Research Interests

Doug looks longingly for a fabled crossbow (used for tagging whales), tragically lost at sea

Doug Nowacek’s activities represent a mixture of research tool development, coupled closely with the science driving the need for those tools, and the dissemination of resulting research to students at all levels as well as the broader society.  Since starting graduate school and continuing to the present, Nowacek has pioneered several marine research tools and methods that, inter alia, seek to create knowledge as well as integrate and transfer it.  Some examples of these activities include: i) combined overhead video/audio for cetacean research that has been used for research and conservation; ii) multi-sensor acoustic tags that were pioneered when Nowacek was a graduate student for his project and have added significantly to the creation and transfer of knowledge; iii) Nowacek has worked to apply the tools and teachings of basic science to conservation driven research, including teaching innovative and experiential courses such as ‘the history and future of ocean energy’ and ‘ocean engineering’; iv) Nowacek’s commitment to STEM education extends to all levels of students, from the undergraduate and graduate students at Duke (including successfully mentoring undergraduates, masters and Ph.D. students through their degree requirements, advising numerous undergraduates in their independent study projects and guiding them through to preparing manuscripts for publication) to elementary and middle school students in the local school system where he routinely presents to and interacts with students, including organizing an ‘Antarctic mini-module’ with a local 7th grade science class; v) in 2015 Nowacek testified to Congress on the use of seismic airgun surveys and their potential impacts on marine life; and vi) Nowacek has served on the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for >10 years, and this work has resulted in numerous publications, recommendations, and practical guidance on industry/nature coexistence.

Ph.D. Joint Program 1999, Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
B.A. 1991, Ohio Wesleyan University

douglas.nowacek@duke.edu

Duke Marine Lab | LinkedIn

Courses Taught

  • BIOLOGY 270A: Conservation Biology and Policy
  • BIOLOGY 279LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ECE 384LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ECE 461: Ocean Engineering
  • ECE 495: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENVIRON 270A: Conservation Biology and Policy
  • ENVIRON 280LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENVIRON 461: Ocean Engineering
  • ENVIRON 709A: Conservation Biology and Policy
  • ENVIRON 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENVIRON 790SA: Duke-Administered Study Away; Special Topics
  • ME 426: Ocean Engineering

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