Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Loving the Ocean

Today was a great day.  I found an article I submitted to a sailing magazine was accepted -- after only 2 days in the hopper.  So I'm feeling like I should expand my horizons, and this blog is it:  An Ocean Lover in Maine.

Evening on the Harraseeket River

Two things happened when I moved to Maine:  my friends from Florida, our last home, put me into the "crazy" category; and I discovered I was in ocean bliss.  I've always loved the ocean, despite growing up in Pittsburgh.  My first real job was on Cape Cod (I had the choice between the Berkshires and the Cape, a tough call but there are no tidepools in the mountains).  I was never trained as a marine biologist, but that first job led to a series of career transitions that always involved the ocean.  I've worked at the New England Aquarium; studied dolphins in Florida; trudged around the marshes of North Carolina catching diamondback terrapins to tag and measure them, caught countless estuarine fish in the Neuse River, and gathered data on whale behavior.  My current job, teaching labs at Bowdoin College, is particularly fun -- I mean seriously, they pay me to take people to the beach.  I would do that for free (but don't tell them that)!  It's allowed me to really get to know the ecology of Maine's oceans, and helped me find the special places along Maine's coast. I've waded in more marshes than I can count; herded students into tidepools all over the state; and seen some things I never thought I'd see.  Mola mola in the Gulf of Maine?  Check.  Nudibranchs attacking sea anemones?  Check.  Seagull eating a baby puffin.  Check, and gross.

An Ocean Lover in Maine is my place to share with you not just the amazing coastal places in Maine, but to discuss why they are amazing.  I'll try to add in some of the biology and ecology that make Maine's coastline so spectacular.  I hope to have a good time exploring new sites as part of this blog.  Join me for some quality time along the coast of Maine.

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