Marine Mammology Survey
by Beth Mathews, Asst. Professor of Biology
The 3-day (April 7-9, 2009) marine mammal survey on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Research Vessel, Medeia, with my Marine Mammalogy (Biology 384) students went very well. We made it all the way down to Frederick Sound with the students systematically surveying along the way. We saw 15 humpback whales and paused to photographically identify and collect data on prey for 9 whales, including a yearling. We also had Dalls porpoise bow ride many times, observed and counted harbor seals (including 3 most-likely pregnant females) in Gambier Bay, counted more than 1,000 Steller sea lions at 4 haulouts, and collected sea lion brand resight data for ADF&G biologists and humpback whale data for NMFS biologists. It was a rewarding trip with the students contributing and participating in several different projects and learning different data collection methods, as well as experiencing life on a research vessel. We especially enjoyed working with the Captain and crew of the Medeia (Capt. Russell Sandstrom, Bob Frampton, and Jim delaBruere) who run a top notch research vessel.
Photo: Emily Frederick, Marine Biology Student