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Matthew Erickson and Kristen Myers were delighted to meet a humpback whale as they were sampling from their Zodiac near Palmer Station in Antarctica. (Photo: Alex Lowe)

The Ecosystems Center: 2008 In Review

It was a year of education and outreach within the community and far away, welcoming new scientists and honoring established scientists, and conducting research throughout the world and close to home.

Ecosystems Center scientists interacted with urban high school students to create radio “Science Minutes,” educated and inspired science journalists on the North Slope of Alaska and children’s book authors in Antarctica, and created educational partnerships with Cape Cod teachers of children from kindergarten to grade 12.

New scientists joined the Ecosystems Center, Zoe Cardon from the University of Connecticut and Jim Tang from Chicago Botanic Garden. Scientists with long tenure at the center were honored. John Hobbie and Bruce Peterson received prestigious awards from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, while Dr. Hobbie was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining Jerry Melillo, who was named to the academy in 2007.

Ecosystems Center staff enjoy their new picnic table in the quadrangle. (Photo: Marshall Otter)

In the field, center scientists studied microbes in the Antarctic winter, marine bacteria in Waquoit Bay, nitrogen in streams across the U.S., alewife herring running into Cape Cod streams, fires on the North Slope of Alaska, and agricultural changes in the Brazilian Amazon.

The staff built a hoophouse at the MBL property in Hatchville for over-wintering shrubs, a lush and wonderfully productive community garden on the MBL grounds, and a gigantic picnic table to enjoy even more the companionship of fellow workers.