Science Bloggers for Students DonorsChoose Challenge

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Week of the Blue kickoff: Kingdom of the Blue Whale

Tonight, Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 7 pm (central time) National Geographic Channel will air The Kingdom of the Blue Whale. I'm very excited about this special. It marks the culmination of research and filming efforts to record the habits and movements of the world's largest animal - ever!

Whales are amazing! Large, complex, social, sensitive. I've been on whale watching tours, twice, before and each time I saw nothing - no spray, no breach, no fin, not even a good wave of water.
But still I go out of my way to get the chance to be close, to see or hear them or feel the spray of salty water.

There is much buzz about this special, Madhu at Reconciliation Ecology and Kevin Z at Deep Sea News actually pre-screened the show. Lucky devils. But I'll be watching it tonight like most you all. Sorry for everyone who doesn't have the National Geographic Channel as apart of their cable package. That really sucks. If I knew how, I'd let you splice my line Miriam. I've been rather envious of the marine bloggers lately, and now this. Darn, they sure are cool. So I'm completely switching cafeteria tables this week and hanging out with the super-cool Marine and Ocean Bloggers this week. I'll blog about Marine Biology & Ecology this week. (Plus, you all know how much I love a theme).

It's a chance for me to practice 'academic diversity', stretch my mind and present other interesting and equally valid examples of Urban Ecology. Coastal cities, harbors, shipping towns, and fishing towns are equally urban and marine. I haven't spent much time in such areas, but what little I have experienced, I will share with you. So get ready for the Week of the Blue!


The Official Show Liner

Supported by the National Geographic Society, the world's eminent blue whale scientists embark on a revolutionary mission: They'll find, identify, and tag California blue whales, use the DNA samples to confirm the sex of individual whales, then rejoin the massive creatures' stunning migration when they collect at a chimera known as the Costa Rica Dome. These experts have observed, firsthand, courtship behavior among the whales at the moving mass of krill and currents 500 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. Now, they hope to find and record the Holy Grail of blue whale science -- the breeding and calving grounds of the biggest mammals in the sea.

Come back this evening and I'll post my reaction to the program...

My quick reaction...I was GREAT. I loved how the program shared the scientific experience with the audience, the questions, the hypotheses, the methods, the waiting and getting nothing, the interpretation, and re-intepretation of results. It was great. I will get more detailed on in later posts.


lisaschaos said...

I would love to go whale watching! Beautiful creatures!

Miriam Goldstein said...

YES! You will be sucked into our whirlpool of salty goodness! (though it's pretty funny that I have a post about cute 'n' fuzzy terrestrial mammals for tomorrow morning.)

There's tons of awesome & accessible urban marine ecology in most coastal cities - fouling communities, salt marshes, riprap, the occasional natural tidepool...I think this might be a post. Maybe it should be Urban Science Adventures! week on the marine blogs!

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