Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

Watson the Whale Visits Ashley High School

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

In November, MarineQuest’s life-sized whale named Watson migrated to Ashley High School where he educated students on the use of drone technology for monitoring coastal migratory species.

Researchers from Duke University’s Marine Lab heard about Watson’s travels around the state last year and asked if they might be able to monitor him from above. The team has been investigating how accurately the size and shape measurements taken from aerial drone imagery reflect the actual organisms they monitor in the ocean.

Elizabeth Mason, a UNCW graduate and student in Duke’s Master of Environmental Management program, and Everette (Rett) Newton, a program manager in Duke’s Marine Lab, initiated the program with Youth Programs director Sue Kezios in October.

Students from the Ashley’s Marine Science Academy, a partnership with UNCW, assisted with measuring Watson as he “migrated” along their football field.

Harris Muhlstein, MarineQuest science and research specialist and school program coordinator, got the chance to fly a drone. “It is now at the top of his educator equipment wish list!” Kezios said.