Tag Archives: world oceans day

TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING NEWS: SNOTBOT GOES TO THE UN!!!

SnotBot (and the Kerr family) are heading to the UN as part World Ocean’s Day celebration. Amy writes, “Iain will be speaking to the UN General Assembly on Thursday about SnotBot for World Oceans Day, along with Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvia Earle and James Cameron, with music by Daft Punk! We’re making a family trip of it, so Dylan and I will be going along. We’ll try to remember to bring a GMG sticker. “

 

SnotBot goes to the UN!

Gloucester’s own Ocean Alliance will be part of the World Oceans Day celebration on June 8 at the Great Hall of the United Nations in New York City. Ocean Alliance CEO Dr. Iain Kerr will speak about the role of innovation and technology in ocean conservation and will introduce delegates to Ocean Alliance’s innovative research drone, SnotBot. Dr. Kerr will be one of many ocean advocates, including philanthropist Richard Branson, director James Cameron, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and oceanographer Sylvia Earle, who will be making presentations during the celebration along with a live feed from the International Space Station.

SnotBot is a customized drone that allows Ocean Alliance to collect behavioural and biological data (whale blow or snot) from whales noninvasively, without harming or disturbing the animals. Modified consumer drones have immense potential in marine mammal science and conservation, and Ocean Alliance’s SnotBot program has been at the very forefront of this new research paradigm, not only attaching petri dishes and sponges to drones to collect whale blow, but also attaching cameras and microphones to collect a broad spectrum of other valuable data.

 

The whale blow that SnotBot collects contains DNA, microbiomes, pregnancy hormones, stress hormones, and ketones. SnotBot’s video camera collects behavioural data and also provides stunning imagery.

For more information about the World Oceans Day program, Christina Caputo <christina@parley.tv

For more information about SnotBot and Ocean Alliance’s Drones for Whale Research program, visit http://www.whale.or/research/drones/ or call Dr Iain Kerr at 978-281-2814 x15 or email ikerr@whale.org.

Images courtesy Ocean Alliance website.

4 More Days of School Lunches to Pack!!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we Schraffts are summer people. Let there be no mistake that I love my job… and I mean no offense to my amazing little students, but the count down to summer vacation is almost more excitement than I can even stand.  Total giddiness….epic warm fuzzies.

Sure, beach days, quick getaways, sleeping in, music on lawns, margaritas on decks, sushi feeding frenzies, long nights by the fire pit and dirty, salty, and happy kids = a happy mom, but one of the most exciting parts of summer vacations is NO MORE LUNCH PACKING.

Possibly you can’t relate to this.  So forgive me.  But, lunch packing is my least favorite thing…ever.  It isn’t that its hard…it is just so damn Ground Hog’s Day.  Unpack the lunch boxes, soak the containers, wash, rinse, dry….and repack.  Ugh.  It doesn’t necessarily help that I started to put a little photo in each of the boys’ lunch boxes when they were toddlers and now neither of them will let me stop.  SOOOO….factor in the “pick-a-photo-and-wrap-it-in-the-shark-print-cloth-napkins-that-they-like-to-use” step…and I’m S.P.E.N.T.

That brings me to my point.  The school where I teach…and that my boys attend…has a “Green Initiative”.  It is suggested, but obviously not mandated, that the children have as little trash as possible in their lunch boxes.  Now, complain as I have about the process of packing lunches, I am more than happy to do my part to not only leave a smaller footprint, but to also teach my boys that we need to be conscious of our impact on our environment and good friend, Planet Earth.

So, we buy big containers of yogurt and scoop daily amounts into small lunch containers.  My boys drink ice water from reusable water bottles and don’t use juice boxes, etc.  We don’t use little snack bag sized things like goldfish or chips…we just throw a handful or so into one of their reusable containers from the bigger bag.

The boys and I were talking earlier about the fact that today is World Oceans Day and that caused me to remember a friend’s reaction when she saw me packing the boys’ lunches one evening. It had never occurred to her to pack lunch “that way” (as she put it) and she was happy to start.

So, while packing lunches as a whole will remain annoying to me, I guess I am at least happy that we are doing our part.  I’m glad the boys are learning a lesson….and, if there happens to be an ocean animal living life better somewhere because of our lack-of-lunch-trash then ever better.  A win-win.

 

Happy (day after) World Oceans Day!!

Check out photos of the humpbacks feeding out on Stellwagen Bank from Cape Ann Whale Watch.