• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

Know Your Park- William McLellan to Speak on NC Whales - Presentations to be held on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands

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Date: February 6, 2008
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

As part of the Know Your Park citizen science program series, the National Park Service Outer Banks Group will host two presentations on Whales of North Carolina by William McLellan, marine mammal biologist/research associate at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.

McLellan will speak at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, NC on Wednesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. and the Ocracoke Community Center in Ocracoke, NC on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m.

"The presentation will cover the large species of whales frequenting waters off the Outer Banks focusing on the highly endangered northern right whale," stated Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray. "I hope that local students as well as adults will take advantage of this opportunity."

McLellan has studied whales for over twenty-five years. He began his career at the Smithsonian Institute working under Dr. James Mead, curator of marine mammals. Since 1995, he has been a research associate at University of North Carolina in Wilmington. He is the coordinator for the NC Marine Mammal Stranding Network and one of two team leaders performing large whale necropsies along the Atlantic coast. He recently returned from Argentina where he was investigating the causes of a mass southern right whale stranding event. This winter McLellan is conducting aerial surveys of northern right whales wintering off the NC coast.

The Know Your Park citizen science program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring National Park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. "These presentations offer local residents an opportunity to both learn more about, and better enjoy, their National Parks" stated Murray.

Additional Know Your Park programs scheduled for this season include: Dr. Charles Ewen., professor of anthropology and director of the Archaeology Laboratories at East Carolina University on the search for the Lost Colony at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on March 19;and a panel presentation on the Wright brothers’ 1908 success in France this coming May.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Sea Whip, though it looks like a plant, is actually whole colony of animals.

A piece of sea whip that washes up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is not a plant, but the skeleton of a whole colony of animals. A tiny animal lived in each hole on the yellow, orange or purple stems. It had a mouth, a stomach and eight tentacles to catch food.