Stories from the Gulf of Maine and Beyond...

Great White Shark Cafe

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 by Jessica

Scientists have a lot left to learn about great white sharks, but one of their biggest questions lies in why a large group of sharks were gathering together more than 1,000 miles off of the coast of California to water without many nutrients in it. These ocean giants travel away from their food sources,...



Thursday, May 24, 2018 by Catherine

If you’ve been to LabVenture! in the past several weeks, chances are you got a chance to observe some pretty amazing creatures in the plankton sample jars. Every morning, the educators do a plankton tow on the dock behind GMRI to gather up samples of ocean water for our students to study. The...


Is That Crab Native or Invasive?

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Natasha

With spring finally here and summer on its way,  you might be spending more time  outdoors, and if you find yourself at Maine’s coastline, hopefully you are doing one of my favorite activities: tidepooling! When you explore tide pools, you most likely will spot some juvenile crabs...


North Atlantic Right Whales

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 by Jessica

There are lots of different marine mammals that live in the Gulf of Maine, but one of the coolest are the North Atlantic Right Whales. They can be spotted in the water from the V shaped blow that is visible at the surface when they come up to breathe. Once you get closer to these whales, you can see...


City Nature Challenge April 27-30

Monday, April 23, 2018

Are you looking for a fun excuse to get outside this spring? Join us in the  City Nature Challenge (CNC)  on April 27-30 (or, as we’re calling it in Maine, the “City” Nature Challenge). Nine Maine counties are going toe-to-toe with some of the world’s biggest cities...


Earth Day - "The World's Largest Environmental Movement"

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Catherine

Happy Earth Day! We on the LabVenture! team love celebrating our amazing Earth every day, but on April 22 nd many others will join in. Since 1970, Earth Day has been a yearly event - a global day of activism and civic engagement with the goal of protecting and improving our one precious planet. The...


Soft Shell Clams in the Gulf of Maine

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Savannah

In terms of seafood, Maine is  perhaps  best known for its lobster; however, one of the other  most lucrative fisheries in the  state is a creature that also builds a  shell  but  lives under the  mud : the  soft shell  clam. ...


Researching Kelp Forests in the Gulf of Maine

Friday, April 6, 2018 by Natasha

A few months ago, I wrote about kelp and how there is research being done in California to see if kelp could be a viable renewable resource. Here in Maine, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has received funding to study the kelp forests of the Gulf of Maine. As a result of climate change, kelp...


Summer in the Gulf of Maine

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Jessica

Researchers at the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences have found that summer is coming to the Gulf of Maine, and it’s looking like it will be longer and warmer than ever. The Gulf of Maine is warming at a faster rate than 99.9 percent of the rest of the world’s oceans, and that...


Baby Barnacles have Arrived!

Monday, March 12, 2018 by Katie

The LabVenture! team counts the plankton that we collect off of the GMRI dock on a regular basis. We monitor the different types of plankton that are present throughout the year and are able to see when certain types of plankton are hatching out. Recently we have noticed the plankton samples bustling...


Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary: the Gulf of Maine's Underwater National Park

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Savannah

A school of cod swim near a shipwreck in the Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary (Image source: Matthew Lawrence, NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary) Have you ever been to Acadia National Park? Or other cool parks around the country? I love being outdoors in places like these....


All Lit Up!

Friday, March 2, 2018 by Natasha

Last week the U.S. Postal Service released a new set of Forever Stamps which feature deep sea aquatic species that are all bioluminescent. Three of the ten new stamps display photos of creatures that were taken in the Gulf of Maine, including a deep-ocean octopus, a mid-water jellyfish and a crown...


Skates in the Gulf of Maine

Monday, February 26, 2018 by Jessica

When most people from Maine think of skates, they think of what you use to move around on ice, but skates are also a type of fish! Skates are a type of cartilaginous fish, which means that instead of having skeletons made of bones, they are made of tough, flexible cartilage. They have flat, rounded...


Tide Pools in Winter

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Catherine Griset

Tide Pools in Winter   Lately we’ve been talking about Sea Level Rise in LabVenture!, and how it will affect important coastal habitats. One of the coastal habitats that we have a lot of here in Maine is the rocky intertidal zone. This is where we find tide pools, the rocky area between...


Snow day!! the ocean?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by Savannah

There is snow in the forecast here in Portland over the next couple of days.  Did you know that it also "snows" in the ocean? Marine snow isn't made of regular s nowflakes ,  though ; it' s actually  made up of  tiny  pieces of  debris . M arine snow ...


Between Land and Ocean: Investigating Coastal Habitats

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 by Natasha

When I think about the Gulf of Maine, I usually think about the deep, open ocean waters, whales and schools of large fish. But the open ocean is just one part of the Gulf of Maine. Coastal habitats are found right between the land and the ocean, and are essential habitats for maintaining marine biodiversity...


Fish and Ships

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Jessica

When ships travel throughout the ocean, they make noise underwater that can impact marine life. There have been lots of studies done on how these noises can affect marine mammals, like whales and dolphins, but recently scientists have studied how ship noise is limiting the distance that Atlantic cod...


Sea Smoke

Friday, January 5, 2018 by Katie

It has been pretty chilly in Maine these last few weeks! Check out this photo of the waterfront, which was taken from the back of our building. It is neat to see the sea smoke swirling above the water. The smoke forms when very cold air moves over the warmer temperature water. You can see it on ponds,...


Corals of the Gulf of Maine

Monday, December 18, 2017 by Natasha

  If you have ever visited the Caribbean or Australia, or if you have seen the movie,  Finding Nemo , then you have probably heard of coral reefs, “important marine ecosystems found in clear, shallow, tropical waters around the world” ( National Aquarium ). But did you...


Maine's Atlantic Puffins

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Jessica

Atlantic puffins, also known as sea parrots, are small seabirds that spend most of their lives out at sea, either swimming or resting on top of waves. Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States, with more than 4,000 Atlantic puffins coming to nest there...


Pearls in the Gulf of Maine

Friday, December 8, 2017 by Catherine

Animals have amazing adaptations to the many challenges they face in the wild. Some even take hardships or unique circumstances and turn them into something beautiful, like a pearl.  Pearls are formed when a small particle (grain of sand, speck of food, even a parasite) enters the body...



Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by Julia

Tired of turkey? Trying to avoid those sleep-inducing tryptophans? Maybe your family should try cooking a turkeyfish for Thanksgiving this year! Lionfish, nicknamed “turkeyfish,” could replace the traditional poultry this year. I’ve never eaten lionfish myself, but I’ve heard...


Awareness through Art

Thursday, November 16, 2017 by Katie

Recently I was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, and saw some amazing marine animals as well as some amazing artwork. I was captivated by an exhibit by artist Alison McDonald . The exhibit was called "Message in a Bottle" and featured detailed cutouts of seaweed flowing out of empty plastic...


Tuna heads in the news!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 by Julia

Check out this cool story about bluefin tuna stocks featuring GMRI's very own scientists "Walt the Tuna Decapator" and "Brenda the Bluefin Buff. " Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Stocks Are Rebounding -- But Should The Quota Be Raise?  


Mysterious Sounds from the Deep Ocean

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 by Natasha

A few weeks ago, a student visiting GMRI for a LabVenture! experience with Brunswick Jr. High asked if I had ever heard of “Upsweep” before, which I had not! “Upsweep” is a deep ocean sound recorded by NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) Acoustics...


World's First Floating Wind Farm!

Thursday, November 2, 2017 by Jessica

There are many different types of renewable energy that we can use to power our homes and everything inside of them. One way that we can do this is to use wind turbines, which have large blades that rotate in the wind which can then generate the electricity that we use. Wind turbines are often placed...


Maine's Unique Tides

Monday, October 23, 2017 by Ciera Akins

Did you know that Maine tides are some of the most drastic in the world? We get two high tides and two low tides a day, but unlike a lot of places in the world up to 11 feet of water rises and falls on the shore a day in some places.   “...Did you know that the tide is really a...


Toxic Algae in Casco Bay!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by Julia

A few week ago the LabVenture! team began observing a mysterious green phytoplankton, also know as algae, in our daily plankton samples. The phytoplankton was to small to identify with our microscope, but we could tell there was a lot of it. Eager to solve the mystery, we decided to get a closer look...


Kelp: A New Renewable Resource?

Friday, September 29, 2017 by Natasha

When I hear the term, renewable energy, I usually think of solar panels collecting energy from the sun, or giant wind turbines harnessing wind power. But did you know that scientists right now are researching ways to use plants as an alternative  renewable  energy source ? ...


International Coastal Cleanup Week!

Friday, September 22, 2017 by Jessica

The week of September 16 th -23 rd 2017 is coastal cleanup week in Maine!  Every year thousands of different people help to clean up Maine’s coast during this week. It’s important that we keep our oceans clean for lots of different reasons. Many animals accidentally eat plastic...


What do sea animals do during a hurricane?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Catherine Griset

Though far away from the Gulf of Maine, another area of the Atlantic Ocean has been in the news lately. Two large hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, have hit the Caribbean and the southern coast of North America within the past few weeks. These hurricanes brought with them destructive winds and huge amounts...


Albino lobster blowing up across the region!

Monday, September 11, 2017 by Julia

It turns out that the lavender lobster I posted about a couple weeks ago is even cooler than we thought. Most likely the lobster has a genetic condition called leucism that causes her to be partially albino. Albino means that the animal has no pigment in its body so it is totally white. Mice, rabbits,...


What happens in the ocean during a solar eclipse?

Monday, September 11, 2017 by Ciera Akins

Back in August, on the 21st, there was a historical solar eclipse. This means that the moon temporarily blocks the sun as it is traveling between the Earth and the sun, but how much the sun is covered and how long depends on where you are in the country. It was the first time in 99 years that all lower...


The Lavender Lobster of Casco Bay

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Julia

Let’s start the school year off by learning a little bit about one of Maine’s favorite marine creatures. If you live in Maine you probably know at least a little bit about lobsters, but did you know that live lobsters are not actually red like we see in cartoons? They are actually a brownish...


It's Shark Week 2017!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 by Ciera Akins

It’s Shark Week 2017! Is it your favorite week of the year? If so, why and what’s your favorite part so far? Here is Discovery Channel’s link to all things Shark Week: On this website you can even check out what ancient...


Where are all the Baby Lobsters?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by Ciera Akins

Do you love to eat lobster? Me too! Which is why it is great news that lobster landings, or the amount of lobsters that are being caught, is at an all-time high in Maine. However, scientists are baffled by the low records of baby lobsters. Typically if you count the baby lobsters, you will have a good...


Hanging Scallops by a Thread

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Julia

Scallops are delicious and fantastic creatures! There were a lot of comments on my last post about scallops, so I thought it was time for another. In my last post I talked about scallop aquaculture, which is the farming of scallops, and a method called ear hanging in which the “ear” of...


Manatee Musings

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by Alison

Do you have a favorite marine animal? Mine happens to be the manatee – I know they don’t live in Maine but I just can’t help loving these slow movin g sea cows! Manatees (scientific name Trichechus ) spend their entire lives in the water but like all marine mammals, they need to...


The Ear-Hanging Machine

Monday, May 22, 2017 by Julia

Do you or one of your friends have their ears pierced? Well guess what... scallops can have pierced ears too! Scallops are a marine species that can be grown in aquaculture, or ocean farms. Scallop seed , which is just baby scallops, isn't planted the way corn, lettuce, or watermelon seeds are because...


Steller Watch

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Meredyth

Do you love searching the internet for photos of cute critters?  Then this citizen science project is for you! NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Fisheries Science Center researchers launched a new project that asks everyday people to review some of their thousands of photos to help them with their Steller...


Maine’s Tiny Vampires

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by Julia

It’s that time of year again! The snow has melted, the sun is shinning, and all anyone wants to do is get outside. But don’t forget about ticks! Ticks are tiny insects that can carry several different illnesses. Ticks shouldn’t keep you from going outside this summer, but you should...


Lobster Facts!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by Ciera Akins

Lobster Facts! Lobsters are nocturnal. A 1 pound female can lay 8,000 eggs, a 9 pound female can lay 100,000 eggs. Eggs are carried inside for 9-12 months and then externally, under the tail, for another 9-12 months. It is difficult to determine the age of...


Dolphins Using Fishing Nets!

Monday, May 1, 2017 by Evan

There are often negative associations with dolphins and trawl fishing. Dolphins have been known to get unintentionally caught or tangled up in these nets, often because the dolphins and fishermen are working in the same area. However, if given the opportunity, dolphins will use these trawl nets to...


Loon-y Travels

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 by Alison

Have you ever seen a loon on one of the many lakes or ponds in Maine? Or maybe heard their hauntingly beautiful calls around sundown? But what happens to the loons in the winter? The lakes freeze over making it impossible for loons to catch the fish, amphibians, or crustaceans that they feed on...


Tea Time and Seaweed

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 by Julia

Have you ever tried seaweed snacks? These sheets of dried seaweed have become very popular over the last few years and are available in a variety of flavors like wasabi and cinnamon sugar. I’m a big fan of seaweed snacks, and I’m always on the lookout for new seaweed treats. Recently, I...


Giant Prawn Down Under

Friday, March 24, 2017 by Ciera Akins

A prawn was found that is so big that it can’t be called a shrimp! This leader prawn was found in the Gulf of Carpentaria, which is between Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. It’s not the Gulf of Maine but it just goes to show how amazing and surprising the creatures in the ocean can...


Squids with shells?

Monday, March 13, 2017 by Evan

Did you know that squids used to have shells? Neither did we! It was hundreds of millions of years ago, but once upon a time the ancestors of squids protected themselves through thick shells. So why did that change? Scientists guess that the animals of that time got very good at getting through...


Things are heating up!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 by Alison

Winter is drawing to a close here in Maine (hopefully!), which means summer is wrapping up down in the southern hemisphere. I don’t often think about what summer is like all the way south in Antarctica – I tend to assume it’s always cold and windy with an abundance of penguins. But...


“Hanging Scallops by a Thread”

Friday, February 17, 2017 by Julia

Some people love lobster, or salmon, or oysters, but I love scallops. I love them grilled, baked, and pan fried! They only way I won't eat them is raw. Scalloping is an important fishery in the Gulf of Maine. Most of the scallops I've eaten have been wild harvested. This means that a fisherman goes...


A Lobster Love Story, or not…

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by Julia

Bob the lobster looked deep into the eyes of Lucy the lobster, and said, “It’s too dark down here at the bottom of the Gulf of Maine to see you, so I can’t really tell you how beautiful you are, but will you be my lifelong mate?” How sweet, it’s the perfect lobster...


Girl Power! Women in Science and Ocean Advocacy

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Ciera Akins

Women in Science and Ocean Advocacy Sylvia Earle , an American oceanographer and explorer. She was the first female chief scientist of NOAA, a pioneer of using SCUBA gear and designing deep-sea submarines, the first female explorer-in-residence for National Geographic, held the world record...


What do you think lobsters eat?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Evan

If you've come to GMRI for the  LabVenture!  program, then you know for sure that lobsters eat herring (because that's what we put in the lobster traps!). But what else do you think lobsters might eat?  The answer? Pretty much anything.  Lobsters are opportunistic feeders,...


Can you hear the temperature rising?

Thursday, February 2, 2017 by Alison

Last year, 2016, was the warmest year on record, according to federal science agencies.  It can be hard to conceptualize these rising temperatures, especially when temperatures rise a little bit each year. Scientists at the University of Washington have tried to make this data easier to understand...


Looking back at Climate Change in 2016

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 by Julia

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2017? This is a nice time to look back at the past year, see how we’re doing in our own lives, and find things to do better in the coming year. It’s also a good time for the world to reflect on how we’ve been doing globally. A scientist...


Moving when the water gets hot!

Monday, January 2, 2017 by Evan

Say you’re relaxing in your bedroom—you’re reading a book or doing your homework—and suddenly the room starts to get hotter and hotter until it’s downright uncomfortable. You could turn on a fan or take off your sweatshirt, but most likely you’ll just get up and move...


Not a creature was stirring, not even a (sea) mouse

Monday, December 19, 2016 by Julia

Lobstermen (and lobsterwomen) in the Gulf of Maine pick up some pretty bizarre bycatch in their traps. A lobsterwoman in Casco Bay picked up a fury worm called a sea mouse in one of her traps. Sea mice are polychaetes (pronounced poly-keet ), which is a type of sea worm. They live deep down in the...


Portland's Working Waterfront

Thursday, December 15, 2016 by Alison

Portland’s working waterfront is a unique place. If you’ve been to LabVenture! you might remember the waterfront is a busy workplace; home to fishermen, lobstermen, shipping, sailing, and, of course, science! Were you interested in hearing more about what happens at The International...


Robot Mussels

Monday, November 28, 2016 by Meredyth

One of my favorite activities to do at the beach is to explore what's living in the tide pools. The intertidal is a pretty amazing place that experiences extremes on the daily tidal cycle.  It is also an area that scientists are interested in learning more about. One neat tool they are using...


Turkey Day or Kelp Day?

Monday, November 21, 2016 by Julia

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? Mine is stuffing, but this Thanksgiving I wanted to try something new. I found a recipe for Kelp Mac & Cheese on the Ocean Approved website. Ocean Approved is a local aquaculture company that grows seaweed in Casco Bay. They’re seaweed farmers!...


Supermoons, King Tides, Sea Level Rise, Oh My!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 by Ciera Akins

Today, November 15, 2016 a supermoon caused a king tide to flood parts of Portland slightly. This sounds like something out of a storybook right? But it’s reality! A Supermoon is just a term for the moon when it is full and passing by Earth closer than normal. A king tide is the name of one of...


Check Out What We Caught!

Monday, November 7, 2016 by Evan

The other day during our morning plankton tow, we wound up catching this thing in our net. This ‘thing’ is known as a ctenophore, but it more commonly called a comb jelly. They are not that uncommon, but it is always exciting to catch something this big in our little net! Comb Jellies...


Why do leaves turn colors in the fall?

Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Alison

November is here and despite some warm temperatures this week, we are on a slow and steady march towards winter. But hopefully you have had a chance to get out outside this fall and see all the beautiful fall foliage! And maybe you were left wondering why the leaves turn from green to red or orange...


Unusual Lobster

Friday, October 28, 2016 by Katie

This lobster was caught by a lobstermen off of Deer Isle, ME. There have been lobsters caught with unusual color patterns including: blue, orange, yellow, white, and calico. Sometimes a lobster will be hauled up that is half one color and half another, but not so many that look like this, with only...


Fred the Seagull

Friday, October 14, 2016 by Julia Maine

One of my favorite books is  Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man   by Robert McCloskey. Burt Dow is an old ,  retired fisherman who lives with his sister o ff  the coa st   of  Maine.  From his bright yellow oil skins and  leak y  boat with the make-or-break...


We're On Thin Ice

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 by Ciera Akins

          Who lives in the Arctic anyways? Just penguins and polar bears, right? Actually, 4 million people! These people depend on the waters that surround them to be healthy in order to provide healthy and plentiful food. However, sea ice is melting and ocean temperatures...


Why is the sea salty?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 by Julia Maine

"Why is the sea salty?" a sked one 4 th  grader in New Hampshire. Zach Whitener, from GMRI's research team,  answers her question on Vermont Public Radio's  But Why? A Podcast for Curious Kids . He also explains how mussels get their shells. Check it out if you're...


What makes a mountain?

Monday, October 3, 2016 by Evan

If you’ve ever been to Acadia National Park you’ve probably been to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the park at 1,527 feet. What you probably didn’t realize is that giant chunk of granite used to be miles and miles below the earth’s surface! I went to the...


Iceburg - the rare white killer whale!

Thursday, September 22, 2016 by Alison

Did you know that orca whales (commonly known as killer whales) are part of the family Delphinidae? Delphinidae are oceanic dolphins! And killer whales are the largest known species of dolphin. Although they are not commonly seen in the Gulf of Maine, killer whale sightings have been recorded here....


September is Microplastics Awareness Month!

Monday, September 19, 2016 by Ciera Akins

Plastic pollution is a problem that is impacting marine ecosystems in large ways through very small plastic particles called microplastics. Because plastic never fully breaks down, it only gets smaller and smaller, there is a huge abundance of microplastics, especially in our waterways. They have been...


Where Have all the Mussels Gone?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 by Katie

A couple of weeks ago I was at the beach and walking along the rocks where we used to collect a small amount of mussels to feed our resident lobsters. In the past years we had noticed fewer and fewer blue mussels attached to the rocks. This last visit though, there were no mussels to be seen. Meredyth...


Swordfish in the Gulf of Maine

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 by Meredyth

The Gulf of Maine is filled with lots of really neat plants and animals. In fact, scientists believe that there are over 5,000 different species of plants and animals that spend at least part of their time in the Gulf of Maine. One species that can be found in the Gulf of Maine is the swordfish...


Finding Dory… in a Fishtank

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by Kat Libby

If you’re like me, you’re pretty excited to watch Finding Dory. But did you know that scientists are worried that the movie might cause problems for fish in Australia? After Finding Nemo came out, many more people wanted clownfish as pets, and many clownfish were taken from their wild habitats...


Neat Plankton

Thursday, June 2, 2016 by Katie

As the weather is warming and marine organisms are starting to hatch out, we are catching some really neat plankton in our plankton tows! Some neat critters we are finding are: copepods, larval barnacles, annelid worms, any many species of jellyfish. Check out this video to see comb jellies...


Are you a striper fisherman?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Meredyth

Do you spend time in the warm months fishing for striped bass? Would you like to contribute to science and what we know about this species? GMRI is partnering with the Maine chapter of The Coastal Conservation Association on a citizen science project called Snap-a-Striper. The project is hoping...


Photo of the Day

Friday, April 29, 2016 by Katie

Check out this photo taken at Portland Head Light after a storm that produced very high seas. The waves were very impressive and made for a great photo opportunity!  Do you enjoy nature photography? If so, what is your favorite subject to take photos of?


Fishing Stories!

Friday, April 1, 2016 by Meredyth

As the weather starts to warm up, many people are thinking about going out fishing on the many bodies of waters that we have in Maine. Are you a freshwater or saltwater fisherman? What's the biggest fish you have ever caught? Share your photo or story! Check out this record breaking cod fish caught...


What is Ocean Acidification?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 by Katie

Scientists are hypothesizing and investigating how climate change might affect the Gulf of Maine and the species that live here. Ocean acidification is one potential impact of climate change. Check out: A Climate Calamity in the Gulf of Maine Part 2: Acid in the Gulf , a neat animation to learn about...


Chances are you've never seen...

Friday, March 11, 2016 by Becca

...a four clawed lobster ! The lobster, appropriately named Clawdette, was discovered at Ready Seafood in Portland, but was caught in Nova Scotia.  This is not the first time that a lobster with more than two claws has been found, but usually the extra claws aren't funtioning.  Clawdette...


100,000 Students!

Thursday, February 25, 2016 by Meredyth

As of today 100,000 Maine students have expereinced the LabVenture! program! Thats almost twice the population of Greenland. We mark the milestone with a balloon drop. Are you one of those students who has come to the Cohen Center for Interactive Learning? Or a teacher who has come to...


Catch my drift? Students help scienstists study ocean currents

Monday, February 22, 2016 by Caroline Casals

  The ocean isn't a big, still, flat* body of water. It's a complex, swirling system. The only problem is, how do you see what is going on just below the surface? One way to study ocean currents and how they move is with GPS tagged drifters. Check out this one that Kennebunk High School students...


Adventures of the GMRI ROV

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 by Becca

The GMRI research team is the proud new owner of an Open ROV!  You may be asking yourself, what is an ROV? An ROV is a remotely operated underwater water vehicle.  The ROV has a camera that can take both videos and pictures, it also has head lights, and a laser! It is controlled using the...


Bluefin Tuna: It's all in their head

Friday, February 5, 2016 by Kim Little

Video Player Here: GMRI scientist, Walt Golet, studies bluefin tuna. One of Walt’s research questions is how old are the bluefin tuna fishermen are catching?.  To figure this out Walt works with local fishermen. When fishermen catch a tuna...


Do you see signs of New England Cottontails?

Friday, January 22, 2016 by Molly

Take a look at the map below. This map indicates the historic (below the red dotted line) and current (in blue) range of the New England Cottontail (NEC). If you live within the current or historic range outlined in this map then Kelly, Kate, and Katelyn from the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge...


USCG Flies Sea Turtles to Safety

Monday, January 11, 2016 by Caroline Casals

When sea turtles find their way to northern cold waters here in the Gulf of Maine, they can become stranded. Sudden cold temperatures shut their bodies down, and they get "cold shock". Volunteers from all over work together to save the turtles, most of which end up at the New England Aquarium. ...


It's a Crab Bridge!

Monday, December 14, 2015 by Kim Little

Every year on Christmas Island a species of land crab called the Christmas Island red crab ( Gecarcoidea natalis ) makes it migration from the forests to the beaches to breed. These crabs will take the most direct path towards the beach even if that means going over roads. Frequently red crabs end up...


Searching for Shrimp: A New Acoustic Study at GMRI

Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Elijah Miller

Some of the most important creatures in the Gulf of Maine are also among the smallest. Species such as herring and northern shrimp are near the bottom of the food chain and are key to a healthy ecosystem and fishing economy.  To learn more about herring, our scientists and fishermen partners have...


Rare box crab found!

Monday, December 7, 2015 by Caroline Casals

There have been a few recent sightings in Cape Cod and New York of a rare visitor to our waters - the box crab! Box crabs ( Calappa spp ) are native to southern, warmer waters near Florida, but sometimes we find them here in New England. Box crabs, or shame-faced crabs, are named for their unusual...


Winter is Coming!

Sunday, November 29, 2015 by Katie

Winter is almost here! The lakes are starting to freeze over and the snowflakes are starting to fall. Snow is beginning to blanket much of Maine's landscape. NOAA is forecasting above average temperatures for New England this winter. The Farmer's Almanac is predicting another cold winter like last year....


Make your own plankton net!

Monday, November 16, 2015 by Kim Little

Plankton are some of my favorite critters in the ocean. I can spend hours looking at samples of live plankton. Most plankton are tiny microscopic plants and animals that live in water, both fresh and marine. That’s right even that tiny stream behind your school has plankton! While at GMRI...


The Newest Addition to Our Tank

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 by Becca

Last week a few of our scientists went out to do some field work and came back with a new fish for our tank, a winter flounder! Winter flounder are pretty cool fish. When a winter flounder first hatches out of it's egg they have one eye on each side of their head, like most other fish.  However,...

Read More >>'s what's for dinner!

Friday, November 6, 2015 by Meredyth

As the world's population coninues to grow so does the need for healthy and sustainable food sources. There are a number of people right here in Maine thinking about this problem. Ocean Approved is a Maine company that is growing seaweed for food, in the waters off Portland's coast. Kelp grows...


Eel Mystery Solved!

Friday, October 30, 2015 by Katie

Scientists have wondered for a long time if the American eel really does migrate all the way to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce. Now the mystery is solved! Eels were tracked by satellite transmission and one was found to reach it. This is a huge migration route for the fish, almost 1,500 miles! Check...


A Day Spent Searching for the Elusive Gulf of Maine Cod

Thursday, October 29, 2015 by Caroline Casals

If you want to study cod, you're going to need to catch one first. Catching cod is no easy task! They live in deep water and are uncommon these days. To catch cod, scientists enlist the help of fishermen. Check out photos from the most recent voyage to catch those elusive cod. Notice that in search...


Who Knew Seal Whiskers Were So Cool?

Friday, October 16, 2015 by Becca Stanley

While harbor seals may look cute and innocent, they are known for being great predators.  Researchers discovered that blindfolded seals could track the path of an object in water, that went by several seconds earlier.  Scientists hypothesize that this ability is due in large part to their...


Flooding in Portland

Friday, October 2, 2015 by Kim Little

What happens when an extremely high tide, often referred to as king tide, combines with a big rain storm? Flooding. On Tuesday Caroline and I went for a walk during lunch to capture the effects of 3-5 inches of rain plus a king tide. Check out the photos below. However,...


Grow, Grow, Grow

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by Meredyth

Our resident blue lobster molted again this week! Lobsters molt in order to grow. Lobsters are able to separte their carapace from their tail and pull their entire body, even their large claws, through the small opening!  They leave their old hard shell behind reveling a paper thin and very...


Leatherback Rescued in the Gulf of Maine

Thursday, September 24, 2015 by Katie

Just recently, the Coast Guard rescued an enormous leatherback sea turtle near Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  It was entangled in fishing gear 15 miles off the coast. The fishing lines were carefully cut and the leatherback swam away. Read the full article here . Leatherbacks are an endangered species...


Scenes from the Sky

Friday, September 18, 2015 by Becca

On June 8 th 2013 several students from Stanford launched a weather balloon with a GoPro attached to gather some data for a class. They were supposed to recover the weather balloon and camera later that day, but it went missing.  Almost two years later a hiker found the GoPro in the desert near...


The deep-sea fish with a see-through head!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 by Caroline Casals

Credit: (c) 2004  MBARI The scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Insitute (MBARI) discovered an amazing adaptation of a very unusual animal: the barreleye fish ( Macropinna microstoma ). This fish has very unusual tubular eyes  inside its head - which look like...


A New Way to Count Fish

Thursday, July 23, 2015 by Kim Little

Knowing exactly how many fish are in the ocean is impossible but knowing roughly how big a population is, is very important. Population estimates are used to set the fishing rules and regulations.  These rules tell fishermen what fish they are allowed to keep and help prevent overfishing. Currently...


Colorful Critters

Thursday, July 16, 2015 by Becca Stanley

Today, thanks to a local fisherman, two beautiful and rare colored lobsters joined the ranks of GMRI! Here is a shot of the unusually colored lobsters with a normal colored lobster in the middle. Curious why some lobsters are different colors? Watch the video...


Oceans of Jellies

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 by Meredyth

If you are like me you will be spending time exploring the coast of Maine this summer. A group of scientists, working here at GMRI and around the state want to know if you find any jellyfish while you are out taking advantage of the warm weather. To learn more about why check out this article. ...


Sharks, sharks, sharks!

Monday, July 6, 2015 by Becca Stanley

Sharks have been a hot topic in the news lately and you may have heard that there were multiple shark sightings off of the Maine Coast recently.  Some concerns were raised that they might be Great White Sharks. However, James Sulikowski, a professor at the University of New England, and scientists...


Coral Reef Timelapse Video

Monday, June 29, 2015 by James Benson

The South Pacific is an area of beauty and wonder both on land and sea. Researchers there, much like those working in the Gulf of Maine, are working hard to understand ocean ecosystems and the communities of fish, invertebrates, and plants that are part of them. This timelapse video is a year’s...


Unkown Species of Octopus

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by Kim Little

This little octopus lives in the deep sea and currently doesn't have a species name. Stephanie Bush, a scientist at the Monteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute is researching this deep sea octopus to try and learn more about their life history. Video Player Here:


The Secret Life of Plankton

Friday, June 19, 2015 by Kim Little

Ever been swimming in the ocean and swallowed a mouthful of seawater? Well then you have eaten plankton! The majority of plankton are tiny microscopic organisms that drift at the surface of the sea, but some species of plankton, like Jellyfish can grow quite large.  Plankton plays a very...


A Climate Calamity in the Gulf of Maine- Video

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 by Meredyth

Check out this animation that O'Chang Studios created about the predicted impacts of climate change on lobsters in the Gulf of Maine. It's scientifically accurate and fun to watch. Video Player Here:


Seagulls on the roof...

Monday, June 15, 2015 by Meredyth

Check out our resident baby seagulls living on the roof of GMRI's building. Video Player Here: Have you seen any baby birds around your house or schoolyard?


Explore this Summer!

Friday, June 5, 2015 by Meredyth

Do you have questions about the health of the ecosystems in your backyard or around the state of Maine near the places that you play or vacation? What species are living there and how they may or may not be affecting other species? Other kids around the state are too!   Check out the questions...


A new way to understand climate change

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 by Katie

There are many detailed and often confusing graphs to illustrate climate change occurring on Earth. Check out this video for a new perspective, which shows the gradually warming climate as played by a cello! Each note played represents a year, starting in 1880 and ending in 2012. The pitch reflects...


Amazing giants - Drone captures video of basking sharks feeding!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by Caroline Casals

Check out this amazing footage of two basking sharks feeding off of the Gloucester shoreline last friday.   (Video captured by Martin Del Vecchio via his drone) Basking sharks ( Cetorhinus maximus) are gentle giants. Instead of eating fish and seals like their more aggressive...


Why is our climate changing?

Thursday, May 14, 2015 by Kim Little

We know that our world’s climate is changing, but why? Check out this one-minute video from NASA explaining what is going on. Video Player Here: Okay so our earth is getting warmer, but the temperature has only increased by 1 degree F over the...


10 years on the Waterfront!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 by Meredyth

Have you ever been curious about what is happening in our big building on the waterfront? Then here is your chance, we are having an open house at GMRI on Saturday May 2nd, 2015 10:00am-4:00pm. Get the details here. There are a lot of interesting things that happen here everyday in addtion...



Friday, April 24, 2015 by Katie

Spring is here! The snow banks are finally melting, the ground is thawing, and the ice is clearing out of lakes in Maine. Volunteers from all over the state are tracking the date when the ice has cleared out of lakes and ponds, known as ice-out. The Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program records these...


Use peeps to find the speed of light!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 by Caroline Casals

Find yourself with too many stale peeps? Help them leave this world in a sugary blaze of glory… FOR SCIENCE! Below is an awesome little experiment to calculate the speed of light with marshmallow peeps. Check out this great video from NPR’s blog The Salt to see how. Almost...


Not Your Average CBASS

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by Hallie Repeta

Today I had the opportunity to have a chat with GMRI’s very own Zach Whitner.  Zach is a research technician, which means that most of his time is spent conducting field work out in the ocean and working in the lab.  Right now, Zach is involved in a program called the Casco Bay Aquatic...


Young Scientists at the White House!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by Becca Stanley

On March 23rd young scientists and engineers from all over the country traveled to the White House to display their projects at the 5 th annual White House Science Fair!  There was a diverse group of participants, with ages ranging from 6 years old to 19 years old. Projects included a...


My Journey to Science - Science and Technology

Monday, March 30, 2015 by Scott McAuliffe

Hello all! Since we’re in the midst of a cold, snowy winter field season I figured that I would take the time to tell my journey to science. I came to GMRI in 2014 to work specifically with the LabVenture! and PowerHouse programs focusing on the intersection of technology and education (which...


Salmon Cannon!

Friday, March 27, 2015 by Caroline Casals

Imagine you are a salmon swiming upstream to spawn, what would you do if you saw this?   While a fish ladder may have been the old way you got over those pesky dams, another option might be on the way. Thanks to an innovative company, fish migrating upstream to spawn like Chinook Salmon...


Ocean Temperatures

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Meredyth

Scientists have lots of cool tools that help them collect data about what is happening around us or in this case under the water. One of our scientists, who is also a lobsterman in Casco Bay shared with us some of the data he was able to collect this winter.   In November he put a temperature...


A Squid of Different Color

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 by Becca Stanley

Giant Humboldt squids have the ability to rapidly change their body color from red to white.  Scientists are not sure what the flashes of different colors mean.  They believe it is a way of communicating, but they don’t know exactly what. They have managed to mount cameras on the...


Groundtruthing - Using data to support educated guesses

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 by Adam Baukus

These are video clips from two different cameras I deployed as part of our acoustic survey work.  Our acoustic equipment can give us information about lots of different types of organisms in the water column, and using different frequencies of sound we can start to make educated guesses about what...


Senator King's Video Response to Massabesic Middle School

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 by Meredyth

After studying the carbon cycle and climate change a group of students from Mr. Parent's class at Massabesic Middle wrote letters to Senator King asking about the Keystone XL pipeline. He reposonded to them with a video message! In his video message Sen. King explains the evidence behind climate changes...


Through the eyes of a lobsterman

Monday, February 23, 2015 by Meredyth

Check out this video showing the day in the life of a lobsertman from Maine. Video Player Here: Recorded and edited by fisherman Taylor Strout


Paleoclimatology? What is that?

Friday, February 20, 2015 by Christina Hernandez

These days, we hear a lot about climate change and global warming. The Earth has been around a lot longer than humans, and we only started using thermometers a couple hundred years ago. So how do scientists know what the temperature or sea level were like in the far distant past? They use a number of...


The Glass Sponge

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by Caroline Casals

Monorhaphis chuni is a pretty amazing creature. When you think of deep sea animals, images of giant jaws, bulbous faces, strange bioluminescence and glazed eyes probably flash through your head. M. chuni is none of those things. You might even call it graceful. You should call it ancient....


Climate Change Challenge

Monday, February 16, 2015 by Meredyth

Innovate to Mitigate is looking for middle and high school students or student groups to submit ideas about how to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gases. "This challenge encourages young people to unlock their immense potential for finding solutions!" There is a chance to win prize...


My Journey to Science - Science Writer

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 by Jill Harlow

When I was in 5 th grade I lived on a lake in Mapleton, ME. I spent a lot of time outdoors, exploring the woods and water. I loved school, especially science class. I think that was because  I loved reading about animals. I didn’t know I was also doing science when I was fishing, hunting,...


Stunning Chemistry

Monday, February 2, 2015 by Caroline Casals

Did you know that chemistry is beautiful? Scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China and Tsinghua University Press have worked to share that with the world. They’ve captured real chemical reactions in 4K ultra high definition video, and the result speaks for itself. ...



Thursday, January 29, 2015 by Meredyth

Video Player Here: The tools of science allow us to take a closer look at things then we can with the naked-eye. Check out this video of microscopic images of common objects created by an artist named Pyanek . How many images can you identify correctly?


A creative way to recycle your Christmas tree!

Thursday, January 8, 2015 by Becca Stanley

Is your family wondering what to do with the Christmas tree now that the holiday season is over? If you live near Westbrook, ME you can drop it off at Smiling Hill Farm and they will feed it to their goats! What a great way to recycle!


Underwater Christmas Trees?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Katie

Can you figure out what kind of marine organism looks just like the Christmas tree you might have in your home right now? If you guessed a worm, you are correct! The Christmas Tree Worm,  Spirobranchus giganteus,  is a very colorful marine worm with spiraling plumes that...


King Tide Walking Trail

Thursday, December 11, 2014 by Kim Little

Some reports suggest that by 2100 the sea level will have risen by 3 feet! It is hard to picture what that might mean for Maine's coastline and where the new water line would be. A group of students from the University of Southern Maine have created an exhibit, the King Tides Trail , to help people...


Ocean Awarensss Student Contest

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 by Meredyth

The From the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness student contest was created in 2011 "to inspire next generation ocean stewardship".  Each year the contest invites students to reflect and explore a timely environmental issue. Students submit either visual or written submission. Some of this year's...


Saving the Coral Reefs

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 by Becca Stanley

Climate change and ocean acidification are hot topics in the scientific community.  People are concerned about the affects these changes might have on coral reefs , a good portion of which have already disappeared over the past few decades. Scientists are particularly concerned because most corals...


Surf is Up!

Friday, November 21, 2014 by Molly Meserve

Surfer/engineer Benjamin Thompson has created a super cool new invention! He has combined his sweet surfing and engineering skills to create this fin that attaches to the bottom of a surfboard. This "Smart Phin" collects data about the ocean below! Want to learn more about this rad invention?...


Could trouble in the cod fishery open doors to fishing for other species?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by Katie

Because cod populations are at an all time low in the Gulf of Maine, strict restrictions have been placed on fishing for them. Read the article below for more details: With many fishermen...



Thursday, November 6, 2014 by Meredyth

You never know what you are going to find when you are out exploring in nature. Check out what some of the staff at Maine Sea Grant found when they were searching for oysters at low tide.  They stumbled across a huge jelly-like blob they had never seen before! Back at the lab at UMaine's...


Is it warmer now?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Meredyth

Have you wondered if it is warmer now? Or is the water warmer then it was before? That can be a complicated question, however you can use data to help you answer it. Check out the NERACOOS Ocean and Weather Climate Display tool . This tool pulls together data from 9 different buoys located in...


Sharks… Scary creatures of the deep or misunderstood?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by Kim Little

Sharks often get a bad wrap and are even referred to as man-eaters. However sharks are not the killing machines they are made out to be. In fact there are many other day-to-day activities that are deadlier than sharks. Check out the video below to find out what 5 things are more deadly than sharks....


Not Your Every Day Copepod

Thursday, October 23, 2014 by Katie

Have you ever heard of a sea sapphire? I never had, until I read about a scientist’s encounter with one of these AMAZING little critters! Words cannot describe the brilliant and dazzling colors flashed by these Sapphirina copepods.   Check out the neat video in this post:


Seafood differently!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by Becca Stanley

Nathan Shields is an illustrator, math teacher, and father who creates art using pancake batter.  A lot of his creations are science or math related! Many people see art and science as two completely separate subjects, but that is not the case at all! Science often inspires...


The immortal lobster?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Molly Meserve

When we think about our age, it is generally easy to figure out how old humans are. Count the number of candles on the cake or check your birth certifcate, done.  It is not as easy for animals like lobsters. Lobsters grow until they die and they do this by molting (shedding their hard exoskeleton)....


"Abby's Aquarium Adventures"

Friday, September 26, 2014 by Meredyth

This week Abby from "Abby's Aquarium Adventures" came to visit us at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) . Abby, is a plush doll that has been traveling the world visiting aquariums and other institutes/organizations...


The wonders of the deep!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Becca Stanley

Have you ever wanted to explore the world’s oceans? At Nautilus Live you can, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home! Scientists and crew aboard the E/V Nautilus are exploring the ocean focusing on biology, geology, and archeology while sharing their adventures with...


Changing speeds

Friday, September 5, 2014 by Molly Meserve

Anyone who has ever experienced the transition from summer to fall or winter to spring can say that there is a noticable difference in speed. For example, think about how you feel when all the snow has melted and flowers are blooming. We tend to want to get up and out and move around. Now think of your...


Teen's Groundbreaking Lionfish Research

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Caroline Cassals

Brilliant scientific research can be done by anyone, anywhere, and 13 year old Lauren Arrington’s science fair project has proved that beyond a doubt. Lionfish ( Pterois spp. ) are invasive species of poisonous fish that are impacting reefs from North Carolina to Florida. When Lauren entered a...


Science Happens Year Round

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Meredyth

School is out of session for the summer and many of you are probably busy with camps or trips to the beach or the lake. For the scientists here at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, summer means field season.   Some of the scientists that work here are collaborating with a larger group...


Fish Mating Calls?!?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 by Kim Little

Wait what? Fish can make noises? Do they even have ears? Fish not only can hear, but some fish are very noisy! Some fish, like the black drum and the toadfish (pictured above), are essentially using their swim bladder as a drum. There is a small muscle, called the sonic muscle, which runs...


A real life invisibility cloak!

Friday, June 20, 2014 by Becca Stanley

Have you ever dreamed of having a super power? How about invisibility ? Hippopodius , a marine jellyfish, lives most of its life in a transparent state, making it basically invisible to other creatures!   However, if anything even slightly touches it, a chemical reaction is set off that...


Craving salt?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 by Molly Meserve

While humans have five primary tastes (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and savory), scientists published an article recently that found cetaeceans (whales and dolphins) can only taste one: salt. Why is this important you ask? Well, many natural toxins have a bitter taste. If whales and dolphins...


Models Predict Meteor Shower

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by Katie

One interesting way that scientists use models is to forecast meteor showers. It was discovered that there will be a meteor shower this week on May 23-24. The peak of the shower is forecasted for Friday night. It will be visible in the northern sky, by Polaris, the north star. Astronomers are not...


Larval Lobster Population in Decline?

Monday, May 12, 2014 by Kim Little

Recently scientists have seen a drop in larval lobster recruitment . Lobstermen are worried about what that might mean for the future. The past two years there have been record high landings, around 120 million pounds of lobster. These large lobster landings have led to a decrease in the price of...


Quite the mouthful

Monday, May 5, 2014 by Molly Meserve

Imagine it’s a hot, sunny day and you are at the beach...waves are crashing and you make a run for the water. You dive in and come up with a mouthful of nice salty water. Has this happened to you? If so, you may have swallowed a bit more than you thought.   One photographer, David...


Shark Deterrent Wetsuits?!

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Becca Stanley

A series of shark attacks inspired Australian swimmer, Hamish Jolly, to work with a team of scientists and a wet suit designer to create shark deterrent wetsuits.  Hamish and his collaborators used the science of what sharks see to come up with two different designs for wetsuits. They believe...


Spring Peepers: A sure sign that winter is over!

Thursday, April 24, 2014 by Katie

Have you heard the glorious chorus of spring peepers in a nearby wetland area? In the southern Maine area, the frogs that signify the start of spring are at full blast!    Check out this link to hear what peepers sound like:  ...


Green Crabs for Dinner?

Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Meredyth

You may have heard about green crabs in the news lately. Although these invasive species have been reported in Maine since the early 1900's their populations seem to be on the raise .  This rise in population is causing concern due to the fact that green crabs eat shellfish like mussels and...


Watch Live Footage of Coral Reefs

Friday, April 11, 2014 by Kim Little

Have you ever wanted to go snorkeling or scuba diving on a coral reef? Well now you can without ever having to leave your home or step into the water. ReefCam has placed 3 live HD cameras on reefs around Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, and the Great Barrier Reef. The footage from the cameras is being used...


Another Complex System!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 by Becca Stanley

During the LabVenture! program we talk about how the interactions between lobsters, herring, cod, humans, and copepods make up a complex system in the Gulf of Maine! Here is a quick peek at another complex system between phytoplankton, krill, and sea birds in the Southern Ocean (near Antarctica)....


What's your favorite pizza topping?

Friday, March 14, 2014 by Meredyth

What's your favorite pizza topping? Extra cheese? Pepperoni? Maybe even Hawaiian? How about SEAWEED? A group of students from East End Community School here in Portland got to try just that. Read more about what they thought here . A company called Ocean Approved is growing and selling...



Friday, February 28, 2014 by Molly Meserve

What animals do you think of when you think of endangered species? The North Atlantic Right Whale? The Bengal Tiger? What about the Oregon chub? If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, don’t worry, you haven’t been living under a rock. The Oregon chub however, is a minnow...


Nudibranchs Caught in the Act!

Friday, February 21, 2014 by Becca Stanley

Jellyfish have stinging capsules that work to deter potential predators. So, can you imagine not only being able to eat a jellyfish with out being hurt, but also being able to use their stinging capsules as your own defense mechanism?  Seems like a tough feat to accomplish right? Well that...


12-year old Discovers New Jellyfish Species!

Thursday, February 13, 2014 by Katie

There is so much about our world’s oceans that we have yet to discover. Scientists and STUDENTS are still finding new species in the ocean! A twelve-year old boy and his family discovered a new species of jellyfish on a beach in Tasmania. It was almost 5 feet in diameter! This jellyfish may...


Climate Change in Focus

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Meredyth

Do you care about climate change? Do you like to be creative? If so then you might be really excited about “The Climate Change in Focus Video Challenge” ! This video contest launched by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Environmental Education Foundation asks middle...


Pollock is the new Cod

Friday, January 31, 2014 by Kim Little

There are a lot of different common names for fish, and sometimes they vary depending on what part of the world or even country you live in. However, one name is always the same no matter where you are, the scientific name.   While you may call this fish Alaskan Pollock, others might refer...


The little ocean floor glider that could

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Molly Meserve

On December 5, 2013 the ACSA SeaExplorer glider completed a two-month record-breaking mission in collaboration with the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV) of National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC). This little...


Seeing Your Energy Use In a Different Light

Friday, January 10, 2014 by Becca Stanley

It is easy not to think twice before flipping a switch to turn on a light in your house. But you should be thinking twice, because the type of light bulb you are using can have a big impact on your energy use and bill!   Many households are filled with the traditional incandescent light...


New Species in the Gulf of Maine?

Friday, December 20, 2013 by Meredyth

Scientists have been recording warmer than normal water temperature in the Gulf of Maine. Check the data out yourself. With warmer water seeing species that you don’t normally see this far north is becoming more common. Curt Brown, both a lobsterman and a scientist here at GMRI recorded this...


Casco Bay Island Schools Investigate Lobster Trap Bycatch: Long Island Edition

Friday, December 13, 2013 by Kim Little

As part of the Island Institute's WeatherBlur Project the Casco Bay island schools were curious to see which species were being caught as bycatch (non-targeted species) in lobster traps. The Long Island Elementary School students decided to haul traps off the dock on the northwest side of the island....


Are We Farming Lobsters?

Monday, December 9, 2013 by Adam, Curt, Katie, Zach

Scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Insititute were curious if we are farming lobsters. So, are we farming lobsters? Check out what they found! Video Player Here:


Students Investigate Lobster Trap Bycatch

Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Katie

The Chebeague School students are investigating species that enter a lobster trap other than lobsters. Students are hauling a trap twice a week to examine what species of bycatch they find inside. A GoPro camera was also placed in the trap, so the students could observe the activity inside the trap! ...


Student helps scientists: rare deep-sea discovery!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 by Caroline Casals

One citizen scientist from the Ukraine has helped scientists discover the deep sea feeding behavior of an elephant seal.  It has been speculated that elephant seals could dive and forage for food at great depth, but 14 year old Kirill...


That's a BIG Lobster!

Thursday, October 31, 2013 by Meredyth

Check out this jumbo lobster claw that we have here at the lab. How big do you think this lobster was from the tip of its claw to the end of its tail?


"Discovery of a Lifetime"

Thursday, October 24, 2013 by Kim Little

On Sunday October 13 th Jasmine Santana , from Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI), went for a snorkel in beautiful Toyon Bay. The last thing she expected to find was an 18 foot long oarfish! She soon realized that the oarfish was dead and decided to try and bring the fish ashore to get a better...


A lot to be learned from whales' earwax?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 by Molly Meserve

Did you ever think EARWAX could be a useful tool in scientific research? Well, it turns out scientists can learn a lot about whales’ lives through analyzing their earwax! Some whales build up earwax over time into earplugs that have dark and light bands (sort of like the rings on a tree)...


Right Whales breeding right here!

Monday, October 7, 2013 by Becca Stanley

Scientists in Canada and United states have made an exciting discovery in the Gulf of Maine.  A breeding ground for the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale has been discovered about half way between Nova Scotia and Cape Cod, Mass.     It is thought that the Right Whale...


Homework Helps Clean the Ocean

Friday, October 4, 2013 by Katie

Ever think homework assignments are pointless? Do you ever feel like you are wasting your time working on a project that doesn’t matter? Boyan Slat transformed a homework assignment into a solution to clean up the plastic problem in our world’s oceans. I’m sure you have visited...


Help Scientists Identify Plankton!

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by Caroline Casals

Scientists need YOU to help them count and identify plankton!  A brand new project has been launched by the Unversity of Miami, NOAA, the National Science Foundation and the that uses the help of citizen scientists, like you, to help them count and identify plankton in the world’s...


New Addition to the Cohen Center Tank!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 by Kim Little

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a new resident lobster. However, this lobster is no ordinary lobster, in fact it is believed that only 1 out of 50 million lobsters looks like her! What is so special about this lobster? Well, take a look….     She was caught...


Taking Striped Bass Fishing to a Whole New Level

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by Katie Flavin

Check out this fascinating article about a fisherman who set the world record by catching an 81.8-pound striped bass!  It is no accident that Greg Myerson consistently caches enormous stripers. He investigated the prey of striped bass, which are lobsters, and studied the behavior that attracts...


Making Moves for Whales

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by Meredyth

Humans are not the only species that like to spend their summer in or around the Gulf of Maine. One of the many Gulf of Maine summer residents is the North Atlantic Right Whale . The North Atlantic Right Whale, Eubalaena glacialis is still considered an endangered species however scientist believe...


World's biggest cod?

Thursday, June 27, 2013 by Caroline Casals

A recreational fishermen off the coast of Norway caught the biggest cod on current record!  Weighing in at a whopping 103 pounds and measuring 5 feet long, the cod fish Michael Eisele caught put up an epic battle.  All told it took Eisele 30 minutes to reel the fish in. One of his friends...


Feeding Time

Friday, June 7, 2013 by Meredyth

Animals have many different ways of eating. Many have adaptations that help them to do so, we have hands and sharks have rows of sharp teeth. Check out our resident hermit crab eating a chunk of fish.   Can you think of an animal that has a unique feeding adaptation?...


The Return of the Alewives!

Friday, May 17, 2013 by Katie Flavin

  Alewives, also known as river herring, are a very important part of the Gulf of Maine watershed.  These fish tie the ocean, river, and lake habitats together and supply numerous species with food. In the spring, usually May and June, the adult alewives leave their ocean habitat...


Happenings in the Tank

Friday, May 3, 2013 by Meredyth Eufemia

This past week was a busy one in our tank here at GMRI. Our resident blue lobster molted! Lobsters molt in order to grow. Lobsters are able to separte their carapace from their tail and pull their entire body, even their large claws, through the small opening!  They leave their old hard shell...


Strange and Beautiful: Nudibranchs!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by Caroline Casals

What on Earth are these strange, colorful creatures?  You my friend, are looking at the spectacular and reclusive nudibranchs!   Nudibranchs (new-dee-brank-s) are animals that live all over the worlds oceans, and are related to our own land-lubber slugs and snails.  That relation...


Get the Lead Out!?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by Katie Flavin

Right now there is great debate revolving around an iconic Maine bird and a popular recreational pastime.  Did you guess it?  Loons and fishing.  If you ever spend time near a lake or pond in the summer, you are probably familiar with the echoes and yodels of the common loon, which can...


Shipwreck Uncovered!

Monday, March 25, 2013 by Rachelle Pinault

Have you ever wondered what might be buried under the sand at your local beach? If you haven’t yet, you might now! Earlier this March, the remains of a shipwreck were uncovered by high wave action at Short Sands Beach in York. This ship has been uncovered before, the last time was in 2007,...


It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a... squid?

Monday, March 18, 2013 by Kim Little

Wait, what?!? Believe it or not, researchers at Hokkaido University have discovered that squid can fly! The squid can travel up to 30 meters, or approximately 1/3 of a football field, at about 11 meters/second (25mph)! It is thought that they will fly as a defense mechanism when trying to escape...


How do we collect data miles out to sea?

Friday, March 15, 2013 by Gayle Bodge

Have you ever been for a dip in the Gulf of Maine in July? If so, I bet you'd find it hard to believe that the Gulf of Maine waters have been getting warmer. Although a few degrees on a hot July day may not feel like much to us, it does to many of the species living here. So how do we know the Gulf...


Visitors to the Waterfront

Thursday, March 7, 2013 by Meredyth Eufemia

On February 21 st , Portland’s waterfront had a special visitor…NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Research Vessel Pisces and her crew. The ship spent two nights in port due to some weather offshore. While docked here the crew and research staff was nice enough...


Tracking Whales in the Gulf of Maine

Friday, February 15, 2013 by Rachelle Pinault

The Gulf of Maine is an incredibly rich ecosystem that is home to over 5,000 different species! Some species, such as the American Lobster and the Atlantic Cod, stay in the Gulf of Maine all year long while some species only stay during specific seasons or pass through while migrating. There are...


Pura Vida! Costa Rica

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 by Caroline Casals

Ever wonder what GMRI scientists do on vacation?  More science! (ok, sometimes we do). I recently returned from a botanical study of Costa Rica!  In Costa Rica, pura vida means "pure life", but is used all the time whenever something is cool or great.  That's a fitting phrase for a...


GMRI's newest addition!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 by Caroline Casals

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a new tenant... a lumpfish! Lumpfish, or lumpsuckers, are benthic fish (they live on the bottom of the ocean) and they have a suction disk on their bellies which lets them hold on to rocks.  If you want to learn more about them, check out this link...


The Secret Life of Plankton

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Gayle Bodge

Imagine you have a glass of ocean water in your hands. Are you holding anything other than a glass full of ocean water? YES! In fact, “a teaspoon of sea water can contain more than a million living creatures.” Watch this video to dive deep into the secret world of plankton. What...


How many fish live here!?!

Thursday, January 17, 2013 by Meredyth Eufemia

Scientists and fishermen are both very interested in how many fish there are in the Gulf of Maine. This fall, a group of 10 lobstermen and four scientist s from GMRI set out to find just how many herring  are in the nearshore area of the Gulf of Maine. Scientists want to answer this question...


Harnassing the Power of Wind!

Monday, January 7, 2013 by Rachelle Pinault

Where does the energy you use to turn on your lights or run your refrigerator come from? How do you heat your home or apartment? Do you use oil? Electric? Propane? Wood? Energy can come from all sorts of places. Renewable energy is naturally occurring energy, energy that is not produced by nuclear...


Warming Temperatures Causing Changes to the Gulf of Maine

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 by Kim Little

It is a known fact that temperatures in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) have slowly been increasing, but so what? Why is that so important? It just means we get to put on shorts sooner, right? Let me explain. Changes in temperature affect many different aspects of the world we live in. We can see some of...


Warmer Waters in the Gulf of Maine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Meredyth Eufemia

The Gulf of Maine gets cold nutrient rich water from the Labrador Current making it colder than other places on the east coast, because of this many commercially important species have been very successful in this area historically. This year, 2012, we are seeing warmer then normal water temperatures...


Lobster Scientists Discuss Record Highs

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Kim Little

This summer Maine had record lobster catches, causing a crash in lobster price. The questions on many peoples’ minds is what caused these record highs and lows, and what does that mean for the future? The last week in Novemeber, scientists gathered in Portland, ME to discuss how the lobster...


That Lobster is How Old?!

Monday, December 10, 2012 by Rachelle Pinault

How big was the largest lobster you have ever seen? Did you wonder how old it might be? I have seen a 27pound lobster, and he was estimated to be about 50 years old! Up until now, scientists could only estimate a lobster’s age by its size, which has not been a very precise method. On Thursday...


South Portland students first to report invasive red algae onshore in Maine!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 by Caroline Casals

Maine students from South Portland High School were the first to find and successfully identify a dreaded invasive red algae – Heterosiphonia japonica – onshore in Maine.             H. japonica is a native red algae in Japan...


Found! World's Rarest Whale!

Thursday, November 15, 2012 by Kim Little

In December of 2010 a mother whale and her calf were found beached on Opape Beach in New Zealand. They were originally thought to be Grey’s beaked whales, however after a DNA test scientists discovered that the whales were actually spade-toothed beaked whales ! These whales are so rare that this...


Cool Gulf of Maine Finds

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 by Meredyth

This week has brought some cool and unusual finds to the Gulf of Maine. Here at GMRI we have had multiple reports of people discovering seahorses ! While the range of these guys is up the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Cape Cod, strays can be found as far north as Nova Scotia but are not considered...


Sharks making headlines!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Rachelle Pinault

If you watch the news or read news articles, there is a good chance that over the summer you saw headlines about shark sightings in the Gulf of Maine. Maybe you saw the July 9 th article from The Los Angeles Times reading, Shark! Cape Cod beach-goers scream as great white stalks kayaker , or the...


Brown fish, Red fish, Silver fish: Why are so many fish in the Gulf of Maine brown, silver, and red?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Caroline Casals

The Gulf of Maine is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world with over 3,300 species of animals, plants, and algae that call it home!  Despite this enormous diversity, a great many of the fish species that live here, especially those that live in deep water, are mostly found in only three...


Brown fish: Why are some fish in the Gulf of Maine brown?

Monday, October 15, 2012 by Caroline Casals

The Gulf of Maine is full of fish that are brown on top, with white or light colored bellies. These fish all live in the ocean, but last we checked the ocean wasn’t brown, so what is going on!  If we look at some brown fish that live in the Gulf of Maine we can start to see a pattern…...


Red fish: Why are some fish in the Gulf of Maine red?

Monday, October 15, 2012 by Caroline Casals

Lets take a look at some red fish and other animals that live in the Gulf of Maine.   Animals use their skin colors to blend in, but the ocean  definitely  isn’t red!  So what on earth are these little fish doing?   Acadian redfish,  Sebastes fasciatus. ...


Silver fish: Why are some fish in the Gulf of Maine silver?

Monday, October 15, 2012 by Caroline Casals

Lets look at some silver fish that live in the Gulf of Maine. Wait a second, these fish are actually shiny! That has to be even worse than being all white like that  albino  deer.  The bottom of the ocean isn’t shiny, the middle of the ocean isn’t shiny, what on...


A Sea Gull Summer

Thursday, August 9, 2012 by Ros Goldsbrough

This summer, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) found itself landlord to some surprising tenants: a family of Herring Gulls nested on our roof! How do chicks leave the nest? Well, unfortunately these baby gulls had a traumatic experience. One of the 2 chicks on our roof fell 3 stories to...


Lobster Navigation Inspires Researchers to Help You Find Your Way Around

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Gayle Bodge

Imagine you were dropped off in an unfamiliar place. How would you find your way home? Lucky for you – your Maine Gazetteer may be in your backpack or smart phone with GPS in your back pocket. But what about animals without our technology, how do they find their way home? Researchers have...