Thursday, December 9, 2010

Climate Change lecture tonight

Tonight I'll be doing a reprise of my lecture on Climate Change and its relevance for Nantucket.

"What is Climate Change and What Does it Mean for Nantucket?
Thursday, Dec 9. 6:30-8:30pm @ the Greenhound Building (Downtown NRTA bus terminal building near Wilkes Square)

Description: Marine Biogeochemist, Dr. Sarah Oktay, describes the current understanding of climate change science and explores the ways in which Nantucket, both the island and its inhabitants, may be affected.  (No charge)

For about 10 years during my research career in Galveston and in Boston I worked on identifying the sources for organic matter in the ocean using iodine isotopes. [one of several articles from that research, abstract only]:

I would also recommend you check out this video: "What's the worse that can happen" also known virally as The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See

Pictures of the day; Bob Prescott [Director of Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Cape Cod; Bob is also Massachusetts coordinator for the Northeast Sea Turtle Stranding Network] dissected this male loggerhead turtle here at the field station on November 30 with the rapt attention of the Lighthoouse School students and assistance from the Marine Mammal Stranding Team. It was extremely cold, loggerhead had been frozen for quite some time and there was hermit crabs in its stomach.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Stroll" barrelling down on Nantucket

Stroll weekend is one of the nicest times to be on Nantucket. Check out this video to see what I mean. This is also the last weekend for 2010 for the Nantucket Clean Team to spring into action as we met Saturday morning bright and early at 800 at the Grand Union ("A&P") parking lot downtown to remove any shreds of trash before Santa arrived. WE got about 1/3 of a trick full before Sybille arrived with her huge haul from various parts of the island. The Nantucket Field Station is one of the primary sponsors of the Nantucket Clean Team and I have been lucky enough to be a co-captain with Bill Connell (the founder) and Grant Sanders ( for 5+ years.

Last, but not least, check out this flash mob that showed up at Stroll (video courtesy of GenoTV)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

update on the dolphins in the harbor

Nantucket Harbor update:

from the Inquirer and Mirror web site and from updates from the Nantucket Marine Mammal Stranding team
dolphins and green turtle

a small fuel spill by docks in the harbor, with the current slim scallop harvest pickings, adding insult to injury.

The Town of Nantucket is starting to develop the Shellfish Management plan with the help of a local committee and the Urban Harbors Institute. The creation of a SMP is one of the many action items in our state approved Harbor Plan. I am the chair of the harbor plan implementation committee; come join us for our meetings, the next one is 500 November 18th.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's fall on Nantucket

Which means I finally have time to do some blog updates......

this week we have some common dolphins who have wandered into the harbor perhaps as a result of last week's storm. Our area stranding team under the direct guidance and oversight of the new England Aquarium is monitoring their behavior from afar. Please do not attempt to go find or bother these animals while they attempt to figure out how to get back out into their normal habitat.

more about Common dolphins which do strand here (in fact one did last February here at the Nantucket Field Station- pictures tomorrow)

COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus delphis)
Physical Characteristics:
Hourglass pattern on side  Yellowish patch in front  Black stripe from lower jaw to front flipper
and from eye to base of melon  Dorsal fin tall & pointed  Prominent beak
Adult: Length up to 8 ft. (250 cm)/ Weight up to 300 lb 
         Juvenile: Length 5 – 6.5 ft. (150-200 cm)/ Weight up to 175 lb
Residents of New England year round  Extremely social, found in schools of 50-1000 
Found mostly offshore, infrequently near shore  Common in mass strandings

an article I wrote last year regarding dolphins and The Cove:

a video posted on Plum from a common dolphin stranding in the Hither Creek/Madaket harbor area a couple of years ago:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

link to all that went before

there are so many ways to skin a cat; and man, do they hate all of them. I have been writing a blog for a long time (poorly and very sporadically if a blog post once every 6 months even counts as sporadic) which can be found at
and I am attempting to migrate it to Blogger in the hopes of actually posting more frequently. Let me know what you think!

migrating from angelfire

I keep complaining to myself and ignoring my complaints about why I never post to my blog and how I can best include all the adventures that seem to happen every day. Well not only am I bad about listening to myself; but I also manage to get out a 2000 word article every week, so gosh darn it, I should be able to get up a fresh blog entry. I plan to try and migrate this blog to blogger or wordpress; so hopefully my two readers will join me. And each week I'll introduce a blog or topic that interests me and hopefully you. This week I recommend you check out:
Mark Doty and Paul Lisicky gave a reading last night at the Atheneum and not only did I find both their work striking, but I also thought they were two of the sunniest nicest people I have met in a while.  My adventures have continued this weekend with my "sermon" at the UU entitled "Nature Bats Last" which I will clean up and post and my meeting of a historian/writer/former professor/current activist and seeker and silicon valley entrepreneur who will be working on a history of Cotton Mather, the church and religion as it evolved on Nantucket with a big helping of Thoreau for dessert. The picture of the week is a snapping turtle in honor of Mark's poem