Category Archives: NEOSEC member news

Shoals Marine Lab Students Make Archaeological Discovery

The first prehistoric archaeological site in the Isles of Shoals (NH and ME) has been discovered on Smuttynose Island, Maine, by students in Cornell’s Archaeology Field School at Shoals Marine Laboratory. “This is a special discovery,” said Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, Assistant Director at the Shoals Marine Laboratory and co-director of the Isles of Shoals archaeology project. “We always suspected that native peoples may have stopped at the Shoals before the 17th century fishing station was established, but now we have clear evidence for their presence.” A guest at the field school this summer was Native American archaeologist, Sharon Moses, who recently received her Ph.D. in Archaeology from Cornell University. Dr. Moses, who has worked on prehistoric sites in Central America and Turkey, was also very excited about the discovery, stating, “Congratulations to Professor Hamilton and the Isles of Shoals archaeology project for confirming what the archaeological community has only been able to speculate about until now.”

The director of the project, Professor Nathan Hamilton of the University of Southern Maine, documented several stone tools (arrow points, knives, and scrapers) recovered along with stone flakes from tool manufacture, ceramics and fire-cracked rock. These artifacts represent a substantial activity area that appears to date to AD 800-1200 on the basis of artifact styles that include a Levanna point, a side-notched point and a Stemmed point. Excavations during 2009 produced evidence sufficient to designate a prehistoric site number, and an application will be filed with Maine Historic Preservation Commission in coming months. The site will be known as the Hubbard-Oberlander Site.

Shoals Marine Lab Director William E. Bemis noted that: “Archaeological studies on Smuttynose Island go hand-in-hand with ongoing investigations on the historical ecology of the Isles of Shoals. As we build a better picture of human habitation of the islands, we can better understand the context for ongoing ecological change in marine and terrestrial environments.”
The Isles of Shoals are most famous for the colonial fishing station sited on Smuttynose Island that existed in the 17th-19th centuries and whose origin predated the arrival of Puritans to Massachusetts. Adjacent Appledore Island is home to Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell’s marine field station and the base for the archaeological project on Smuttynose.

For more information contact Robin Hadlock Seeley <>.

Lecture Series at Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) presents Sea State 4.1 lecture series:  Ocean Wind: Charting a Course for Maine’s Energy Future, Second Thursday of each month,  7PM, Gulf of Maine Research Institute,  350 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
Sea State lectures are free and parking is provided in GMRI’s adjacent parking lot.

July 9 – The Gulf of Maine is the Saudi Arabia of Wind
Governor Angus King, Independence Wind

Aug 13 – How Does a State Take the Lead in Ocean Wind?  Lessons from Rhode Island and New Jersey
Chris Wisseman, Deepwater Wind

Sept 10 – The Challenges and Opportunities for Maine to Emerge as an International Ocean Energy Leader
George Harte, Ocean Energy Institute

Oct 8 – Grid Scale Renewable Energy: Lessons from Europe
Speaker to be Announced

Nov 12 – Community Wind on Maine’s Islands: Lessons from an Early Win on Vinalhaven and North Haven
George Baker, Harvard Business School and Fox Islands Electric Cooperative

Marine Specimen Collecting Trip for High School and College Students

Immerse your class in science!
Take a two-hour marine specimen collecting trip*

aboard the MBL’s vessel, R/V Gemma

  • Learn why the Woods Hole area is world-renowned for its rich diversity of marine species.
  • Take a first-hand look at how local organisms are collected for scientific study worldwide.
  • Hear the history of how marine biology developed in Woods Hole.

Board the Gemma at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) dock in Eel Pond, Woods Hole, and head out to Vineyard Sound, passing historic Nobska lighthouse commissioned in 1876. The Gemma will travel approximately two miles offshore. Deploying a scallop dredge and plankton net, MBL marine educators will collect a variety of marine specimens for students to examine.

Excursion leaders will also:

  • Identify the organisms and discuss the biology of each animal and how they are used for research at the MBL
  • Provide a history of the local area
  • Point out local landmarks along the shore
  • Discuss commercial fishing and research equipment, biological collecting methods, the history of the Woods Hole community, and the Gemma’s state-of-the-art navigation system.

Round out your trip with a more in-depth look at MBL marine specimens with a behind-the-scenes tour of the MBL’s Marine Resources Center specimen tank room. For an additional fee, a lecture and microscope lab activities are available.

For booking information and a complete fee schedule, contact Rob Reynolds at

*Tours are geared toward high school and college aged students.

Teacher Development This Summer at New England Aquarium

The Teacher Resource Center at New England Aquarium is offering several programs for professional development this summer:

MITS Summer Institute, July 6-17

New England Aquarium offers several summer workshops for teachers
New England Aquarium offers several summer workshops for teachers

On the Waterfront: Integrating Science Standards Through Classroom and Field Investigations,July 27-August 1

Climate Science and the Ocean Workshop, August 10-13

Contact the Teacher Resource Center for details

Sea Education Association Program Openings

Sea Education Association still has a few spots in our 3-week High School Summer Seminars & our Fall 2009 undergraduate SEA Semesters! Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, SEA has educated students about the world’s oceans for nearly 40 years through a fully accredited study abroad program combining the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and public policy. Intense coursework and preparation during a shore component is followed by the immediate application of students’ newfound knowledge during a sea component. Significant financial aid & new merit-based scholarships are available. Contact for more information.

Oceans, Coasts and Climate for Teachers

This course, given at the Waquoit Bay Research Reserve, Falmouth, MA, will present information, research, and activities on climate topics with a special focus on marine systems. Participants will carry out field studies, practice using marine and coastal data, and engage in lessons and activities for teaching about climate.  We will hear presentations from research scientists studying climate at sea and along the shore. Participants will receive lesson plans and a resource CD.

Monday August 3 – Thursday August 6,  8:30 am – 3:30 pm; and Friday August 7   8:30 am -12:30 pm, plus follow-up date in November. Three graduate credits or 67.5 PDPs.  Best for teachers in grades 7 -12.

Visit onlinefor more information and to register.  Go to the events calendar for August and click on the link for the course.

For more information contact Pat Harcourt at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (508) 457-0495 x 106

Summer Professional Development Workshop at the New England Aquarium

Climate Science and the Oceans
For 6th – 12th grade teachers
Dates: Monday, August 10 – Thursday, August 13
Times: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Follow up meeting date to be decided during summer session.

Credit: 3 graduate credits or 67.5 PDPs for 36 hours of contact time
Credit offered through Framingham State College and Cambridge College for additional cost

New England Aquarium, Boston, MA

Pat Harcourt—Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,
Jayshree Oberoi—New England Aquarium
Nicole Scola—New England Aquarium
Additional guest experts

Cost of the workshop: $150 (cost for the graduate credits not included)

For registration information, email or call 617-973-6590

Course Description:
Climate change is among the most important scientific issues of our time. There is an intricate relationship between climate system and ecosystems. We will focus particularly on ocean ecosystems and consider rising sea levels and melting ice caps as indicators of a changing climate. We will also consider ocean acidification as a related topic with implications for marine life and systems. Climate change and acidification of the world’s oceans are relevant topics for today’s students to learn important concepts in science and applied math. We will also examine topics in renewable energy topics that can help students learn about technology, engineering and design as skills to help create solutions to major challenges in the world.

This course will explicitly align topics and contents with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks. We will integrate math, science and technology, using practical hands-on lessons as well as facilitating ideas for additional hands-on learning for students. Within the broad ocean system, we will utilize New England coastal ecosystems as local representatives of the impacts of climate change. We think that focusing on local environments and habitats can help students to make more personal meaning from their lessons and connect their learning with ways that land, sea and atmosphere interact with and affect water, marshes, birds, fish and shellfish.

Participating teachers will practice with hands-on learning activities as well as hearing from expert presenters and collect resources to teach about climate science, coastal systems, and renewable energy. We’ll sort out climate fact from fiction, study effects of climate change on oceans, collect data and design investigations for students. Participants will leave with lesson plans they can use with their students and a resource CD as well as a network of colleagues for mutual support.

Sea Education Association Seminars

SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE for 3-week High School Summer Seminars as well as Fall 2009 undergraduate SEA Semesters. Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, SEA has educated students about the world’s oceans for almost 40 years through a fully accredited study abroad program combining the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and public policy. Intense coursework and preparation during a shore component is followed by the immediate application of students’ newfound knowledge during a sea component. Significant financial aid is available. Visit online or contact for more information.