BIOSM 3450

BIOSM 3450

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2022-2023.

Introduction to the biology and conservation of the whales and seals, with a particular focus on species of the Gulf of Maine. Lectures will examine many facets of marine mammal science including: taxonomy and species diversity, morphological and physiological adaptations for life in the sea, foraging ecology and behavior, reproductive cycles, bioacoustics, anthropogenic interactions, and management of threatened species. Land and open-water observations of whale and seal behavior will give students hands-on opportunities to study marine mammals in the field.

When Offered Summer.

Prerequisites/Corequisites Prerequisite: one semester of college-level biology, physiology and/or ecology or equivalent, e.g. BIOEE 1780/BIOSM 1780, BIOEE 1610/BIOSM 1610, BIOG 1440, or similar.

Distribution Category (BIO-AS, PBS-AS)
Course Attribute (CU-SBY)

  • Students can identify and explain morphological and physiological adaptations to life in seawater that are specific to marine mammals.
  • Students can discuss the evolutionary history of cetacean and pinniped marine mammals.
  • Students can describe the ecology of the Gulf of Maine based on seasonal patterns of productivity and resource availability.
  • Students can explain important aspects of the biology and ecology of marine mammals, including foraging habits and reproductive cycles of local species.
  • Students can identify the anthropogenic threats faced by marine mammals, including historic exploitation and current sources of mortality from human interactions.
  • Students can describe current conservation issues and management efforts for local marine mammal species.

View Enrollment Information

Syllabi: none
  •   Summer Special Session 2. 

  • 3 Credits Stdnt Opt

  •  1207 BIOSM 3450   FLD 801

  • Instruction Mode: In Person
    This Summer Session class is offered by the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. For details visit