Biology of Marine Mammals
This lecture class introduces undergraduate and masters students to the biology of cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians and sea otters. Andy teaches the class in the fall term at the Duke University Marine Laboratory, with video-links to main campus in Durham. The course is divided into two sections: (1) adaptations, behavior, and ecology and (2) conservation and management. Andy co-teaches a field-oriented version of this class in the summer, in which students are introduced to a variety of laboratory and field techniques used to study marine mammals,. Topics covered include survey methods, photo-identification, passive acoustic monitoring, necropsy and post-mortem techniques, and practical aspects of conservation.
Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles
Wendy Dow Piniak and Matthew Godfrey co-teach this field course on the biology of sea turtles, covering their evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior, life history and population dynamics; the class emphasizes the role of sea turtles in marine ecosystem structure and function. Basic ecological concepts are integrated into issues related to the conservation and management of endangered species, the contributions of technology to the study of migratory marine species, and the role of research in national and international law and policy. Undergraduate and masters students are able to interact directly with resource managers, community conservationists, fishermen and other stakeholders and gain first-hand experience with field assessment methods. You can read more about the course through the class blog.
Marine Conservation Biology
This intensive, experiential capstone field course is taught in the first block of the spring term. The class is designed for second-year students in our Coastal Environmental Management program and is taught entirely in Hawaii. We typically spend a week on Oahu, meeting with managers, scientists and stakeholders before traveling to one of the other Hawaiian islands, where we spend a second week focusing on field experiences. Learn more by reading class blog entries and viewing student videos.
Current Topics in Marine Conservation
This is a required course for Ph.D. students in the Marine Science and Conservation Division that is led by Xavier Basurto. The class is designed to introduce students working in the natural sciences to concepts, theory and literature from the social sciences and vice-versa. We have tackled a variety of concepts, including ecological baselines, marine protected areas, and the conservation of highly endangered species. Each week a pair of students (one from the natural and one from the social sciences) introduces a paper for discussion. We try to produce a publishable manuscript that describes our work across these disciplinary boundaries.