Visit to the NRCC (2002)

Two moderators met face to face in the autumn of 2002: Colin Dunlop traveled from Scotland to Texas to help Nancy King set up her saltwater aquarium and to accompany Nancy and her husband Bill to Galveston, where Colin and Nancy visited the National Research Center for Cephalopods (NRCC). This is a report of that visit.

By Colin Dunlop and Nancy King

Galveston Island is most famous for its hurricanes, its architecture and its sandy beaches. But did you know it is also the epicenter for cephalopod study? So we decided to visit this internationally-known cephalopod resource and research center, the NRCC, located on a barrier island about fifty miles from Houston in the city of Galveston.


As a branch of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), secreted away along the side of a pier and barely identified by a small NRCC sticker near the door stands the place where so many cephalopod breakthroughs have been made. It is also the place where many documentaries such as Incredible Suckers have been filmed.

Finding it was not so easy. After a missing a 'promised un-missable' heli-pad several times and after a phone call to get more instructions, we eventually pulled up at the entrance to the NRCC. We were met at the door by John Forsythe, a noted research scientist who has worked in this department for twenty or so years. With John as our guide, we began the tour.

First on the menu was a species of squid local to the Gulf called Lolliguncala brevis. This species is kept in rounded vats to prevent the...
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About the Author
Nancy has an interest in all things cephy but especially octopus behavior. She maintains two saltwater aquariums and has kept O. bimaculoides and O. briareus as well as many other invertebrates. She joined the staff in March 2002 with a background in management, editing and technical writing in technology companies. She enjoys helping people with ceph keeping, including writing articles. Nancy also has a strong background in art and currently works in precious metals and watercolor with a goal of producing high quality art with marine themes. She holds an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and presently lives in Dallas, Texas - only five hours from the Gulf!


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