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Conservation Behavior: Marine Mammals

Course Numbers: OCMB - 0995 and CZMT - 0995

Conservation Behavior, with a focus on Marine Mammal Conservation.

Conservation behavior is the application of animal behavior knowledge to solving wildlife conservation problems. This course introduces upper level students to the relatively new discipline of Conservation Behavior and it's importance to strategies for Marine Mammal Conservation. Concepts from ethology (Tinbergen's 4 perspectives on behavior), behavioral analysis (Skinner's matrix on how animals learn), and measuring behavior (Martin & Bateson) will be reviewed to ensure all students have the basic terminology & skills necessary for successful completion of the course. Learning activities would include extensive reading and written reading analysis of the text and relevant journal articles, weekly quizzes focused on concepts and vocabulary, and a term paper in the form of a Conservation Behavior Species Brief on a marine mammal of the student's choice. Prerequisites: an undergraduate or graduate level course in animal behavior is recommended.

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • describe Conservation Behavior and it's importance to strategies for marine mammal conservation.
  • describe Tinbergen's 4 Perspectives for the study of animal behavior, which perspectives are important to marine mammal conservation strategies, and why
  • describe Skinner's 2x2 matrix of how animals learn and how this is important to cultural learning in marine mammals
  • research and apply knowledge of specific behaviors (habitat selection, foraging behavior, reproductive behavior, anti-predator behavior, acoustic behavior, etc.) to a species specific conservation strategy
  • exemplify the importance of behavioral knowledge in setting up Marine Protected Areas
  • design a data collection method for answering scientific questions related to an unknown behavior in marine mammals



Summer 2015 Syllabus

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