Narwhal tagging in the arctic
As a grad student, Ari Daniel Shapiro has to tag some narwhals to collect data. The problem: it's in the arctic, the devices have never been tested, and if he fails he'll never be able to do research again.
“The thing is, you have to get the tag back to get the data.”
Science story spinner
Ari is enchanted by the natural world. As a kid, he packed his green Wildlife Treasury box full of species cards. As a graduate student, Ari trained gray seal pups (Halichoerus grypus) how to vocalize and he coordinated a field team to tag wild Norwegian killer whales (Orcinus orca). He studied the cooperative feeding and vocal communication of orcas for his PhD. These days, Ari is an independent producer, and he records a species he's better equipped to understand — Homo sapiens. He uses audio and multimedia to tell stories about science and the environment on public radio and the web. In the fifth grade, Ari won the "Most Contagious Smile" award.