Ashley Pearson at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA-- The E Seal Team spends a lot of time on the beach resighting, tagging, weighing, measuring, and collecting samples. However, the E Seal Team's day doesn't end when we leave the beautiful Año Nuevo State Reserve coastlines. Back to the lab we enter loads of data! In the field we keep track of seals that we have seen so that we can enter it into our databases. We use the databases to track information like:
Luis Huckstadt at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica-- It's been very busy at the Cape these last couple of weeks. The daily routine hasn't changed that much from the previous report, but the workload has not decreased a bit! We continue with our daily flipper tag resights of Antarctic fur seals along the coast of the Cape. We're trying to make sure that we count them accurately, as well as trying to figure out if the moms still have their pups. Fur seals seem to be really good moms, and keep track of their pups really well.
Nicole Teutschel at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA-- Elephant seals have made a big splash in the Ocean, in Google Earth. Today Google launched an Ocean platform in Google Earth!
TOPP has contributed stories, figures, and satellite data to Ocean. This partnership is geared towards enabling everyone to be able to better visualize tracking data, and of course... explore the Oceans right from their computer!
Patrick Robinson on the eastern Weddell Sea--The science that goes on during a research cruise is always exciting, but what is it like living aboard a research vessel for weeks at a time?
Nicole Teutschel at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA-- The elephant seal breeding season has reached its peak! This week is when we find the greatest number of elephant seals hauled out along beaches of Año Nuevo State Reserve in Northern California.
Molly McCormley at UC Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab-- They are MIGHTY, they are GNARLEY, they are PROUD, they ARE….losers. Male elephant seals can have a tough life! Only 1 out of 10 males get to become alpha, or kings of their own harem of females. The others are left to become beta males (big males that are second to alpha), sneaker males (males who inch their way into harems under alpha's radar) and the losers.
Erin Pickett at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA--The E Seal Team found themselves hard at work on the beach on Saturday, deploying not only the first, but the second set of satellite tags of the '09 breeding season! The first two lucky female Elephant Seals (along with the next twenty) were chosen specifically for tagging.
Melinda Fowler from San Nicolas Island, CA -- Being a field researcher can be incredibly challenging. We are still here on San Nicolas Island, attempting to catch the 10 sea lions we deployed satellite tags on back in November. So far, its been a great success - we've caught 6 of the 10 with a week left to go! Still, at times it can be frustrating.
Patrick Robinson from somewhere near the South Orkney Islands -- Today, chief scientist Keith Nicholls and his team from the British Antarctic Survey recovered a pair of oceanographic moorings that were deployed two years ago. First, we traveled to the exact location the mooring was deployed. The mooring line and instruments sit well below the surface and stretch all the way to the bottom, some 3,000 meters below.
Lauren Randall at Año Nuevo State Reserve, CA--The TOPP E Seal Team’s work is never done! Especially during this busy time of year: the elephant seal breeding season. We’re hard at work every day, rain or shine! We researchers frequently have to face the elements heat, wind, cold, and yes even rain! Today, we got pretty soggy: we were out in a downpour to recover Poppy’s tags.