Monthly Archives

April 2014

Join the IoT Olympiad and You Could Win a Whale Watch with Sir Patrick Stewart

By | Ocean Alliance News, Technology, Whales | No Comments

Ahead of a week of tech-related conferences and expos Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has declared May 2-9 “Internet of Things Week” in the Bay State, making Massachusetts the first state to do so. An exciting part of this coming week is the “Internet of Things” (IoT) Olympiad, a 48-hour hackathon in which IT developers collaborate and compete for a common goal.

IoT OlympiadOne of this year’s themes is “Sustain Life: Sustainable Maritime Economies,” put forward by our friend Tom Balf from Maritime Gloucester. Recently Tom approached Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr and asked if he had any potential projects for the IoT Olympiad, and did we have any incentive packages that could be offered to motivate participants. Iain introduced an idea we’ve been thinking about for a while called Whale Snap. The idea is that you when you are on the water and spot a whale you take a photo with the Whale Snap app. The app would identify the species of whale and give you basic information on that animal almost immediately. Then it would link to a database and contact you back with more info about the whale, potentially its name and when it was last seen, and threats to the species. In this way we can:

  1. Minke whale - photo by Tim Watters

    Minke whale – photo by Tim Watters

    Educate people about regional whale populations

  2. Empower citizen scientists to collecting data
  3. Fund our research, education and conservation efforts

 

 

Iain believes the potential for this program is huge. It could start as a regional program with humpback whales and then go global with Whale Snap applications that are specific to different whale populations around the world.  Considering that Ocean Alliance has data on whale populations from over 20 counties we are well suited to take on this project.

Prizes include:

  • Memorabilia signed by Sir Patrick Stewart and Dr. Roger Payne
  • 7 Seas Whale Watch with Sir Patrick Stewart (date to be determined)
  • Work space at our headquarters in the historic Paint Factory on Gloucester Harbor

To join the IoT Olympiad register here. Good luck!

NWF Releases Gulf of Mexico Report Featuring Our Work with Sperm Whales

By | apr14, Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Voyage of the Odyssey | No Comments

Odyssey with oil rigOcean Alliance has spent the last four summers in the Gulf of Mexico studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on sperm whales with our partners—the Wise Laboratory at the University of Southern Maine and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Now as BP declares that “active cleanup” has been concluded, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has released a report compiling study after study showing that the Gulf is far from healthy. Read More

Meet SnotShot 3.0

By | apr14, Education, Ocean Alliance News, Technology | No Comments

 

Iain Kerr and Andrew Bennett at Olin College

Iain Kerr and Andrew Bennett at Olin College

When you develop any technology to work with wildlife, particularly endangered species such as marine mammals, you want to get all of your prototypes, testing, and dry runs completed before you go out into the field. As we continue to develop our drone, SnotBot, that will be used to collect Exhaled Breath Condensate (EBC or whale blows) looking for viruses, bacteria, DNA, and hormones, we needed a machine that could simulate a whale blow so we could test all aspects of SnotBot including EBC collection protocols, whale approach and effect protocols, and our systems for collecting and bringing back EBC. Read More

Roger Payne to Speak in Park City this Friday

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne | No Comments

 

Roger Payne, Ph.D.If you live in the Park City, Utah area you have the opportunity this Friday to speak with Ocean Alliance founder and president Dr. Roger Payne in person and ask him anything you like about his over forty years of working with whales.

On April 18th at 7:30 Roger will be speaking at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts’ Black Box Theatre about his work with whales and ocean pollution–sharing stories, discoveries and his hope for the future. The talk, “Oceans, Whales and People” will be followed by a question and answer period with the audience. You can purchase tickets to this special event here.

What We Found on Our Shoreline

By | apr14, Education, Ocean Alliance News, Paint Factory Headquarters | No Comments

Volunteers for Harbor CleanupIt was a beautiful clear sunny day on Saturday when members of the Gloucester community gathered to clean our harbor. Teams were dispersed all around the city thanks to the coordination efforts of the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, Maritime Gloucester, our two Cultural Districts downtown and on Rocky Neck, and our own Rebecca Siswick Graham. After a presentation about ocean trash by the Rozalia Project Friday night, volunteers gathered at their assigned locations Saturday morning for this one-hour effort to collect and record as much trash and recycling as possible. Read More

New Bowcam Footage of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico

By | Education, Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

We continue to review hundreds of hours of bow cam footage from Operation Toxic Gulf, our 2013 joint campaign with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Gulf of Mexico following up on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. So far we’ve shared melon-headed whales and rough-toothed dolphins, sperm whales, and now Atlantic spotted dolphins enjoying a calm clear day. Iain Kerr narrates:

Time to Join the Gloucester Pride Stride and Support Ocean Alliance

By | Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

Gloucester Pride StrideRegistration is open for the 27th Annual Gloucester Pride Stride 5 Mile Walk to celebrate and raise money for Cape Ann non-profits. Join the Ocean Alliance team on Sunday April 27th for a scenic walk around the Gloucester waterfront, with free food and family activities for participants. You can print out your pledge form and start gathering pledges from friends and family–90% of the money you raise will support our work with whales and ocean pollution, and the renovation of the Paint Factory. We look forward to meeting and walking with you!

Historic Whale Film Will Be Seen Again

By | apr14, Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne | No Comments

Humpbacks--The Gentle GiantsRecently we told you about about the discovery in England of Roger Payne’s first film about whales, featuring Sylvia Earle and released in 1978, “World of Survival: Humpbacks—The Gentle Giants.” Tomorrow Iain Kerr is meeting with Judi and Terry Vose, longtime friends and supporters of Ocean Alliance. Iain will be handing over the film and they will be driving it to Play it Again Film and Video Transfer in Newton, MA where it will be transferred to dvd at a discount, with the remaining costs covered by the Voses. Read More