St. Paul, Here I come (Again)!

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to join in a research trip to St. Paul, Alaska with a group of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In case you missed my words of wisdom from that trip, here is the start of the eight blogs about that experience.

This year, I was thrilled when the researchers and my bosses gave me the green light to go again! (Clearly I am just a little bit excited.) This biennial research trip involves a study of Northern fur seals to determine the population of the largest breeding colony in the United States. What makes the trip even more dynamic is the fact that we have a brand new addition to our Marine Mammal Department… a baby Northern fur seal! Ursula gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. [Learn more about this special event here, and see video of little guy here.]

So this time around, I thought it would be really interesting to compare the growth and development of Ursula's pup to those that I will see on the island of St. Paul. Already Ursula's pup is three weeks old and he changes everyday.

I will be sending along some quick blogs while we are out on the island. When I return I will be posting some video showing you the changes our own pup at the Aquarium has gone through as he grows in comparison with the pups on the island. In the meantime, here is a video I put together after my first trip to St. Paul that gives you a small taste of the what I have the opportunity to see and experience on this amazing trip. Enjoy!

All images and video taken during this research study were authorized by the Marine Mammal Protection Act Permit # 14327.


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