Behind-the-Screens at WhaleNet

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J. Michael Williamson, Principal Investigator (email)

Michael founded WhaleNet in 1993 to excite students about math, science, the environment and technology. His extensive involvement in marine science and education helped inspire this project. Williamson is an Associate Professor of Science at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, where he has taught marine biology, oceanography, physical science, ecology, and mathematics courses since 1988.
Williamson is a member of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, the Society of Marine Mammology, the Marine Technology Society, the Massachusetts Marine Educators, and the National Science Teachers Association, and is the Associate Director of the Mingan Island Cetacean Study. He is also the former director of the Pelagic Systems Research/Massachusetts Whale Watch, which studied cetaceans in Massachusetts Bay.

Contributors to WhaleNet Development

Greg Early, Research Associate/Satellite Tagging Specialist
Greg Early's experience includes the Senior Scientist for Field Research at the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill Maine where he took part in long term research into the effects of contaminants on seals in the Gulf of Maine.

He worked at the New England Aquarium since 1974. For ten years he headed the Aquarium's Marine Mammal Stranding Program. During that time he supervised the rescue, rehabilitation and release of hundreds of marine mammals and turtles including harbor seals, hooded seals, pilot whales and Atlantic whitesided dolphins, and taken part in many investigations of marine mammal mortality.

For several years Greg was an Associate Scientist in the Edgerton Research Laboratory at the New England Aquarium where part of his work involved satellite tracking rehabilitated seals for WhaleNet's STOP program.
Fred Wenzel, Research Associate/Consultant
Fred, now with the NMFS, is WhaleNet's marine mammal expert and scientific liaison. He spearheaded the Satellite Tagging Program, and coordinated numerous scientific content providers, including organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, the New England Aquarium and the whale watch companies that contribute to WhaleNet's Habitat Wednesday program.
Wenzel recently served as scientific analyst for WhaleNet's CD-ROM Humpback Whale Fluke Catalogue, and is developing related lesson plans. He is completing his M.S. in Biology, with emphasis on marine mammals, at Northeastern University. As a teaching assistant there, Wenzel has taught a variety of science-related undergraduate and graduate courses. He has also worked on projects with the National Marine Fisheries Service, College of the Atlantic's Allied Whale, the New England Aquarium, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, the Captain John's Whale Watch and is Director of the Cape Verde Island Humpback Whale Project.

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