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