Work Worth Doing: Reflecting on 44 years in the Field

The Cooper Island Black Guillemot study was recently mentioned in an Associated Press story by Seth Borenstein about researchers who “accidentally” began studying climate change. A number of scientists measuring a biological phenomenon have encountered unanticipated effects from climate change and understood those effects were more important, both biologically and politically, than what originally motivated them to initiate their research. The 44-year Cooper Island study has undergone a number of changes before its current focus on assessing the decadal effects of Arctic warming on seabirds.

When I first landed on Cooper Island in 1975, I had no intention of studying climate change or global warming. Read more of George’s reflection on his forty four years of study on Cooper Island at Proteus.

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The First Egg!

The first egg of the 2018 breeding season was laid on June 24th by White-Black-Gray.  She fledged from Cooper Island in 1995 and has lived through a period of major climate change in the Arctic. Hoping she, and the other 150 guillemots in the colony, have a successful breeding season! Read the full field report at Proteus.

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The first field report of the 2018 season

Great to be back on Cooper island after two intense weeks of preparation in Seattle and Utqiaġvik. Arriving on the island begins an even more intense period as I need to turn the 8-by-12 foot cabin from the overwinter storage shed it has been for the past nine months into a place where I can sleep, cook, process data–and eventually even relax… Read the full report at Proteus, science and storytelling for a blue planet. 

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Friends of Cooper Island