Some terrestrial mammals evolved adaptations in the past that allowed them to move towards either a full or partial marine existence. These include cetaceans (toothed and baleen whales), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walrus), sirenians (dugongs and manatees), sea otters and the polar bear. This course will provide basic background on cetacean biology and strong training in field methods in addition to conservation/management issues affecting them. This is not a recreational course. The course is demanding and students are expected to participate in a variety of activities including night lectures, field projects, data analysis, and outreach activities with the community.The course will take place in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Our based is the Bocas del Toro Marine Station of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute located in the main island, Isla Colon. The station provides unique access to a diverse scientific community that uses the station to study land and aquatic organisms. Bocas del Toro has been Dr. May-Collado’s main study where she has been studying the local bottlenose dolphin population with her graduate students for over 14 years. Students enrolled in this course are expected to participate in all the activities described in the syllabus.
For more information please visit: http://www.lauramay-collado.com/