Seal on a New Hampshire Beach? Who You Gonna Call?
As of January 2014, for the first time, you will call a New Hampshire rescue team: that team is from the Seacoast Science Center. For 47 years, the New England Aquarium led the rescue response; and for the past seven years, members of the Seacoast Science Center’s crew were volunteer responders for the Aquarium. Today, the Center is responsible for 238 miles of New Hampshire shoreline from Great Bay and Hampton Harbor to the Isles of Shoals. The evening starts with an evocative thought experiment about evolution of Americans’ relationship to marine mammals. You’ll find out how the Center’s Team is protecting animals from people, and people from animals through response, rescue and education. You will also find out which species of seals visit our shores, from the ice seals that come in winter to the most commonly seen year-round seals. Speakers are Ashley Stokes, Rescue Coordinator and SSC President, Wendy Lull.
Rescue Coordinator Ashley Stokes joined the Seacoast Science Center’s crew in 2005 as a Naturalist which included volunteering for the NEAq Marine Animal Rescue Program. During that time she responded to many of stranded marine mammals, both live and dead, collected Level A data, transported live animals to rehabilitation at UNE , and collected carcasses for necropsy by NEAq. She completed NEAq training as well as Incident Command System training ICS100 and ICS200). As the Rescue Coordinator she is responsible for staffing the 24/7 hotline, responder deployment and training. She received her BS in Marine Biology at the University of Rhode Island. A SCUBA diver, skier, hiker and outside enthusiast, Ashley lives in Haverhill, MA with her son Nolan, husband Keegan and Big Dog Bailey.
Wendy Lull has been President of the Seacoast Science Center, a non-profit marine science institution in Rye, New Hampshire since it opened in 1992. On her watch, the Center’s budget grew from $250,000 to about $1,500,000. The Center’s signature exhibition on the ecology of Gulf of Maine humpback whales, features the largest collection of whale skeletons on public display in northern New England. NBC’s TODAY Show chose the Center as one of six 2010 Lend a Hand Today recipients. She earned her Master’s Degree in Zoology at the University of New Hampshire. A SCUBA diver, ocean kayaker and boogie boarder, and snow shoe buff, Wendy has published scientific papers, business strategy cases and edited the book Footprints in Time. She leads Center expeditions to locales of environmental and historic interest from the Gulf of Maine to the Galapagos Islands.
Wendy serves on a number boards and committees including: University of New Hampshire Sea Grant Policy Advisory Committee and New Hampshire Estuary Spatial Planning Project Advisory Committee; New England Ocean Action Network; and was the first woman to serve as President of the Board of Governors, Port of Portsmouth Propeller Club. She received the Odyssey Award from her alma mater, Oakland University, Rochester, MI and has been recognized as an Outstanding Women in Business by New Hampshire Business Review and one of New Hampshire’s Women of Distinction by New Hampshire Magazine.