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Chicago-area college students set sail for hands-on experience in The Bahamas

Guest post by Dr. Kristine Stump, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Shedd Aquarium This spring, I had the pleasure of working with my colleague Rebecca Gericke, Manager of Conservation and Research Programs at the Shedd Aquarium, to engage with college-level students looking to immerse themselves in the wonders of subtropical marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The course, called…

November 24, 2013: Hanging From Antarctic Cliffs, Living With Wolves and More

This week, we live for days hanging from an Antarctic cliff in high winds, then we join a Mexican circus, live with wolves for six years, and crush six tons of ivory.

Photographing Dolphin Intelligence

This August I had the chance to join National Geographic Photographer Brian Skerry on a 10-day expedition to the Bahamas to photograph wild atlantic spotted dolphins with researcher Denise Herzing. Together, we traveled on a 60-foot catamaran between the island of Bimini and the White Sand Ridge area south of Freeport in search of a…

Iguana Research on Gaulin Cay, Bahamas

The final installment in a series of posts by Chicago area college students enrolled in the John G. Shedd Aquarium’s Marine and Island Ecology course offered through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA). Our students work closely with Shedd staff through both field work and onsite classes. At the end of the course,…

Studying white-tailed tropicbirds in the Bahamas

Shedd Aquarium has been involved with conservation, education and research projects in the Bahamas for more than 20 years. These projects rely on volunteer and student participation. Every spring, Chicago area college students have a unique opportunity to participate in Shedd’s Marine and Island Ecology course offered through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area…

Can iguanas swim, and what would it mean for conservation?

Charles Knapp, Vice President of Conservation and Research John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois USA   Last week, you learned about how Shedd Aquarium’s long-term citizen science research program is helping to save endangered iguanas in the Bahamas. This week, we’ll explore another facet of our 2013 trip: an effort to understand whether the Andros…

Commitment to conservation creates lasting memories

Imagine visiting the subtropical paradise of The Bahamas. Instead of holding a drink, you’re grasping a net. Instead of sand between your toes, you’re navigating sharp limestone in boots. Instead of admiring beautiful sunsets, you’re searching for beautiful iguanas. You can find drinks, sand, and sunsets in many destinations, but if you’re part of Shedd…

Scientists and Politicians Celebrate a Successful Expedition in the Bahamas

In January, I was in the Bahamas to learn about efforts there to establish new marine protected areas (MPAs), meet the key players, and help strategize about how to make these efforts more successful more quickly (see previous blog post). I’m back because a critical step of that strategy has just been completed. Last week a…

The Places We Love IV: Heritage Advocates Want Cruise Ships Tamed

At a first-of-a-kind international symposium in Charleston, SC, heritage experts look at how cruise ships can transform historic port cities. They find that big is not better. Not at all.

More Marine Protected Areas Coming Soon to the Bahamas?

Last month I had the pleasure not only of traveling among Bahamian islands, but of seeing them through the eyes of local conservation organizations. As manager of the Waitt Foundation’s grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC), I was there looking for ways we could further ensure successful expansion of the Bahamas’ network of Marine Protected…

Journey Into Inner Space: Conquering The Abyss

There’s no question that human ingenuity and knowledge are initially crafted by our imagination. And when we look at the ocean, we are limited physiologically and can only perceive the surface of an enormous dark abyss, the stuff of mythology, fiction and dreams. Mysterious, deep, and profoundly important to our survival, the extent we can…