Kay Wicinas and Liz Anderson, both 3rd year veterinary students at UC Davis, recently arrived on Orcas for their summer internships with SeaDoc.
Wicinas and Anderson are helping to coordinate responses to stranded marine mammals with the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Since 1980 the Whale Museum has been running the network, and since 2000, SeaDoc has been collaborating with them on marine mammal disease work. Stranded animals help tell us about the health of populations and give us early warnings of diseases that can impact human and wildlife health.
Wicinas and Anderson are also working on independent projects.
Last year's interns presented their research projects on thermal imaging of seal pups and on internal parasites in harbor seals at the annual conference of the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine.
Funding for the summer veterinary interns comes from the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program from NOAA Fisheries. Housing has again been graciously donated by Bill and Lannie Hoglund.
Also interning with SeaDoc this summer is Colgate University junior Jacq Zier.
Zier, who grew up on Orcas and graduated from Orcas High School, is studying molecular biology and has joined us to help synthesize peer-reviewed information on local species for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.
Joe Gaydos is the Birds and Mammals editor for the Encyclopedia.
(left to right) Jacq Zier, Kay Wicinas & Liz Anderson