Spring 2006
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 616
Biology of Marine Mammals


01/23/2006 - 05/06/2006
Thursday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Science Tower 137

Special Schedule: One-week immersion, April 18-22 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

We will examine the lives of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, manatees, dugongs, sea otters, and polar bears. Topics include evolution, feeding ecology, migration, social behavior, sensory perception, reproduction, population dynamics, conservation, and anatomical and physiological adaptations for life in the sea.

Marine mammals comprise a diverse group of warm-bodied animals that inhabit the sea. Some of them can be observed in accessible coastal areas, but many live on remote shores or spend much of their time deep in the ocean, and so we seldom witness their lives. Additionally, our generally land-bound existence greatly inhibits our intuitive understanding of these submerged species. Yet sea mammals are among the most compelling of wildlife species and provide some of the most intriguing modifications of the basic mammalian mode of life.

Study materials include a course textbook, journal articles, and images.

Requirements include field reports, a take-home exam based on lectures and assigned readings, a marine mammal identification exam, and an individual project to be selected by the student.

Classroom sessions are supplemented with two Sunday field trips that provide opportunities for observation of free-living marine mammals.

Geoffrey Hammerson (B.S. University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder) is a research zoologist at NatureServe and is author of more than 70 reports and publications, most recently, The conservation status of the world's reptiles (Biological Conservation, 2013, with M. Bohm et al.) and Rapid assessment of plant and animal vulnerability to climate change (in Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate (University of Chicago Press, 2012, with Young et al.) Click here to read an article about Geoff and his GLS courses.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Pieter Folkens, NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY GUIDE TO MARINE MAMMALS OF THE WORLD (National Audubon Society Field Guide Series) (Knopf), Paperback

William Perrin, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MARINE MAMMALS (Academic Press), 1st Edition, Hardcover.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the cost of this text, the instructor is making the purchase optional. Student may wish to obtain this text through their local library.


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