Former REU Has a Whale of a Story!

Jeremy Goldbogen, a Summer 2001 Intern in the Fort Johnson REU Program, has made some stunning discoveries regarding the mechanics of foraging behavior in rorqual whales. Jeremy related the story of his research exploits to the 2009 Fort Johnson REU Interns as part of the new Summer Program lecture series Fort Johnson REUs Reporting Home. Jeremy’s findings form the basis for his soon-to-be defended PhD dissertation at the the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. His work has received extensive coverage in the popular press, such as the New York Times. Listen to the CBC radio podcast.

Dr. Julian R. Harrison, III (1934-2009)

Julian R. Harrison, III

Dr. Julian Harrison, III (1934-2009) was Professor Emeritus of Biology at the College of Charleston and was fascinated with natural history from a young age. He volunteered at the Charleston Museum where he helped with Nature Trailers, an afterschool program for children. He graduated from the College of Charleston in 1956 and completed a masters degree at Duke University and was awarded a PhD from the University of Notre Dame. In 1963 he became a Biology faculty member at the College of Charleston where he served with distinction until 1994 when he retired. Dr. Harrison remained an active member of the scientific community.

Long-time faculty member at the College Charles K. “Chip” Biernbaum remembers his friend and colleague. “The College of Charleston family suffered a major loss Friday, May 15th with the passing of Julian Harrison. A native Charlestonian and alumnus of the College (class of 1956), Julian joined its faculty in 1963. He was a classical naturalist, beginning his scientific exploration of natural areas of the Carolinas as a ten-year-old with the Charleston Museum, serving as an important volunteer at the Museum up through his college years. He focused his research on amphibians and mollusks of the two regions he loved the most, the South Carolina Lowcountry and the southern Blue Ridge Mountains — he was a highly respected authority on the salamanders of the southeastern US. A quiet, unassuming, hard-working gentleman, Julian was respected and admired by his fellow faculty members and his many students. He and I were very close, frequently doing research together in a variety of habitats. I learned a great deal from him as he served as a very important friend and mentor while I matured as a faculty member at the CofC. Julian was a very special person and will be sorely missed.”

Former GPMB Graduate Awarded Teaching Honors

A former College of Charleston Marine Biology Masters graduate has received great honors for her work in Charleston County School District. Katherine Lee Metzner-Roop, a teacher at Academic Magnet High School, has been named the South Carolina Academy of Science’s 2009 Teacher of the Year. Metzner-Roop was recently honored in Columbia, SC at the Academy of Science and Junior Academy of Science meeting. Not only has she been named 2009’s Science Teacher of the Year, but she was also named Teacher of the Year (2003-04) at her school as well as the Junior Science Academy Sponsor of the Year (2004-05). She has been making a difference teaching in Charleston County Schools for seventeen years and has been shaping lives at the College of Charleston for nine years. Congratulations Katherine!

Dr. Sancho and his Research Team in Spain

Dr. Gorka Sancho is currently on sabbatical leave in Spain.  He has been working on two different projects. The first includes coordinating an angler-lead tagging program of dolphinfish in the Western Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic.  This project is done in collaboration with Don Hammond of the Dolphinfish Research Program in Charleston and the anglers from the Confederacion Española de Pesca Maritima de Recreo Responsable. Tagging of dolphinfish will start in August of 2009, and will provide information on movement patterns of this pelagic species in the Atlantic Ocean.  This research will compliment the extensive dataset collected in the Western Atlantic by the Dolphinfish Research Program. His second project has been in collaboration with Courtney Murren and Matt Rutter from the CofC Biology Department.  Dr. Sancho and his research team has been collecting large amounts of field data on the natural history and ecology of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small annual plant that grows in the surroundings of Trujllo. With the help of Laura Ferguson, a marine biology undergraduate student, they have monitored, measured and collected seeds from over 100 plants from two different river basins (Tajo and Guadiana). A lot of preliminary work has been done locating populations of this plant, which will hopefully lead to future intensive studies of this plant species in the years to come.