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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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Testing out the Dolphin Cam......and waiting out the weather....again

Winter has arrived and appears to be here to stay. We've had more days inside during these last 2 weeks than on the water. We did get out on the water on Monday, though, and it was a great day. The weather cooperated, and the duskies were well within our study area and not too far south, which was a real treat! The goal for the day was to deploy the Dolphin Cam. Last week, we deployed the "dummy" Dolphin Cam to see how it would hold up on the tag while attached to a dolphin. The "dummy" cam did well, so we were eager to deploy the real thing. 

We ran into one glitch, however. The cam kept shutting down just a few minutes after I turned it on. I had just enough time to turn the cam on, put the balloon over it to provide a waterproof casing, and then attach it to the tagging pole before I felt it vibrate and turn off. I repeated this process several times, and all with no success. Since our time was limited and I wanted to take advantage of the good weather conditions and the cooperative dolphins, I decided to go ahead and deploy it anyway.

We had 2 "sticks", where the tag stuck and the dolphin swam away with it. On the second stick, the dolphin surfaced with the tag still on and it remained stuck for another couple of minutes. This was a small victory, as the tag often dislodges from the dolphin during its initial dive down with the tag.

I downloaded the video that evening, hoping that somehow we got some video footage. Unfortunately, we didn't. I've spent the last 2 days trouble-shooting the problem and talking with my colleagues Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska and Peter Jones at the University of Sydney who built the cam. We're pretty certain the problem is a faulty battery. It's a special type of rechargeable battery that can't be found in Kaikoura. Luckily, we found one on-line yesterday and it should arrive tomorrow. Now, we just need the weather to cooperate for one last day on the water!


Photo Album

Uploaded: Wed Jul 16 02:27:52 2014
by Heidi Pearson


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