The Gentleman Biologist of Pier 39

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April 25, 2011: Take a walk out to the end of San Francisco’s Pier 39, and you’ll hear an interesting symphony of barking California sea lions and reactions of delight and amusement from droves of human onlookers. And if you’re lucky, you might also find the “Gentleman Biologist of Pier 39,” Tim Vogel, a volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, who has pursued tech career in Silicon Valley but has never forgotten his Seacamp roots. He spends hours teaching and inspiring visitors about the incredible wildlife of the West Coast and the wonders of science. Also: An update on the penguin rescue effort from Tristan da Cunha by Trevor Glass, Director of the Department of Conservation there.

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A Statistically Impossible Plea for Help

 

Vessel "Oliva" breaking apart and spilling oil at Nightingale Island (Photo: D. Guggenheim)

Vessel “Oliva” breaking apart and spilling oil at Nightingale Island (Photo: D. Guggenheim)

EARTH DAY 2011: This isn’t what I had planned to write for Earth Day. But it’s the most important thing I can write today. I write these words with a single, challenging purpose: I need you to care deeply about something. I need you to care about something that wasn’t supposed to be possible. I need you to care so deeply that you choose to help. And to make things even more challenging, what I need you to care about is a place you’ve never heard of and are very unlikely to see in your lifetime, a place that’s such an infinitesimally tiny speck lying quite literally in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, it appears on few maps (and even befuddles Google maps). And unless you’re one of the fewer than 300 people that call Tristan da Cunha home, it will take you at best 5-7 days to get to this airstrip-lacking place even if you dash out the door before finishing this paragraph. Tristan da Cunha is, quite literally, the most remote inhabited island in the world. A sign on the island boasts this factoid, alongside a marker pointing east toward the nearest civilization: 1,511 miles to Cape Town, South Africa. [Read more...]

The Great Penguin Rescue

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April 4, 2011: Our guest this week, penguin expert, Dyan deNapoli, “The Penguin Lady,” former Senior Penguin Aquarist at the New England Aquarium, talks about her new book, The Great Penguin Rescue. with important lessons — and hope — for the desperate penguin rescue and rehabilitation efforts underway following the tragic oil spill at Nightingale Island in the South Atlantic. Also: An update on the rescue effort from Tristan da Cunha by Katrine Herian of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Aboard the Cape to Cape Expedition: Amazing Jobs at the Bottom of the Planet

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March 28, 2011: An update on the oil spill at Nightingale Island and the fate of half of the world’s endangered Northern Rockhopper penguin population. Ashore at last on Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island on Earth. And two amazing people with amazing jobs at the bottom of the planet, and advice for those seeking them: Prince Albert II expedition team members Robin Aiello and Luke Kenny.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Oil Now Surrounds World Heritage Site, Inaccessible Island. Thousands of Endangered Penguins, Seabirds at Risk

Inaccessible Island, a World Heritage Site

Inaccessible Island, a World Heritage Site

ABOARD PRINCE ALBERT II: I spoke today with Katrine Herrion, a project officer of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) stationed at Tristan da Cunha.

Katrine was camped on Inaccessible Island last weekend and reports that as of Sunday, oil completely surrounded the island. She and her team observed nearly 100 oiled penguins just before they departed. Clearly many more are being impacted.

Trevor Glass, Director of the Tristan da Cunha Department of Conservation was planning to return to Tristan da Cunha from Nightingale Island with around 750 penguins for rehabilitation. This represents a small percentage of the number of birds estimated to be impacted at this point, conservatively estimated at more than 10,000.

Because penguins cannot fly, it is impossible for them to avoid the oil when entering and exiting the water. Oil impacts the waterproof properties of their feathers and makes them vulnerable to hypothermia by reducing their feather’s insulation abilities. Oil can seriously impact the birds’ eyes and other tissues and can poison them if they ingest the oil while attempting to clean their feathers. A number of oiled seals have also been observed on Nightingale Island. [Read more...]

Aboard the Cape to Cape Expedition: Disaster at Nightingale Island

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March 21, 2011: The Prince Albert II finds itself in the middle of a rescue mission as its expedition team comes to the rescue of a cargo ship that has run aground at one of the most remote islands in the world, Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha island group, an area that is home to the second largest population of seabirds in the world, including half of the world’s endangered Northern Rockhopper penguin population. When the ship breaks up and begins spilling its 300,000 gallons of heavy marine oil, it becomes clear that this may rank as one of the most serious environmental disasters of its kind.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Aboard the Cape to Cape Expedition: In Shackleton’s Footsteps on South Georgia Island

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March 14, 2011: Join the Ocean Doctor aboard the Prince Albert II as he reports from the Cape to Cape Expedition, traveling from the tip of South America to the tip of South Africa. This week we follow Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps on South Georgia Island where he found rescue for his doomed Antarctic expedition. We also get up close — very close — to the splendid Antarctic wildlife of this beautiful island, encountering penguins, seals, albatross and learn about the legacy of whaling here.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Aboard the Cape to Cape Expedition: Ushuaia and the Falkland Islands

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March 7, 2011: Join the Ocean Doctor aboard the Prince Albert II as he reports from the Cape to Cape Expedition, traveling from the tip of South America to the tip of South Africa. This week, we “land in a postcard” in beautiful Ushuaia, Argentina and encounter penguins and albatross in the beautiful Falkland Islands. Also: The second of a two-part look at a newly-issued report by World Resources Institute, “Reefs at Risk Revisited” a report that history may well show is the most important report about the oceans to be released this century. It’s more than a wakeup call — it’s truly our last call to take action to save coral reefs.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Join the “Ocean Doctor” on the Cape to Cape Adventure Aboard Silversea’s Prince Albert II

CAPE TO CAPE ADVENTURE

Ushuaia to Cape Town
March 3, 2011 – 22 Days – Voyage 7106

TRACK the Expedition!

 

Expedition Highlights:

  • Follow in the footsteps of great Antarctic explorers
  • See snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers and spectacular iceberg sculptures
  • Encounter penguins: Magellanic, rockhopper, gentoo, macaroni, king, Adelie, and African (jackass)
  • Watch for sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales
  • Identify seabirds including albatross, shearwaters and petrels
  • Discover historic sites of the early explorers and the remains of whaling operations
  • Visit the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world
  • Savour world-renowned South African wines



[Read more...]

Kraken: Up Close and Very Personal With the Giant Squid

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February 28, 2011: Few animals provoke the imagination and wonder of the sea like the squid. The giant squid is thought to have been the basis of the myriad of sea monster tales that have been spun over the centuries. And while we now know more about these animals than ever before, there’s still an incredible amount of mystery remaining to be unveiled. The book is ?Kraken: The Curious, Exciting and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid? and its author and our guest today, Wendy Williams, award-winning writer and journalist. Also: First of a two-part look at a newly-issued report by World Resources Institute, ?Reefs at Risk Revisited? a report that history may well show is the most important report about the oceans to be released this century. It’s more than a wakeup call – it’s truly our last call to take action to save coral reefs.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

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