Joining SoMAS for a Sunset Cruise of the Shinnecock Bay

Chris handing a spider crab to a student. This harmless crab plays an important role in our environment as a scavenger and a food item for sea turtles.

Chris Paparo hands a spider crab to a student. This harmless crab plays an important role in our environment as a scavenger and a food item for sea turtles.

Some may claim that library workers aren’t known for their prowess on the open sea, but don’t tell Stony Brook University Libraries’ Daphne Trakis that.

Daphne strapped on her sailor shoes Thursday, August 11th, and set off on the SoMAS (School of Atmospheric and Marine Science) Sunset Cruise of the Shinnecock Bay. This voyage aboard the RV Peconic was guided by Chris Paparo, Southampton Marine Science Center Manager, and Captain Brian Gagliardi. Thanks to Daphne, we were able to document this special trip.

 

It didn't take long to pull an exciting array of sea creatures from the Shinnecock Bay.

It didn’t take long to pull an exciting array of sea creatures from the Shinnecock Bay.

A variety of guests showed up from both the SBU and local communities. Students of SoMAS, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Applied Health Informatics handled and learned about blue claw crabs, spider crabs, fluke, skates, and more.

Chris Paparo Holding a pregnant blueclaw crab.

Chris Paparo Holding a pregnant blueclaw crab.

Throughout the cruise, Mr. Paparo demonstrated his expertise. He explained how pregnancy works in the blue claw crab, pointing out the spongy mass on her abdomen. The dark color of the sponge means that her eggs were ready to hatch. A newly-dropped sponge is bright orange in color. He also demonstrated how skates, unlike stingrays, do not have a stinger but are adorned by many sharp spines along their skin. The skate Mr. Paparo used as an example is a male as he could tell from the two finger-like fins located near its tail. These are called claspers and are male reproductive organs.

Chris Paparo shows off this skate's trademark surprise-face.

Chris Paparo shows off this skate’s trademark surprise-face.

After the cruise, when asked what message participants should take away from the cruise, Mr. Paparo championed Long Island’s local wildlife:

There is no need to go to an exotic location to see fascinating wildlife. There is so much to see in our own backyard, we just need to slow down and take time to observe our surroundings. – Chris Paparo

SBU Students and Southampton Community enjoy local sea life.

SBU Students and Southampton Community enjoy local sea life.

The message echoes the hard work SoMAS has been doing at Stony Brook since 2007, and for over 40 years beforehand as the Marine Sciences Research Center. SoMAS maintains a fleet of seven(7) ships. Stony Brook University Libraries are proud to work side by side with this department and help support their positive message.

Chris Paparo lets a SBU student touch a skate -- a relative of the stingray.

Chris Paparo lets a SBU student touch a skate — a relative of the stingray.

Special thanks to Chris Paparo (commentary) and Daphne Trakis (pictures) for their contribution to this post.

William Blydenburgh

William Blydenburgh

Evening & Weekend Manager at Stony Brook University Libraries at Southampton
email: william.blydenburgh@stonybrook.edu
William Blydenburgh
Posted in Libraries, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Southampton