The seabirds of summer

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since I spent two weeks in Bar Harbor, Maine as part of the Johns Hopkins Summer Conference on Craft. As a kid, I was always thrilled to get out of school each June to play outside. But as a grownup who never gets her summers off, going to summer school as part of my graduate program in nonfiction writing was actually the best way to spend some real time outside. There, science writing program coordinator Melissa Joyce arranged awesome field trips just about every day, including one to nearby Great Duck Island. Our class spent a glorious July day on the water traveling to the island, traipsing around spruce forest and rocky shores, and learning about seabirds like Leach’s storm petrel from enthusiastic biology interns.

And so I wrote a piece about intern S.J. Kwiatkowska and her work with petrels, weaving in local pirate lore, and (I hope) crafting an intriguing story that lures unsuspecting readers into an ecology lesson about a changing environment.

See what you think in the July issue of The Observer of Jefferson County.

Photo by Anne Hurley
Photo by Anne Hurley

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