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Cooper Sniffs Out Seals

BARROW, ALASKA– (By Julie Konop) What does a ringed seal’s breathing hole look like and how do you find one on a vast sheet of sea ice? Dr. Brendan Kelly uses the canine skills of Cooper, a Black Labrador he trained to chase the scent of ringed seals and point to their holes. Passionate about wildlife and climate change, Melanie Duchin has loaned her dog to work with Brendan for the past 5 years.

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  1. Dear Dr. Brendan Kelly,

    During summer camp this year we watched a few of the Ice Stories videos and talked about what it might be like to be a scientist on the poles. They were very interested in your scientific work with the seals. Here are a few questions and comments for you from the campers:

    How big are the seals?
    How small are the baby seals?
    How many baby seals do you see total?
    Do the seals mate in the summer?

    Does it hurt the seals to tag them?

    Was it hard to train your dog to find seals?