[MARMAM] On-Line Lecture this Thursday: "New Findings on the Effects of Noise on the Behavior of Whales and Dolphins"

Trevor Spradlin Trevor.Spradlin at noaa.gov
Thu Jan 13 06:21:58 PST 2011

Dear MARMAM Subscribers:

Dr. Southall's lecture is available online on the Smithsonian's web site at:


Cheers -- Trevor et al.

Trevor Spradlin wrote:
> The NOAA/NMFS Office of Protected Resources and the Smithsonian's 
> National Museum of Natural History (Department of Vertebrate Zoology 
> in conjunction with the Office of Education and National Outreach 
> Program) are pleased to announce that Dr. Brandon Southall (SEA, Inc., 
> and UC-Santa Cruz) will be giving a lecture this week in Washington, 
> DC on the research he and colleagues conducted last year for the 
> "SOCAL-10" project to evaluate the behavioral responses of cetaceans 
> to underwater human sounds.  The lecture at the Smithsonian will be 
> available to the public in real-time via live video stream on the Web, 
> and will be archived for future viewing as well.  Following, below, 
> are the details about Dr. Southall's presentation and how to access it 
> online.   We hope you can join us and Dr. Southall via the Web!
> Trevor Spradlin and Amy Scholik-Schlomer                     Charles 
> Potter
> Office of Protected Resources                                          
> Collection Manager, Marine Mammals
> National Marine Fisheries Service                                     
> National Museum of Natural History
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration            Smithsonian 
> Institution
> ************************************
> *New Findings on the Effects of Noise on the Behavior of Whales and 
> Dolphins*
> */Brandon Southall, Ph.D.
> /*/President and Senior Scientist for Southall Environmental 
> Associates, Inc., and Research Associate with the University of 
> California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)/
> *Date:*  Thursday, January 6, 2011
> *Time:*  2 pm ET
> *Location:* Live video stream from the Smithsonian's National Museum 
> of Natural History at:
> http://www.ustream.tv/channel/smithsonian-national-museum-of-natural-history#events
> *Abstract*
> SOCAL-10 was a scientific research project conducted in Aug-Sept 2010 
> in important biological areas near southern California.  It extended 
> previous studies in the Bahamas (2007-08) and Mediterranean Sea (2009) 
> of whether and how marine mammals change their behavior when they hear 
> different sounds.  Each of these efforts has integrated behavioral 
> response studies to controlled sound exposures with ongoing research 
> on diving, foraging, and social behavior.  The overall objective was 
> to provide a better basic understanding of marine mammal behavior, 
> while providing direct scientific information for the Navy and 
> regulatory agencies to estimate risk and minimize the impact of human 
> sounds, particularly military sonar.  SOCAL-10 was the first in a 
> five-year dedicated effort to study a variety of marine mammal species 
> in areas around the southern California coast and Channel Islands.
> SOCAL-10 involved an interdisciplinary collaboration of experts in 
> marine mammal biology, behavior, and communication, as well as 
> underwater acousticians and specialized field researchers.  During a 
> preliminary scouting phase and two research legs on several different 
> research vessels, SOCAL-10 observed, photographed, and/or tracked in 
> detail, individuals of 21 different marine mammal species.  Sixty-two 
> tags (of six different varieties) were successfully secured on 44 
> individual animals of nine different marine mammal species, including 
> several which had never been studied using tag technologies 
> previously.  Scientists also conducted 28 controlled sound exposure 
> experiments; in these experiments, animals were monitored with suction 
> cup acoustic sensors, remote listening devices and specialized 
> observers with high-powered binoculars.  Sounds were then played under 
> specific protocols and protective measures (to ensure animals were not 
> harmed) and changes in behavior were recorded.
> Preliminary results based primarily on clearly observable behavior in 
> the field and from initial data assessment indicate variable 
> responses, depending on species, type of sound, and behavioral state 
> during the experiments.  Some observations in certain conditions 
> suggest avoidance responses, while in other cases subjects seemed to 
> not respond, at least overtly.   Additional analysis and 
> interpretation is underway of the nearly 400 hours of tag data from 
> the project, as well as thousands of marine mammal observations, 
> photographs, tissue samples, and acoustic measurements.
> For additional information, please see:
> SOCAL-10 website http://www.sea-inc.net/SOCAL10/
> SOCAL-10 blog http://sea.typepad.com/sea-blog/
> SOCAL-10 Facebook page: 
> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Behavioral-Response-Studies-of-Marine-Mammals/153316228012219
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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