Beyond Dolphin Tales and Moby Dick: What Do We Know About Marine Mammals and How Do We Know It?
We have many books, movies, TV shows, plus media that describe marine mammals. Some are educational, some pure fantasy, and some highly controversial. Public opinions are varied with regard to marine mammals, whether as entertainment (Seaworld or other aquarium features), competition for fisheries (seals and sea lions versus salmon fishermen in the Northwest; dolphin safety versus tuna fisheries). Whaling and sealing have wide international implications, too. Research funding needed to understand these fascinating animals is in even shorter supply than for other branches of science. This class will explore some of the history, current events, and research that contribute to those opinions and our understanding of the lives of these fascinating animals.