Husavik Research Center
Studying marine mammals in the wild: a field course in Hsavk, Iceland

Course Description
This field course will teach the fundamentals of a suite of field methodologies used in the study of free-ranging cetaceans (whales and dolphins). Students will stay at Husavik, in an integrated field course setting. During week one, students will receive background lectures on the diverse assemblage of dolphins and whales off Husavik, learn the theory and practice the use of each of the different cetacean research methodologies. The methods will include: photo-identification, tracking cetaceans at sea, ship-based survey techniques, behavioural observational techniques, vertical-array acoustics using time-delay methods, towed-array acoustics using beam-forming, bottom-mounted hydrophone recording, and shore tracking using a surveyor's transit (theodolite). Experts will present research seminars focusing on how the methodologies are used in cutting-edge research. Postgraduate students will devise and carry out a specific research project using data collected during the fieldwork.
They will present the proposals at the end of week one, and specific protocols will be determined by the entire group. Postgraduate students will work alongside teams of senior undergraduate students who will choose or be assigned a specific methodology. The results of research projects will be presented in an oral presentation and then in a written report.The written reports will be due 2 weeks after the end of the field course.

Basic information
Course number: LF110F
Credits: 6 credits
Min. grade: 6,0
Type: Course
Level: Graduate
Semester: Fall
Academic Year: 2008-2009

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