Unraveling the Mysteries of the Deep: Effects of Human Activities on Marine Megafauna

Sunday, February 21, 2010: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Room 6D (San Diego Convention Center)
The need to understand the viability and vulnerability of marine megafauna populations has intensified over the past two decades. The challenges of studying organisms that spend the majority of their lives in the ocean have hindered scientific understanding and, as a result, have hampered the development and implementation of policies needed to protect these species. This symposium presents a new paradigm that places human impacts on large pelagic species into an oceanographic, ecological and anthropogenic context. Speakers will address the key question, "How are humans affecting these vulnerable populations?" by exploring one or more elements of this three-pronged approach: 1) identifying habitat requirements, 2) improving the understanding of species ecology, and 3) mapping and quantifying the footprint of human activities in marine ecosystems. Research will be discussed that explores marine megafaunal species ecology within an oceanographic context and integrates socioeconomic analyses to consider human impacts on the ecosystems on which these species rely.
Rebecca Lewison, San Diego State University
George Schillinger, Stanford University
and Larry Crowder, Duke University
A. Keith Miles, USGS/John Muir Institute of the Environment
Gene Expression, Pathology and Contaminants in Pacific Sea Otters
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