FHL 585 | Summer A 2018

Marine Animal Bioacoustics 2018

Credits: 9

Instructor(s): Dr. Joseph Sisneros , Dr. Timothy Tricas , Dr. Lane Seeley


*** CANCELLED as of 2-13-18 ***

Marine Animal Bioacoustics is a five-week course designed to provide graduate and advanced undergraduate students with a broad understanding of the acoustic tools and techniques necessary for investigating the bioacoustics (sound production and reception), communication and behavior of marine animals, especially with the marine mammals and fishes found locally in the waters of the San Juan islands, WA. The course will involve a combination of lectures and discussions, extensive hands-on laboratory training, lab exercises and student-led projects, and one-on-one interactions with course faculty from diverse research perspectives of biology (Dr. Timothy Tricas), psychology (Dr. Joseph Sisneros) and physics (Dr. Lane Seeley).

Margaret Marchaterre
Local sound-producing plainfin midshipman fish

Students will investigate the acoustic world of marine animals in relation to their biology of sound production and hearing, natural behavior, and ecology. We will use a ‘hands-on’ approach in the lab to learn about the construction of simple acoustic transducers and digital recording of marine sounds. Students will be introduced to both foundational and contemporary theories of underwater acoustics (including the theory and application of pressure and particle motion in acoustical waves, and Fourier Analysis).  They will become familiar with modern techniques in bioacoustic recordings and analysis that include tank-based and field-based acoustical measurements. Students will learn basic auditory physiology techniques used in hearing studies, such as auditory evoked potential recordings. They will also learn to use LabView software for the fully automated production, recording and analysis of acoustical signals.  A significant portion of the course will involve independent research projects where students apply the scientific method to address problems in marine animal bioacoustic behavior.

David Neiwert
Resident orca whale commonly found in the local waters of San Juan Island/Friday Harbor

This course offers the unique opportunity to receive intensive training in the concepts and methodology of marine animal bioacoustics. The techniques learned in this course can be applied broadly and used by students in their own research. The instructors will take advantage of the rich resources available at the Friday Harbor Labs that include “wet” teaching laboratories with running sea water and aquaria to house fish for student led projects, research library, the research vessel “Centennial”, access to many local animal species including marine invertebrates and fishes that produce sound, and the opportunity for observe and passively record/analyze sounds of local marine mammals.

David Neiwert
Resident orca whale commonly found in the local waters of San Juan Island/Friday Harbor

Contact any of the instructors with questions about the course objectives: