Tag Archives: Ocean Alliance
Only 3 days left to join Patrick Stewart (whose new show premieres tonight) in supporting Ocean Alliance’s Snotbot!
You’ve heard about SNOTBOT, right? OK, maybe you’re just visiting, so you haven’t heard about this yet. Let me explain: few other Kickstarter pledges could be better for the future of Gloucester (and anyone who lives or visits here) than this one — really, no kidding. You’ll be helping Ocean Alliance develop revolutionary drone technology for whale research — and there’s no telling what they might discover. But what ever it is, you’ll be a part of it along with iconic actor Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard on “Star Trek”, with a new show called “Blunt Talk” premiering TONIGHT on Starz)!
This is good for Ocean Alliance (which translates good for Gloucester because we want them to thrive here), good for whales, good for our planet, and good for all of us who will benefit from whatever they discover using this new gizmo! So pledge now right here.
Sunday morning Discovery Channel News was at Ocean Alliance filming a story about SnotBot, the organization’s new drone. The drone was created by a group of Olin College of Engineering students, under the direction of Professor Drew Bennet, in the College’s robotics lab.
“SnotBot will be used to collect DNA, bacteria, viruses and stress hormones from whale blows. The team also tested SnotShot, a machine that makes a simulated whale blow (with the capacity to simulate different blow types) on demand—a testing tool that will actually help the scientists in the field collect a control sample.
The SnotBot drone works something like this: “as SnotBot flies out to a whale that is approximately 300m from the research vessel, it hovers over a whale and the whale repeatedly blows onto a collection device. After the sample is collected and brought back to the RV Odyssey, the data is used to help interpret an animal’s state of heath through the analysis of bacteria, viruses, DNA, and stress hormones recovered from the whale’s blow.”
See More Photos Here
Here’s Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr representing at the United Nations where he is speaking today about ocean pollution for World Energy Day.
- our work in the Gulf of Mexico following up on the BP Oil Spill with our partners from “Whale Wars” – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
- our robotics program with Olin College
- our work in Argentina studying the southern right whale for the 43rd year
- the ongoing renovations at our new headquarters – the Paint Factory.
A lot of people don’t realize there is an open courtyard space that runs between the brick and wooden buildings at the Paint Manufactory. (see post card image)
As part of the restoration process, one of the courtyard spaces is currently being cleaned up by Kerr and his crew.
A pretty spectacular space.
The Latest from Operation Toxic Gulf – Ocean Alliance’s Collaboration with Sea Shepherd of Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars”
Posting from very rough seas today in the Gulf of Mexico, we bring you the third crew blog by Ocean Alliance campaign leader Iain Kerr: on-board The R/V Odyssey for Operation Toxic Gulf.
I spend a lot of time captaining a desk nowadays so it is good to be back at sea with old and new friends and one of my favorite species sperm whales.
I do feel very frustrated by the lack of interest in whales in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 oil disaster. I have pounded the streets contacting pretty much every funding body I know to keep the RV Odyssey at sea each summer collecting data and yet as we move farther from the event funding is getting harder to come by. What scares me here is the fact that we have a unique toxicological experiment going on in the Gulf and we need to grab every bit of data we can – from my perspective our team is running through a burning library grabbing whatever books we can before the fire (or the chemicals used to put it out) irreparably damage or destroy the books. This then leads to what drives me as an individual.
I am impressed again and again by the depth of human compassion how people rise to the challenge when a crisis occurs. When the Tsunami devastated the Indian Ocean over $14 billion was raised internationally. In 2010 $3.4 billion was raised for Haiti relief in a matter of months.
During the 86 days of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico millions of people were riveted to the video feed of oil escaping into the Gulf. They seemed to become addicted to the live feed of an unfolding catastrophe. I thought that the Gulf spill would be a pivotal moment in humanity’s relationship with the oceans. You can imagine, then, how stunned I was when the leak was capped and people simply changed channels and tuned out. For Gulf species and residents, the potential long-term consequences of one of the largest oil spill’s and greatest release of dispersants ever to occur on this planet are unimaginable. But with the images gone, public concern seems to vanish.
It seems that unless people have a strong, tangible image on which to focus their compassion, we are not very good at staying involved. I fail to understand how our species can be so compassionate and yet, in the case of the Gulf — the ultimate case of ocean pollution — so naive. Because the oceans are down hill from everything and gravity never sleeps, everything ends up in the seas; yet it appears that without imagery of an unfolding catastrophe everyone assumes that the oceans can take all that we throw at them.
When our President Roger Payne founded Ocean Alliance in 1971 he did so with the goal in mind of setting up a ‘pathfinder’ organization that would tackle the difficult jobs and blaze a trail. Over the last 39 years (working with our partners around the world) we have succeeded on this front at many levels, but I remain deeply concerned by the way that ‘The tragedy of the Commons’ is being played out in the oceans. Roger said in a 1979 National Geographic article, “Pollution has replaced the harpoon as a mortal threat to whales, and in its way can be far more deadly.”
Since that time, Ocean Alliance has been focusing its efforts on documenting the levels and effects of ocean pollution on marine mammals, even though, given our limited resources, it would be hard to tackle a more difficult job. The news on ocean pollution turns out to be deeply disturbing. Despite evidence that ocean pollution is affecting our lives and those of our children, people don’t seem to get engaged, let alone enraged about its potential consequences for whales and humanity.
Please, be enraged and get engaged!
Thanks to the support of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Global Ocean Alliance will continue to collect data in the Gulf of Mexico this year and, write scientific papers and inform educators, policy makers, and the general public on wiser stewardship of our irreplaceable oceans and their marine mammal populations, and on the links between healthy oceans and our own health.
We hope that you will join us on this journey and thank you for your support — Oceans Matter
The great great grandson of Augustus Henry Wonson, founder of the Tarr & Wonson paint factory also attended in support with his wife.
Ian Kerr from Ocean Alliance takes notes on progress at the Paint Factory.
They have come a long way. Removed all the paint pasted to the floors, installed radiate heat in the floors, all new walls inside, carpeting, plumbing, yet maintaining as much of the original wood as possible.
The “E” Building is becoming a love of hard work and dedication.
This will be one of Gloucester’s Pride Land Mark.
GMG will keep you posted on this project.
Below are some photos of the Progress:
However Much More has to be done.
Ocean Alliance, based on figures provided by the lead architect, has a goal of raising approximately $12 million to restore the ~ 20,000 Sq.ft buildings in a way that mediates existing contamination, maintains their historic exterior appearance while modeling the interior as a practical, accessible research, education and historic center.
Only $12,000,000? Hopefully the architect throws in a blowjob to sweeten the deal.
A man who “Walks the Talk”, is in constant motion, with a vision for the future, and an eye on the past.
Iain talks with Thom Falzzarano and Donna Ardizzoni of GMG
hey joey, don’t say we were not thinking of everyone in beautiful gloucester. we finished our aerial photographic survey of the endangered southern right whales and got a few good shots! in one of the attached photo is of the pilot oscar, me, and science officer/camera asssistant marcos standing by our airplane. second shot of whale breach we got in the last hour of our survey we all send greetings to everyone in gloucester! john atkinson
This video was taken 10 miles from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Ian Kerr writes in-
Sorry for not being in better touch but we have been keeping busy.
As I hope you are aware we are posting daily updates from the Gulf on our ocean alliance websites – do you want me to forward these to you I will – and you can pick an choose if you want to put them up. Also we had Alexander Cousteau on the Odyssey and have some good blogs from her also, the links are following:
Thanks to the donation (& installation) of a V SAT aboard Odyssey we have posted daily voyage logs on the both the Ocean Alliance & USM websites www.oceanalliance.org, http://usm.maine.edu/toxicology/gulf/index.php and we have developed a large audience on our face book pages ‘A race to Save our oceans’ and ‘Ocean Alliance’.
We had a great interaction with Alexandra Cousteau’s group Blue Legacy.
There is a guest blog from Dr. John Wise on the blue legacy website with a really neat picture looking down on Alexandra and John from the midlevel platform: http://www.alexandracousteau.org/field/expedition-blog/sea-cameraman-ian
The Blue Legacy cameraman (Ian) also wrote a blog about his time aboard Odyssey with us:
There are some photos and articles of us with Alexandra on the National Geographic website including a great one of Cathy Wise and Alexandra Cousteau at the microscope in the boat lab:
Anne Casselman, the expedition Writer, for Expedition Blue Planet, the project that is being lead by Alexandra Cousteau also wrote a nice story which is up on the USM site:
This expedition, and the network of partners we have, combined with the value of the Gulf research analysis we plan to independently release, can have a significant, long-term effect on how the Gulf ecosystem is restored and how policy decisions relating to drilling and the use of oil dispersants are made.
Here is the interview I did with Ian the day they left Gloucester to begin their incredible expedition on July 8,2010-
Keep up the good work.
John is on his way to Argentina to particpate in his 19th annual aerial survey of the endangered southern right whales that gather each year in the waters near Peninsula Valdes to mate and give birth to their calves
Click the picture to check it out-