Marine Mammals of Maine (MoMME) organization
This winter I held a limp, 70-pound cod in frigid 50 ̊F water waiting for it to never wake up from anesthetics. Only moments before, the cod was under operation, dispelling millions of eggs on a laboratory table while a tube delivered oxygenated water to its gills. The cod was the star of the “Sandy Bottom Dwellers” exhibit at the New England Aquarium. The autopsy never revealed what exactly went wrong in the operation. This moment along with my entire experience as a winter aquarist intern in the gallery left quite an impression. It has furthered my interest in marine animal care and rehabilitation, ultimately leading me to the Marine Mammals of Maine (MoMME) organization, where I will be working this summer.
Due to the small size of the local organization, my day to day schedule will be quite varied. My main responsibilities will be responding to cetacean and pinniped strandings along the coast, and this will entail treating live animals in the field or relocating them to the triage center in Harpswell. There, I will assist in animal care for the sick and injured, with animal husbandry tasks such as meal preparation, feeding, cleaning, and maintaining data logs. Additionally, I will be performing necropsies for dead mammals, as well as doing public outreach and engaging with an independent project.
As a Biology major with a general focus in Marine Conservation, I have a strong background in scientific research in combination with a fascination for marine animal rehabilitation. My internships at the New England Aquarium and Oceans Research have furthered this interest and strengthened my background in animal husbandry. The MoMME internship particularly caught my attention because I am more so interested in animal response and working in a marine mammal rehabilitation facility. I am eager to learn more about marine mammal stranding, especially the skills involved with mammal transportation, general care, rehabilitation, and performing necropsies. I am also looking forward to engaging with the community-interaction aspect of the internship because I have a strong interest in science communication in its ability to educate the public on matters like what to do when they see stranded seals.
- Date December 5, 2018
- Tags Environment, Science