FHL 375 | Spring 2020

Marine Mammals of the Salish Sea 2020

Credits: 5

Instructor(s): Dr. Deborah Giles


This course is offered as part of the Spring Marine Studies (SMS) program.

The Salish Sea provides the ideal backdrop to study marine mammals. This course will provide students new to the biological sciences an opportunity to learn about the wide variety of marine mammals found here and the ecosystems that support them. This course focuses on the biology and conservation of marine mammals and their habitats and the key processes that created them. Discussions will include various topics of marine mammal science and conservation including: taxonomy, morphology including adaptations for marine realm, behavior (feeding strategies, social interactions, reproduction, etc.), habitat use and range, acoustics, anthropogenic impacts, and management of threatened or endangered animals. Students will be taught how to collect marine mammal data such as behavior and population estimates, and may also participate in necropsies. There will be several field trips, both land based and boat based, focused on observing marine mammals in their natural habitats. Students should be prepared to conduct field observations in inclement weather.

The instructor for this course is Dr. Deborah Giles, Whale Researcher at the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology & Science and Research Director at Wild Orca.