Archive for April 21st, 2008

Fish Tools and a Pilot Project

We now have another state of the art tool for our students. In a pilot project with Biosonics — a fisheries research equipment manufacturer in Seattle — Beam Reach students will be using a 200kHz hydroacoustic instrument to track salmon (the food of choice for the killer whales).

This will allow students to investigate the whale’s food when the whales aren’t around, which could lead to some answers about where the whales go, when they go, and why. It really opens up a whole new dimension through which the students can investigate why the whale population is declining and what we can do about it.

I’ll continue to post updates, but I also recommend following Dr. Scott Veirs’s entries to see how this unfolds. It will also be interesting to see how the students utilize this new tool.

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Jones Island to Prevost Harbor

After an overview of passage planning (charts, currents, weather) from Todd, we practiced tacking and jibing in 10-12 kt winds, traveling NW between Spieden and Waldron Islands. The wind moderated in the early afternoon and we eventually motored into Prevost. At the dock the students each collected a series of mocked up data to test out their projects. We had everything from pseudo-pectoral slaps and fake socializing orcas. They also collected associated acoustic recordings that they could analyze at a later date. After dinner most of the students took advantage of the land and went for a walk.

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