New England’s National Marine Sanctuary is a place to visit if you want to see whales. But if you are an Atlas Corps Fellow and stay in Massachusetts for a year, you have time to become a real whale expert. 

Whales come to Boston every spring and stay until October when they go to the Caribbean. Local whales have no official passports but recognized among Bostonians as dual citizens: Massachusetts and Dominican Republic residents. Every year they spend fall and winter months in the Caribbean but come back to New England without exception. Here in the North Atlantic Ocean, they find the necessary food. Local cold water is full of plankton and other organisms that are vital for a whale’s life. 

Before your whale watching trip, you can prepare and learn how to identify different whales. The real Whale ID is a tail. Looking at distinct black and white patterns on the wings of the tail, researchers can recognize their age, sex, or association with other whales. 

It is also important to remember that whales’ life can be in danger because of climate change. The real concern is that global warming will influence not directly on whales, but on their food. North Atlantic cold water can become warmer and highly likely less rich in different microorganisms. 

If you are a fellow in Boston and want to know more about the Atlantic Ocean and its whales, birds, and other wildlife,  you can volunteer in the National Marine Sanctuary. You may join the team in different areas, including data science, media support, education, communications, and project management.