The Pacific Life Foundation has been sponsoring the Southern California Marine Mammal Workshop (SCMMW) since 2010.
The SCMMW is organized by and for researchers with the aim of fostering discussion and collaboration within the Southern California marine mammal research community.

2017 SCMMW - ReportPDF ProgramPDF and Poster AbstractsPDF

The 2017 Workshop sessions included:

New Technologies for Marine Mammal Research

Lead: Dr. John Hildebrand

This session will identify emerging technologies for marine mammal research including the use of autonomous aerial vehicles, tagging technology, cameras, environmental DNA, and analysis of large datasets. The panel will consider how these technological trends may address the research needs of the marine mammal community, as well as examination of barriers to adoption of new technologies.

Conservation Issues in Marine Mammal Science

Lead: Dr. Dave Weller

Across the globe, marine mammals and their habitats are under ever increasing stress from human related activities such as habitat degradation, fisheries interactions and ship strikes. While some species or populations are robust and thriving, others are near extinction or have already vanished. This session will cover a range of conservation concerns for whales, dolphins and porpoises and outline some of the challenges faced by scientists and managers attempting to prevent future extinctions from occurring.

Marine Mammal Veterinary Medicine: Current Issues, Ideas, and Research

Lead: Dr. Claire Simeone

Marine mammal medicine provides insight into individual animal health, as well as larger scale population-level health. The data that stranded animals provide contribute to understanding the impacts ecosystem changes are having on the animals along the California coast. Recent anomalous temperatures along the West Coast have contributed to prey shifts for pinnipeds in the California current. This has led to elevated strandings of malnourished California sea lions and threatened Guadalupe fur seals. Warmer waters have also led to massive harmful algal blooms, which have impacted numerous marine mammal species. While domoic acid is commonly associated with neurologic symptoms, detrimental cardiac effects have also been observed and are now being characterized. This session will delve into the medicine of climate change - otariid strandings, their care in rehabilitation, and tracking post-release.

Social Media and Communications: Hot Topics

Lead: Sarah Wilson Finstuen

Showcasing your work and sharing your passion is a cornerstone of science communication. We will continue the theme we have each year building upon our skills for interacting with the media, the public, and school communities. This year we will learn more on outreach from the field, crowdfunding your projects, citizen science, social media for tracking whales, and social media and exhibits for endangered species.

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