Alaska SeaLife Center news

Posted: Monday, March 27, 2000

New center hours

Starting Saturday and running through May 9, center hours will extend from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Summer hours start May 10 and will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The last visitor is admitted to the center one hour before closing.

Testing on harbor seals

The harbor seals have new shaved spots and a little scab from a blubber biopsy samples that have been collected as a part of an Exxon Valdez oil spill-funded study. The study, "Harbor Seal Recovery, Phase III: Effects of Diet on Lipid Metabolism and Health," is being conducted by Randall Davis of Texas A&M University. Tiny cores of fat are being analyzed to help determine how fatty acid profiles in the blubber of captive harbor seals change over time during controlled diets of pollock and herring.

Take time to admire the art

The ticketing center at the ASLC is displaying a Steller sea lion statue, a piece of art that was given to Rep. Don Young for his dedicated work in the field of wildlife conservation. For years, Young and his House Committee on Resources have worked to protect wildlife in Alaska, the United States and around the world. Of special note is his concern over the sharp decline of Steller sea lions off the coast of western Alaska and the lack of science and general information about this animal. Feel free to admire, but don't touch the piece as it scratches easily. A display case will soon be arriving to house the statue.

Russian scientist helps with project

Vladimir Burkanov, with the Steller Sea Lion Research Project at the center, welcomes fellow Russian scientist Dr. Zhenya Mamaev, a marine mammal biologist, to help with the Chiswell Project. The center has an interactive display that features a live camera feed from the Steller sea lion rookery on Chiswell Island, about 35 miles south of Seward. The feed is sent via microwave from the island back to the center so the scientists can study sea lion behavior in the wild.

Volunteers still needed

As the spring and summer seasons near, the center needs more volunteers to help work the floor, answer questions and help keep the center running smoothly. The next monthly volunteer information series will be held April 11. The topic will be "Rehabilitation Projects and new exhibits." The talk is open to the public and is free of charge. The main presentation with an informal question and answer is from 8 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call (907) 224-6343.

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