Art, Life and the Ocean

Over the course of obtaining a Ph.D and focusing on Postdoctoral research, I realized I lost focus of something critically important to me and what makes science innovative: ART.

Better Selves Fellowship at Knoll Farm

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Better Selves Fellowship in August 2018. Peter and Helen and the land itself at Knoll Farm, are grounding forces. The community they create for Fellows within the span of a week, and the centering energy of this fellowship to renew and recharge and be able to forge ahead to keep bettering the world, is priceless.

Peaked Hill Trust Artist/Science Residency

I exchanged the time needed for creative endeavors to focus on science for nearly 10 years. During the summer of 2018, I was honored to be an artist/scientist in residence through the Peaked Hill Trust at the Ray Wells Dune Shack on the Cape Cod National Seashore. My hours were spent embracing a new daily routine that taught me once again how to “just be.” To observe. To wonder. To understand the ocean as I did when I began my research career. I picked up my paintbrushes for the first time in years and painted by the light of a kerosene lamp until I could see the late summer sunrise peak over the dunes. I was honored to be able to have my sketches up at the Outer Cape Artists in Residence & Peaked Hill Trust Arts and Science Residency Show in 2019.

My days were based on the tides, the weather, the winds and the seals on the shore. My time was also spent pumping water from the well and on occasion, seeking shelter from torrential downpours that seemed to wash the world clean of everything but beauty and the essentials. I produced a story board for a children’s book about gray seals. I cannot wait to finish this labor of love and hope I can return to the this absolutely beautiful and simply divine place on Earth again.

Shoals Marine Lab

While the Shoals Marine Lab (SML) is known as one of the foremost Marine Stations in the country, it is also a unique island community full of creative spark and potential energy essential for innovative science and research. In addition to science, SML hosts poets, scientists and artists in residence, hosts adult learning courses, and ecosystem dinners.

Since 2011 I have conducted populations studies on the seals around Duck Island and Ledges, and co-taught Marine Mammal Biology at SML. In that time I have also been captivated by the people I have met, the stories told and the sunsets that are equal to none. Science done without spark can become just a book of facts sitting on a shelf. Science with passion, can bring the pages to life and change the world.

The Shoals Marine Lab also offers an Artists in Residence program. The artists/writers and poets who join the island community have always added greatly to the experience. Writer in residence, Naila Moreira, wrote an amazing story, The Reaper of the Sea, while on island. Her story offers an “inside view” to the conservation challenges we face with seals.

Marine Mammal Stranding Guide

I am honored to have been part of the Eastern Caribbean Cetacean Network. I was able to contribute to trainings, scientific literature and community conversations, as well as provide detailed jaw and teeth illustrations to this guide. Often with stranded animals, all that is left are the skeletal remains which hold a treasure trove of information.

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