Late Sunrises, Lots of Science

Have you even been so far north where you wake up in what you think is the middle of the night and realize that it’s actually 830am? A few weeks ago I went to a conference in Fairbanks, AK.  Fairbanks … Continue reading

Can you hear me now?

Figuring out the loudness at which an animal is vocalizing is a deceivingly difficult question to answer. To investigate this question of loudness, we use an equation that, on the surface, is deceivingly simple – the sonar equation. SL = … Continue reading

Mysterious little harbor seals…

So far, the harbor seal data collection has gone about as good as could be expected for any new protocol.  I had a few set backs early on with equipment, which have since been resolved, and there’s also been a lot … Continue reading

Always Listening, Sometimes Watching

Everyday the Strawberry Island field team wakes up and starts off the morning watching either whales or seals. We take a break, watch some more whales and seals, take another break, and end our evening watching whales and seals again. … Continue reading

“This is either madness or brilliance”

Every scientific journey begins with an idea.  These ideas can go one of two ways: 1) after countless trials and brainstorms, they actually work; 2) after countless trials and brainstorms, they don’t.  I think you can guess which one happens more often.  … Continue reading

The Seals and the Sea Lions. And the Otter.

The Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Lab, based at the Long Marine Lab at UCSC, focuses on sensory, cognitive, and behavioral ecology of marine mammals.  Researchers work closely with the resident animals, training them with operant conditioning and positive reinforcement … Continue reading