Human Impacts

Our 12 wishes for the ocean on 12.12.12

December 12, 2012

I woke up this morning and decided that everyone gets twelve wishes today! Ta-da! Here are ours. 1.  Quiet oceans for whales, dolphins and all marine life.  You can help make this a reality.  Please vote here to support our Quiet Oceans Campaign.  It’s easy to vote and you’re welcome to vote once per day! […]

PUTTING OCEAN NOISE ON THE MAP

November 04, 2012

We recently partnered with two acousticians, Christine Erbe of Curtin University and Alex MacGillivray of JASCO, to predict how BC’s waters sound to a whale.  Using shipping traffic data compiled by Patrick O’Hara (which we used previously in a ship strike analysis for fin, humpback and killer whales), and making some assumptions about how noisy […]

WHERE THE WHALES (AND WHALE RESEARCHERS) ARE

September 12, 2012

  Rob and his colleagues published a neat new paper today in the open access journal, PLOS ONE.  The paper, led by Dr Kristin Kaschner at the University of Freiburg, examined >1100 estimates of the abundance of whales, dolphins and porpoises reported in more than 400 surveys conducted worldwide between 1975 and 2005. It is […]

Whale stranding in Scotland

September 11, 2012

Recently (2 September 2012), 26 pilot whales stranded on the beach about a mile from the place where we’re staying in Anstruther, Scotland.  The whales came ashore just a few feet from the coastal path where we run with our dog, Wishart.  Pilot whales are normally found in deeper water, so this was highly unusual […]

Happy World Oceans Day! The Secret to a Sound Ocean

June 08, 2012

The Secret to a Sound Ocean Oceans Initiative is a team of scientists on a mission to protect whales, dolphins and their habitat. To celebrate World Oceans Day, we’re releasing the main findings from our Ocean Noise project. Our clever friends at Column Five Media have helped us turn our cutting-edge acoustics research with Cornell […]

TELLING STORIES IN THE DARK

May 31, 2012

One of the overarching themes of our work is quintessentially Canadian.  We study survival.  {Margaret Atwood proposed that survival is one of the most central and enduring narratives in Canadian literature.} OK, we study the probability that whales and dolphins, not humans, will survive from one year to the next, given the amount of fish […]

OCEAN NOISE: KEY FACTOR IN THE STATE OF THE SALISH SEA

April 19, 2012

Larry Pynn is publishing a special, six-part series on the State of the Salish Sea.  We are happy for our work to be included. His piece on 18 April addresses an issue that resonates with us:  using hydrophones [underwater microphones] to measure ocean noise levels, while simultaneously collecting information on whale presence.  We are a […]

Five Ways to Show Your Love for the Ocean.

February 14, 2012

Whale you be my Valentine? I dolphinately will! Illustration by Leafeon via Quid Pro Quo on Tumblr   Love prompts us to do brave, romantic and sometimes foolish things.  To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, today we’re asking ourselves:  How do I love thee, Ocean?  Let me count the ways.  We came up with 5.  On Valentine’s Day this […]

PLASTIC IS FOREVER

September 17, 2011

Happy (?!?) Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Day!  We hope you’re reading this post on your smart phone, on your way to a beach to clean up plastic. The ocean needs all the help it can get, from people everywhere and in all walks of life, to remove plastic from the ecosystem before it chokes something. […]

(WHALE, DOLPHIN AND HUMAN) MOTHERS ROCK

May 08, 2011

I’m not a mom (yet), but being in the field with whales and dolphins for my PhD research is making me think a lot lately about motherhood.  The killer whales (orcas) that we study stay with their mothers their entire lives:  they live in a matrifocal society.  That’s rare.  Sure, when the daughters grow up and […]