the BREAKWATER 
A newsletter from the Prince William Sound Science Center
December 24, 2020
Happy Holidays from PWSSC!
It's been a year. But despite all the challenges, we have been able to adapt every aspect of our work, thanks to our staff and supporters who remain committed to our mission and this place we call home.

Most staff members continue to work from home. Research efforts forged ahead in 2020 with modified staffing, quarantining and regular COVID-19 testing, and an abundance of flexibility and perseverance. 

Our educators found creative ways to engage students and community members: Online Zoom lessons, COVID-safe small group programs, and redesigned community experiences during the Shorebird and Fungus Festivals.

Fundraising efforts shifted to virtual and online formats. And while we missed seeing our supporters at Copper River Nouveau and our Anchorage Fall Reception, we were humbled by the outpouring of support from donors, funders, and participants. As we move into the new year, we remain hopeful due to the continued support of people like you. Thank you and have a safe holiday season!
Creative Solutions in Education
Sidewalk Salmon with Cordova's third grade class.
When we decided to move the Salmon Tank out of the local elementary school this year - to allow our educators easier access - we knew using it as the educational opportunity it has been would be a bit more challenging. But that didn't stop us! 

The third grade class took a field trip to the Copper River Watershed Project office, where the tank is on display in the window, for some "Sidewalk Science." The students were able to view the eyed-eggs, build the salmon life-cycle from images, explore the importance of bankside vegetation in healthy salmon habitats, and play one of our favorite games: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Salmon!

The Coho eggs in the tank have eyes and are well on their way to hatching into Alevin. If you're local, be sure to stop by the window and see them. If you'd like to look from the comfort of your own home, check out our live SalmonStream. You can also be a part of the next window display in January - color the lifecycle diagram and return it to us for your art to be included. 
Rachel's Back! 
Rachel in the PWSSC lab. Photo by Caitlin McKinstry
Welcome (back) to research technician, Rachel Ertz! 

Rachel is no stranger to PWSSC; she originally came to Cordova in 2013 to work for Dr. Rob Campbell running nutrient analyses on seawater samples.  She has been a returning PWSSC field and lab technician ever since. Rachel returns to PWSSC each winter to continue working on the nutrient analyses as part of a longterm monitoring program, but she spends the rest of the year in the Age/Sex/Length department of Alaska Department of Fish and Game. One of the bright spots in our dark winters is having Rachel back in the building! 
Pets of PWSSC: New Puppy Alert!
Ihro in the mud.  
Iroh was named for Uncle Iroh from the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender because of his wise eyes and seemingly chill demeanor. After several weeks in his new home, he is now the terror of the West, known for tormenting his older sister Little Kitty and sock thievery. When he is not terrorizing, he is exploring the woods around his house and taking lots of naps.

PWSSC human: Alysha Cypher, Postdoctoral Researcher
Age/Breed: 12 weeks/Lab Retriever
Favorite Activities: Playing in the snow, fighting twigs, stealing cat food and socks, running on ice at Sheridan Glacier.
Favorite Toy: His stuffed lambchop which has undergone too much surgery to be recognizable.
Favorite Food: Peanut butter and dried mango.
Fears: Bigger dogs running at him at full tilt and his crate.
The Science Center is committed to understanding how one place on earth can maintain a reliable economy and natural environment for the long term. 
 
We need your help now more than ever. If you believe in our mission and care about what we do, please consider making a donation today. Every dollar helps us stay stable during these uncertain times.

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