Six months ago a team of researchers completed an intensive research project off the Southern California coast. It is part of a collaboration to study marine mammal behavior and measure how animals on the U.S. West Coast respond to sounds in the ocean. The project is part of a five-year study funded by the U.S. Navy and coordinated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but primarily being conducted by independent academic and research groups. Dr. Brandon Southall is the the overall project leader but the team includes scientists from Cascadia Research Collective, SEA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, NOAA, Duke University, Naval Undersea Warfare Center and SPAWAR Systems Pacific.
The current collaboration of biologists and acousticians specializing in marine mammal biology, ecology, and behavior is extending ongoing studies of basic biology, feeding behavior, and responses to human activity in a number of marine mammal species. “The overall objective is to provide a direct scientific basis for estimating risk and minimizing the impact of human sound, and particularly those from military sonars, for navies and regulators,” Southall said.
An interesting video conference by Dr. Southall on the SOCAL-10 was organized during early January 2011 and is now available to watch free of charge at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History USTREAM website. Do not miss it.
Finally, the project report from the first of the five-year project (SOCAL-10) has been released. You may find and download a digital copy of the full project report on the SOCAL BRS website at: http://www.sea-inc.net/resources/SOCAL10_final_report.pdf