A few weeks ago, Sarah Gribbin and I joined a Marine Mammal class taking place on campus as part of COA’s Summer Programs. We headed out with them aboard COA’s new boat the Osprey to check out what was happening out on Great Duck Island.

We found students busy banding birds, drawing, painting, gardening, and working on independent research projects. After arriving, John Anderson spoke of the island’s history and gave us a tour to the main house. Then, a rising second-year, nicknamed Anne Shirley, led us down to the rocks along the water and introduced us to a herring chick. When it was my turn to hold the soft, fluffy chick, my heart caught and I paused as something shifted inside, making me reconsider who I was and who I wanted to be in relation to this chick, so vulnerable in my hands.

After watching Anne return the chick to its crack in the rock, we walked back to the house and followed SJ, a visiting student from Green Mountain College, to meet more chicks. All too soon we had to return to the Osprey. While on the boat back, I had a chance to talk with Lindsey Nielsen, a recent COA graduate. She described a few of the projects taking place out on Great Duck in greater detail than I ever could. I put the recording of our conversation with the photos I took while out on Great Duck and, wala!! A slideshow!