Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day 2021

Happy Earth Day from all of us at NECWA. Each day we have the opportunity to do something positive for Mother Earth. Some actions are small like using reusable bags at the grocery store and some are big, like purchasing an electric vehicle. No matter how significant the action, each one makes a difference, especially when we combine actions and work together. Lets' work hard to make every day Earth Day. Our survival depends on a healthy and diverse planet as does the survival of all life on Earth.

We are connected, we are One!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saying Goodbye to our good friend Dr. John Jahoda


Earlier this month, NECWA was contacted about some very sad news. Our good friend, colleague and biggest supporter, Dr. John Jahoda, died from a long battle with a rare form of liver cancer. You can click HERE to read John's obituary. 



This series of photos are of John when he joined me and Dani on Aucoot Beach in Marion, MA in July of 2017. I had asked John if he would identify the various plants on Aucoot Beach for me in preparation of a vegetation study that I was putting together for the nonprofit. Dani and I had so much fun listening and learning from John that day and still remember how amazed we were with John's ability to know all the names and life histories of each of the plants we found. John was a trained zoologist but knew all about plants, environments and just about everything and anything. He was brilliant but he never made a show of all that he knew. He was a gracious, wonderful and supportive teacher and mentor with me and with all of his students, regardless of who you were, what you knew or what your ambitions were in life. 

This series of photos are of John when he joined me and Dani on Aucoot Beach in Marion, MA in July of 2017. I had asked John if he would identify the various plants on Aucoot Beach for me in preparation of a vegetation study that I was putting together for the nonprofit. Dani and I had so much fun listening and learning from John that day and still remember how amazed we were with John's ability to know all the names and life histories of each of the plants we found. John was a trained zoologist but knew all about plants, environments and just about everything and anything. He was brilliant but he never made a show of all that he knew. He was a gracious, wonderful and supportive teacher and mentor with me and with all of his students, regardless of who you were, what you knew or what your ambitions were in life.


John and I worked closely together at Bridgewater State University (BSU) since 2000. He was one of the few professors who would take on someone like me (a woman, a part-time professor, a professor with only a Masters degree) and collaborate with me and our BSU students on various projects, including those on whales, seals, sea turtles, ocean sunfish and basking sharks. He was the marine connection for students at BSU and he provided real-life learning opportunities, both in and out of the classroom, for his students in his classes. He treated me and others with respect and kindness and focused on a person's potential, not their shortcomings. John collaborated with me and other NECWA staff members and interns on many projects, helping us achieve and often exceed our research and educational outreach goals. No matter what projects we worked on together, he provided the positive can-do attitude as well as the support and know-how that was needed. What an incredible experience for me, my staff and those interns, students and volunteers who had the good fortune of taking a class with John or participating in research under his direction whether through BSU or NECWA.

                               

My heart is aching even though I know that John lived a long, prosperous, and adventurous life. He leaves behind a loving and supportive family and there is no doubt that he lived life to the fullest. Still, I miss him so much and the times spent together. After John retired from BSU, I would often join him for long walks in the woods followed by delicious food at one of our favorite restaurants. What fun we had chit-chatting over mounds of pasta, bowls of steamers and yummy rich desserts. I loved our time together for John was always kind, thoughtful, brilliant, fun, supportive, and willing to put-up with my crazy questions, ideas and projects.
John was my dear and very close friend and I will miss him very much. My world just became a little darker but his memory shines bright in my heart. In loving memory, Krill

An Unusual Stranding on Cape Cod in 2020

During the 2020 stranding season on Cape Cod, NECWA documented the first stranded adult shirttail mola. This is a more tropical species compared to the common mola, the species that typically strands on the shores of Cape Cod each fall and early winter. 

On April 16, 2021, Cory Farrelly, a NECWA volunteer, who recently graduated from UMASS Dartmouth in Marine Biology, presented a poster on this stranding in collaboration with NECWA's President Krill Carson and other researchers also studying these unusual species. 

Click on the poster below to enlarge.


Working with our interns and volunteers on scientific posters and presentations is what NECWA is about. This provides the experience and opportunities that these young professionals need as they grow in the field of marine science. 

Please donate to NECWA to help us continue this important mission. NECWA works with over 60 high school and college interns each year as we train the scientists, journalist, educators, etc. of the future.  

Monday, April 12, 2021

An update on Jessica Bethoney - NECWA Intern in 2014

 Where are our NECWA interns now?


Jessica Bethoney interned and volunteered at NECWA from 2014 to 2015. She was a NECWA whale research intern on the whale watch boats in Plymouth, MA where she was responsible for collecting, identifying and organizing Humpback whale research. In the winter, Jessica volunteered to look for cold-stunned sea turtles along Cape Cod along while also assisting with necropsies of sea turtle and ocean sunfish.


Today, Jessica is a Zebrafish Aquatics Facility Manager at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Smiches Research Building. In this facility, she provides husbandry care for over 1500 zebrafish tanks. Jessica assists the multiple researchers who use zebrafish embryos to identify genetic pathways that are responsible for birth anomalies, regrow ligaments and tendons for people who are missing a limb and cancer research. 


In her spare time, Jessica enjoys scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, drawing but most of all photography. She continues to pursue the interest in photography which she discovered taking whale ID photos during her NECWA internship.