Listening to the Land: Get better acquainted with gray whales

Florence Sullivan with research kayak at Port Orford; Red Rocks Marine Reserve in the distance.#

Join marine ecologist Florence Sullivan at the Seaside Public Library on Wednesday, Jan. 18, as she kicks off the 2017 season of Listening to the Land presentations, this year focused on wildlife. “Inside Gray Whales” begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Scientists such as Sullivan use new research techniques to expand what we know about these and other marine mammals: what they eat and how they forage, for example, as well as how ocean noise — natural and human-caused — affects their behavior and overall health. These research teams are using underwater GoPro cameras and aerial drones to closely observe individual whales, and they’re deploying drifting hydrophones to record the variety of noises whales are exposed to.

Sullivan is a graduate student in Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, where she is a research assistant in OSU’s Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna lab.

Listening to the Land is a monthly winter speaker series offered January through May and presented by North Coast Land Conservancy and the Necanicum Watershed Council in partnership with the Seaside Public Library. For more information, visit NCLCtrust.org.

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