Service Learning with Earthwatch: Loons and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

It was one of the worst ecological disasters in history. In 2010, more than 205 million gallons of crude oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — an event that continues to impact the species that call this region home. In a group of just eight volunteers, help scientists as they study the effects of the oil spill on the Common Loon, a seabird that spends up to six months of the year in the Gulf before returning to parts of the northern U.S. and Canada. Through field research and laboratory testing, gain insight into the diets, habitats and movements of the Common Loon, and consider how the oil spill has impacted their immune systems and mortality rates.
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