This course will provide students with a broad overview of issues involved in the empirical study, conservation and management of marine mammals, with a focus on marine mammals common in the southeastern U.S. (Bottlenose Dolphin, Northern Right Whale, Florida Manatee and Pygmy Sperm Whale). Course material will serve the needs of those students who may be interested in a career in marine science, as well as those who wish to be intelligent consumers of information on marine mammal issues, including conservation, management, coastal development and public policy.
- “Who” are marine mammals?
- Evolution/origin of marine mammals
- General anatomy and physiology with an emphasis on adaptation to the marine environment
- Ecology and population biology
- Behavior: social, reproductive, feeding, intelligence and culture
- Law, public policy and the politics of human/marine mammal interaction
- Husbandry: captive management, public display, research and rescue/rehabilitation
- Exploitation of marine mammals: historical and current—from whaling to ecotourism
- Effects of human activities on marine mammals—sound, pollution, coastal development and fisheries
- Conservation—stock assessment, take reduction and recovery plans
- Careers in marine mammal science