Community Science

Community Science recognizes the unique expertise and knowledge that comes from scientist-community partnerships. The ability to work together to address challenges by interpreting technical details and providing access to scientific information, can help to inform decision making at a local level and find solutions that benefit all. (From: Scientist Community Partnerships-Union of Concerned Scientists-

Facts do not have an agenda. It’s your responsibility as a scientist, as an organizer, as a community member, to find those facts . . . and figure out what it is you need to do with them to make life better for everybody.

As an interdisciplinary community scientist, my collaborators include fishermen, veterinarians, engineers, marine mammal stranding organizations, social scientists, economists, NGOs, fishery and marine protected species managers, teachers, artists, land owners and local residents.  The work I conduct centers around marine mammals as sentinels of ocean and human health as well as addresses the often overlooked challenges of rebounding marine mammal populations in the context of health and ecosystem function.

The goals of my research and outreach are to be able to provide the knowledge needed to mitigate human impact on marine species, understand risks of these impacts, facilitate effective collaborations, and raise awareness of ocean health and its connection to human health.

Whether on Cape Cod, the Gulf of Maine, the NW Atlantic or any coastal community interface, we need to be better at integrating knowledge and recognizing where our collective strengths- and weaknesses- are in these partnerships. We need to “call it out, and call it in” if we are to find solutions to complex conflict and coexistence challenges.

How Do We Coexist?

Projects & Strategies To Address Rebounding Marine Mammal Populations

The Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium (NASRC) recognizes that healthy populations of all marine resources including fishes, seals, whales, and other species are important components of healthy marine ecosystems. We are committed to providing answers to questions about seal populations by using comprehensive research data and analysis.

Marine Animal Identification Network Have you seen a tag? A uniquely marked individual? An interesting behavior? Or maybe you are not quite sure what it is you saw? The Marine Animal Identification Network provides information on tagged animals (primarily seals) and a database of sightings. We hope that YOU will help in recording these reports and invite you to join here. Learn about research on seals and other marine animals and participate in the process of learning about their travels. To report an animal or search for tags, go to MAIN.

Fishing Community Engagement in Research and Public Health – Interactions with marine animals can also lead to human health risks. From spines to bites and ink to gurry, fishermen face a very unique and challenging set of health risks. A team of interdisciplinary collaborators are working together to create “Marine Animal Pathogen Risk Guidelines” tailored for fishermen and those working closely with the marine environment. STAY TUNED!

Long Term Seal Photo ID Research at the Shoals Marine Lab (2011-current)

Photo ID- Seals of Duck Island, Isles of Shoals- Maine, USA

Since 2011, the marine mammal internship program at the Shoals Marine Lab has been documenting the changing harbor and gray seal population on Duck Islands and Ledges. This little island is providing big insights into the changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem. The seals here are truly sentinels of ocean health. Research being conducted with students and colleagues include population counts, photo ID, entanglement prevalence, standardization of data collection for the region, health assessment and site fidelity. For information on data collected, and to use this data, please contact Dr. Andrea Bogomolni:

Selected recent research studies from “Seal Team Shoals”

  • Jessica Veo (UMASS Amherst) Shoals Marine Mammal Research Undergrad 2018. Characterizing the diet of stranded harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) in the Gulf of Maine. RARGOM 2018, Portland ME.
  • Juliana Berube (UMASS Amherst) Shoals Marine Mammal Research Undergrand 2018. Dietary trends of stranded harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and local fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. RARGOM 2018, Portland, ME.
  • Mila Calandrino (UMass Amherst) Variation in minimum Gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) and Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) minimum abundance counts on Duck Island, ME due to meteorological variables. RARGOM 2016, Portsmouth, NH.
  • Mila Calandrino (UMass Amherst) Shoals Marine Mammal Intern 2016 “Environmental and ecological factors affecting gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) and harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) haul-out behavior on Duck Island, ME” Honors Thesis April 28, 2017.
  • Kadie Tommasi (UNH) Shoals Marine Mammal Intern 2017. The Interspecific Interactions and Habitat Preferences of Harbor and Gray Seals on Duck Island and Ledges, ME. RARGOM 2017, Portsmouth, NH.
  • Meg Carr (UNH) Shoals Marine Mammal Intern 2016. Entanglement of Grey (Halichoerus grypus) and Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) at Duck Island ledges, ME RARGOM 2016, Portsmouth, NH.
  • Andrea Bogomolni (for SML Interns 2011-2016) Population assessment of Harbor (Phoca vitulina) and Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) at Duck Island ledges, ME. RARGOM 2016, Portsmouth, NH.

Marine Mammals In the Caribbean: Eastern Caribbean Cetacean Network

Caribbean Marine Mammal Stranding Guide

This Wider Caribbean Marine Mammal Stranding Guide was created through the Eastern Caribbean Cetacean Network (ECCN). The objective of ECCN is to gain community support for the protection of resident and migratory whales and dolphins and their marine habitat. The network is a regional, volunteer network that records sightings and strandings of marine mammals in the Eastern Caribbean.

Marine Mammal Stranding and Necropsy Trainings

Sharing experiences to advance marine mammal stranding science with local, national and international colleagues, is extremely rewarding and results in a gain of knowledge by all. Whether on Cape Cod, India or the Eastern Caribbean Islands, we continue to learn and share ideas.

Education, whether in the classroom or in the greater community, is central to community science.

Shoals Marine Lab
Marine Mammals

Courses and Appointments:

Faculty- Marine Studies Consortium. Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology (2020-current).

Adjunct Faculty- Massachusetts Maritime Academy (2019-2021). Marine Mammals.

Instructor- Woods Hole Children’s School of Science (CSS), Woods Hole MA (Summer 2002-2018)

Teaching Faculty- Shoals Marine Lab, Introduction to Marine Mammals, (Summer 2015-2019)

Adjunct Lecturer- Bridgewater State University, BIOL 408 Marine Mammal Biology, Graduate and Undergraduate Sections (Summer 2015-2018)

Senior College- Bridgewater State University-Marine Conservation Challenges (2020)

Marine Mammal Research Mentor- Shoals Marine Lab, (2011-current)

Adjunct Faculty- University of Massachusetts Boston (2021-current)

Community Conversations 

Community conversations are critical. To make a request for Dr. Andrea Bogomolni to guest lecture or participate in speaking engagements, please feel free to fill out the contact form. 

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