Homer Community School
Pediatric CPR and first aid class offered
Pediatric CPR and first aid class will be offered by Homer Community School Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The class is specifically designed for child care providers, covering infant and junior CPR and first aid. The class meets all requirements for state certified daycare providers.
For more information regarding the class and how to register, call (907) 235-6090.
Friday afternoon hikes explore Homer trails
Homer Community School also offers Friday afternoon hikes on various trails around Homer. All hikes are suitable for children, although children under 14 need to be accompanied by an adult. Bring snacks, something to drink, camera, flower book and rain gear and meet at the Homer High School commons at noon. For more information regarding the hikes, call (907) 235-6090.
Alaska SeaLife Center News
Deep Gulf has new additions
The Deep Gulf display at the Alaska SeaLife Center has two new species of fish swimming around. They include five wattled eelpouts (Lycodes palearis) and two longsnout pricklebacks (Lumpenella longirostris). The eelpouts can usually be spotted curled up on the bottom of the display. The pencil-like pricklebacks usually sit quietly, perched up on their pectoral fins. Virtually nothing is known about the biology of these deep-water fish, so the center is glad to have them on display for the public its staff to observe.
Artificial nesting box in diving bird display
An artificial nesting box has been added to the diving bird display. This is part of the pigeon guillemot restoration research that seeks to determine the suitability of artificial nest sites at Gulf of Alaska colonies.
Reduced populations at some of these colonies may be due to a lack of predator-free nest sites. Fifteen minutes after the box's installation, three guillemots began exploring the box and two appear to be interested in "setting up house" in the structure. After the box has been in place for a week or two, decoys will be installed on or next to the box to see how the birds will react. Depending on their response, audio playbacks of adult or chick guillemot calls will be played near the box. Pigeon guillemots are one of the species that have not yet recovered from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Eggs, eggs, eggs
The diving bird habitat has a third common murre egg, in the same corner of the habitat as the other two eggs. The eggs bring the count in the aviary department to four tufted puffin eggs and three common murre eggs.
First bird hatches in diving bird exhibit
On Wednesday, the center welcomed the first bird ever to hatch out in the diving bird exhibit. The little peeper's gender has yet to be discovered, but it is residing in the far west corner of the habitat behind a tall tree. Currently, there is a camera focused on the family, which can be viewed on the TV monitor in the upstairs Rocky Shores Gallery.
Proud parents are doing fine and can be seen carrying fish back and forth to the baby. The little one has a great set of lungs and can be heard vocalizing all over the aviary.
Seasonal environmental study on seals
Dr. Shannon Atkinson, ASLC's science director, and Carolyn Oki are working on a project with harbor seals to explore how seasons and environment may play a role in the physiology of these animals. The project involves measuring hormone levels in the seals. The hormones being measured are cortisol and two thyroid hormones -- thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Cortisol is involved mainly in carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism. It serves as an indicator of an animal's state of health in relation to stress. Thyroid hormones are involved in metabolic rate as well as in growth and development.
Alaska Wild Art 2000
A display of Alaska photography is featured in the ASLC lobby until July 24. People's Choice Ballot are available to cast votes favorite photographs.
ASLC Wildlife Run a success
The ASLC second annual 5K Wildlife Run took place July 1. Walkers took off at 9:45 a.m. and runners left at 10:30 a.m. The awards ceremony was held at noon in front of the center. Funds generated by the race go directly to the rehabilitation efforts at the center.
Open air concert in July
The South American folk group Alma Andina returned to the center July 1 and 2 and will play in front of the center again Saturday and Sunday.
Rockfish are coming
Center staff recently returned from a successful collecting effort near Granite Island. They captured black and quillback rockfish destined for enhancing the seabird habitat in the future. The fish are in holding tanks for observation and examination before being introduced into the habitat. The collecting trip was part of an ongoing effort to expand the collection of specimens in our large aquatic habitat to include underwater sea life normal in the seabirds' environment. Other marine species currently in the habitat include lingcod, greenlings, copper rockfish, sea anemones and sea stars.
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