Climate Spotlight: Marine Animals

Climate Change 101

Earth’s climate is changing, but what does that mean? And why should we care? Climate describes the long-term average weather conditions of a region over decades or centuries. While it is true that Earth’s climate has oscillated between cool and warm periods in the past, climatic shifts typically occur over thousands of years. The current climate shift is occurring over decades.

Recent climate change is primarily caused by the release of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants into the atmosphere by humans. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses absorb and trap heat energy in Earth’s atmosphere, warming the planet. For hundreds of thousands of years, atmospheric CO2 levels have not risen above 280 ppm, but human activity has raised atmospheric co2 concentrations to over 400 ppm since the 1800s. As CO2 levels continue to rise, more heat will be trapped in Earth’s atmosphere, and Earth’s average temperature will continue to increase.

Warming and increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will have considerable impacts on marine ecosystems. Ocean currents and weather patterns, which are driven by heat energy, may be altered as Earth’s climate warms. Additionally, the world’s oceans are becoming more acidic as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater and reacts with water molecules. The future of marine ecosystems and organisms is unknown; with many environmental changes happening rapidly, animals will need to adapt quickly, migrate, or face possible extinction

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

A layer of greenhouse gases – primarily water vapor, and including much smaller amountsof carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – acts as a thermal blanket for the Earth, absorbing heat and warming the surface to a life-supporting average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
Greenhouse gasses act like a blanket around planet Earth, trapping heat and warming the planet. Image from: https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

Script Author: James M. Fiorendino

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Climate Spotlight: Vaquita

The world’s smallest and rarest porpoise, the vaquita, is now the most critically endangered marine mammal on the planet. Weighing up to 120 pounds (55 kg), the vaquita is only found in the shallow murky waters of the northern Gulf of California. This grey-colored porpoise grows to approximately 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length, with distinguishing  dark grey coloration around its eyes, lips, and on its fins. Vaquitas reach sexual maturity at 3 to 6 years of age and can live for more than 21 years. The vaquita’s diet consists of crustaceans, squid, octopi, and small fish, all of which may be affected by climate change. Overall, the greatest threat to vaquitas in the wild currently is accidental entanglement in gillnets meant for shark, ray, and skate fishing. As of July, 2017, the Mexican Federal Government enforced a permanent ban on gillnet fishing within the vaquita habitat. Despite the enforcement from the Mexican Government and Navy, illegal gillnet fishing continues in some regions.

Over the past 2 decades the vaquita population (Figure 1) has declined from 600 to an estimated 30 individuals, inciting efforts to save and restore the vaquita. A marine refuge has been created in the central portion of the vaquita range, and the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita is attempting to move as many individuals as possible to marine sanctuaries. The Consortium for Vaquita Conservation, Protection, and Recovery sent a team of 65 scientists to monitor, identify, and capture vaquitas in the Gulf, but due to the vaquitas negative reaction to human care, the team had to cease the capture portion of the operation. This mission resulted in 32 sightings of vaquitas and the death of a mature female.

Vaquita population decline since 1997.
Vaquita population decline since 1997. Figure from https://www.aza.org/SAFE-vaquita

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Check out these links to learn more about the vaquita!

Vaquita CPR

IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group: Vaquita

Script Authors: Rachel Housley and Victoria Scriven

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Orca

The Orca, commonly known as the Killer Whale, is not actually a whale, but the largest species of dolphin.  Weighing up to 6 tons, Killer Whales are one of the world’s most powerful predators and can be identified by their distinctive black and white coloration.

Killer whales are known to hunt in pods of up to 40 individuals. Each pod has a distinct call and hunting technique. Individuals can recognize the specific calls made by other members of their pod and pass it down from generation to generation, creating a unique dialect only known to the members of that pod. Killer whales primarily rely on echolocation to communicate when hunting and navigating in dark waters but unfortunately, noise pollution from human activity is negatively interfering with their ability to communicate.

Although Killer Whales are known to feed on a wide variety of prey, including fish, seals, and other marine mammals, not all Killer Whales rely on the same resources. Killer Whales can therefore be divided into subspecies based on what they eat. One subspecies feeds primarily on fish living under the Antarctic ice sheets and has been known to remain in Antarctic waters because of a reliable food supply. Rising water temperatures are melting Antarctic ice, destroying the Killer Whales’ habitat as well as their food supply. It is not known if Antarctic killer whales will be able to adapt to these rapid changes or if climate change will lead to the extinction of this subspecies. In comparison, populations of Killer Whales in the Pacific Northwest feed primarily on salmon. This subspecies is on the endangered species list because salmon populations are declining due to overfishing, disease and warmer ocean temperatures.

This image shows the range in which Killer Whales live, however, orcas are divided into subspecies based on both the location where they are found and their preferred food source.
The above image shows the range in which orcas live; orcas are divided into subspecies based on both the location where they are found and their preferred food source. Image from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/whales/killer-whale.html

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

To learn more about orcas visit these links:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/whales/killer-whale.html#description  

http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/02/02/ship-noise-may-harm-worlds-most-endangered-orcas/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/o/orca/

Script Authors: Marie Defretin and Mariana Gonzalez

Contributing professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Narwhal

Have you ever heard of the “unicorn of the sea?” Unlike its mythical land dwelling counterpart, the narwhal is a very real species; a unique type of toothed whale known for the large tusk protruding from its head. A Narwhal’s tusk is actually an enlarged tooth that can grow up to 9 feet or more, complete with about 10 million nerve endings. Males utilize the tusk for friendly contact, dueling, or cleaning. Female narwhals rarely have a tusk. Narwhals are a migratory species that live in the Atlantic and Russian Arctic. During the summer they tend to stay near the shore before migrating below pack ice for the winter months.

In the Narwhal’s icy habitat, the simple but essential act of breathing can be a challenge. Narwhals are dependent on the presence of holes in sea ice, which provide a place to breath and rest in an otherwise ice-covered ocean. Climate change may be interfering with the ability of Narwhals to locate these critical ice holes. Additionally, increasing temperatures may alter the timing of Narwhal migrations, causing this marine mammal to stay in their summer territory for too long. When they finally begin to migrate, many of the ice holes on their migratory route will have closed, leading to entrapment and death of Narwhals. As ice holes become too distant from one another, Narwhals are left to either drowning while attempting to find another ice hole, or starve to death remaining at an existing hole. Increasing mortality, or death rate, is concerning for Narwhals because of their low fecundity, or reproductive rate.

NarwhalinIce_HR
A lone narwhal is spotted in this image captured by a survey plane. In this extreme environment, the narwhal is surrounded by ice of varying density. Image from: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/narwhals-tale-surviving-sea-ice-change

To learn more about narwhals, check out these links:

https://staff.washington.edu/klaidre/narwhalfaq.html

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/features/narwhals-tale-surviving-sea-ice-change

https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/unicorn-of-the-sea-narwhal-facts

http://www.defenders.org/narwhal/basic-facts

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script Authors: Chris Coffman and David Dodge

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Minke Whale

What would you do if you knew that your home was at risk of melting away? This is the problem that Antarctic Minke whales face due to Earth’s changing climate.

Minke whales, which grow to roughly 30 feet (10 m), are the smallest of the great whale species, which include blue, humpback, and sperm whales. Increasing temperatures have the potential to jeopardize the survival of Antarctic Minke whales through the melting of ice, an important component of the Antarctic ecosystem. Less ice means less food for the minke, which feed primarily on the millions of krill that share the icy Antarctic waters. Krill consume microscopic algae found on the underside of sea ice; a warming atmosphere means that the total surface area of sea ice will likely shrink, ultimately limiting the food supply of both krill and the Minke whale.

Fig 1: The above map shows the distribution of Minke whales globaly. From: http://us.whales.org/sites/default/files/styles/content_full/public/species/maps/map_antarcticminke_w.png?itok=4FxLbdd9
Fig 1: The above map shows the distribution of Minke whales globaly. From: http://us.whales.org/sites/default/files/styles/content_full/public/species/maps/map_antarcticminke_w.png?itok=4FxLbdd9

Studies of Antarctic ecosystems show that Minke whale numbers are declining, most likely due to habitat loss and shortage of food supply due to a warming climate. Luckily, abundance estimates suggest the Minke whale population is not endangered. Though Minke whales are protected by the International Whaling Commission moratorium, which prohibits the harvest of Minke and other whales, some countries still hunt them under the guise of scientific, subsistence, or cultural whaling.

To learn more about Minke whales, check out these links:

https://oceanwide-expeditions.com/to-do/wildlife/minke-whale

http://us.whales.org/species-guide/antarctic-minke-whale

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script Authors: Kendall Polk & Miranda Hooper

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Humpback Whale

When you hear “majestic songs” and “aerial acrobatic abilities”, you might be thinking of Olympic athletes or circus performers, or you might be thinking of one of the largest animals on the planet: the Humpback Whale. These marine mammals are known for their spectacular breaching behavior, leaping high out of the water and crashing back down. Humpback whales live in all major oceans, ranging from the equator to subpolar latitudes, and have one of the longest migration routes of any mammal, traveling from tropical to polar waters. Humpback whales, shown in Figure 1, are primarily dark grey, with some patches of white. Their tail fins, or flukes, have distinct pigmentation patterns which can be used to identify individuals, like fingerprints are used to identify humans. Humpbacks can be up to 60 ft long (18 meters) and weigh between 25-40 tons (23 – 36,000 kg).

Figure 1: Physiology of humpback whales. From: https://phys.org/news/2015-12-whales-threat-climate-impacts-migration.html
Figure 1: Physiology of humpback whales. From: https://phys.org/news/2015-12-whales-threat-climate-impacts-migration.html

Currently, climate change is threatening Humpback Whales by altering their food supply and migratory behavior. As ocean temperatures rise, Humpback whales are tricked into migrating earlier and traveling farther. Humpbacks migrate to Antarctica to feed on krill, tiny shrimp-like crustaceans. Decreasing krill abundance in Antarctica due to climate change has negative impacts on the survival of Humpback calves.

Of the 14 distinct Humpback whale populations (Figure 2), 1 is threatened and 4 are endangered. In the United States efforts have been made to protect these iconic marine mammals through the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits the capture of marine mammals in United States waters.

Figure 1: Global distribution of humpback whale populations. From: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/whales/humpback-whale.html
Figure 1: Global distribution of humpback whale populations. From: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/whales/humpback-whale.html

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

To learn more about Humpback whales, check out these links:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/09/08/2016-21276/endangered-and-threatened-species-identification-of-14-distinct-population-segments-of-the-humpback

Script Authors: Karen Ramirez and Raley Roberts

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Bottlenose Dolphin

Everyone has heard about how smart dolphins are. A dolphin’s brain is astonishingly complex, almost comparable to that of humans, and relative to their body size, quite large. Through magnetic resonance imaging, their brains have been found to be 4 – 5 times bigger than those of other similarly sized animals.

When you think of dolphins, the first image that comes to mind is probably the bottlenose dolphin (below), one of the most common species. Also known as the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, these marine mammals can be found around the world in temperate and tropical waters. Bottlenose dolphins can grow to a whopping twelve feet long (3.5 meters) and weigh up to 1400 pounds (635 kg). Coastal dolphins are smaller and a lighter shade of grey than their darker, larger relatives that live further out to sea.

Photo credit: Joachim S. Muller, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/9420228
Photo credit: Joachim S. Muller, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/9420228

Bottlenose dolphins are generalists, meaning they are not picky eaters. Like radar, dolphins use sound, or echolocation, to find their prey. Once located, dolphins may stun fish with a quick strike from the fluke or flipper, a behavior known as “fish whacking.”

Rising temperatures due to climate change may threaten dolphins by changing the distribution of their prey, or by altering how far dolphins need to migrate to feed and reproduce. Additionally, higher temperatures may interfere with dolphins’ ability to thermoregulate, or maintain a constant body temperature. The bottlenose dolphin is listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List since it is widespread and abundant. However, they are protected by the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, as well as other regulations from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

To learn more about bottlenose dolphins, check out these links:

www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/turstrun.htm

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/dolphins/bottlenose-dolphin.html

http://www.dolphins-world.com/dolphin-intelligence/

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script authors: Cole Birmingham and Matthew Hyde

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Blue Whale

The Blue Whale is the largest animal on Earth. The tongue alone of a fully grown blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant, and the hearts as much as a car. Amazingly, though these marine mammals are undeniably colossal, they achieve their size with a diet composed almost exclusively of tiny crustaceans called krill. Blue whales are found worldwide in subpolar and subtropical waters. In the spring, blue whale populations migrate toward the poles to feed on zooplankton.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA) has classified Blue Whales as endangered. These gigantic creatures were almost harvested to extinction until they were declared protected by the International Whaling Commission in 1966. While whaling is no longer a major threat, climate change and human activity have introduced new challenges to blue whale survival. As global temperatures rise, the sea ice surrounding Antarctica is beginning to disappear. Krill, the main prey of blue whales, are depend on microscopic floating plants known as phytoplankton, which are released into the ocean when ice melts during summer months. As ice diminishes, fewer phytoplankton are released in the warmer months. Less phytoplankton means less food for young krill and, consequently, less food for Blue Whales. Additionally, Blue Whales are also vulnerable to collisions with ships, and noise from ship traffic can interfere with Blue Whale communication, mate selection, prey capture and mother-calf bonding. The figure below illustrates the sources and properties of sound in the ocean.

Figure 1: Sources of sound in the ocean; many of the frequencies of man-made sound overlap with frequencies of whale calls. Image from: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/big-idea/noisy-ocean
Figure 1: Sources of sound in the ocean; many of the frequencies of man-made sound overlap with frequencies of whale calls. Image from: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/big-idea/noisy-ocean

To learn more about blue whales, check out these links:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/blue-whale

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/whales/blue-whale.html

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/b/blue-whale/

http://www.animalplanet.com/wild-animals/endangered-species/blue-whale/

http://marine-flagships.panda.org/breathing-space-for-blue-whales-in-patagonia.html

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script Authors: Elene Rodriguez and Bridgette Cervera

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Adélie Penguin

When a colony of 36,000 Adélie penguins, consisting of 18,000 mating pairs produces only 2 surviving chicks, something is wrong. Populations of Adélie Penguins in East Antarctica are struggling to cope with environmental changes; currently, this species is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list as a species of “Least Concern”. Environmental shifts due to climate change may elevate them to a more severe status.

Photo credit: James M. Fiorendino
Photo credit: James M. Fiorendino

Adélie penguins are found along the rocky Antarctic coast and nearby islands, where they lay their eggs. These birds can be identified by the black feathers covering their heads, with a ring of white around each eye. Adélie penguins grow to roughly 24 inches (60 cm) tall and can weigh up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg). Though Adélies are known to prey on small fish and squid, their diet is primarily composed of shrimp-like crustaceans known as krill. While clumsy on land, Adélie penguins are excellent swimmers capable of diving to nearly 600 feet (180 meters), though they usually keep to the top 150 feet (50 meters) of water to feed.

DSC_0008
An Adelie penguin perched atop a rock overlooks the surrounding colony. Photo credit: James M. Fiorendino

Climate change is impacting populations of Adélie penguins in complex ways. Warming ocean waters and higher average temperatures melt ice and increase available nesting area for penguins. While this may seem beneficial, changes in sea ice formations may force penguins to embark on longer treks seeking food. Additionally, as atmospheric CO2 levels rise, the oceans are becoming more acidic. Ocean acidification has deleterious effects on krill, the primary food source of Adélie penguins. Conservation efforts, such as the establishment of marine protected areas and no-take zones, have been proposed to protect Antarctic ecosystems and species such as the Adélie penguin, but have not yet been enacted.

To learn more about Adélie penguins, check out these links:

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2017/08/protection-for-east-antarctica

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2017/08/protection-for-east-antarctica

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2017/08/protection-for-east-antarctica

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script Authors: Jordan Smith and Matthew Hill

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Beluga Whale

If you placed a waterproof microphone in the Arctic Ocean, you might hear the squeaks and whistles of the “Sea Canary,” or Beluga Whale. This vocal marine mammal is completely white and is only found in Arctic and Sub-Arctic waters. Belugas are one of the smallest whales, growing to roughly 3000 pounds (1400 kg) and reaching fifteen feet (5 meters) in length. Compared to other whales, Belugas have a highly flexible neck, which allows them to turn their heads in a wide range of directions to spot predators such as killer whales or polar bears. Like other whales, belugas have a fatty layer of insulation known as blubber that keeps them warm and protects their organs from frigid Arctic temperatures.

Migrating beluga whales in the Chukchi Sea. Image from: http://marinesciencetoday.com/2017/01/17/climate-change-altering-some-beluga-whale-migration/
Migrating beluga whales in the Chukchi Sea. Image from: http://marinesciencetoday.com/2017/01/17/climate-change-altering-some-beluga-whale-migration/

Belugas are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and have been designated a “near threatened” species. Though climate change threatens Belugas, the most concerning factor impacting the Belugas environment is not rising temperatures or an acidified ocean, but increased human activity in the Arctic. As ice melts and opens channels through which ships may traverse the Arctic Ocean, the likelihood of Beluga deaths due to collisions with ships increases. Additionally, sound emitted by ship engines disrupts communication between whales. Ice loss and rising temperatures in the Arctic may also result in a shift of species toward the poles, which will compete with Arctic animals for food. Currently, it is unclear how or if belugas will be able to cope with the environmental impacts of climate change.

To learn more about Belugas, visit these links:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/threats/climate_change/

https://insideclimatenews.org/species/mammals/beluga-whale

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

Script Authors: Daria Mrugala and Alessandro Scinicariello

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino

Climate Spotlight: Arctic Seals

Climate change is sealing the fate of Arctic seal populations—especially the ribbon, bearded, and ringed seal species. Long-term observations have shown that the Arctic is losing large amounts of sea ice between the winter and summer seasons each year. Ice reflects sunlight striking Earth back into space; less ice lowers Earth’s albedo, or reflectivity, resulting in less energy, and consequently less heat, being reflected into space, creating a positive feedback loop contributing to temperature rise and ice loss.

Sea ice in the Arctic is declining. The above figure shows sea ice cover decline since 1970, as well as projected sea ice extent by 2100.
Sea ice in the Arctic is declining. The above figure shows sea ice cover decline since 1970, as well as projected sea ice extent by 2100. Image from: https://blogs.mprnews.org/updraft/2015/05/arctic-sea-ice-on-pace-for-new-record-low/

Loss of sea ice also means the loss of habitat for many marine mammals, such as arctic seals. The Ringed, Bearded, and Ribbon Seals all depend upon sea ice for breeding, shelter, and rearing of their young. For Ringed Seals, the most common Arctic seal, this is quite devastating because Ringed Seals rarely venture onto land. Additionally, Ringed seals create shelters for newborns by tunneling in pack ice, where they give birth. These tunnels both provide shelter for the newborn seal pup and create a microclimate to keep the pup warm, like an igloo. The breakup of ice can result in the separation of mother and pup, which may be fatal. Without sea ice, not only do seals have to give birth in the water, they cannot create shelters in the ice, which decreases the odds of pup survival. Warmer temperatures also allow pathogens and parasites to thrive; less sea ice area results in seals living in close proximity, which increases the chance of spreading parasites or diseases to other individuals.

Mother harp seals identify pups by scent; here a mother harp seal sniffs her pup. Photo by Brian J. Skerry, https://fineartamerica.com/featured/a-mother-harp-seal-sniffs-her-pup-brian-j-skerry.html
Mother harp seals identify pups by scent; here a mother harp seal sniffs her pup. Photo by Brian J. Skerry, https://fineartamerica.com/featured/a-mother-harp-seal-sniffs-her-pup-brian-j-skerry.html

This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

To learn more about Arctic seals, check out these links:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/seals/ringed-seal.html

https://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/education/pinnipeds/ribbon.php

Script Authors: Brian Buckingham and Andrew Watts

Contributing Professor: Dr. Lisa Campbell

Editor: James M. Fiorendino