Collecting Net, April 2013

MBL Update

• MBL scientists and staff gathered in the Lillie Auditorium on April 10 for the annual State of the MBL address by President and Director Joan Ruderman.

Dr. Ruderman updated staff on activities of the past year and recognized long-term employees for their dedication and service to the MBL.

Those celebrating their 25th anniversary were presented with personalized chairs bearing the MBL seal and their names. The four employees honored were:

Hugh Blunt, Electrician
David Kicklighter, Research Associate
Deborah Scanlon, Ecosystems Projects and Publications Coordinator
Edward Rastetter, Senior Scientist

The following employees were honored for 10 years of service to the laboratory and were presented with engraved glass sea star ornaments.

Christopher Dematos, Assistant Director IT
Grant Harris, Scientific Informatics Analyst
Catherine Hemmerdinger, Assistant to the Director of Education
Scott Lindell, Associate Research Scientist
Mark Messerli, Assistant Scientist
Barbara Stackhouse, Front Office Assistant

• The MBL turns 125 this summer! Celebratory events are planned, including MBL Discovery Day, on July 17, the anniversary of our dedication. A complete event schedule is forthcoming.

• MBL courses begin with the arrival of the Frontiers in Reproduction course, the Analytical Quantitative Light Microscopy (AQLM)
course, and the Logan Science Journalism Program. More than 600 students will be enrolled in the MBL’s summer courses this year.

Facilities Update


The MBL’s seawater dock and intake structure is getting new piling as part of the reconstruction after Hurricane Sandy damage.

Meet Liz McCarthy, Assistant Director of Conferences, Housing and Dining


While the MBL may be best known for its research and education programs, another significant part of MBL operations is the meetings, conferences, workshops, and retreats hosted by the laboratory each year. It’s Liz McCarthy’s job to make sure that all of these groups have a productive and comfortable experience during their stay.

Liz’s primary responsibility is to organize and coordinate meetings, as well as to secure new groups for the September to May conference season. “I’m responsible for keeping our facilities busy in the off-season,” she says. “In the winter and summer, I’m organizing conferences coming in the spring and fall. There are a lot of advance preparations that go into each event. But, I can’t do my job without everyone on campus helping—from custodians, and housekeepers, to Swope front desk staff, Dining Services, and the IT team—it’s really a campus-wide project. If they didn’t do what they do, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.”

Event planning is nothing new to Liz, a graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Management. She came to the MBL in 2008 as Sodexo’s Catering Manager, after being transferred from the University of Vermont where she organized their campus-wide events for five years. While there, she earned her Master’s Degree from Champlain College.  In 2011 she transitioned to the MBL as the Assistant Director of Conferences, Housing, and Dining.

Liz’s favorite part of her job is having the chance to meet people from all over the world. “There’s definitely a mystique about the MBL that conference attendees enjoy while they are here. I’m not sure anyone can accurately describe it, but when they’re here, there are no distractions, no hassles of the city, everyone just talks, the conversations are so intense.”

A native of Ithaca, NY, Liz moved back to the East Coast 15 years ago after living in the western United States. Over the course of her career, she owned restaurants in Breckenridge, CO, and Santa Cruz, CA.

When she’s not assisting visitors to the MBL, Liz herself is an avid traveler. She says she was bitten with the travel bug as a kid. “I spent my eighth birthday with relatives in Glasgow, Scotland, traveling across the Atlantic with my family on the Queen Mary, and returning on the Queen Elizabeth.“ She’s been back to visit many times since.

Over the last three years, Liz has spent three weeks in Australia, three weeks in New Zealand, and has joined friends on sailing adventures in Honduras and Panama. She’s currently planning a summer trip to Barcelona, Spain.

“I feel fortunate to work in this great environment with great people and appreciate that it supports my travel habit,” says Liz.

Employee News

New Employees
Bruce Dumais, Watchperson, Facilities & Services
William Lang, Watchperson, Facilities & Services
Alison Maksym, Education Assistant, Ecosystems Center
Bradley “Breeze” Simmons, Marine Resources Life Support Tech, Marine Resources

Appointments and Promotions 
Jonathan Gitlin, Director, Bell Center
Roger Hanlon, Director, Program in Sensory Physiology & Behavior
Lisa Hunt, Assistant to Sponsored Programs
Chris Neill, Director, Ecosystems Center
Blair Rossetti, Research Assistant II
Liese Siemann, Research Associate

• MBL Senior Scholar Bruce Peterson Wins A.C. Redfield Award for Career Achievements in Aquatic Science

MBL Diversity News

The Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee (WHDAC) has been busy this spring planning diversity events for the upcoming summer.  Besides the return of our ongoing programs [MBL’s Biological Discovery in Woods Hole Research Experience for Undergraduates Program
run by Al Mensinger and Paul Malchow; the Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics, & Survival (SPINES) directed by Keith Trujillo and Jean King; and the Woods Hole Partnership in Education Program (PEP) sponsored by the six Woods Hole scientific institutions], WHDAC plans to have a “Breads of the World” event sometime in late June, a table on diversity at MBL’s Discovery Day on July 17, and a workshop focused on Native Americans in science in August.

Stay tuned for dates and updates on our website and, coming soon, a video of Cary Barnes’ moving portrayal of the “I Have a Dream” speech presented live at Swope during Black History Month in February.

• Wii Bowling lunchtime competition in the Starr Building continues through April

• Thursday, May 2:  Potluck Lunch “Brunch”
Swope Private Dining Room, 12:00 PM

• Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, May 19: MassCommute Bicycle Challenge – Employees register the number of miles they will be biking for the week – it can be commuting miles or miles logged around town.  New this year: riders will also be registered for the National Bike Challenge by logging miles from May 1 through September 30 will be eligible for prizes from the National Bike Challenge.

• May Bike Drive
 – Donate new or nearly-new bikes and helmets (for children and adults) to the Falmouth Service Center this spring! Bikes and helmets will be collected at the Swope Front Desk, Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM, throughout the month of May, and delivered (by the Activities Committee) to Falmouth Service Center.

• MBL Summer Artisan Fairs
 – Fairs will be held on June 14, July 12, and Aug. 9, 2013. Vendors will set up on Lillie front lawn and Waterfront Park. Fair hours are 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.