Marine Mammal Biology

Course Dates

June 11, 2018 to June 25, 2018

Prerequisites

None.

Equivalent Note

Cornell students: This course fulfills a CALS graduation requirement.

Students outside of Cornell and UNH: See the Financial Support & Scholarships page for details about an automatic award which can be applied towards the cost of enrolling in Marine Mammal Biology.

Course Description

Shoals students enjoying an amazing whale watch (photo by Jan Factor).
Harbor seals at neighboring Duck Island.

Introduction to the biology and conservation of the whales and seals, with a particular focus on species of the Gulf of Maine. Lectures examine topics including taxonomy and species diversity, adaptations for life in the sea, foraging ecology and behavior, reproductive cycles, bioacoustics, and management of threatened species. Land and open-water observations of whale and seal behavior are an integral part of this course. Instructors are permitted to conduct dissections of marine mammals when carcasses are available for autopsy.

Some of the learning outcomes for this course include:

  • Identify and explain the morphological, physiological adaptations specific to the evolution of marine mammals;
  • Understand the seasonal patterns of foraging and reproductive cycles of local marine mammals and their relation to resource availability in the Gulf of Maine;
  • Recognize the anthropogenic threats faced by marine mammals and the challenges to their long-term conservation and management.

Internship opportunity: This course is recommended experience for SML's Marine Mammal Internship.

"...after attending the Shoals course for Marine Mammals...I was able to learn about something that really interested me, and I am one step closer to my dream of working with and helping marine mammals." - Lindsay Spotts (SML '15, UNH '18)

Faculty

Dr. Nadine Lysiak:

Lecturer, UMass Boston; Faculty, Marine Studies Consortium

Dr. Andrea Bogomolni:

Research Associate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


In 2013, BioSM 1650 participated in the salvage of a minke whale carcass:

  • Watch a video made by Chad Crowley (SML '13, Cornell '16) for the student's perspective...

Stories and photos the 2013 BioSM 1650 minke whale adventure:

Course Video

Course whale watch from August 2009, just off the Isles of Shoals!

Status

Open

Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 1650 (3 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 535 (4 Credits)