“Prevailing Wind & Whales” special MIT concert Saturday is all Gloucester Ocean Alliance, Parley, MIT Wind Ensemble 20th Anniversary & Humpback Whales

Parley X MIT: Prevailing Wind and Whales Saturday April 27, 2019

Reserve tickets here

From the press release:

7:00pm Parley SnotBot, EarBot & Drones for Whale Research
Parley Pre-Concert Talk Featuring Drs. Iain Kerr & Roger Payne, Ocean Alliance
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans

Join Dr. Roger Payne, Dr. Iain Kerr, and Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch as we dive into the world of whales and the new technologies that are changing the way that we study them.

8:00pm MIT Wind Ensemble 20th Anniversary Concert

Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director
Kenneth Amis, Assistant Conductor
Stephen C. Massey, Guest Conductor
MITWE Alumni
Kathryn Salfelder and Michael Weinstein, Guest Composers
Drs. Roger Payne and Iain Keer, Guest Speakers, Ocean Alliance
Cyrill Gutsch, Guest Speaker, Parley for the Oceans

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, MITWE brings together traditional and new music, works commissioned by the ensemble, special guests, and alumni.  In tribute to its recent tour to the Dominican Republic and collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, the concert features “In Praise Of The Humpback,” prefaced by remarks by legendary biologist-environmentalist and whale song expert, Dr. Roger Payne.

Renowned music educator Stephen C. Massey leads Persichetti Symphony no. 6, and legendary wind ensemble conductor-historian Frank L. Battisti will be honored by performances of three works composed for his 85th birthday in 2016, by Kenneth Amis, Kathryn Salfelder, and Michael Weinstein. MITWE’s percussion ensemble performs a new work in honor of MITWE’s 20th anniversary and “Course Sax” performs Piazzolla’s famed “Cafe, 1930” from Histoire du Tango. MITWE alumni join current MITWE members to close out the program with Gustav Holst’s amiable Second Suite in F. 

MIT Wind Ensemble
https://mta.mit.edu/music/performance/mit-wind-ensemble

Parley For The Oceans
https://www.parley.tv/#fortheoceans

Ocean Alliance
https://whale.org/

Center for Coastal Studies (informational materials available at the concert)
http://coastalstudies.org/

OCEAN ALLIANCE’S IAIN KERR TO APPEAR ON BBC BLUE PLANET LIVE!


Amy Kerr writes the following:

Below is a message from Iain, who is in the Sea of Cortez preparing for the BBC’s “Blue Planet Live” for this Wednesday and Sunday. He said he’d never do a live show with whales again, but here we are! The following are his instructions on how to watch outside of the UK (4:00 EST?), and if you can figure them out and DO you are a good good friend. At the very least, send him your positive whale-y, snotty thoughts!

Dear Friends,

Chris, Andy and I have just arrived in Loreto. We are pretty damn excited to be taking part in the BBC Blue Planet Live Series. You can find more information on the show here: BBC Blue Planet Live. As I understand it the first show went live today, with Chris Packham and the crew in San Ignacio Lagoon. I have it on good faith that Chris was downwind of a grey whale and he got Snotted!

I am also excited but terrified to report that they have asked me to take part in the additional 4th live show on Sunday. So you can catch us on live TV on Wednesday the 27th (SnotBot with blue whales….🤞🤞) and Sunday 31st of March, EarBot and Humpback whales (🤞🤞).  Right now my biggest concern is finding whales and good weather, preferably both at the same time, then of course not making a fool of myself on live TV.

For those of you not in England, there is a way to watch the show live on your computer, Chris says you have to get a VPN, which before last week I had never heard of.  In short if the BBC website thinks that your computer is in England it will let you watch the show.  

Clearly if you can’t watch the show live I am sure BBC will put it up on their website so I will send that information out next week.

So here we go – Get a VPN

  1. Download NordVPN 7 day free trial (https://free.nordvpn.com/trial/)
    1. Make sure to remember to cancel before the 7th day to avoid being charged $100+ for the 3 year subscription
    2. Alternatively, you can buy one month for $11.99
  2. After you’ve signed up for the trial, download and install the VPN app on your computer https://ucp.nordvpn.com/downloads
  3. Open the VPN app, log into your account
  4. Search for “United Kingdom” server in the country list
    1. Once connected to a server, now the internet thinks you are in the UK

Create BBC account

  1. Go to BBC iPlayer (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer)
  2. Register for an account (https://account.bbc.com/signin)
  3. Choose United Kingdom as your country, and put in a UK postal code, this one should work: SW191AA
  4. Verify your email address with the email sent to you after registering

Watch BBC ONE

  1. Log back into BBC iPlayer and search for Blue Planet Live if it already aired, or if you’re trying to watch live go to channels and click on BBC ONE, then click “watch live”
  2. When asked if you have a TV License, click YES
  3. Press play
    1. If you get a message that says “This content doesn’t seem to be working” – go back to your VPN app and click United Kingdom again, it will give you a new server number, refresh BBC iPlayer and try again. You might need to try a few different UK servers before you get one that works.

I will try to send out a few blogs from our time here, until then….

Best Fishes from Loreto.

Iain

Today’s paper | #GloucesterMA Ocean Alliance in the news and update from DR

IMG_20190306_142919
Sean Horgan article for Gloucester Daily Times “Ocean Alliance Planning Innovation Center at Paint Factory” includes rendering of restoring 2 former sites for new use

View past Paint Factory Ocean alliance _20190306_Gloucester MA_© catherine ryan

March 5, 2019 Message from Iain Kerr – update on Ocean Alliance research trip off the coast of the Dominican Republic studying breeding humpback whales 

“It gives me great pleasure to advise you that our last 3 days on the water have been fantastic, each day better than the previous. The weather has fallen into a typical trade wind scenario, calm in the early morning and picking up as the day goes on. We were on the boat this morning by 6:15 and had the pleasure of watching a sunrise at sea (with a whale of course).

Today we had our 1st sample by 7:15 am and had our 9th sample by 9:00 am, by 12:30 (when the winds picked up) we had collected a total of 14 samples bringing our expedition total to 54. Our goal was 50 samples, so we are now ahead of the game with 3 days to go. As the sun rose we were with a mother, calf and escort, we collected two Snot samples from each whale so we could have comparable samples, then we collected another sample from each whale flying at a higher altitude than the first set so that we can try to determine what effect height might have on the success/productivity of the biological data (snot) that gets onto the dish.

Angie Sremba is here from Dr. Scott Bakers lab at Oregon State, Angie has been focusing on the DNA analysis. She brought us some exciting information with regards to how our biological data capabilities have (successfully) evolved over time. It is important to remember here that part of this whole process is developing the collection tools and protocols and while Dr. Bakers lab is developing the preservation and analysis protocols. In summary in 2016 we had a 39% success rate with regards to sexing the animals from the DNA and a 55% success rate on the mitochondrial DNA. In 2018 we had a 92% success rate with regards to sexing the animals from the DNA and a 96% success rate with the mitochondrial DNA. This is clearly exciting as it demonstrates that we are learning and getting better on all fronts.

Another exciting data point today was the collection of some whale feces, the whales here are not feeding so it is unusual to find feces in this location. I think this is another amazing benefit of using drones for whale research, the drone saw the whale defecation (look very carefully for the brown stain in the last photo) and Britta and Andy were ready to collect it. This will prove invaluable in trying to put into context the hormone levels that we collect in the blow. 

We had a number of fun whale moments today but one of the best ones was a mother and Calf lob tailing together (lifting their tails up and crashing them down onto the water). The mother would throw her tail down with an enormous crash and then the baby would do the same hardly making a splash. Andy caught one of these moments on camera (see attached photo).

Today we also did some sea trials with EarBot, after this expedition I will have four days at home and then Chris and I go to Cabo San Lucas with EarBot to work on a BBC special, so we need to make sure that EarBot is in tip top shape. Last but not least I am happy to report that this blog is supported by some amazing photos from Christian Miller and Andy Rogan.

I fly out on Thursday, so I plan to do one more blog tomorrow. I hope to report on some more EarBot and Hydrophone recordings so I can attach some Humpback whale songs from the DR, and attach a few more amazing photos.

Best Fishes from the DR. 

Iain Kerr http://www.whale.org

ARKR2117
“We had a number of fun whale moments today but one of the best ones was a mother and Calf lob tailing together (lifting their tails up and crashing them down onto the water). The mother would throw her tail down with an enormous crash and then the baby would do the same hardly making a splash.” courtesy photo by Andy Rogan for Ocean Alliance

 

courtesy photos for Ocean Alliance by Christian Miller:

 

“Fish Tales: OMG”

From our friend Amy Kerr:

Iain Kerr will be making his debut as a live Storyteller at “Fish Tales: OMG” at Gloucester Stage, Friday, November 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

He has a wide variety of OMG stories to choose from, but he’s been working on the one that he believes takes the cake, and it includes his ever faithful friend SnotBot.

This annual Fish Tales always sells out, but you can get your tickets ahead of time here:

https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10343247

 

Ocean Alliance Harbor Cruise Fundraiser

Hope to see you on the Ocean Alliance Harbor Cruise on Thursday! There are still some tickets remaining. We have great raffle items donated from many local businesses. Purchase your tickets here: https://shop.whale.org/products/ocean-alliance-harbor-cruise

OA fundraising cruise_Final flier

Follow Ocean Alliance on Facebook for updates: https://www.facebook.com/oceanalliance/

OCEAN ALLIANCE APPEARING ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND RECEIVES A WEBBY ALL IN ONE WEEK!

Congratulations to Iain Kerr and Ocean Alliance!

Iain writes,

“On Monday April 30th 10:00 pm East Coast time our 2017 Sea of Cortez, Parley SnotBot field season will be featured in the National Geographic channel show. One Strange Rock.

I think that our presence in this show will be brief.

Yesterday we learnt that our Intel / Parley SnotBot production Below the Surface won a webby (this is like an Emmy but for web produced products). 

https://www.webbyawards.com/winners/2018/film-video/branded-entertainment/corporate-social-responsibility-branded/below-the-surface/

 Onwards Upwards.

PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN MILLER

REMINDER: SNOTBOT LIVE ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SUNDAY!

Iain writes, “Wednesday morning three Gloucester residents left for SE Alaska to conduct research on Humpback whales. Our work is going to be covered live Sunday the 9th. SnotBot is going to be featured in a National Geographic Live TV event called ‘Earth Live’ this Sunday July 9th 8:00 til 10:00 east coast time.

The Gloucester residents are: John Graham, Andy Rogan, and myself. The Paint Factory Robotics lab has been very busy with interns helping us prepare for this expedition. Interns are: Lydia Zuehsow, from Olin College of Engineering, Sam Vinson from Rockport, and Austin Monell from Gloucester all helping out.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/earth-live/videos/earth-live-extended-sneak-peek/

The show will be broadcast in 171 countries and 48 languages. It’s been an exciting year for Ocean Alliance and our Gloucester team, taking the story of innovation and persistence (a historic strength of Gloucester) around the world.”

 

TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING NEWS AND SAVE THE DATE: SNOTBOT ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE!!!

Iain Kerr writes, 
Hi Kim,

TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING NEWS: SNOTBOT GOES TO THE UN!!!

SnotBot (and the Kerr family) are heading to the UN as part World Ocean’s Day celebration. Amy writes, “Iain will be speaking to the UN General Assembly on Thursday about SnotBot for World Oceans Day, along with Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvia Earle and James Cameron, with music by Daft Punk! We’re making a family trip of it, so Dylan and I will be going along. We’ll try to remember to bring a GMG sticker. “

 

SnotBot goes to the UN!

Gloucester’s own Ocean Alliance will be part of the World Oceans Day celebration on June 8 at the Great Hall of the United Nations in New York City. Ocean Alliance CEO Dr. Iain Kerr will speak about the role of innovation and technology in ocean conservation and will introduce delegates to Ocean Alliance’s innovative research drone, SnotBot. Dr. Kerr will be one of many ocean advocates, including philanthropist Richard Branson, director James Cameron, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and oceanographer Sylvia Earle, who will be making presentations during the celebration along with a live feed from the International Space Station.

SnotBot is a customized drone that allows Ocean Alliance to collect behavioural and biological data (whale blow or snot) from whales noninvasively, without harming or disturbing the animals. Modified consumer drones have immense potential in marine mammal science and conservation, and Ocean Alliance’s SnotBot program has been at the very forefront of this new research paradigm, not only attaching petri dishes and sponges to drones to collect whale blow, but also attaching cameras and microphones to collect a broad spectrum of other valuable data.

 

The whale blow that SnotBot collects contains DNA, microbiomes, pregnancy hormones, stress hormones, and ketones. SnotBot’s video camera collects behavioural data and also provides stunning imagery.

For more information about the World Oceans Day program, Christina Caputo <christina@parley.tv

For more information about SnotBot and Ocean Alliance’s Drones for Whale Research program, visit http://www.whale.or/research/drones/ or call Dr Iain Kerr at 978-281-2814 x15 or email ikerr@whale.org.

Images courtesy Ocean Alliance website.

Discovery Channel Canada “Daily Planet” features interview and gorgeous drone video from Iain Kerr @Ocean Alliance of whale mom and baby calf, and more!

Innovation in Gloucester

AMAZING CAPTURE: SNOTBOT DRONE IMAGES OF THE RARE BLUE WHALE, THE LARGEST ANIMAL ON PLANET EARTH

Blue body 2 [2]Our friends at Ocean Alliance have just returned from the Sea of Cortez.  They took their drone SnotBot down there and successfully collected Snot from Blue, Grey and Humpback whales.  Here is an except form Iain Kerr’s most recent blog along with some photos of the largest animal that has even live on this planet… a blue whale.
After 10 minutes of high speed running the boat slowed down and we immediately launched a SnotBot. Within seconds we saw a blow, still a long way off.  Luckily the DJI Inspire 1’s top speed is close to 50 mph so I raced towards the whale and was soon close enough to see it though my FPV camera system…. and OMG – it was a blue whale!  I cannot describe my feelings as I approached this remarkable animal gliding through the water. After almost 30 years in this business and a British understated reputation to maintain, I have to admit that my hands started shaking and yes I made a mess of my first approach and did not get a blow sample.  I did not care though, the experience of flying SnotBot over the largest animal that has ever lived on the planet was an experience of a lifetime. To put this animal’s size into context: an adult blue whale’s tongue can weigh 6.5 tons; the heart is so big that a human adult could climb into one chamber.  Our blue whale was stunning in the crystal clear water, seeming to swim effortlessly.  After it dove I just left the drone hovering above its footprint and looked around at the rest of the team who were all ecstatic – last day on the water, beautiful weather and we were with a blue whale. I have only ever seen a blue whale once and when you look at the attached photo you realize that a drone’s eye view is incomparable; it’s the ultimate viewing experience. Look at its features, how the eyes protrude so that the animal can see forward; look at all of the different musculature and markings on the animal; just look at its amazing color.  So often with SnotBot we focus on the physical data we are collecting from the blow: DNA, micro biomes  pregnancy and stress hormones, but here we can see that even the photos and video that we take have enormous scientific, educational and emotional value.
You can read more about their work on their website:  http://www.whale.org/snotbot-sea-of-cortez-part-3-blue-whale/
IMG_6268 Iain Kerr and John Graham representing in the Sea of Cortez (Iain reports that Gloucester resident John is their resident McGyver, who can fix anything that goes wrong on a voyage)

Blue body & boat[2]Blue body short[2]Blue Snotted[2]

Discovery Channel at Ocean Alliance


Ian Kerr Discovery Channel interview ©kim Smith 2014 copyIain Kerr Interview with Discovery

Sunday morning Discovery Channel News was at Ocean Alliance filming a story about SnotBot, the organization’s new drone. The drone was created by a group of Olin College of Engineering students, under the direction of Professor Drew Bennet, in the College’s robotics lab.

Drew Bennet Olin College studentys Snot Bot ©Kim Smith 2014. JPG

“SnotBot will be used to collect DNA, bacteria, viruses and stress hormones from whale blows. The team also tested SnotShot, a machine that makes a simulated whale blow (with the capacity to simulate different blow types) on demand—a testing tool that will actually help the scientists in the field collect a control sample.

Olin College students Snot Bot ©kim Smith 2014

The SnotBot drone works something like this: “as SnotBot flies out to a whale that is approximately 300m from the research vessel, it hovers over a whale and the whale repeatedly blows onto a collection device. After the sample is collected and brought back to the RV Odyssey, the data is used to help interpret an animal’s state of heath through the analysis of bacteria, viruses, DNA, and stress hormones recovered from the whale’s blow.”

Read More from the Olin College of Engineering Website Here

Snot Bot Ocean Alliance Archives Here

Captain Dominic ©Kim Smith 2014Gorgeous View from the Paint Factory of the Captain Dominic Fishing Boat

See More Photos Here

Continue reading “Discovery Channel at Ocean Alliance”