Monday, March 31, 2014

New Movie! Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D

Anyone who cares for our blue planet will be thoroughly charmed by the creatures and conservation story in our newest IMAX film—Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D—now playing at the Simons IMAX Theatre. (Buy your tickets online!)

The stirring songs that lemurs call across the jungle can carry for miles.

Here's what the Boston Globe had to say about it:
The IMAX 3-D nature documentary “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” aims to give us the facts about our most ancient primates. But the animals are so magically entertaining to watch here (helped by some gently mischievous narrative assists), the educational treatment is a fun time in its own right. (Read the full review.)
And the Boston Herald writes:
Photogenic, sure-­footed lemurs exist only one place in the world — Madagascar. Who knew? This is one of the things we learn in the breezily enchanting IMAX 3-D documentary “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.” (Read the full review.)
These fascinating creatures will warm your heart as they skip, spring and sing through the wilds of this evolutionary hot-spot. With snappy music and unbelievable scenery, you'll be wrapped up in this heart-tugging story of survival. Just watch.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D gives you an unprecedented look at the life of lemurs, complete with jaw dropping footage of these fuzzy daredevils catapulting themselves from tree to tree or defying gravity as they spring among the baobab trees. Between gasps of amazement you will learn how scientists are hard at work protecting the lemurs of Madagascar as their habitat slowly disappears.

Ring-tailed lemurs have adapted to living on the island where lemur habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate. 

Morgan Freeman narrates this stunning IMAX 3D film, which includes soaring aerial footage of monolithic rock mountains, majestic landscapes and intimate moments with some of our blue planets most endangered animals—all on New England's largest screen. Come join them in their stunning homeland.

Don't miss this fantastic, fun and furry look at lemurs at the Aquarium's Simons IMAX Theatre. Buy your tickets today!

Lemurs live only on the island of Madagascar—and now you can see them at the Aquarium's IMAX theatre!

Volunteer of the Month: March

Every month our Volunteer office sorts through piles of nominations from supervisors and honors one of our volunteers for their truly stupendous efforts. Meet our latest Volunteer of the Month.

For our regular volunteers placed throughout the Aquarium, we have a six month commitment. But time and time again, we find that they stay past that initial commitment due to the meaningful experience they have working with our volunteer supervisors.

This month we are recognizing an exceptional volunteer who has completed that six month commitment and decided to continue providing impactful service to our Aquarium Medical Center (AMC): Samantha Yao.

Here’s what her supervisor, biologist Kerry McNally had to say:
Samantha Yao
Sam has been an exceptional AMC volunteer. She originally began on Saturdays and was always there when I needed her. Whether a spur of the moment situation arose, or there was time for extra cleaning, Sam was a great help. She takes on projects eagerly and requires very little supervision. I always knew that the AMC was cleaned properly and patients were receiving great care when she was around.   
There were times that she kept things going for us in Boston while staff was busy in Quincy, and I never had any reservations about her ability. Sam recently moved to a Sunday AMC volunteer position, and although I miss her on Saturdays, she continues to excel on her new day. Her demeanor is so pleasant to work with and her work ethic is fantastic! We love having Sam volunteer with us, and she deserves the recognition as an asset to the animal health department.
Thank you Sam for the skills and dedication you bring to the New England Aquarium!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The story of a photo spread

Last fall, our goosefish wowed us once again with a stunning egg veil. So educator Jo Blasi grabbed her camera and snapped a few beautiful images. Those pictures made it up on the blog right away—we couldn't keep all that beauty for ourselves! National Geographic magazine saw those photos and expressed an interest in getting their own photographs of the egg veil while it was in the exhibit.

The egg veil oozes about the exhibit | Photo: Webb Chappell

Enter: talented local photographer Webb Chappell. Here's his account of the photo shoot as it appeared on his Tumblr page:
last minute call from National Geographic in late September to shoot the fleeting egg veil of a monkfish at the New England Aquarium… tripod strapped to my bike, I road to the harbor along the Charles… beautiful day, nice to pay a visit to the place that brought me to Boston back when (once upon a time Webb was a diver in the Giant Ocean Tank)  
Fast forward to today and you'll find our lovely goosefish (a.k.a. monkfish) gracing the pages of the April issue of National Geographic!  We're thrilled to be able to share the beauty of this natural phenomenon with the readers of National Geographic.

Meta: Webb Chappell photo of his National Geographic photo

For more about the goosefish and her egg veil, check out these posts:
And here are a couple posts about the goosefish and other residents of the Northern Waters Gallery:

Webb Chappell also helped photograph the Giant Ocean Tank's return to splendor after last year's renovations. Look for some of those pictures here and here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Southern New England Right Whale Festival

Join us for a celebration of efforts to save North Atlantic right whales!

New England Aquarium
Sunday, May 4, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Aquarium is organizing an outdoor festival with a group of young whale scientists from Adams Elementary School in Castine, Maine. The students call themselves the Calvineers after a famous right whale orphan named Calvin.

This exciting festival will give families an opportunity to learn about North Atlantic right whales, meet right whale scientists and participate in fun activities and learn about whale conservation. You'll also be able to see what right whales eat and what they sound like, go through a right whale obstacle course and test your right whale knowledge in a trivia game!

The Festival will take place at the New England Aquarium's Harbor View Terrace Tent, rain or shine. The event is free to the public; Aquarium admission is not included.

Organizations represented include:   

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Marathon Team: Meet the Team

Like last year, the New England Aquarium is fielding a team of dedicated runners who will head out to Hopkinton for the Boston Marathon®. This year's race takes place on April 21.

A great start–finish point for the team's 15-mile long run on Feb. 8: the Aquarium's cozy lobby!

Well before the start of the race, these 25 individuals from around the world will have put in hours and hours of training, through some pretty grueling conditions this winter (for local runners, at least—an Australian teammate is training in summer). In fact, you may have seen many of them on the roads recently!

All bundled up and smiling for the start of their 9-mile run on Jan. 26

Some of the planned training runs introduced the runners to the famed marathon course. After quick ride out on the T's Green Line (because taking public transportation is one way to live blue™!) the team plodded many miles toward the finish line. Many of this year's runners are returning to the team because they were unable to finish last year.

Runners gearing up for a 17-miler

In addition to putting in the long miles, each runner has committed to raising money for the Aquarium's traveling science education programs. These outreach programs bring the ocean to 45,000 children in diverse communities and schools throughout the Boston area each year. Outreach programs visit schools, afterschool programs and community centers, providing what is often the first opportunity for children to experience and learn about marine animals. Participants discover how these animals relate to their own lives and the simple things they can do to protect the oceans and our blue planet.

Sharing the ocean with local kids is what all those miles are about! 

Each of the runners have individual training pages that explains why they are running the marathon in support of the New England Aquarium. Head to the marathon team's page and take a gander—you'll find some pretty inspiring stuff from runners hailing from around world. Now you know who to cheer for come April 21!

Boston Sea Rovers — This Weekend

Join the Boston Sea Rovers—one the world’s oldest underwater enthusiast societies—for their annual show this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston North Shore in Danvers, Mass. In addition to more than 35 fun, visually stunning and educational 45-minute presentations, an exhibit hall filled with manufacturers, travel companies, dive organizations and a Saturday-evening film festival that features today’s notable filmmakers presenting clips of their recent works.

This year's Boston Sea Rover's show is happening Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9

This historic group was started by some avid divers about 60 years ago with a goal to raise the level of awareness of the underwater world. They would meet regularly and hold a yearly clinic on the new advancements of scuba diving. This clinic has now evolved and transformed itself into being known as the world’s longest-running underwater show.

One of the presenters at this year's Boston Sea Rovers show

Now, once per year, this incredible event takes shape. Underwater explorers, scientists, filmmakers and photographers from around the world gather to present their latest discoveries and creations to the public. Notables such as Jacques Cousteau, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Robert Ballard, Stan Waterman and Brian Skerry (the New England Aquarium's Explorer in Residence and National Geographic photographer), have graced the show with their incredible works.

This year’s show will be held on Saturday, March 8, and Sunday, March 9. Check out the Boston Sea Rover's website for more information about workshops and presenters.

Make it an underwater weekend and include a visit to the New England Aquarium, too, where you'll meet some of the underwater residents of our blue planet and watch scuba divers glide amid swirling schools of fish in the Giant Ocean Tank.