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Marine scientists need your help to categorize the complex calls of Killer Whales (Orcas) and Pilot Whales and to understand what the calls mean.
Whales and dolphins make sophisticated sounds that play a critical role in communicating, orienting in the ocean environment, and locating food. Scientists have already begun to categorize Killer Whale calls; however, Pilot Whale calls are much less studied.
Project organizers have assembled recordings of two species from across the world's oceans and seas. Citizen scientists simply listen to individual whale calls and identify potential matching calls. Your contribution will help researchers understand what the whales are saying. You can also help discover whether certain calls are made by an individual, one group, or across broad areas.
Wildbook for Whale Sharks
The Wildbook for Whale Sharks photo-identification library is a visual database of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounters and of individually catalogued whale sharks. The library is maintained and used by marine biologists to collect and analyze whale shark sighting data to learn more about these amazing creatures.
The Wildbook uses photographs of the skin patterning behind the gills of each shark, and any scars, to distinguish between individual animals. Cutting-edge software supports rapid identification using pattern recognition and photo management tools.
You too can assist with whale shark research, by submitting photos and sighting data. The information you submit will be used in mark-recapture studies to help with the global conservation of this threatened species.of this threatened species.
Killer Whale Tracker
The Salish Sea Hydrophone Network needs volunteers to help monitor the critical habitat of endangered Pacific Northwest killer whales by detecting orca sounds and measuring ambient noise levels. Volunteers are especially needed to help notify researchers when orcas are in the Salish Sea, which encompasses the waters of Puget Sound and the surrounding area.
Sponsored by a coalition of organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Whale Museum, and Beam Reach Marine Science, the network consists of five hydrophones, each hooked up to a computer to analyze the signal and stream it via the internet.
Even though software is used to distinguish animal from other underwater sound, human ears do a better job of detecting unusual sounds. So volunteers monitor the network from their home computers anywhere in the world, and alert the rest of the network when they hear whale sounds. Sometimes boats or onshore monitors are deployed to study the whales in other ways. Researchers hope to learn more about the uses of orca communications and whale migration patterns.
Orca Project volunteers in Port Townsend, Washington document orca bones for an online bone atlas, assist in orca education with children's groups, take part in assembling a full-size skeleton for display, participate in the design of a new orca exhibit and conduct research on underwater sounds using a hydrophone.
The project’s goals are to improve public awareness of the challenges faced by killer whales--toxic contamination, underwater noise pollution, and diminishing food supplies in the Puget Sound--as well as develop an appreciation for the whales’ remarkable social bonds and communication abilities.
Funded by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, other organizations, and matching funds, the Orca Project will focus on both the transient and resident killer whales seen in the Northwest United States.
The Orca Project will also offer public lectures, free science classes for Olympic Peninsula students, tours of articulated whale skeletons for school classes, hands-on activities for after-school groups, Bring Your Bones Day (a community event with resident experts helping identify and reveal the mysteries of bones), and focused outreach to the maritime and marine community of Port Townsend, Washington.
Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal
The Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal is a new tool designed to support, enhance, and widen the scope of existing monitoring efforts in Hawaii. The data portal was developed and is managed by the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). It was created in partnership with and in support of community-based monitoring programs coordinated by the State of Hawaii DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Aquanimity Now, the Digital Bus, Project S.E.A.-Link, and other local organizations and agencies, through funding obtained from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to CORAL’s Hawaii Field Manager Liz Foote, “We wanted to develop a 'one-stop-shop' for community based coral reef
monitoring in Hawaii. This site was developed in support of current efforts such
as the University of Hawaii Botany Department and Division of Aquatic Resources' herbivore grazing protocols, and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National
Marine Sanctuary's water quality monitoring program. This online data entry and
reporting system will greatly expand the scope and impact of these monitoring
efforts, and the associated resources provided on the site will empower and equip
many more community members to get involved.”
Welsh Sea Watchers Project
The Sea Watch Foundation is looking to recruit enthusiastic individuals with a keen interest in Welsh whales, dolphins and porpoises to become part of the Welsh Sea Watchers project. The Welsh Sea Watches Project is a new initiative with that aims to develop a network of reliable volunteers throughout Wales to assist in data collection and further understanding and public awareness of the amazing cetacean species that can be seen off Welsh coasts. Volunteers will take part in a variety of tasks and gain experience in cetacean surveying and species identification, as well as public awareness work and social networking.
• Organising and conducting regular land based watches for cetaceans
• Organising, attending and assisting during Sea Watch events
• Representing Sea Watch during public talks and school visits
The Welsh Sea Watchers project is an on-going project; volunteers may apply throughout the year. Due to the nature of the project, it is advisable that applicants are already resident in Wales, as accommodation cannot be provided.
• Background in education or marine biology
• Driving license and use of own car
This is a flexible, part-time positions; volunteers are expected to organise their own time and work independently (with guidance from the Welsh Development Officer).
Journey North engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. K-12 students share their own field observations with classmates across North America. They track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, robins, hummingbirds, whooping cranes, gray whales, bald eagles— and other birds and mammals; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events. Find migration maps, pictures, standards-based lesson plans, activities and information to help students make local observations and fit them into a global context. Widely considered a best-practices model for education, Journey North is the nation's premiere "citizen science" project for children. The general public is welcome to participate.
BC Cetacean Sightings Network
Twenty-three species of cetaceans and sea turtles have been recorded in the waters of British Columbia, Canada. Many of these populations are 'at-risk' and under-studied.
Biodiversity Volunteer Portal
Biodiversity Volunteer Portal
Helping to understand, manage and conserve Australia's biodiversity through community based capture of biodiversity data.
Help us capture the wealth of biodiversity information hidden in our natural history collections, field notebooks and survey sheets. This information will be used for better understanding, managing and conserving our precious biodiversity.