Welcome to Currents: Glacier Bay's Ocean Science Hub! The goal of this new forum is to promote a greater understanding of the marine environment among professional mariners who frequent Glacier Bay and the surrounding waters. It's saltwater science for old salts, if you will.
Let's face it: many of you long-time captains and crew whose vessels carry Park visitors know Glacier Bay as well as any Park staffer. In many ways, you are our ambassadors with the public (thanks and keep up the good work!). By keeping you informed about ongoing ocean research, we hope to inspire your curiosity and appreciation for Glacier Bay's astounding wealth of marine resources and perhaps even answer a burning question or two. Some of the research findings may help you understand the basis for some of the methods that the National Park Service (NPS) uses to mitigate the effects of visitation on the Park's marine resources.
We'll be making regular posts at this site. We invite, encourage, and greatly look forward to your observations, comments, and questions. Don't be shy: comments can be made anonymously by posting below or using this link. Join the conversation!
Oddly enough, the centerpiece of this new initiative is a project about communication: humpback whale and harbor seal communication, to be exact. At the end of this two-year study, which just started in May 2015, we will know more than ever about the characteristics and use of underwater vocalizations by these animals. This study is a collaboration between NPS marine mammalogists (Chris Gabriele, Jamie Womble, and Megan McKenna) and researcher at Oregon State University (Ph.D student Michelle Fournet and her advisors Holger Klinck and Dave Mellinger) and Syracuse University (Ph.D student Leanna Matthews and her advisor Susan Parks). But we'll let Michelle and Leanna introduce themselves in future posts. Park outreach specialist Emma Johnson will keep the information flowing with this group and others and develop interpretive products related to this project.
We look forward to seeing you back here!