Spring 2011
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 616
Biology of Marine Mammals


04/18/2011 - 04/22/2011
Note: Special Schedule 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

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 field trips that provide opportunities for observation of free-living marine mammals.

Possible field trips to be scheduled SATURDAY, APRIL 16 and/or SUNDAY, APRIL 17.

Class will meet in Allbritton 311 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. If necessary, the class will meet in Woodhead Lounge on Wednesday.

This course is not open to auditors.

Immersion courses are worth three units of credit and are academically as rigorous as a regular term course, only the class meetings are compressed into a very short time. Students interested in immersion courses should be aware that the syllabus usually requires that students prepare for up to a month prior to the first class meeting and complete assignments in the weeks following the course. Please click here for more information about immersion courses.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, January 28 at 5:00 pm. Please visit our website for a complete list of registration and withdrawal dates for this session.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
SCIE 616

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:
Reeves, R. R., et al. 2002. National Audubon Society guide to marine mammals of the world.

Reading Materials are available at BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 Broad Street, Middletown, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
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