In 1988, Harvey was a postdoctoral fellow when he was tapped to be part of a team of scientists involved in the rescue of three gray whales trapped underneath the ice near Barrow, Alaska. Rescue team members Mark Fraker (left, oil company), NOAA’s Dave Withrow (center) and Jim Harvey (right, seated). (Dave Withrow/NMML/NOAA image)

(Editor’s Note: The following was originally published in the Acceleration Update on March 7, 2012).

A lot has changed since Jim Harvey first stepped foot on the campus of San José State. He earned a Ph.D. and helped rescue a few gray whales. He found the job of his dreams and became the interim director of a leading marine research lab. He’s married, mentored more than 75 graduate students and—perhaps most noticeable—he’s grown a couple feet taller.

Few people can claim a deeper association with SJSU than Harvey. His father was a professor in the College of Science and Harvey grew up in a home that valued science. Harvey remembers coming to campus as a child and taking trips with his father to do research on giant sequoias in the Sierra and marsh restoration in San Francisco Bay. Later, Harvey would become an alumnus when he attended San José State as an undergraduate.

Now, Harvey is a professor and Interim Director of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. If you’ve driven down the Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California, you’ve probably cruised past the marine research consortium’s headquarters, which is operated by the CSU and administered through San José State. The facility is located in Moss Landing, Calif., and offers a well-regarded graduate program in marine science.

Recently, Harvey and his wife decided to bequest a portion of their estate to Moss Landing through San José State. It was a decision that grew from their deep connection to the lab and the confidence that their gift would go to good use. Read more.

movie poster showing whale reaching out of ice to touch people

MLML Director Plays Part in Real “Big Miracle”

whale takes a peak at humans above the ice

One of three gray whales trapped by sea ice outside Barrow, Alaska, in 1988 (NOAA Fisheries/National Marine Mammal Lab/Dave Withrow photo).

By Brynn Hooton,
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Student Assistant

On Feb. 3, the film “Big Miracle” will open in box offices across the nation, telling the story of the 1988 rescue of three gray whales trapped in the ice near Barrow, Alaska.  Dr. Jim Harvey, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories director, professor and alumnus, played a significant role in the operation.  Harvey, who frequently tells the story of the rescue to his grad students and now has proof of his whale tale, sat down with us and agreed to paint the picture one more time, filling in some of the lesser-known details. MLML administers the master’s of science program for a consortium of seven California State University campuses, administered by San Jose State. Read Harvey’s story on the MLML blog. Read a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration news release, where you’ll find excellent photos.

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Researcher and Colleagues Identify Four New Shark Species

long thin shark with elongated snout and sharp teeth

African dwarf sawshark (California Academy of Sciences photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

David A. Ebert, program director for the Pacific Shark Research Center at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and colleagues have identified four new species of deep sea sharks. The discoveries includes the African dwarf sawshark (Pristiophorus nancyae), “notable for its elongated blade-like snout, or ‘rostrum,’ which is studded with sharp teeth and used as a weapon. The sawshark will swim through a school of fish swinging its rostrum back and forth, stunning and injuring prey, and then swim back to consume the casualties,” according to the California Academy of Sciences. Ebert and his colleagues also identified two species of lanternshark and one species of angel shark. Identifying species is critical to preserving biodiversity, the bedrock of healthy of ecosystems. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories administers the masters of science program for a consortium of seven California State University campuses in northern and central California headed by San Jose State.

Read a related California Academy of Sciences news release.

SJSU in the News: Moss Landing Opens its Doors to Visitors

Fun with Fish: Marine lab holds yearly open house

Originally posted in Monterey Herald May 1, 2011

By John Sammon, Herald Correspondent

Scientists at Moss Landing Marine Labs are making new discoveries each year, perhaps none so startling as the recent revelation that people are related to common sea anemones.

“Sea anemones have DNA much more complex than once thought,” said Kristin Meagher, co-chair of the facility’s annual open house and a second-year graduate student in invertebrate zoology and molecular ecology.

Approximately 1,500 visitors came to the lab’s annual open house Saturday to see marine science on the cutting edge.

“This is a chance to showcase for the public our research,” Meagher said. “It gives adults, students and children a chance to see what it’s like to be a marine scientist.”

Meagher said recent genetic study at the marine lab is helping to better understand sea organisms and how they relate to life on Earth.

“Genetics is giving us a better understanding of how life evolved on this planet,” she said. “We’ve been looking at what we call the tree of life, and we’re finding that even with supposedly simple animals like sponges and jellies, there’s a lot more involved than was known before.”

One collaborative project between the Smithsonian Institute and the lab will study the impact of non-native invasive species of animals in San Francisco Bay.

Jahnava Duryea, involved in the study of ichthyology, or fish biology, said one reason populations of cod were overfished and their numbers reduced is that the animals have slow growing cycles.

“Some of them live to be 120 years old,” she said. “Previous management practices believed the fish could replenish itself on a much shorter cycle, so the population went down. We’re working in collaboration with recreational and commercial fishermen to restore the numbers.”

She emphasized the importance of maintaining marine protected areas to preserve fish species.

John Oliver of Prunedale, an adjunct professor at the lab, said most people are unaware of the ways Elkhorn Slough has changed over the years. Formerly dotted with myriad lakes and freshwater springs and creeks, the area has been mostly filled in because of agricultural or residential expansion.

“We used to have salmon and steelhead here, but everything was filled in and replaced with ditches, and ditches are dead, with nitrates from fertilizer in them,” Oliver said.

Oliver exhibited a map showing that part of Salinas near Constitution Boulevard, a soccer field today, was in 1900 a large body of water called Carr Lake.

“Castroville was once surrounded by lakes,” he said.

Elkhorn Slough lost much of its freshwater inflow and became a mostly saltwater arm of the sea prone to erosion, Oliver said.

“We need to put the land back. I’m working to try and restore some of this lost habitat,” he said.

Nearby, Sara Worden, a student of phycology, or macro algae, handed out ice cream made from kelp.

“It’s called carrageenan,” she said. “It’s listed right here on the ice cream carton. It helps keep ice cream sticky like jelly. It’s also used for toothpaste and in shaving cream.”

Worden said offshore kelp forests seen from Cannery Row and Lovers Point are in fairly good health.

“They’re doing OK,” she said. “This biggest threat is climate change. Warmer water can impact growth.”

Katrina McFarland of Pebble Beach visited with her son Ewan. Ewan, 7, had his own kelp-made ice cream cone.

“I’m an artist and sculptor of leather masks,” Katrina McFarland said. “We come each year to the open house because I’m an enthusiastic amateur marine biologist. I plan to get a degree in it.”

“I like learning about the seals and the sharks,” Ewan said.

The event includes guided dune walks, boat tours, a puppet show, seminars on seaweed and sea birds, food and refreshments.

SJSU in the News: California State University Graduate Students Showcase Marine Labs

Moss Landing Marine Lab Opens Doors to Students

Originally posted in Central Coast News KION/KCBA April 30, 2011

By Jennifer Espinoza

MOSS LANDING, Calif– After budget cuts, we know it’s tough for schools to send students on field trips. That’s why the Moss Landing Marine Lab is opening up its facilities to thousands of them this weekend.

Grad students will be there to show students different exhibits. There will be touch tanks with marine life and some of them with animals you can’t find at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, like certain sea slugs.

This is a way for graduate students from California University campuses to show and get kids excited about science.

“Actually seeing the stuff playing with it and the fun part. i know for us its all about going into the field and seeing and doing” said Kristin Meagher, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

It is a free event, but there will be a raffle that graduate students hope will help them raise money for future events.

I f you are interested in attending the want to go there will be an open house Sunday from 9 am to 5pm. The address is 8272 Moss Landing Road in Moss Landing.

Moss Landing Marine Labs Publishes Global Warming Findings

Moss Landing Marine Labs Publishes Global Warming Findings

A team of marine scientists, including Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Director Kenneth Coale, has found that toxin-producing algae once thought to be limited to coastal waters are also common in the open ocean, where the addition of iron from natural or artificial sources can stimulate rapid growth of the harmful algae. The new findings, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to concerns about proposals to use iron fertilization of the oceans as a way to combat global warming.

Moss Landing Marine Labs

Researchers at sea.

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