Deep-sea mining goes to court, a year in climate reporting, oyster-adorned singers, and more! The Monday Morning Salvage: December 11, 2017.

Monday Morning SalvageDecember 11, 20170

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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#PlanetEarthChat: Watch Planet Earth 2 and tweet along with us!

#SciCommDecember 7, 20170

Join a team of conservation biologists and wildlife experts for a live science communication event!  We are going watch the award-winning BBC documentary series Planet Earth 2 together, tweeting expert commentary and reactions throughout using #PlanetEarthChat. Anyone is free to join in the discussion, and is free to ask questions of our expert team.

We’ll be starting our episodes all at exactly the same time, so anyone who wants to participate can be sure to be synched with us. I’ll make a Storify of all the tweets transcript at the end.

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Pacifist fighting fish and entangled right whales: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, December 4th 2017

Thursday Afternoon Dredging0

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

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Vegetarian sharks, non-lethal research, and friggin’ laser beams: Dear Shark Man, Volume 4

Dear Shark ManDecember 6, 20171

Welcome to Volume #4 of Dear Shark Man, an advice column inspired by a ridiculous e-mail I received. You can send your questions to me via twitter (@WhySharksMatter) or e-mail (WhySharksMatter at gmail).


Dear Shark Man,

I feel more and more guilty about my own meat consumption. I wonder, are there any vegan sharks?

Sincerely,
Eager in England

Dear Eager,

There are more than 500 species of sharks, and they range widely in shape, size, habitat, and behavior. However, every single species eats animals. Many eat fish, some eat invertebrates, and few eat mammals and birds, but they all eat animals. Even the filter-feeders like whale sharks are eating zooplankton, which are (tiny) animals.

Bonnethead sharks have been documented with seagrass in their stomachs, which is likely the result of accidentally ingesting seagrass while eating crabs that live among the grass. (Sometimes I fail to pick all the lettuce off of my turkey sandwich and eat it accidentally, that doesn’t mean I’m seeking out lettuce or that lettuce is a major component of my diet). Recent work by Samantha Leigh has shown that bonnetheads may be able to partially digest this seagrass, which is pretty neat. However, that does not make them vegans, or even vegetarians.

Incidentally, a member of an influential marine conservation family whose name rhymes with Mousteau once claimed that there are more than 1,000 species of sharks and most of them are vegetarian, which is…extremely not correct.

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Customer Service for Science.

Academic life0

Travis Nielsen is the founder and CEO of Azurigen Management and Consulting Solutions Inc. A STEM project management firm that specializes in linking conservation based science to business and government. He is a published scientist specializing in Marine Biology with 10 years experience in STEM, and 10 years of experience in management and leadership. He has been responsible for projects with budgets up to $500,000, working with multiple stakeholders, large public engagement mandates, and with staffs up to 100 people in locations all across the globe.


Walking into the airport one morning, my mind was still addled by the fog of waking up at 4am. I was heading to a conference for work and as I get to my ticket counter to check-in for my flight I am politely told by the counter staff that the flight had been cancelled. Confused, and curious as to why the flight was shut down, I enquired around until I found a friend that was on shift as a TSA agent, I asked what she knew, and it turns out that the flight was cancelled because one of the flight crew didn’t show up for work. The rumor was the crew member had a little too much fun at the pub and was nursing off a self-inflicted illness… I sighed and laughed to myself about how it was just my luck. This led to a magic adventure of cancellations and bookings for multiple flights and waiting for hours, just to leave the airport.  The reason that this cancellation is now a funny story and not a vivid nightmare – the airline that cancelled the flight went out of its way to help me when things went sideways, giving me vouchers for food and hotel stays, helping me as best they could to get where I needed to go, and generally doing all it could to help.  This help is what the business world calls ‘customer service’ and it is a critical part of every business out there, and for many small businesses, it can be the difference between success and failure.

In science, even though we deal with businesses daily, we rarely realize that we engage in customer service constantly! From professors dealing with the students they teach to the post-docs searching for in-kind services and grant money. To restate the cliché – Science is not done in a vacuum. Scientists should consider themselves an unconventional type of business entity that doesn’t sell a product or service, but instead deals in data and discovery – this is an invaluable product and service that keeps many industries going. As a result, customer service is an integral part of how we do science, and it should be obvious we need to keep our customer service skills sharp.

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A year of brutal hurricanes, the wonderful resilience of limpets, talking about meat consumption, and more! The Monday Morning Salvage: December 4, 2017.

Monday Morning SalvageDecember 4, 20170

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • ‘Extremely Active’ 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Comes to a Close – Here’s the Full Season in One Four-Minute Video:

The Argentine military submarine ARA San Juan and crew are seen leaving the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina June 2, 2014. Picture taken on June 2, 2014. Armada Argentina/Handout via REUTERS

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Parasitic mussel babies and big whale brains: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, November 30th, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingNovember 30, 20170

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

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#GivingTuesday, freshwater sharks, and hammerhead schooling: Dear Shark Man, Volume 3

Dear Shark ManNovember 28, 20170

Welcome to volume #3 of Dear Shark Man, an advice column inspired by a ridiculous e-mail I received. You can send your questions to me via twitter (@WhySharksMatter) or e-mail (WhySharksMatter at gmail).


Dear Shark Man,

Since it’s #GivingTuesday, what are some shark conservation charities you recommend?

Sincerely,
Generous in Georgia

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Beware the walrus, explosion detected near missing submarine, diamond mining, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: November 27, 2017

Monday Morning SalvageNovember 27, 20170

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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Announcing oceansocial.us, a Mastodon instance for marine professionals!

#SciCommNovember 23, 20170

Mastodon is a new(ish), decentralized Twitter-like social network that’s grown quite a bit in the last few months. Mastodon allows individuals to host their own “instances” (i.e. run a full suite of the software on a private server in order to distribute the network), which connect to the larger universe of open-source social networks. This means that, unlike Twitter and Facebook and pretty much every major social networking platform, there’s no one person in control of Mastodon (though the largest instance is run by Mastodon’s creator). Accounts from any Mastodon instance can follow any account from any public instance.

So what, there’s another social network we have to check now?

This is Southern Fried Science. We like to push forward into new digital ecosystems and create places for marine science and conservation. In that spirit, I’ve created oceansocial.us, a Mastodon instance specifically for marine professionals working in science, education, conservation, policy, and management. Craig McClain’s latest science communication paper, Practices and promises of Facebook for science outreach: Becoming a “Nerd of Trust”., I want to see if there’s value in having an instance that makes it easy to find experts talking about the ocean. For the moment, anyone with an oceansocial.us Mastodon handle is immediately identifiable on the network, making is easier for journalist and the public to find ocean experts.

This, of course, is contingent on Mastodon actually taking off. It could still totally crash and burn and be dead as Google+ in 3 months. Mastodon is still growing, and my experience watching new social networks form (and often fail) is that’s there’s a tremendous first-mover advantage in getting something new and novel running right out the gate.

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