The island view
Monthly Newsletter
June 2023
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Photo of John M. Kingsbury from the SML photo archive
Dear SML Community,
One of my favorite poems is Mary Oliver's Breakage. It beautifully describes the power of keen observation to reveal the ecological story of a tidepool. She writes that the tidepool is “like a schoolhouse of little words, thousands of words. First you figure out what each one means by itself, the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop full of moonlight. Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.”
I believe Dr. John M. Kingsbury understood Oliver's sentiments and that he longed for undergraduate students to squat down on the edge of a tide pool, peer in, and slowly read the whole ocean story when he started Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) in the 60's. Dr. Kingsbury brought together a group of dedicated marine scientists (including Cornell faculty: John M. Kingsbury, John M. Anderson, John P. Barlow, Perry W. Gilbert, Oliver H. Hewitt, Edward C. Raney and Louise P. Bush from Drew University) to build a legendary and unique undergraduate-focused marine science institution that has trained thousands of students to see the true nature of this “raw, exquisite, and absorbing” Maine island, as he often put it.
Jack (as he was known to all) passed away during this May’s Volunteer Weekend. When I heard the sad news, it felt so meaningful that a large group of dedicated volunteers - some who have been coming since the very beginning - were on Appledore to begin another season of science and learning on Jack's beloved island. It felt like we were carrying his spirit across the tidepools and rocky ledges where it will live on in wonder-filled eyes and hearts of the students discovering the magical story of the marine world.
I think I can speak for thousands of alumni (including staff, scientists, and faculty) who have some fragment of their heart embedded on these rocky shores: Thank you Jack for having an incredible vision and making it a glorious reality. Your intention here lives and we feel your spirit.
With gratitude,
Jennifer Seavey
Executive Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory
Remembering Jack Kingsbury
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The Shoals community is forever indebted and grateful to Dr. John M. Kingsbury. In an effort to celebrate his legacy forward and honor him, we are calling on all Shoalers who knew him to share memories in the form of stories and photos. These will be used for a special publication in his honor coming this fall.
Classes have begun!
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Last week, we welcomed our very first group of students to Shoals Marine Laboratory. Three courses: R by the Sea, Marine Mammal Biology, and Marine Invasive Species kicked off the season with much excitement. These students have even had the good fortune of a visiting Humpback Whale, who showing off with lots of breaching around the Isles of Shoals this month.
As these classes wrap up, we are ready to welcome the next group of classes which include Evolution and Marine Diversity, Field Animal Behavior, and Anatomy and Functions of Marine Vertebrates.
Make sure to follow along on social media to see some behind-the-scenes of island life!
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Attention Buoys and Gulls!
Q. What do you do with a sick boat? 
A. Bring it to the dock! 
Humor aside, we really do need help replacing our fleet of Zodiac inflatable boats! The inflatables are central to our waterfront operations and essential for SML’s operation, making them a tangible and impactful gift to the lab. 
$3-10K is needed to sustain our fleet.
If you are interested in helping with this effort, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact Amy Fish at
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Corporate Sponsorship at Shoals
We are excited about the new corporate sponsorship opportunities at SML! As an organization committed to environmental stewardship and scientific advancement, we believe partnering with like-minded companies offers a unique collaboration that will extend our impact on marine ecosystems. 
We don’t underestimate the power of the SML Community! Many of you are highly connected, and well-respected members of our local community and beyond. Your corporate connections might become our biggest partnerships and we invite you to consider potential sponsors in your circle and share this information with them. View our Sponsorship Press Kit and share this info!  
Follow Shoals on Instagram!
Shoals Marine Laboratory is a joint partnership between Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire.