SPEAKER SERIES 2012-2013
16 January 2013 - Sally Mizroch
Searching for whales in the vast North Pacific: 60 days at sea on a Japanese whale research ship
In 2010, a new series of whale research cruises was launched in the eastern North Pacific. The cruises are jointly sponsored by the International Whaling Commission and Japan with collaboration of scientists from the US. The surveys use line transect, photo-ID and biopsy techniques to determine whale distribution and abundance in very large areas of the eastern North Pacific (south of the Alaska coast all the way south to 40° N). A major goal of the cruises is to "provide baseline information on distribution and abundance for a poorly known area for several large whale species/populations, including those that were known to have been depleted [by whaling] in the past, but whose status is unclear". Sally Mizroch participated in the 2011 and 2012 cruises and coordinated and curated all the photo-identification and biopsy data. Photo-ID catalogs were produced for blue whales (9 cataloged in 2011, 4 cataloged in 2012), killer whales (18 cataloged in 2011 and 47 cataloged in 2012), humpback whales (48 cataloged in 2011 and 26 cataloged in 2012), and sei whales (yes, sei whales: 27 cataloged in 2011 and 51 cataloged in 2012). In 2012, one right whale was seen and photo-identified in an area known to have been the site of illegal Soviet whaling for right whales in the 1960s and early 1970s, east of Kodiak in the Gulf of Alaska. Each year, the photo-ID catalogs have been shared with collaborating whale researchers throughout the North Pacific. Long-term matches have already been found for humpback whales and killer whales, and matching is still in progress.
Sally has worked at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center for her entire scientific career. She began studying Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska groundfish in the Center's Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management Division in 1977, and in 1979 she transferred to NMML to study vital rates of Antarctic baleen whales, which were still being hunted commercially at the time. She was a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee from 1980 to 1988. Some of her analyses as a young scientist provided direct scientific support for the whaling moratorium that was initiated in 1986. In 1986, she developed the humpback whale matching system and started the centralized North Pacific humpback whale flukes photo database. Sally received a B.A. in environmental studies/biology at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1975. She received her M.S. in fisheries from the University of Washington in 1983 under the supervision of Professor Doug Chapman. She has completed advanced classes in statistical sampling and analysis at both the University of Washington and at Colorado State University.
20 February 2013 - Peggy Foreman, NOAA
Establishing a Sense of Place: NOAA Fisheries education and outreach efforts in the NWR
NOAA's education mission is "To advance environmental literacy and promote a diverse workforce in ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate sciences, encourage stewardship and increasing informed decision making for the nation."
Here in the Pacific Northwest we strive to link how science informs management decisions and conservation efforts on a local level. Our challenge is to help connect students, schools, and communities to their local watershed establishing a strong sense of place. If we can introduce the recovery of protected species and emphasize how humans are inextricably connected to their habitat, we hope to inspire actions that will ultimately lead to stewardship of the nation's living marine resources like the Salish Sea and the world ocean that surrounds us.
We are proud that our efforts include a diverse working relationship with other federal partners, state agencies, Native American tribes, and stakeholders. Every time we reach out to our schools and communities we try to understand what they already know, what academic standards are they working on or what monitoring or research is taking place around them and how we can support their efforts. We then try to integrate the entities that could support a meaningful educational experience either in the classroom, at the closest river or stream, or at a local science institution close by. By utilizing partners, encouraging field experiences, and emphasizing science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and social studies (S.T.E.M.Ss) we hope to spark that interest that snowballs into life-long learning and opportunities that allow our communities to take pride in where they live, and participate in actions that protect species that live in their backyard.
For the last five years, Peggy has worked half-time to establish resources for her colleagues to go into schools or host community events. She has developed a variety of K-12 units and stand-alone activities focused on Salmon Issues, Killer Whale Recovery, Groundfish such as halibut or rockfish, stranding events and much, much more. She has helped facilitate teacher workshops and works with partner agencies to strengthen environmental literacy and supplement existing curricula.
Peggy will walk through a variety of resources available on the NEW and IMPROVED nwr.noaa.gov website and elaborate on ways to help improve our efforts. Peggy will highlight three projects that have expanded her efforts to the outer coast of Washington and down to Le Grande, Oregon in 2012. One involved high school students, video cameras, and a field trip to Lake Ozette to see spawning sockeye salmon. Another project relied on partners to help strengthen and grow our marine mammal resources to improve our education efforts and the third project was working with the educational team from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla's Natural Resource Division on a salmon and steelhead unit focused on First Foods.
While at NOAA, Peggy taught for two years for a running start program out of Everett Community College and received a Master's of Science in Biology for Teachers at the University of Washington in 2011. She took her knowledge of killer whale acoustics from a course with Beam Reach and applied it to her master's work where she studied "Shipping noise and vocal compensation by Southern Resident killer whales in Haro Strait". Peggy's teaching career totals 10 years and spans elementary, middle school, and high school aged students thanks to her Masters in the Art of Teaching from the University of Puget Sound. Informally, she also spent 15 whale seasons as a naturalist in the San Juan Islands, SE Alaska, and Hawaii which blossomed when she was an undergraduate at WWU where she received her B.S. in Marine Biology.
20 March 2013 - Joe Gaydos (SeaDoc Society)
Bears to Barnacles, Incredible Animals of the Salish Sea
The largest octopus. The biggest barnacle. The most enormous anemone. Our backyard
is home to some of the most extraordinary creatures on the planet. The Salish Sea's
unique combination of geology and hydrology makes it one of the most biologically
diverse and productive inland seas.
Come hear about some of the biggest, longest lived and most unusual animals in the
Salish Sea when Joe Gaydos, wildlife veterinarian and chief scientist of the SeaDoc
Society, speaks on the web of life in our coastal ecosystem. In this entertaining
presentation discover the unexpected connections between land and sea that Joe
Gaydos and collaborators uncovered in their recent landmark compilation of all the
birds and mammals of the Salish Sea.
Joe Gaydos is chief scientist for the SeaDoc Society (www.seadocsociety.org). He
serves as chair of the science panel of the Puget Sound Partnership, the Washington
State agency charged with restoring Puget Sound.
17 April 2013 - Uko Gorter & Joe Olson
Sound and Cetaceans
ACS/PS president Uko Gorter and past ACS/PS president Joe Olson will present a double-feature on Sound and Cetaceans.
Uko Gorter, natural history illustration, will present a talk on the mechanics (anatomy) of sound production.
Joe Olson, physicist and owner of Cetacean Research Technology will talk about the basics of cetacean acoustics and will let us listen to sound clips of different cetaceans and their surrounding soundscape.
15 May 2013 - Chris Bassett (UW Mechanical Engineering/Applied Physics Lab),
Sound in the Sound: To What Degree Are Underwater Noise Levels Driven by Human Activity?
Chris graduated from the University of Minnesota 2007 (Mechanical Engineering). Following a period as a design engineer he returned to graduate school at UW in 2008. Now a PhD candidate, Chris' work relates to underwater ambient noise in Puget Sound. Topics he has considered in his work include noise from maritime traffic (shipping and ferries) and sediment as well as the environmental impacts of a proposed tidal energy project in Puget Sound.
Sound is not only important to marine mammals; it also plays an important role many scientific studies. This talk will begin by discussing the physics of sound in the ocean and highlighting just some of the ways scientists use sound to study the ocean. I will then highlight some data and results from studies carried out in Admiralty Inlet, Puget Sound. In particular, I will focus on two studies. The first is a one-year long study of noise from vessel traffic, which finds that maritime traffic is the most important noise source in Puget Sound. Second, I will highlight a study focusing on the potential acoustic impacts of a proposed tidal energy site in Admiralty Inlet.
19 June 2013 - Erin Ashe (University of St. Andrews and Oceans Initiatives)
Pacific white-sided dolphins of the Pacific Northwest
Are Pacific white-sided dolphins new visitors to the Salish Sea? How many dolphins are there? Pacific white-sided dolphins are considered an oceanic dolphin, but are reliability found in the inshore waters of the Salish Sea and the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia. For my PhD at the University of St Andrews, I am estimating abundance and survival of Pacific white-sided dolphins using photo-identification data that draws from my own catalogue and from Alexandra Morton's 20-year catalogue. In addition, my PhD work explores the potential impact of human activities (e.g., bycatch) and natural predation pressure (i.e., by mammal-eating killer whales) on the survival and abundance of Pacific white-sided dolphins. My aim is to assess the current conservation status of this population.
Erin Ashe is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland and co-founder of the research non-profit, Oceans Initiative. Erin's PhD is focused on Pacific white-sided dolphin ecology in the Pacific Northwest. A native of Seattle, she has been researching Pacific white-sided dolphins in the Broughton Archipelago since 2007, using photo-identification to estimate abundance, survival, and assess their conservation status. Erin is also exploring Pacific white-sided dolphin acoustics to gain insight into population structure. Her goal is to produce information that will advance our knowledge on this fascinating species and provide insight into population health and conservation status. Erin's previous research has focused on southern resident killer whales, Patagonian blue whales and northern fur seals.