Acoustic monitoring as a marine conservation tool

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

ECTS
5

CONSERVATION

Tools for marine conservation
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

Synopsis

Underwater acoustics is the study of sound propagation through water. As sound travels much more efficiently through water cetaceans have evolved to use this mechanism for navigating, finding food and communicating. This ability allows cetaceans to carry out their normal functions irrespective of sight which would be greatly influenced by turbidity, depth and darkness.

Content

Introduction to underwater acoustics and bioacoustics
How animals (marine mammals) produce sound
Acoustic recording equipment
Recording and analysis of underwater sound
Interpretation of acoustic data for conservation purposes

Aims

Through the study of underwater acoustics we can get an insight into cetacean occurrence and behaviour when visual observations are not possible such as during hours of darkness and during adverse weather conditions. This module will train students in the different acoustic monitoring technologies available and how to analyse and interpret acoustic datasets

Objectives

Discuss the role of acoustics in conservation
Design acoustic surveys as components of marine conservation initiatives
Identify appropriate equipment to meet survey objectives within environmental constraints
Retrieve, analyse and interpret acoustic data

Bibliography

Au, W.W.L. (1993) The sonar of dolphins. Springer-Verlag New York.

Au, W. W. L. (1997) Echolocation in dolphins with a dolphin-bat comparison. Bioacoustics 8, 1-2, 137-162.

Au, W.W.L. (2000) Echolocation in dolphins, in Hearing by Whales and Dolphins, edited by W.W.L. Au, A.N. Popper, and R.R. Fay (Springer New York), 364-408.

Richardson, W.J.; Greene, C.R; Malme, C.I. and Thomson, D.H. (1995) Marine Mammals and Noise. Academic Press, San Diego.

Zimmer, W. 2011 Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Cetaceans. Cambridge University Press. Online ISBN: 9780511977107, Hardback ISBN: 9780521193429

Module material placed on moodle to include:
Lecture notes
Software
Data
Reading

Assessment

All assessments are formative and summative, they contribute to the module grade. The module is 100% continuous assessment and there is no terminal examination. The module is assessed using a combinatino of theoretical and practical excercises including presentations, data analysis and reporting.

Involved teachers

Dr Joanne O'Brien

Contact hours

lectures
13 hours

practicals

seminars

computerclass
18 hours

fieldwork
8 hours

other