Thursday, July 10, 2014

Would a Whale Fit in the Library?

Cynde McInnis, owner of The Whalemobile, will be bringing her life-sized (43 ft.) inflatable whale, Nile, to Tisbury on August 6 at 4 pm, as part of the Vineyard Haven Public Library’s summer reading program. Because the whale is too big to fit in the Library, the program will be held at the Tisbury School Gym.

The presentation begins with a slide show introducing students to the toothed whales and baleen whales that are found off the coast of Massachusetts in the Gulf of Maine. Sounds of each species and videos of humpbacks are included. After the assembly, students will meet Nile, a 27-year old humpback whale whom McInnis has seen almost every summer since 1994. They can go inside of the inflatable whale and see ways in which whales are similar to humans. Students will learn about Nile’s migratory path, how many calves she’s had, as well as how researchers learned this information. Artifacts such as baleen, teeth and bones are available for children to see and feel. At the end of the presentation, students will learn about what they can do to keep the oceans safe for all the animals.

2014 is McInnis’ 21st season with Cape Ann Whale Watch out of Gloucester, MA as Lead Naturalist and Education Director. She has studied whales in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. She brings her passion for whales as well as her vast knowledge of these animals into schools to help shape future generations of ocean advocates.

The Whalemobile aims to captivate students and help them connect with the oceans, both emotionally and intellectually. Children will come away with knowledge of and a fascination for whales that will be a spark that inspires them to care about the oceans and the environment around us.

This free program is supported by a grant from the Anderson Foundation to the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public library.

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