The Behavioral REsearch And eCosystem Health lab

at the University of Alaska Southeast &

the College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks



The overall aim of this lab is to understand the behavior and ecology of marine mammals, and their role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. A wide network of collaborators, undergraduates, and graduate students are involved in projects related to this theme. Click on the links to the right to learn more about current research and students. 

If you are a prospective student, please read through the project descriptions on this website. Also review the admission requirements to the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences: I do not currently have funding to support additional students. However, highly talented students may be able to obtain their own funding so please contact me if you are interested.




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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Building the Tagging Pole


4th of July
Photo Album

Uploaded: Sun Jul 6 03:36:14 2014
by Heidi Pearson

The 4th of July weekend here in New Zealand was spent working with the tagging equipment. This consisted of building the tag deployment pole, testing the VHF transmitters and videocamera, and attaching all of the components to the tag.

Yesterday, I was in the shop nearly the entire day building the tag deployment pole. The pole is a modified mop handle with a wooden platform at the end. On the underside of the wooden platform, there is a big piece of velcro that attaches to another piece of velcro on top of the tag. The wooden platform also protects the videocamera from being crushed during deployment. Once the tag's suction cups stick to the dolphin, the tag releases from the pole as the 2 pieces of velcro separate. If all goes well, the dolphin will carry the tag around for a few minutes to several hours. During our last field season, we had tags that stuck for 30 min to 6 hours.

We also did another tracking exercise in the pastures yesterday. We played "hide and seek" with the transmitters and took turns hiding the transmitters for each other. Everyone did really well and is proficient with the tracking equipment. This will help us to track and find our tag on the water. We also enjoyed the beautiful views from the Kaikoura Peninsula.

Our first tagging day is tomorrow as long as the weather holds!

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