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Web. So the new student research team
stumbled into its role because of the lack
of information. They formed a hypothesis
and stated it as a positive: “endangered
Species recovery Through education.”
Meeting Calvin
The Animaineacs first asked scientists
for detailed information. Amy Knowlton,
senior scientist at the NeAq, befriended
the students and gathered technical papers
for them to review on subjects ranging
Calvin, the right whale
who inspired the name
lifelong involvement with the New en-
from physiology and reproduction to ship-
of the student group
gland Aquarium’s (NeAq) right Whale
strikes and policy making. She also intro-
research Team and my hope that the most
duced them to Dr. Moira Brown, a scientist
endangered large whale in the world would
at the Center for Coastal Studies at the
someday be taken off the endangered spe-
time. Moe Brown told the Animaineacs an
cies list. Without hesitation the Animai-
amazing story about a right whale named
neacs joined the cause.
Calvin who had somehow survived all the
efforts have been under way to help the
modern perils of right whale life.
whales since 1980. The first question for
The Animaineacs saw that the way
us to answer was, “How could the Ani-
to educate the public was to tell Calvin’s
maineacs help the whales?” The students
story to the public. They went to the
and I started our own research community
Annual right Whale Consortium meeting
in which I was the principal investiga-
in New Bedford in 2005. They presented
tor and they were research scientists. We
their ideas to three hundred right whale
modeled ourselves after the NeAq’s right
scientists and received rousing applause.
whale research team. The first task was
They were on their way and even had
Calvineers walking through information gathering. We divided up the
a new name, “The Calvineers,” bucca-
the streets of Quebec with
task and when we compared results, the
neers of the twenty-first century! More
their mascot, a 7-foot model
truth was obvious. The general public had
importantly, the Calvineers were inspired
of Calvin the right whale.
little access to good information about
by talking to and listening to scientists
They are on their way to
right whales. There were few news articles
explain details of whale research.
the Biennial Conference
where they had a chance to
and most repeated the same basic informa-
Meanwhile, I worked basic sci-
speak informally with many tion. There was little more available on the
ence about marine mammals into the
scientists. Calvineers’ science curriculum. When
they studied human anatomy, they also
studied whale anatomy. When they studied
body systems and functions, they would
compare the human’s to a whale’s. Their
studies in chemistry and nutrient cycles
were linked to ocean health and the pro-
duction of copepods, the right whales’
main food supply. They even linked their
studies of Newtonian physics to ship-
strikes of whales through various sizes
and speeds of ships and to the breaking
strength of rope by entangled whales.
When we talk about ecosystems we had a
ready-made example in the Bay of Fundy
where the whales forage for swarming
copepods part of the year.
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