A problem with a knee has forced me to abandon almost completely the work at sea, to the point that over the last five months spent at our field station in Galaxidi, on the northern shore of the Gulf of Corinth, I've had no chances of meeting my study subject - dolphins - at sea.
While in Greece, I have been devoting most of my time to computer work and have enjoyed very much the return of my collaborators from their daily dolphin surveys, with all their lively stories and hundreds of photos or videos to download. This made me feel quite close to the animals even if I was actually not seeing them.
After many years spent observing dolphins from boats, I can now survive not watching them every day. And yet, it is sometimes sad to look at the calm sea from the coast and not being out on the inflatable.
Today, however, conditions were ideal for a survey: no volunteers around and three of my colleagues (Stefano, Zsuzsanna ad Silvia) ready to take the sea. For a change, I decided to join them, with a commitment to remain seated.
We were blessed by an unusually calm sea. In about six hours of navigation we surveyed a large portion of the study area and found striped and common dolphins that immediatly came to bowride (see photo), although our boat was moving very slowly.
We saw lots of beautiful Cotylorhiza jellyfish, as well as tunicate colonies and individuals (I touched a transparent Salpa for the first time). We sighted a fish school jumping to avoid a predator, spotted what looked like the pectoral and caudal fins of a billfish or a shark, photographed the flight of a shearwater, and enjoyed the deep blue waters of the Gulf, over which every object or animal looked intersting and worth of our attention. We inspected some fish farms far away and recorded their position. Then, we discussed and questioned our research protocols, perhaps for the thousandth time.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience that reminded me of how incredibly lucky we are to be doing this work of dolphin researchers - whether we actually spend a lot of time with the animals or we study them through a computer monitor.
31 August 2009
I came with a wish to see and hear about creatures that (for a reason not entirely clear to me) have facinated me as long as I can remember. I found very special people with kind heart, eyes fixed on the sea and am very thankful that they shared some of their knowledge and passion with me. I will never look at the sea the same way - now always from horizon to close range covering 180° at a time. ☺ I leave with extraordinary experience, great deal smarter and with a mission to share. Aitàh!
I really enjoyed this week very much, it really was a pleasure to me to learn and see a lot of sealife, I enjoyed you folks from the crew, you are real nice people ,including the captain - I am looking forward for another coffee to share! The whole group were great guys too, it was a fantastic week for me. You do an incredible work, very professional and had a good way of sharing your knowledge with us. Thank you all for this wonderful week, I will tell all the folks at home what I learned and hope to see you again.
Effettivamente un’esperienza particolare e intensa anche se di breve durata. Mi è piaciuto molto come i ragazzi prendano seriamente il loro lavoro mettendoci anima e corpo e riuscendo a coinvolgere gli ospiti e anche le loro lezioni aprono una finestra su qualcosa che non avremmo sicuramente mai approfondito per nostro conto. Anche la convivenza su una barca e in mezzo al mare devo dire che è stata piacevole e molto affiatata nonostante la differenza di età e cultura, credo che sia stato un accrescimento personale molto positivo. Mi sa che mi mancherete tutti quanti quindi a presto.
E’ bello sentirsi a casa… su una barca. E con voi è successo proprio questo: mi sono sentita a casa, fin dal primo momento. Sono arrivata qui con una sola idea: raccogliere materiale per la mia ricerca sulla delfinoterapia. Ero armata delle migliori intenzioni, concentrata unicamente sul mio obiettivo e null’altro. Poi mi è bastato guardare le vostre facce appena messo piede sulla barca… ed è stato impossibile non lasciarsi contagiare! Grazie per i sorrisi, gli sguardi, le risate e le emozioni condivise; grazie al meraviglioso team di ricerca: ad Ale e alla sua allegria travolgente; ad Adry e Annina, due super donne infaticabili… e ad Enrico, per avermi fatto scoprire, in sogno, il potere della musicoterapia applicata alle balene! Grazie tenebroso Capitano… anche per i bagni che non ci hai fatto fare con 40 gradi all’ombra dopo dieci ore di navigazione. E grazie a tutti voi, miei splendidi compagni di viaggio! Un messaggio sentito per Ale ed Enry: non penso diventerò mai vegetariana ma… da oggi guarderò le scatolette di tonno con occhi diversi, lo giuro. Un consiglio per chi verrà: MAI farsi un pastis prima del turno di avvistamento. Mai, mai, mai!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:19
30 August 2009
2009 Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants in Marine Environmental History and Historical Ecology
Application Deadline: 21-September 2009
Purpose - The Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI) supports research in Marine Environmental History and Historical Marine Ecology through its Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants Program. Initiated in 2001, this grant program funds research that documents historical conditions in the oceans prior to large-scale human impacts.
Scope - The program supports projects from both natural and social scientists seeking to uncover interactions between natural and human history in marine and estuarine environments worldwide. Research may draw on sources ranging from culturally- and geographically-derived information, to biological and physical data. Examples of possible information resources include fishery data, letters, journals, interviews, oral histories, historical documents, maps, photos, field surveys, etc.
Programmatic Focus - MCBI seeks novel proposals that study, document, and describe historical marine ecology throughout the world. We particularly encourage projects related to:
- The Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments;
- U.S. Marine Protected Areas and National Marine Sanctuaries;
- The High Seas, which are those areas outside of nation’s jurisdictions;
- Deep and shallow water coral ecosystems; and
- The historical impacts of fishing on marine populations and ecosystems.
Eligibility- MCBI invites individuals and collaborative teams from academic institutions and non-governmental organizations to apply. Preference will be given to graduate students, post-graduate researchers, and early career scientists.
Application Guidelines- The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. PDT on 21-September, 2009. Grants can range up to a maximum of $10,000 (USD) for a period of one year.
Additional information can be found at
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:23
29 August 2009
ODIO alzarmi presto la mattina. E non sopporto il caldo intenso. Il pensiero di stare sotto il sole per ore per me è… semplicemente ‘impensabile’! Ma non appena il gommone lascia il porto e ci affacciamo nella luminosa ampiezza del mare, ogni fatica svanisce… Questo spazio cosi ‘vuoto’… e cosi pieno di possibilita! Di respirare, di pensare, di lasciar andare i pensieri che pesano, affidandoli al vento… Per poi ritrovarli trasformati e rinnovati, freschi, leggeri! Spazio e tempo per godere, semplicemente, il fatto di esserci, e di essere! Per godere il vento sulla pelle, l’odore del mare, la vista di un blu che diventa turchese, verde, grigio e luccicante come metallo, e poi ancora e ancora, senza sosta. Vorrei tuffarmi in questo blu, diventare ancora più parte del tutto! Ma non posso: abbiamo un ‘appuntamento’ coi delfini… forse… se avranno voglia di farci questo regalo. A volte succede, e al mio gruppo è capitato tre volte! E' un momento cosi particolare… impossibile da descrivere: l’emozione si mescola alla tensione e all’impegno. Dove sono? Quanti sono? Cosa fanno? Starei impalata a guardarli: sono cosi belli, cosi giocosi e aggraziati, cosi inattesi! Vorrei tuffarmi, ancora una volta, per nuotare insieme a loro. Ma siamo qui per aiutarli e proteggerli, e questo è piu importante ora. Ci vorrebbero fiumi di parole per descrivere un’esperienza come questa: una settimana che sembra un mese! La vita insieme, con le emozioni e le risate, soprattutto quando capisco ‘Roma per toma’; il prendersi cura della casa, e dei compagni di avventura; i ricercatori, appassionati e instancabili, nonostante la loro sia un’impresa ardua, nonostante abbiano ripetuto le stesse cose a decine e decine di persone diverse… Alcuni di loro hanno occhi scintillanti e sorrisi sereni, altri modi a volte un pò bruschi… Ma in TUTTI si sente battere un cuore caldo e sinceramente devoto alla nobile causa di preservare la vita sul nostro pianeta! Tutto perfetto quindi, come in un film? No, ma tutto profondamente, sorprendentemente UMANO, ed è molto piu di quanto mi potessi aspettare… GRAZIE
Wow, this week has passed so quickly – this definitely reflects how much of a good time I’ve had! Its difficult to come up with something original after 17 pages worth of entries have summed up every aspect of the experience so well, so I apologise if this entry is somewhat repetitive! I’m really grateful to Tethys Research Institute for providing me with this opportunity to participate in the dolphin research here in Galaxidi. To have had such intimate encounters with these majestic creatures has been simply awesome but to have actively worked with the team here really has added an extra dimension to the experince. My thanks go to Joan and Aina in particular for sharing their knowledge of cetaceans and providing insight into the related environmental issues that these animals are facing; I will return home with a greater sense of responsibilty where the environment is concerned and will make every effort to share my experiences with friends and family, thereby passing on the knowledge and increasing public awareness in the hope that people will think twice about the impact their activity maybe having on the envirnoment. Efxaristo polí!
I can’t stress enough how grateful to the Tethys Research institute I am for welcoming us into the dolphin research effort here in Galaxidi. The idea of seeing dolphins is great but the opportunity to be of some practical use to the resurchers is far better. Joan and Aina have been amazing, not only on the boat but creating a warm, friendly and above all funny enviroment, filled with jokes, teasing and eating as much as horses! All of us can say we enjoyed a holiday while we learn about marine mammels and enviromental concerns. I will make every effort to share my experiences with family, friends and the students I teach! Overall the perfect fusion of fun sun and science!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 07:49
28 August 2009
Chateau Billeron Bouquey, Domain du Grollet, Pineau des Charentes, VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac Reserve… the elegant names of four bottles received today by the Tethys staff in Galaxidi.
The exclusive gift was a wonderful idea by our French volunteer Gaelle, who participated in the 14th Ionian Dolphin Project team.
This post is our simple way of expressing our gratitude. A really special ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ (*) to you, Gaelle. We will think about you while enjoying these nectars!
Silvia and Joan
(*) Thank you very much, in Greek
Pubblicato da Silvia Bonizzoni a 05:25
27 August 2009
The video linked below provides some insight into how to make and not make a scientific presentation. Viewing may turn out useful to young researchers, as well as to the occasional seniors who still manage to bore their audience to death.
It must be noted that the video itself could probably be a lot shorter...
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 09:06
26 August 2009
I post here the announcements of three interesting workshops on marine mammal research techniques.
"Ecological Modeling For Marine Mammalogists"
October 11, 2009
Québec City, Canada
Québec City Convention Center, Room 2000A
Registration Fee: $30 US (register here)
"Ecological Modeling for Marine Mammalogists" is a one-day workshop that will be held prior to the 18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Québec City, Canada. The workshop follows on the very successful 2005 workshop "Application of GIS and Spatial-Temporal Modeling for Marine Mammal Science and Management," and will represent the fifth Biennial workshop devoted to modeling. There is tremendous interest in applying statistical modeling techniques to the quantitative assessment of marine mammal distribution and habitat use, and our workshop seeks to explore both traditional and the latest methodologies. Our goal is to bring together practitioners that can share their experience with various approaches to ecological modeling by addressing topics ranging from collecting data, selecting the appropriate model, evaluating the model's results, and applying those results in a management scenario. The workshop format will consist of formal presentations followed by extended discussions during which particular methodologies can be fully explored by all participants. In addition to an overview of modeling techniques, we will have sessions focused on the analysis of movement data (primarily from satellite tracking data) and on the analysis of presence-only occurrence data (primarily from passive acoustic monitoring applications, but also from non-standardized sighting data such as whale watching and historic whaling records). In 2005, we introduced the Project Forum wherein students and less experienced researchers presented their projects and discussed the statistical challenges they are facing with an expert panel. We will bring this useful forum back in 2009 as a poster session to encourage increased interaction among the workshop participants.
CALL FOR PROJECT FORUM POSTERS
We are accepting abstracts (max 300 words) for posters outlining research that addresses applications of statistical tools and modeling approaches for marine mammals. We are particularly interested in poster presentations by students seeking input and discussion on statistical methodology. These posters will be used in a session, as described above, where other researchers, including the workshop organizers, can supply feedback or advice. We also welcome posters that discuss innovative tool and/or model development. Please send abstracts by Sept. 14 to Ellen Hines at email@example.com
Workshop organizing committee:
Kathy Vigness Raposa
"Learning to effectively and efficiently use DARWIN"
The DARWIN Research Group at Eckerd College announces a workshop/tutorial “Learning to effectively and efficiently use DARWIN,” to be held Saturday, October 10, prior to the 18th Biennial Conference on Marine Mammals, in Quebec City, QC, Canada. Workshop participants will learn to install and use DARWIN, a freely available photo-identification software package, to create a catalog of dorsal fins images and then compare images of newly sighted individuals against the catalog. We will also introduce the use of various software features that facilitate the sharing of data between or within research groups and enable the output of sighting data for input to other software packages. As a part of this workshop, copies of the current DARWIN software will be distributed and installed on the laptop computer of each participant. The hands-on workshop will provide step-by-step instruction on the most important features of the software, and pointing out various tips and tricks to get the best performance from it. There will be time at the end of the workshop when participants can experiment with what they have learned and have an opportunity to have questions answered, as they arise. We anticipate that this workshop will be useful to researchers interested in training others or in using the software themselves to facilitate the photo-identification process.
More information about the software
Register for the workshop
The cost of the workshop is $30 (USD).
Please feel free to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Debure and John Stewman
The Mammal Research Institute of the University of Pretoria will be hosting a workshop on mark-recapture techniques to be run by Dr Trent McDonald of WEST Inc.
Dr McDonald is a leading researcher, author and practitioner of mark-recapture theory applied to populations of wild animals.
1. Day 1 morning: Lectures on Closed population models
2. Day 1 afternoon: Hands on exercises and consultations
3. Day 2 morning: Lectures on Open population models
4. Day 2 afternoon: Hands on exercises and consultations
5. Day 3 all day: Applications and consultations
DATE: 16-18th Feb 2010
WORKSHOP COST: R1000
Includes: Morning and afternoon coffee breaks, light lunches, venue hire, computer availability (if needed). Costs go towards covering Dr McDonald's travel costs from the USA.
1) We highly recommend purchasing a copy of: "Handbook of capture-recapture analysis" Steven Amstrup, Trent McDonald and Bryan Manly (Eds)
Dr McDonald will make available copies at the authors discount price of US$50 (which is considerably cheaper than the book is available directly in SA). These must be ordered in advance, when signing up for the workshop.
2) Analysis using R software and Dr. McDonald's MRA package will be emphasized during the workshop. Equivalent analyzes in MARK software will be illustrated. Microsoft Excel will be used occasionally to illuminate calculations. Dr. McDonald is proficient at MARK and will consult with participants on use of MARK as needed.
3) The final day will consist of short presentations and group discussion of participants projects, followed by one-on-one collaboration with Dr. McDonald. As such, participants are encouraged to email abstracts of their projects to Dr. McDonald prior to the workshop, and to bring their data sets ready to analyze.
HOW DO I APPLY?
If you would like to apply for this workshop, please cut out the following text, fill in as appropriate and email to: email@example.com
Please send one email for each person who wishes to attend
Attendance must be confirmed by the 15th November and paid for by the 1st Dec 2009. Places are limited.
Contact phone number:
I would like to order a copy of the "Handbook of Capture-Recapture Analysis" - YES / NO
Simon Elwen and Nico de Bruyn
Post Doctoral Fellows
Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:04
25 August 2009
Nel Blog 'Storie di Mare' si possono trovare una serie di post relativi a un gran numero di piccole tartarughe marine debilitate e incrostate di balani che si spiaggiano lungo il litorale adriatico. Un fenomeno preoccupante dovuto a cause ancora sconosciute.
Al 24 agosto, sulle coste dell'Emilia Romagna e delle Marche si sono spiaggiati oltre 60 animali.
Alcune delle possibili cause (e soluzioni) sono descritte nel post seguente:
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:08
24 August 2009
Darwin is a software system which allows marine scientists to maintain information for the study of various behavioral and ecological patterns of common bottlenose dolphins. It might alo prove useful for other species having similarly shaped distinctive dorsal fins.
The software provides a graphical user interface to access a collection of digital dorsal fin images along with textual information which describes individual animals as well as relevant sighting data. Users may query the system with the name of a specific individual or the entire collection may be sorted and viewed based upon sighting location, sighting date, or damage category. Alternatively, the researcher may query a database of previously identified dolphin dorsal fin images with an image of an unidentified dolphin's fin. Darwin responds with a rank ordered list of database fin images that most closely resemble the query image.
Darwin is also available on GoogleCode.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 07:00
23 August 2009
Thank you for a wonderful week. Seeing the dedication of the researchers and learning from them taught us all so much. I loved the sailing and we were lucky to only have one day off the water although we were greedy and wanted to see more. We mainly saw sperm whales and striped dolphins but each was amazing every time. My only disappointment was that I slept through the visit by the pilot whales! - but then I can sleep through anything! I also enjoyed the night shifts, seeing the stars late at night and the wonderful reflection of the stars on the sea surface later in the morning were unforgettable! The company was wonderful, Italian, Austrian and English – with everybody politely reminding each other to translate conversations so that I would understand. The food was great, I’ve taken lots of recipes home with me! Great fun and a wonderful experience – thanks!
Dire che sono soddisfatto del tempo passato sul Pelagos è fin troppo riduttivo. Ho passato una settimana indescrivibile che tutti dovrebbero assolutamente provare. Un mix di divertimento, relax, stimoli scientifici e di riflessioni personali. Insomma il tempo trascorso è stato di altissima qualità sia nelle ore del giorno che della notte. Ovviamente il merito di tutto ciò è del team incontrato a bordo (con preparazione scientifica di altissimo livello) e dei compagni di viaggio che nella loro varietà hanno contribuito tutti al mio arricchimento spirituale. A tutti loro vanno i miei ringraziamenti per avermi fatto passare questa settimana indimenticabile.
È stata una settimana INCREDIBILE! Sicuramente non scorderò mai il suono più bello che ho mai sentito in vita mia: il respiro dei globicefali che ci sono venuti a salutare una notte in mezzo al mare e che ci hanno tenuto compagnia per più di tre ore! Come non scorderò mai la prima volta che ho visto un fluke-up! Senza dimenticare ovviamente la compagnia delle stenelle. Se possibile cercherò sicuramente di ripetere l’esperienza. Viva la Pelagos e grazie a tutto il team Tethys che mi ha accompagnato in questa esperienza e che mi ha sensibilizzato ancora di più a questo fantastico e misterioso mondo dei Cetacei, grazie!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 13:36
22 August 2009
2 semaines merveilleuses avec les dauphins que rever de mieux ? Ces gardiens des Ames des mers et des oceans nous enseignent la sagesse, l’amour et la paix sans aucune colere envers l’humain qui pourtant souvent estime etre la seule intelligence sur cette planete ecole qu’est notre terre GAIA! Heureusement le travail des chercheurs a travers le monde commence a ouvrir les yeux et meme les coeurs des hommes... Aussi je ne peux que rendre grace et remercier cette merveilleuse equipe d’Aina, Silvia et Joan pour leurs travaux et leurs recherches quotidiens dans la protection des dauphins en mer ionnienne.
Learned a lot of new things. Got a lot of questions answered. Many other still remain unanswered. Had a great week. Aina and Joan thank you very much for everything.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:26
21 August 2009
This is a commercial company but they made quite an impressive interactive animation featuring a singing humpback whale.
Possibly worth viewing, also to notice how web interactivity is progressively taking place.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 08:39
20 August 2009
Dolphins of Greece, an evocative term for a fantastic expedition. Patient, friendly, good humoured, and infectiously enthusiastic about their work Marina and Zsuzsanna are great people and great teachers. Posi the dog was great as well, although now he’s behaving better he’s starting to get boring. The volunteers on this team were also great, we got on well and worked together easily and efficiently. My thanks therefore to Jen, Rick, and Christoph, as well as Marina and Zsuzsanna for a wonderful time. The work and experiences themselves were amazing. I’ll never forget the large group of juvenile dolphins showing stereotypical teenage behaviour (shoving, pushing, playing and flirting with each other), the two dead sea turtles we found, or the worry on our final boat trip that we wouldn’t see any dolphins. I wish I was able to stay and carry on working on this project, preferably with this team, but I have to return to the UK. So it’s with fond memories and sadness that I say farewell to Vonitsa and my first Earthwatch experience. I’ll definitely be trying to get on others, possibly this one again, and also to support Tethys.
As the expedition drew nearer, we tried to keep our expectations as reasonable as possible. So many people had told us of the beauty of Greece and of the incredible food for years leading up to our flight to Athens and bus ride to Vonitsa. Now as we wrap up our Earthwatch expedition I can safely say that all of our expectations were met and exceeded. Greece delivered the as-promised amazing food, the sights, the generous locals, the heat and the dolphins. But the importance of all of those things pale in comparison to the people we worked with on this expedition. Our volunteer-mates were hard-working yet fun. We immediately connected with both James and Christoph and together we created a memorable expedition. Our leaders, Susie and Marina, were incredibly professional and yet casual at the same time. They made sure that the work got done but also passed along the awe of seeing the dolphins (and jellyfish and turtles, albeit mostly dead ones). As teachers ourselves, we know that many behind-the-scenes details need to get done to make any learning experience happen. Susie and Marina undoubtedly worked very hard to provide the best possible experience for us. Their dedication and hard work led to great days on the sea and wonderful learning opportunities on land. Their love of the animals and of their work was infectious. And, of course, their sense of humor brought smiles everyday. They are scientists, for sure, and we are not, but they made us feel like a vital part of a team doing important research. On one of the first days we were lucky enough to spot 4 dolphins in Kalamos after many prior trips (before we arrived) turned up none. But even before that turn of good luck, we noted what an amazing thing Earthwatch is able to do. Our van was like a little United Nations with American, Austrian, Brit, Hungarian, and Italian practicing bits of Greek sharing our own cultural quirks. We traded pieces of our own lives back home to make for an enriching experience. We have become more aware consumers of fish and more appreciative of the work that scientists do. We will bring home a new-found respect for the sea and for the people that tend it. Most importantly we will return home having made 4 great friends and so many memories we will never forget. The expedition far exceeded our expectations because of the wonderful people we were able to share it with. Thanks for everything! Efharisto para poli!
Rick and Jen, USA
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:11
17 August 2009
I have been to many different whale and dolphin projects around the world. This was the largest group I have experienced, and I must say that the crew really did an excellent job in getting 11 volunteers organized into working shifts and dividing all the tasks. As a scientist I know it is not easy to do your research and at the same time try to keep a group of non-scientists (the volunteers) happy. But you all Alessia, Enrico, Claudia, Adriana and captain Roberto always kept a happy smile, and kept your patience to explain everything to us. In particular, this crew did the best teaching job that I have encountered, giving lectures and continuous explanations about all the technical stuff about whales and dolphins. Roberto, I was amazed about your skill in manouvering the boat around whales and dolphins! Alessia, at your (young) age, you are an excellent Principal Investigator, always friendly and casual, never too bossy or overpowering, but totally in control. My congratulations. Keep up the good work and enthousiasm in the future, so that many people can learn about whales and dolphins from you. You are doing an excellent job.
Hello again! This was the second consecutive week I have been onboard the Pelagos and I can only add to what I wrote above for the first week. I was so happy that I spent two weeks with this wonderful research project. The first week was like a dry run (pun intended) where I got used to all of the conditions onboard a research vessel (not least, sea sickness which I am happy to report completely disappeared this week without the need of a patch!); how the shifts work, learning about cetacean biology and behaviour, and just getting to know the routines of the boat. This was all a fantastic experience but I feel that I got so much more out of the trip by staying an extra week. What was once new and a little strange became familiar and I felt that I could really participate in the research this time. As wonderful as it was to see these animals in their natural habitat I took just as much pleasure in the knowledge that in some small way I had contributed to the research and study of them. The highlight for me was taking the respiration patterns with my friends, Camilla and Roland, during the ‘days of the sperm whales’ when we must have made around 7 or 8 sightings of them. This was a very busy time and all of the researchers were under some stress to gather as much data as possible which only goes to underline how open and generous they were with their time. Even during this busy week when they were so busy they always had time explain what we were doing and to answer all of my (many!) questions. After such a busy few days we were so lucky to be rewarded by two fantastic presents from the sperm whales. The first occurred at the end one day when we made our last sighting and data collection. The sun was setting over the ocean and as the shimmering orange light slowly faded away we observed the whale for the final time. Everyone was silent and all we could hear was the blow of the whale and someone calling the respiration intervals (me!). When the whale finally dive it was a truly magical moment. The next day we were treated to a bit more excitement as we were witness to a spectacular breach of the sperm whale. A little tip to all future participants: when the sperm whale dives and you have finished taking your photos and videos, hang around for a few more seconds as it just might come rushing back up to the surface in an amazing display of power and grace. I have already given my thoughts last week on the crew but I would just like to mention the new addition this week. Adriana joined us and you could not wish to meet a friendlier, more open person. Thank you for all of the delicious meals you cooked and also for explaining so many things to me. Don’t forget to think of me when you see those things ‘bobbing up and down’ in the sea! So, what a fantastic 2 weeks! Thanks again to Roberto, Alessia, Enrico, Claudia, and Adriana and all of the people I met. Seeing amazing things is only half of what makes an unforgettable experience. The people you share the experience with is just as important and I feel really lucky in this regard. Good luck in the future, stay in touch and have a wonderful life.
Ciao ragazzi, equipaggio e ospiti. Ho passato una stupenda ed intensissima settimana, non avrei mai creduto di imparare così tante cose e vedere così tanti cetacei. E’ con il mio cuore in mano che scrivo queste righe perché significa che è il momento di lasciarsi. Ricordo tutte le vostre espressioni mentre abbiamo fatto il nostro primo avvistamento, ricordo tutti i bei momenti passati sul ponte e nei turni di notte. E’ stato bellissimo condividere con voi tutto questo. Un’esperienza che mi ha segnato il cuore indelebilmente per tutta la vita e che tramanderò ai miei figli. Questa settimana è stata una delle più importanti della mia vita, vorrei abbracciarvi. E’ incredibile come in barca si rompano i più grandi amori ma anche come iniziano le più grandi amicizie. E’ stato bellissimo fare tutto questo con voi. Mi commuovo pensando ai capodogli, alle tartarughe con i pesciolini sotto alla loro ombra, l’eleganza degli zifi e poi scoppio in lacrime mentre penso alle stenelle con i loro piccoli che giocano sotto alla prua della barca… il mare è una poesia.
Ciao a tutti, scrivo alla fine di questa esperienza nel caos delle ultime pulizie e del ri-assettaggio del fantastico Pelagos che ci ha portato in posti difficilmente descrivibili a parole e con tempi che non seguono il lineare corso delle ore. Leggevo, prima di venire che le balene hanno una particolare “aura” non immaginabile per chi non abbia avuto l’esperienza di vederle. Sono completamente d’accordo: vedere questi giganteschi animali che emergono con maestosità ed eleganza dalle profondità di un mondo così misterioso è un regalo immenso che porterò sempre con me. Un grazie quindi a tutti gli animali che abbiamo visto e che ci hanno mostrato con grande gentilezza uno stralcio della loro vita e un grazie anche a tutti gli animali della specie Homo sapiens che hanno condiviso con me questa esperienza e che ricorderò con grande affetto.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:20
16 August 2009
UNFORGETTABLE. Thank you Tethys Team, thank you dolphins… And I’ll never say again: ‘‘le thon… c’est bon!’’
How lucky I was when I clicked on a website which led me to Tethys' dolphin conservation project in Galaxidi. I was just expecting a 7-day break in Greece to discover dolphins in their environment… I got this and so much more. Let’s start by the beginning: the nice little city of Galaxidi and the confortable on-the-top-of-the-hill house managed by a warm and welcoming team. Then, daily sessions to learn about dolphins, overfishing, global impact of our contemporary way of living on Earth resources. Thanks to these talks and to the documentaries we watched, you do not remain a simple volunteer fond of wild cetaceans, you have the chance to reconsider your own role as a citizen in this world. This aspect of the stay was unexpected and, in my view, essential and so well presented and conducted by Joan and Silvia. Bravo and thank you for your commitment to my conciousness raising. Let’s move on to the boat settings to observe dolphins and other creatures. There is no words to express the feelings you have when you are in a boat surrounded by hundreds of dolphins playing together, bowriding… I just wish that anyone could have this chance once in a lifetime, together with passionate team members who respect the animals. It was just unforgettable and spectacular. At the same time, with the Tethys team, the chance is not only to watch and admire dolphins but to help counting them, recording their different behaviours, localising the groups and then cropping the pictures, matching the dorsal fins etc. It is worth to take part in this aspect of the daily work as it is just indispensable to better know dolphins and carry on protecting them. This week was also the demonstration that you can deal with serious issues and topics with pleasure, humour, lots of laughs and bottles of wine! I have very much appreciated Aina’s patience (I wish you the best for your thesis), Joan’s sense of humour, knowledge and dedication (I wish you good luck for your PhD and the best for your life… and don’t forget to buy sunglasses!) and Silvia’s pedagogic talents and warm presence (I hope to meet you in France in the future). Thanks again to the three of you for making this week so unique, and to the Tethys’ Board to keep this programme sustainable. A bientot! C’etait formidable!
‘Nous avons tous la tete dans le caniveau mais certains d’entre nous savent regarder les etoiles’ --Oscar Wilde
Here, in Galaxidi, to see stars just look at dolphin’s eyes. I saw them… so thanks a lot for this to you Aina, Silvia, Joan (sweety so tired grizzly ☺). Thanks for your kindness and your patience!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:31
15 August 2009
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Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:57
14 August 2009
A new web site (in English and Italian) has been created to document the problem of collisions between ships and cetaceans - particularly large animals such as fin whales and sperm whales.
The site was made by the Tethys Research Institute to document and raise awareness on the problem in Mediterranean waters, where collisions represent a significant threat.
The project, funded by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, is being conducted in collaboration with ACCOBAMS and the IWC.
Visit the web site: www.collisioni.org
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 07:33
Al via un progetto che coinvolge compagnie marittime, capitanerie e diportisti per salvaguardare i cetacei del Mediterraneo
L’istituto Tethys ha avviato in questi giorni il Progetto Collisioni, che si propone di ridurre il rischio di incidenti tra imbarcazioni e grandi cetacei. Per la balenottera comune e il capodoglio - i due cetacei più grandi - le collisioni con traghetti, cargo e navi da crociera rappresentano una delle principali cause di morte.
“Nelle acque del Santuario internazionale dei mammiferi marini muoiono ogni anno decine di balene in seguito a un evento di collisione e data la gravità della situazione è necessario individuare una serie di misure per mitigare il più possibile il problema” afferma Simone Panigada, vicepresidente di Tethys e coordinatore scientifico del progetto.
Grazie a un finanziamento del Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare e alla collaborazione di ACCOBAMS e IWC, l’Istituto Tethys svilupperà una serie di azioni di ricerca e di sensibilizzazione per la tutela dei cetacei.
E’ stato anche realizzato un sito (in italiano e in inglese) con informazioni e immagini di collisioni. Gli utenti possono segnalare l’avvistamento di un cetaceo che riporti i segni di un incidente, compilando un’apposita scheda. Inoltre sono stati prodotti un gran numero di adesivi e di poster che verranno distribuiti in porti italiani e francesi allo scopo di sensibilizzare e informare su questo problema.
Il progetto prevede la creazione di un network che coinvolgerà istituti di ricerca, capitanerie di porto e compagnie di navigazione, al fine di facilitare lo scambio di informazioni e creare una banca dati mediterranea sulle collisioni.
www.collisioni.org - il sito sulle collisioni realizzato da Tethys
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:09
13 August 2009
Students often find it difficult to metabolise the rules behind scientific writing. They may confuse Methods with Results, or describe their study area in the Discussion section -- something that may horrify the expert reader.
The reason why many students have such problem is probably simple: nobody ever taught them how to do it right.
Then just consider a D.I.Y. approach: it may do miracles here. A simple Google search may come to your rescue. Digit something like "how to write a scientific paper" and see what pops up.
I just tried it and the following site appeared on the top of the list:
I haven't explored any further, but this first hit seems to be good enough for most problems faced by students when the time comes to write their thesis, or their first scientific article.
Happy reading, and then happy writing!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 15:14
12 August 2009
Apparently, very very wrong.
We just don't see reality as it is, as any Buddhist or other meditator would tell.
We make it up all the time.
A funny example, which admittedly has little to do with Buddhism and much to do with Gestalt, is the famous figure enclosed here (click on it to expand).
Are squares A and B of the same colour? Of course not: one is white and the other is grey. Well, one is dark grey and the other is light grey. In any case, it can't be the same colour. No way.
Until you have a better look, process the image with PhotoShop, or visit the web site below:
Don't trust your illusions!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:32
11 August 2009
All of it was so emotive! I never met Risso’s dolphins, sperm whales and Cuvier’s beaked whales and I’m so happy they showed us their beauty. The researchers we’re really helpful and shared their passion on work always, we were at home with everybody, thank you very much. I hope someday we can repeat this wonderful week with you and cetaceans will live free in our loved Mediterranean. See you soon!
The BEST week of my life!!! I could definitely live like this. All the cetaceans we saw were so beautiful and amazing. I definitely want to come back next year. My favourite was the Risso’s dolphins, as they are so beautiful. The researchers and the captain were all very friendly and welcoming and the food was great, especially the cakes! I am very sad to leave. I wish I had another week on board! I wish you all the best of luck for the rest of the season. Next time, I want to see a fin whale ☺ See you next year!
It’s amazing to see people so enamoured and passionate - to have love like this for animals is something that brings more to the world, and I can only hope that more people experience this and some of it ‘rubs off’. Just like the dolphins and whales that touch each other you have touched me. Thank you so much – please keep in contact and I hope I can continue to help you with your work. Love.
Non so più cosa dire. È stata la seconda volta che ho passato una settimana sulla “Pelagos” e devo dire che qua mi sento più a casa che in qualsiasi altro luogo. Ho solo 17 anni ma è già da tanto che amo il mare e in particolare i cetacei. Però non è soltanto questo che mi fa voler ritornare il più presto possibile o meglio semplicemente non andarmene mai più. È il team dell’ istituto Tethys lavorando sulla barca che ti passa la passione per i cetacei del mediterraneo. È la barca che per 17 persone non è grande però è bellissima e il posto più bello per passare una settimana d’estate che si può trovare. È anche il capitano che, anche dopo una giornata senza avvistamenti, mi ha fatto essere ancora contenta, dicendomi: “La cosa più bella sulle balene e sui delfini è che sono libere. E perché sono libere un giorno li vedi, un giorno non li vedi. E se poi li vedi è un regalo.” Tuttavia, l’ esperienza è “bittersweet”. Guardando il video sui delfini comuni mediterranei di cui ci sono ancora quindici – o dieci – o forse zero, ci sono venute le lacrime agli occhi. In questa settimana siamo riusciti a vedere capodogli – giganti e impressionanti, un sacco di stenelle – divertenti e carinissimi, zifi – rari e bellissimi, e grampi – speciali e individuali. Una settimana meravigliosa, anche perché non siamo entrati nel porto per quattro giorni (!). Ho imparato molto e il cibo era favoloso. Grazie al team e al capitano, non dimenticherò mai le esperienze fatte nei giorni passati e spero tanto di poter ritornare presto. Grazie!!!
Julia (17), Italy
A lot can happen in a week. Dolphin. That’s the one like Flipper, right? Does the tricks at Seaworld and has a big grin. Sperm Whale. That one’s easy. Moby Dick. Fin Whale. Er, it has a fin? Just one short week ago that was about the sum of my knowledge of odontocetes and mysticetes. You see, a lot really can change in a week. I could write about the magnificent animals that we were so fortunate to see. Or I could write about all of the knowledge and facts that the researchers were so generous in teaching me. But instead, I’d rather say how much the last week has changed me. I decided to come to the Tethys programme as I did not know anything about whales and dolphins and if truth be told I had not previously been particularly interested in them. Not that I was indifferent to their plight, but rather that they had never really registered on the radar before. Or should that be echolocation? (Crikey, another thing I learnt). The two things that began to change my attitude to these animals were seeing them in he wild, and listening and feeling to the passion and dedication the researchers had for them. Pictures and TV programmes just cannot do justice to the speed and agility of a striped dolphin or the size and power of a sperm whale. Seeing them free and in their natural habitat gives a whole new perspective the them. But seeing a Curvier's beaked whale on the surface for a few magical moments gives you only a glimpse at the real animal. It was listening and talking to the reasearchers that really made me realise how special and important these animals are. So a big thanks to Alessia, Enrico, Morgana, Claudia and Roberto. There can always be a danger in anthropomorphism, in that sometimes we take a decision regarding a species not on what is best for the animal but rather on what is best for us. What I learnt during this week is that we should not only help and protect these dolphins and whales because they give us pleasure, but also because a world where these magnificent animals can not survive and flourish is probably a world in which we will not survive and flourish too. Finally, there can sometimes be a little trepidation before embarking on a new adventure like this. I can sincerely say that I could not have wished to spend a week on a boat, in the middle of the Ligurian Sea with a nicer, more interesting group of people. Hope you all have a wonderful life.
Thank you all so much - Enrico, Claudia who knows almost everything, Morgana, Alessia the actress who first told us of the mysteries of the Mysticetes, e il capitano Roberto who helped us all feel safe – indubitabilmente! It has been wonderful living with you and the other volunteers for a few days, and sharing our lives together. You have taken us to some wild and beautiful places - we especially remember waiting still and quiet in the open sea, out of sight of land, for the Cuvier’s beaked whales to surface again, and also the striped dolphins playing around the boat and the bow. You have organised us with a good mixture of authority, charm, knowledge and kindness without over-control - molto simpatico (there is no English word for simpatico because we are not good at doing this!). Although this was an experience of great beauty for us it was also bittersweet because we all know of the dangers these animals, and we ourselves, now face.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 11:26
10 August 2009
The Earthwatch experience in Vonitsa was everything I had hoped it would be and much more. Not only did we get a good insight into the daily work of a marine researcher. We also got the privilege to be touched by the passion of Susie and Marina – two of the true heroes in Tethys; one of the organizations that stand between us and the total collapse of sea life as we have known it from the birth of mankind until today. I think I speak for all the team members (in what I would absolutely call a stellar team) when I say that we will all return to our home countries filled with inspiration to make a difference in the fight for our oceans. That was the serious part. On top of that, I have had an absolutely wonderful time here. With warm, generous and fun people, both the team members and of course our hosts: diligent, helpful and sweet Susie and energetic, bubbly, Berlusconi-bashing Marina. Add to that the stunning Greek landscape, wholesome delicious food and the one around which everything revolves: Posi the dog. I could not possibly have spent a better 9 days!
The summerheat of Greece seems to have melted the normally cold hart of this Scandinavian. I am feeling quite emotional about having to leave Vonitsa and getting on the plane home tomorrow. My expectations for this expedition were met and surpassed. Learning about the research was interesting and a great eye opener. Spotting dolphins was exiting, but the interaction with my fellow team mates and the researchers was without a doubt the best part. I have gained great respect for all the hard work and dedication required to give us -amateurs- a short glipse of the work of a marine biologist. Thank you so much! Finally, I would like to give HUGE thanks to Marina and Zsuzsanna for taking such good care of us. Marina, you showed so much knowledge, energy and passion that I almost want to become a marine biologist myself. Susie, although you can be a bit bossy at times, I am just lost for words to describe how much I appreciate the effort you have put into guiding us through the expedition. It wouldn′t have been the same without you.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 09:20
08 August 2009
I have always wanted to observe dolphins in the wild, and this summer 2009 it finally came true thanks to Tethys! When we first spotted the dolphins and came close to them, I was hypnotysed and could not take my eyes off them! When the dolphin looks in your eyes, the heart stops and there is nothing else. It’s you and the dolphin. Nothing else matters. It took me a while to switch my attention to my assigned task with the equipment! I want to thank the organisers of this program for the great idea of involving volunteers into research work and bringing up that idea to life! The experience of all living in the same house, cooking together, doing house work and spending time on the boat makes one feel part of a family. At the end of the week, I have a different perspective of looking at the dolphins and life in general and made new friends!
"Girls you are so lucky! You saw all three species of dolphins in just two days!" - the researchers told us. Yes, we saw bottlenose, common and striped dolphins in our first two days out to sea, but that’s not what made us so lucky… The Tethys Research Institute’s volunteer program was definitely an experience we’ll all remember. From cooking and cleaning, to identifying dolphins by matching dorsal fins, we did it together - and shared a bond that only getting on a little inflatable boat at 8 AM could create. Out at sea, I think every one of us discovered a little portion of their identity. Yet at the same time, our relationships with fellow volunteers, the researchers, the dolphins, and nature as a whole grew as well. Every day, we learned a little more about the program, the dolphins, each other, and ourselves. By the end of the week, we were a family. We all came from different countries and had different backgrounds and unique life stories, but when the dolphins zig-zagged playfully at the bow of the boat, we all embarked on one unanimous emotional adventure. Sure, we appreciate seeing all three dolphin species in the first two days we went out to sea. But I want to thank Tethys for letting us become part of the little family they have here at Galaxidi, and transforming what could have been just a regular volunteer project into something much more. I think what made us truly lucky was that we were able to be part of such a special project - one that turned the house we stayed in into a home.
The project brings home the aspects of nature not normally advertised in public society today. Here at the project, we have learnt so much more than we ever imagined about the nature of the sea and the damage humans are doing to it. However, learning in such a beautiful landscape and in such fantastic company we saw only what we had dreamt about. The intelligence and gentle behaviour portrayed by the dolphins was breathtaking, they were so sociable with each other and acted so perfectly as a team, it moved us deep inside. We were so lucky to see all three types of dolphins - bottlenose, common and striped. And also a sea turtle! Each animal filled us with amazement and left us quite emotional especially knowing the background of the troubles faced by all sea creatures. The team in Galaxidi was an inspiration since the beginning. Their care and hard work towards us and the dolphins was outstanding and we felt honoured to be with them. The researchers seemed to be so compassionate and there was something quite special about their love, dedication and interest for cetaceans. We have the same interestes as the researchers, which helped to create a strong sense of family among our group.
Nadine, Germany, and Grace, U.K.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 07:26
06 August 2009
Il collaboratore di Tethys Enrico Pirotta si è brillantemente laureato (cum laude) con una tesi intitolata:
Distribuzione ed ecologia del grampo, Grampus griseus (Cuvier, 1812), nel Mar Ligure occidentale in relazione a parametri fisiografici, oceanografici e biologici.
La tesi è stata svolta nell'ambito della Laurea specialistica in Biologia Marina presso l'Università di Pisa (relatori: Alberto Castelli e Arianna Azzellino).
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 14:20
05 August 2009
Se faccio i conti e realizzo che sono stata lontana dal lavoro di campo in Mar Ligure per 10 anni faccio fatica a crederci, dopo una settimana su Pelagos mi pare di non aver mai interrotto.
Certo, la barca non è più la “nostra“ Gemini, comandante e ricercatori si sono avvicendati, i protocolli di ricerca si sono evoluti, le domande cui dobbiamo rispondere sono più complesse, ma la passione e l’emozione sono le stesse di allora, e sono riemerse prepotenti.
Nonostante una crociera ricca di avvistamenti, che hanno spaziato dai capodogli ai globicefali, dai tonni alle mobule, dalle tartarughe alle sule e alle libellule (mancavano giusto gli anfibi, come categoria), non abbiamo incontrato nemmeno una balenottera, la “mia” specie, quindi temo che dovrò ricorrere a questo pretesto per tornare al più presto alla postazione di avvistamento…
Grazie a Elisa e Mauro, competenti e affidabili, e con cui mi sono trovata davvero bene, a Morgana e Claudia, al Comandante Roberto e naturalmente a Sabina per un progetto gestito brillantemente sia dal punto di vista scientifico che organizzativo.
Mi chiamate quando c’è un buco?
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:28
03 August 2009
Osservare cetacei in libertà, nel loro ambiente naturale, potendo esprimere la loro totale essenza credo sia qualcosa di indescrivibile… non potrei andarmene più contenta per i numerosi avvistamenti fatti! Ringrazio tutto lo staff per aver risposto in maniera esaustiva a tutte le mie domande, potervi vedere al lavoro per me è stata una bellissima occasione… prenderò esempio da voi!
A week with amazing sightings, good weather, an international group of people, a friendly crew and, of course, the most beautiful ship in the world: Pelagos. We were very lucky to see five sperm whales, a big group of pilot whales, striped dolphins, sea turtles, two manta rays and other animals. I didn’t expected to see so many different species which were sometimes just one or two meters away from you. Seeing whales and dolphins in the wild is an experience you will never forget! When they jump out of the water it’s just like – WOW! We also saw a sperm whale jumping, which is a very unusual behaviour. His whole body was in the air and I’ll never forget that unbelievable amazing picture, I’m sure. This week was one of the best in my life, so thanks to Morgana, Elisa, Claudia, Margherita, Roberto and Mauro, who made it so unforgettable.
I knew that this week had the potential to be a great experience but I couldn’t imagine just how thrilling it would be see to see the whales and the dolphins up so close in their natural habitat. There was so much we were lucky with - the group, the crew, the weather was absolutely perfect and so many sightings of different creatures. Sadly there were no fin whales to be seen but having the pilot whales spend so long with us more than made up for it (and filled up my memory card and discharged my camera batteries). And whilst swimming in the sea was most refreshing, I tried not too hard to think about just how deep the water was beneath me! I had a great week despite the sleep I lost because of the nightshifts, although a rather closer encounter than was necessary given the open sea with a sailing boat that seemed not to know what direction they were travelling in, during our second night shift added to an otherwise rather quiet time! The memories of the week, which went far too quickly will stay with me for a very long time.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:09
02 August 2009
A memorable and wonderful week.
Day 1: Rough sea, just trying to stay aboard and exercising back muscles. All very impressed by Silvia’s skills at driving the inflatable. Hot sweaty night.
Day 2: Calmer sea, but still bumpy. Caught sight of something like a dorsal fin, adrenalin rush, and yes it was a dolphin! but no! A plastic one. We tried to reanimate it, but there was nothing to do anymore. Continued the search for real ones. Unfortunately no more dolphins that day, either plastic or alive. Consoled ourself with sweet pastries and cookies from the Itea bakery.
Day 3: Hopeful for our lucky day, and now Nadine had arrived to complete the team. The sea was pretty calm (state 1) in the bay but then varied from state 1 to 6. Sightings: dead juvenile sea turtle (or part of it), and two brown reddish jellyfish. No dolphins though, but we ended our morning with a fresh dip in the sea during which Silvia showed us a beautiful red starfish. That night a dressed-up dinner at a delightful family restaurant.
Day 4: Bad weather, still no dolphins.
It was time to take control of events… FORGET ABOUT SCIENCE AND START PRAYING. The intrepid team devised a multi-pronged attack. Greek Orthodox Church (light candelizzas). Consult the Delphi Oracle (with an offering of a dead tuna jawbone discovered on a beach). Psycho-social group therapy session (Dolphin Celebration Ritual: purchase of stone dolphin totem, further use of totem as ‘talking stick’). New Age: dolphin totem ritual at breakfast (candlelight & totem-at-table). Yoga: practice of newly created ‘dolphin salutation’ by all, including those who don’t do yoga). Superstition: Aina’s pants inside out (and who knows what else was done privately?). GUESS WHAT, IT WORKED!
Last Day: Thanks to Aina’s sharp eyes, we discovered a school of 26 striped dolphins by 9.45am: mothers with newborns, juveniles, complete with leaps & bounds, Curley (an old favorite but this time swimming with a calf) and a new favorite with asthma, who gave little rasping breaths on surfacing.
We want to thank the wonderful team of Silvia, Aina and Giovanni for: their incredible competence, patience, intelligence, stimulating and interesting lectures, charm, humour, waking us up, consideration, boat driving skills, memorable discussions, depressing films, great organization, hard work, focused passion and inspiration.
There is a saying: quando una pianta cade fa rumore, una foresta che cresce non fa rumore ma è molto più forte (a falling tree makes a big noise, but a forest that grows in silence has more power). We are positive that your effort will have the same result. Thank you!
Roberta & Christian, Italy
Petra, The Netherlands
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 09:15
01 August 2009
by Rachel Carson
Mariner Books, 2002 (first published in 1962)
The book is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement. When Silent Spring was published, Rachel Carson was already a well-known writer on natural history, but had not previously been a social critic. The book was widely read (especially after its selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the New York Times best-seller list), and inspired widespread public concerns with pesticides and pollution of the environment. Silent Spring facilitated the ban of the pesticide DDT in 1972 in the United States. The book documented detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds. Carson said that DDT had been found to cause thinner egg shells and result in reproductive problems and death. She also accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. (from Wikipedia)
Also see: NRDC - The story of Silent Spring
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Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:19