Biology of Marine Mammals
This class introduces undergraduate and masters students to the biology and conservation of cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians and sea otters. Andy teaches the class each fall term to undergraduate and professional masters students at the Duke University Marine Laboratory, with video-links to main campus in Durham. Lectures are supplemented with offshore boat trips, necropsies of stranded marine mammals and other field activities.
Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles
Matthew Godfrey leads this field course on the biology of sea turtles, covering their evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior, life history and population dynamics; the class emphasizes the role of sea turtles in marine ecosystem structure and function. Basic ecological concepts are integrated into issues related to the conservation and management of endangered species, the contributions of technology to the study of migratory marine species, and the role of research in national and international law and policy. Undergraduate and masters students are able to interact directly with resource managers, community conservationists, fishermen and other stakeholders and gain first-hand experience with field assessment methods. You can read more about the course through the class blog.
Developing Model Marine Mammal Legislation
This class, offered under the Duke Bass Connections program during the 2020-2021 school year, explored the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Import Provisions Rule. This was an applied, interdisciplinary course that covers the MMPA, marine mammal bycatch, and international fisheries through a combination of independent research and discussion. The course culminated in a publication in Marine Policy: “Will unilateral action improve the global conservation status of marine mammals? A first analysis of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act’s Import Provisions Rule” (Bering et al., 2021).