The information collected from the receivers can also inform partnering institutions conducting similar research, such as the Florida Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory. The data is downloaded from the receivers each month as part of the Reserve’s ongoing study. The acoustic program will enhance RBNERR’s management efforts and help fill knowledge gaps, providing a more comprehensive understanding of shark movement and habitat needs along the coast.
Summer Research Intern Kaylee Smith was one of the volunteers onboard the vessel when O’Donnell inserted his first transmitter into a newborn bull shark. A Gulf Coast High School graduate, Smith is a rising senior at Brevard College in North Carolina, majoring in Environmental Science. She jumped at the opportunity to gain additional field research experience.“When we finally caught a young male, fit for receiving the acoustic tag, nobody could contain their excitement,” Smith said. She was very impressed with the entire process, stating that it only took six minutes from catch to release. “Getting the chance to go out in the field with Pat was very helpful to me because as an undergrad, I am always looking for opportunities to try new things and learn as much as possible.”
To learn more about Rookery Bay Research Reserve and its shark research, visit rookerybay.org.
Renee Wilson is Communications Coordinator at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. She has been a Florida resident since 1986, and joined the staff at the Reserve in 2000.
When Bonnie and Kevin Hauke began the monumental task of repainting the Goodland Water Tank last spring, they did so without fanfare or expectations of help from the community where they both had lived for so long. When that community happens to be Goodland however, there’s no telling what will happen.
In mid-April, word got out that the Haukes were digging into their own pockets and taking time off from the sign business to come down and refresh the mural on the water tank. On April 18, at its last board meeting of the year, the Goodland Civic Association jumped in and sent out appeals to its many members and friends. On April 20, the donations started to come in. By April 26, $1,200 had been received. Many of the letters contained heartfelt thanks for the beautiful “work of art” and “labor of love,” for all to enjoy when entering Goodland. Donations continued to come in during the summer, until on August 3, when the total had reached $3,050. They were mailed in from all over the U.S. Forty-four donors sent in checks, which ranged from $20 to $500. Bonnie Hauke sent a personal note of thanks to every one of them
Goodland’s winter residents carry a part of the village in their hearts when they head north each spring. They spend their summers longing for the day when they will return in the fall. There’s a lot of pride in what we have here – and it shows.
Work still continues on the mural. The ground next to the tank has been used as a marshalling area for construction crews laying the new Goodland water line. It is difficult to forecast when the mural will be done.