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cadet blogs

A Whale of a Time

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link   All Posts
Hosley Photo Hello everyone and happy New Year! We just got back to school for MAP week, which is a week of re-adjustment to the Academy, which includes military and academic trainings. I am more than excited to be back and loved seeing all my friends again, although the adjustment is never easy.

 

Anyhow, I worked all winter break on my directed study project, which is a literature review for the Mystic Aquarium on stress physiology in marine mammals (just a Marine and Environmental Sciences major thing). Essentially, I have been reading what feels like a million very complicated and ‘sciency’ papers about endocrinology and stress in whales, dolphins, and sea lions. I can’t wait to present my findings to the aquarium in a couple of weeks, but I am so, so nervous!

 

The study has been a bit of added-on work this past semester, but it is more than worth it. I have had the incredible opportunity to visit the aquarium a few times, as well as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute out on Cape Cod. Additionally, my work for the aquarium has allowed me to get in the enclosure with the beluga whales! It really has been a dream come true. In November, I worked with a few scientists from Woods Hole doing acoustics, or sound testing, on Kela, who is Mystic’s female beluga. The experiment was very successful and a lot of important data was collected concerning the whale’s brain activity and ability to hear/interpret sound. I can’t wait to see what this semester has in store and look forward to continuing my work with the aquarium and the whales. Don’t worry, I “whale” be sure to keep you all updated…haha!

 

Please check out the picture of myself in the enclosure with one of the beluga whales.

 

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