COASTAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS DO BLUE CRAB RESEARCH WITH DUKE FACULTY
Coastal High School Students Do Blue Crab Research With Duke Faculty High school students from Morehead City and Swan Quarter will soon be working alongside Duke University researchers to study blue crab behavior and its implications for the endangered whooping crane. Dan Rittschof, L.H. Snowdon Professor of Ecology at Duke University Marine Lab, will lead the research effort, which will be assisted by students from Cape Lookout Marine Science High School and Mattamuskeet Early College High School.The researchers are studying how blue crabs move and their vulnerability to predation by large wading birds like the whooping crane. Whooping cranes feed on blue crabs to fuel migration from their wintering grounds in coastal Texas to their breeding grounds in Northern Canada. The whooping crane population dwindled to only 15 birds in the 1940s, but conservation efforts have resulted in a slow recovery for the species.