PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Workshop registration opens on June 29 at 12 PM (noon), EDT (GMT-4). Workshops will be held on Saturday, December 11th and Sunday, December 12th, 2021.

Conference-affiliated workshops are half day, full day, and two day events that are proposed and organised by individual researchers. SMM2021 workshops will be held on Saturday, December 11th and Sunday, December 12th, 2021, during the weekend just prior to the conference.

Workshops are open to all conference registrants and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Options available on the registration form are for in person participation ONLY. Virtual participation will depend on individual workshop organizers, but WILL NOT be included in the virtual conference experience. Workshops offering a virtual component are indicated below. Please email workshop contacts provided for more information on virtual attendance.

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DETAILED WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

SATURDAY & SUNDAY
(2 DAY WORKSHOPS)

Workshop Leader (1):
Barbara L. Taylor
NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Workshop Leader (2):
Grant Abel
Seattle Aquarium

Workshop Summary:

This 2-part/2-day workshop (registrations separate) introduces integrated conservation planning for small cetaceans (ICP) and the resources within the IUCN that facilitate this work. About 30 participants are expected.

Day 1 reviews the principles of ICP and the progress made on a set of priority projects addressing information gaps for threatened dolphin and porpoise species. This background will be useful to all who want to learn how ICP can be incorporated into their research and conservation work. Two discussions on day 1 will consider: 1) the different roles that ex situ measures can play in integrated conservation planning for small cetaceans, and how those roles can meaningfully contribute to in situ species conservation, and 2) specific recommendations to enhance on-going priority projects arising from the presentations and discussions.

Day 2 focuses on visioning future ICP projects. One session will develop a process to rank threatened small cetacean species, subspecies and subpopulations according to need for ICP and discuss strengths and weaknesses of the process. Another session will design and discuss research projects (chosen from participant’s suggestions) that could fill knowledge gaps critical to success in translocation or use of ex situ measures, and identify commonalities with in situ research. Because community engagement is a necessary component for creating an integrated conservation plan, this may include suggestions for working with and for communities to preserve livelihoods while also improving our collective efforts to protect wildlife and habitat.

ICP and this workshop are intended to encourage formation of new partnerships, to increase levels of trust and understanding among conservation practitioners and stakeholders across multiple management contexts, and to expand and enhance the quality of the tools available for science-based conservation action.

Results of the workshop will be posted on the IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group’s website under the ICPC’s “Planning” pages.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Barbara L. Taylor (Barbara.Taylor@noaa.gov).

Workshop Leader (1):
Leah M Crowe
Integrated Statistics / Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Workshop Leader (2):
Hansen D Johnson
Dalhousie University

Workshop Summary:

In this workshop we will demonstrate how effective conservation tools can be developed by researchers without formal computer science training using accessible, open source tools (R and RStudio). We will highlight applications we have built using the ‘shiny’ R package that are currently used for determining dynamic protection zones for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) (https://github.com/NEFSC/READ-PSB-LWT-narwss_rwsas_apps), and for collating and displaying large whale survey results in near real-time (https://github.com/hansenjohnson/WhaleMap). These examples will be used to demonstrate how building these kinds of tools have helped streamline the processing of survey data, dissemination of results, and the implementation of management rules. We will offer a customizable template for users to create tools to summarize their own data with the goal of each participant gaining the understanding of how to build an effective tool that advances their specific conservation goals.

Requirements: Participants will need to have R and RStudio installed on their computers and a working knowledge of the R language. Familiarity with git and GitHub is helpful. Participants can bring their own survey or tag data, although we will have sample datasets available.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Leah M Crowe (leah.crowe@noaa.gov).

SATURDAY
(FULL DAY WORKSHOPS)

Workshop Leader (1):
Margaret Hunter
U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Workshop Leader (2):
Kristina Cammen
University of Maine

Workshop Summary: 

The 2nd Marine Mammal eDNA workshop will bring together early-career and established researchers interested in applying emerging techniques in environmental DNA (eDNA) to marine mammal species. Environmental DNA approaches to characterize organismal DNA from marine and freshwater have shown promise for accelerating marine conservation, especially for cryptic, rare and logistically challenging species. Researchers exploring these new approaches to surveying marine mammal distribution and diversity will be invited to share lessons learned from past successes and failures in a series of talks. Participants will then engage in small-group discussion via breakout groups on relevant topics such as challenges in eDNA field sampling, setting up an eDNA lab, eDNA beyond species detection, and others based on a pre-survey of participant interests. Throughout the workshop, we aim to broadly address both the challenges and opportunities that eDNA affords for marine mammal science.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Margaret Hunter (mhunter@usgs.gov).

Workshop Leader (1):
Luis Huckstadt
UC Santa Cruz and UNC Wilmington
Workshop Leader (2):
Cory Matthews
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Workshop Summary:

The application of stable isotope analysis (SIA) in biological studies of marine mammals is inextricably linked to their unique physiological adaptations. Yet, while SIA are routinely used in ecological studies of marine mammals, their application in physiological studies has lagged behind. Our understanding of a wide range of aspects about the physiology of marine mammals such as fasting, aerobic/anaerobic metabolism, nutrition and energetics, among others, can be improved through the use of SIA. Furthermore, the correct application of SIA for ecological research requires a better understanding of how biochemistry and physiology affect the isotopic values in a given tissue (e.g., isotopic incorporation, trophic discrimination factors, amino acid routing, etc.). We propose to hold a full-day, hybrid live-virtual workshop dedicated to the use of SIA in physiological studies of marine mammals. The workshop will identify knowledge gaps and priority areas to move the field forward. Our workshop will be structured into thematic sessions, with presentations by colleagues working on the different aspects of stable isotopes on marine mammal physiology, followed by a discussion. We also expect to have students presenting posters on their research for a closing session at the end of the day. We invite colleagues interested in SIA (bulk and compound-specific) and marine mammal physiology to participate and particularly encourage the participation of scientists from underrepresented groups.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Luis Huckstadt (lahuckst@ucsc.edu).

Workshop Leader (1):
Sarah Mesnick
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries, La Jolla, CA, USA
Workshop Leader (2):
Niki Diogou
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada

Workshop Summary:

The Cachalote Consortium was created in 2005 with the goal of bringing together researchers from multiple disciplines to promote understanding of global patterns of sperm whale biology, ecology and conservation.  The gatherings provide a forum for presenting progress, trading ideas, exchanging and standardizing methodologies, identifying knowledge gaps, inspiring new collaborations and fostering the next generation scientists dedicated to studying sperm whales. In parallel with the goals of SMM 2021, we seek contributions that promote interdisciplinary dialogue on the science and conservation of sperm whales and their societies and that discuss techniques (traditional and novel) that promote understanding at multiple scales: social, regional and global. We invite scientists, conservationists, students, and policy makers alike, providing a special opportunity to explore these topics as they relate to conserving socially and culturally complex nomadic ocean species. The program will involve a series of short presentations, with ample opportunity for discussion.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Sarah Mesnick (sarah.mesnick@noaa.gov).

Workshop Leader (1):
Ryan Milne
Sea Mammal Research Unit, St. Andrews University
Workshop Leader (2):
Simon Moss
Sea Mammal Research Unit, St. Andrews University

Workshop Summary: 

We will engage in discussions regarding current practices of handling, anaesthesia and associated procedures involving pinnipeds for research, conservation and veterinary purposes, placing particular focus on how competency of individuals is achieved and assessed.

Discussions will highlight the approaches taken at an institute and national level. We believe Ideas shared during discussions can lead to principles as to how best to achieve competency.

We intend to invite speakers from varying backgrounds to establish how training requirements vary from differing professional standpoints with the aim to highlight any lessons that can be learned by evaluating from a wider perspective.

Using a purpose built interactive seal model we will demonstrate how knowledge and key practical skills can be gained and refined in the absence of live animals. Participants will be invited to interact with this training tool to critically evaluate its function and assess its benefit to the wider pinniped community.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Ryan Milne (rm610@st-andrews.ac.uk).

Workshop Leader (1):
Jason Bruck
Stephen F. Austin State University
Workshop Leader (2):
Austin Allen
Duke University Marine Laboratory

Workshop Summary:

As the pace of new methods used to study marine mammals accelerates, there is an impetuous for scientists working with animals in the wild and in facilities to collaborate. Scientists working in many fields—physiology, cognition, communication, and conservation—benefit from breakthroughs made in both settings. In zoological facilities, confounding variables can be controlled and access to animals with known health status is guaranteed, allowing the development of technologies and methodologies including biologging tags, drones (UAVs), hormone analysis, and behavioral assays. These advancements aid our understanding of energetics, body condition, welfare, physiology, and medicine. Likewise, studies in the wild contribute greatly to our understanding of behavior, biology, and ecology in natural settings. The wild is also the venue for conservation applications where insights gained from basic research with animals under human care can be tested with animals experiencing the pressure of evolutionary forces. The workshop will include multiple panels of eminent scientists who have published both zoo-based and wild animal research. Panelists include Frants Jensen, Stephanie King, David Rosen, Terrie Williams, Peter Tyack, Magnus Walberg, Kelly Jaakkola, and Chloe Malinka. The first half of the workshop will include 15-20 minute presentations by panelists on current research, followed by panel discussions focusing on the future of their field and how work in managed-care setting supports their progress. Panels will include live questions from participants. The second half will start with a panel on the logistics/specifics of working with facilities. During the last two hours, panelists and participants can move among several breakout discussions, each with a research theme (e.g. conservation technology and innovation, research training, and how to succeed when working in zoological settings). Breakout groups will include research trainers and/or principal investigators with experience implementing novel experimental designs in managed-care settings.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Jason Allen
Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
Workshop Leader (2):
Jeffery Adams
NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

Workshop Summary: 

FinBase is a customizable Microsoft Access database system that stores and manages textual and numerical data from photographic-identification (photo-ID) surveys, and performs many of the tasks associated with image management and analysis. The prototype was presented at a Digital Photography Workshop at the Society of Marine Mammalogy’s 15th Biennial Conference in 2003 and the database system is currently being used by a number of research organizations engaged in photo-ID. While many users customize the database system to meet their particular research needs, certain data management concepts, research questions, and analyses apply to most, if not all photo-ID efforts. This workshop will bring together existing FinBase users to discuss approaches to addressing these common concepts, questions and analyses. In addition, existing FinBase users will be asked to share their experiences with database system customizations and analyses associated with their specific research programs.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Cara Gallagher
University of Potsdam, Germany
Workshop Leader (2):
Magda Chudzinska
University of St Andrews, UK

Workshop Summary:

Individual-based models (IBMs) are increasingly used to understand and predict the impacts of human disturbance on wildlife. Simulation models can provide insights and solutions to problems facing marine mammals and be used to guide conservation. In IBMs, individuals are modelled explicitly and interact with each other and the environment. Processes and interactions occurring on this individual level then determine the resulting population dynamics. IBMs are, however, frequently criticized for being developed using ad hoc approaches tailored to specific systems, which makes wider reimplementation and testing challenging. In marine mammal IBMs, the inclusion and implementation of processes relevant to disturbance can differ wildly between models. Processes can include, but are not limited to, energetics, movement, behavior, evolution, physiology, and individual trait variation. The goals of this interactive workshop are to identify key processes currently used in marine mammal IBMs and those which should be considered in future models, define alternative approaches, and outline best practices for going forward. Prior to the workshop, the organizers will produce a mini-review covering the current state of IBM use in marine mammal disturbance modelling. The mini-review findings will be presented at the workshop and invited experts in the fields of Individual-based modelling, disturbance modelling, and marine mammal disturbance impacts will give presentations which will complement the workshop goals. For the main portion of the workshop, attendees will work in groups to discuss processes and approaches which are or could be employed in marine mammal IBMs, identify key data gaps, and outline best practices. We hope that both modellers and empiricists, e.g. physiologists and behaviorists, will attend to provide varying perspectives on the relevance and practicality of the different approaches. The workshop findings will be combined with the mini-review to produce a peer-reviewed article intended to progress modelling of disturbance effects in marine mammal science.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Cara Gallagher (Gallagher@uni-potsdam.de).

Workshop Leader (1):
Frederike Diana Hanke
University of Rostock · Institut für Biowissenschaften
Workshop Leader (2):
Jeffry Fasick
University of Tampa

Workshop Summary:

The senses are the interfaces between an organism and its environment: they provide information about the external world necessary for critical tasks such as foraging, orientation, navigation, predator detection, and reproduction. The senses of marine mammals need to operate either in aquatic or in both aquatic and aerial media, thus requiring specific sensory adaptations that account for the properties of water or water/air. After decades of intensive research, our understanding of abilities mediated by/adaptations of single sensory systems has generally increased in marine mammals, albeit mostly in a few model species. In contrast, very little is known about how the sensory systems work together. Detailed knowledge about (multimodal) sensory perception and integration is crucial for understanding and predicting marine mammal behaviors in the wild. This is interesting from the point of view of basic science, and at the same time important to assess the impact of human activity on wild populations in the ocean. For example, this information can inform decisions that affect species management/conservation plans, as well as serve as the basis for developing deterrents to reduce negative human interaction (e.g., bycatch, ship strike).

This workshop explores both specific and integrated marine mammal sensory systems with a focus on recent advances in this field of research as well as emerging technologies that can advance our understanding of (multimodal) sensory perception. We cordially invite all participants from all career stages to give a presentation (speed talk) on any aspect of their past, current, or future research thus welcoming presentations devoted to hypotheses, methodological aspects, research findings including discoveries as well as controversial findings. Additionally, we hope to provoke vivid and constructive discussions between participants about informally shared “Work-In-Progress” reports in the sessions following the presentations.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Frederike Diana Hanke (frederike.hanke@uni-rostock.de).

Workshop Leader (1):
Max Czapanskiy
Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University
Workshop Leader (2):
Elliott Hazen
NOAA

Workshop Summary: 

Science is growing more computational, but most scientists’ aren’t taught how to share data and code. Organismal biology, including much of marine mammalogy, has lagged behind molecular biology in training and standards for computational applications. This workshop targets that gap by giving participants hands-on experience with the tools and concepts of reproducible manuscripts, providing a template for future publications. Topics covered include:

  • Open and reproducible science: FAIR and The 5 R’s
  • The “research compendium”: integrating data and code into manuscripts
  • >Best practices for reusability
  • Essential documentation

During the workshop, each participant will assemble a shareable, reproducible manuscript using existing data and code. In this process, we will highlight the specific skills and concepts that promote reproducible science. For example, participants will learn a standardized file organization, using the rrtools package, and how to make their code readable and reusable with Roxygen comments.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Max Czapanskiy (maxczap@stanford.edu).

Workshop Leader (1):
Nicole Adimey
Independent Contractor

Workshop Summary: 

The Tenth International Sirenian Symposium will support and promote Sirenain conservation by providing a venue and opportunity for researchers from around the globe to present novel and relevant work. Scientists from countries outside the U.S. are encouraged to attend and have precedence over those conducting work within the U.S. Speakers are asked to focus on new science, policy and management needs, and address how their work supports regional initiatives or management goals and contributes to the global conservation of the Sirenians. Session topics include human interactions, physiology, field monitoring, modeling, genetics, captive care and rehabilitation, management, general biology and stranding response. A panel discussion on controversial conservation issues/hot topics, a poster session and networking hour will also planned. Since its inception in 2001, the Sirenian Symposium has been one of the highest attended pre-Biennial Conference workshops, demonstrating the level of interest in Sirenian research and the need for its continued support.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

SATURDAY AFTERNOON
(HALF DAY WORKSHOPS)

Workshop Leader (1):
Leslie Hart
The College of Charleston
Workshop Leader (2):
Paul Sandifer
The College of Charleston

Workshop Summary:

For decades, marine mammals have been considered sentinels of environmental health, as well as indicators of potential health risks to human coastal communities that rely on seafood.  In fact, health risks shared between humans and marine mammals can facilitate comparisons of exposure risks and corresponding health outcomes between wildlife and human populations. We seek to bring together wildlife epidemiologists, toxicologists, physiologists, biologists, veterinarians, conservationists, and data scientists to identify how we can improve methods to detect marine mammal health threats and impacts, as well as best practices for leveraging data to translate health risks for marine mammals and human users of coastal resources.  We intend to begin the workshop with a series of speakers presenting on the following topics: 1) the overall concept of One Health research; 2) specific examples of One Health research; and 3) new tools and methodologies to facilitate continued One Health research studies.  Following the speaker session, we intend to have a facilitated discussion with audience members to: 1) identify the most significant threats to marine mammal health; 2) discuss best practices for detecting marine mammal health impacts; 3) determine how to leverage human health research for comparative epidemiological studies in marine mammals; and 4) outline effective methods for communicating marine mammal health impacts and implications for human health.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

SUNDAY
(FULL DAY WORKSHOPS)

Workshop Leader (1):
Caroline Good
NOAA – Office of Protected Resources
Workshop Leader (2):
Michel Charron
Transport Canada

Workshop Summary: 

Vessel strikes remain an ongoing and complex threat to many large whale species, particularly North Atlantic right whales. The primary tools available to mitigate this threat remain limited to slowing vessel traffic, and separating whales and vessels via transit routing measures. As more countries implement programs to address vessel strike risk, we are learning more about the effectiveness of these efforts and identifying key knowledge gaps. We need to better understand the full scope of vessel strike risk including impacts from small vessels, non-lethal injuries, and changing vessel and whale distributions. The workshop will include scientific presentations and an afternoon panel discussion with attendee participation to identify and capture best practices and recommendations. Our goal is to have participants leave with an up to date understanding of the state of vessel strike science, lessons learned from existing mitigation efforts, and ideas for future research strategies to support informed management.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Caroline Good (caroline.good@noaa.gov).

Workshop Leader (1):
Tessa Francis
University of Washington Tacoma
Workshop Leader (2):
Andre Punt
University of Washington

Workshop Summary: 

Managers tasked with understanding, quantifying and mitigating marine mammal–fishery interactions will often be starting with little or no data and with no system in place to collect data. The aims of this workshop are to increase the number of marine mammal populations for which abundance and bycatch can be estimated and to help identify which fisheries are most urgently in need of mitigation. We will provide a series of tutorials to aid in assessing marine mammals subject to bycatch, for example around estimating marine mammal population abundance and bycatch; assessing bycatch impacts relative to management or conservation references points; and a ShinyApp tool for conducting population projections under different bycatch mortality levels and calculating the parameters for Potential Biological Removal (PBR).

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Tessa Francis (tessa@uw.edu).

Workshop Leader (1):
Kelly Jaakkola
Dolphin Research Center
Workshop Leader (2):
Sabrina Brando
AnimalConcepts

Workshop Summary:

Historically, many discussions and regulations regarding marine mammal welfare have focused primarily on the physical needs of the animals (e.g., nutrition, health, space, noise, etc.). In this workshop, we would like to broaden that discussion by focusing on those areas of welfare that are often considered secondary, but are so important to the well-being of large-brained, social marine mammals — specifically, their cognitive and social needs. Presentations will focus on ways of addressing the cognitive and social needs of different species, including research, training, enrichment, relationships, and explicit attention to affective states.

Prior to the workshop, participants will be given an opportunity to fill out a questionnaire asking about specific ways of addressing social and/or cognitive needs that they have seen or implemented, and specific challenges to addressing social and/or cognitive needs that they have seen or experienced. The goal of this is to inform small-group breakout discussions during the workshop, so that issues can be brought forth anonymously if desired.

During the workshop, a series of invited talks will highlight best practices in areas relevant to cognitive and social welfare, with some presenting theory and overview while others present examples from facilities that have implemented such practices in each area. Each series of talks will be followed by large-group discussion and questions.

Small-group breakout sessions will focus on: (a) brainstorming specific, implementable ideas for addressing social and cognitive needs, (b) addressing specific logistical challenges to such implementation at facilities, and (c) building collaborations and suggestions for future research projects.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Thomas A. Jefferson
VIVA Vaquita

Workshop Summary: 

This workshop aims to bring together people to coordinate efforts on the conservation of the Atlantic humpback dolphin. The overall goal will be to produce an action plan with specific objectives, and particular people or organizations assigned to move that objective forward. A focus will be on leveraging skills and strengths of participants to develop effective conservation methods, and to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Heidi Harley
New College of Florida
Workshop Leader (2):
Gordon Bauer & Peter Cook
New College of Florida

Workshop Summary: 

This multi-disciplinary workshop explores current applications and future expansions of cognitive approaches to marine mammal conservation. Cognition (perceiving, deciding, responding, learning, problem-solving, remembering), often overlooked in our conservation efforts, is central to real-time adaptation. Animals perceive environmental change, determine/coordinate motor responses, evaluate outcomes, and remember information for future use. A conservation framework integrating animal minds promotes understanding and support of animals’ adaptive responses to environmental change. Here we hope to create a generative atmosphere for unexpected discoveries, new collaborative teams, and creative ways of thinking about cognition-related solutions. The results may be presented in a co-authored journal article highlighting information from experts in different disciplines focusing on specific conservation problems. For example, one portion of the article might be written by a field biologist, a cognitive scientist, and a conservationist, each contributing to a section on cognitively oriented approaches to manage post-release manatees. The workshop day includes 4 segments: In Segment 1, multidisciplinary teams present fleshed out models similar to those we hope new teams will generate. In Segment 2, workshop participants share their expertise, research and conservation approaches/interests, how cognition might be related to their work, and challenges a marine mammal species they study faces. In Segment 3, species experts form small multidisciplinary groups to address a conservation challenge faced by their species, map cognitive analyses onto species’ behaviors and responses to challenges, explore potential cognition-related solutions, and share their discoveries. In Segment 4, a scientist in each discipline writes orienting paragraphs on their species’ strengths/constraints, the group outlines their species’ identified conservation challenge (e.g., a species experiencing new environments, adapting to post-release life, or responding to human-animal interactions) and considers potential cognitively oriented solutions. Summaries/outlines become a jointly-written manuscript. (Participants who choose to continue writing/editing post-conference are authors; others are acknowledged.)

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Lori Marino
Whale Sanctuary Project
Workshop Leader (2):
Naomi Rose
Animal Welfare Institute

Workshop Summary: 

This workshop will explore the questions and opportunities associated with research in a seaside sanctuary for captive cetaceans. Authentic sanctuaries are places where priority is given to the autonomy and wellbeing of the residents. Yet ongoing data collection and publication on the residents’ psychology, physiology and behavior is critical to understanding how they are adapting to the sanctuary environment. The challenge of developing non-invasive and minimally intrusive ways of collecting data can also potentially drive innovative cetacean research and health care in sanctuaries, in marine theme parks, and in free-ranging situations. Presenters will discuss how existing data collection methodologies can be adapted to and refined in a sanctuary environment, as well as how the specific limits of a sanctuary’s mission can be used as an opportunity to create new data collection methodologies that can then be applied to health care and conservation outside the sanctuary.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Kimberly Raum-Suryan
Protected Resources Division, NMFS, NOAA Fisheries
Workshop Leader (2):
Kate Savage
NOAA Fisheries Affiliate

Workshop Summary: 

This workshop is intended to bring together pinniped researchers, managers, and responders interested in reducing global pinniped entanglements and interactions with active fishing gear. This is an opportunity for current practitioners and those interested in learning more about this topic to share experiences and ideas, exchange knowledge and techniques, discuss challenges and collectively formulate solutions. The workshop format will begin with presentations, followed by panel discussions, hands-on training, and group discussion. Topics will include species-specific and generic entanglement types, pinniped entanglement standardized data collection, entanglement prevention and response best practices, successful fishing industry collaboration, effective deterrents, capture tools and techniques, and outreach/education. This conference provides a valuable opportunity for our global community to personally collaborate in instituting and improving pinniped entanglement response, advancing mitigation in reducing marine pollution and furthering the Pinniped Entanglement Group (PEG) and their efforts to reduce pinniped entanglements on a global level.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Robert A DiGiovanni Jr
Atlantic Marine Conservation Society
Workshop Leader (2):
Mendy Garron
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Workshop Summary: 

Increasing societal demands and pressures can take a toll on workplace productivity and effectiveness due to communication overload and competing priorities. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of how quickly our workplace infrastructure, and our world, can change at a moment’s notice while simultaneously placing additional demands for organizations and staff to manage. An organization’s resiliency is reliant on its team’s ability to respond to environmental and societal stressors. Based on a recent exploratory study to assess the views of wildlife by emergency response practitioners and on years of marine mammal response planning initiatives, this workshop will prepare participants to build and maintain resilient organizations, situational awareness, improved communication for organizational priorities, enhance collaboration with stakeholders, and identify training needs and increase capacity. Marine mammal response practitioners and the broader research community will benefit from addressing these common challenges that we all face in today’s changing world.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Robert A DiGiovanni Jr (rdigiovanni@amseas.org).

SUNDAY MORNING
(HALF DAY WORKSHOPS)

Workshop Leader (1):
Martha Wells
The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature
Workshop Leader (2):
Suzanne Dameron
Lime Communications

Workshop Summary:

Science is the cornerstone of stewardship and conservation. Collaboration, creativity and communication are also necessary components for developing effective policy and influencing human behavior. These elements involve rational/cognitive processes as well as emotion. Insight into how people approach problem solving as well as everyday tasks aids collaboration and communication.

This interactive session uses FourSight, a research-based framework that is both universal and instinctive, to explore how people approach communication and problem solving. Four basic thinking styles comprise the universal process and they are rarely compatible without a common language and approach. When working through a situation or solving a problem, each of us gravitates naturally to at least one of the four styles. Understanding the framework lays the foundation for gaining awareness, tools and skills to achieve effective results more efficiently alone and with less conflict when working with others.

Successful communication is two-way and is facilitated by understanding your audience’s perspective and needs. The FourSight framework provides a guide for strategic communication with any audience – policy makers, stakeholders, resource managers, collaborators, etc. Specific techniques to help address both rational and emotional needs will be offered.

Takeaways:

  • An understanding of the universal thinking process
  • The ability to appreciate and leverage diversity in cognitive approaches
  • Tools for augmenting your natural approach
  • Communication techniques for developing effective messages and communication approaches

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Danielle Crain
Baylor University
Workshop Leader (2):
Kathleen Hunt
George Mason University

Workshop Summary: 

We propose to hold a half day hybrid in person and virtual workshop of researchers interested or currently involved in measuring hormones in marine mammals to study stress physiology, reproductive physiology, responses to a changing environment or diet, and health biomarkers. Measuring hormones in whale tissues and biological matrices that can be gathered from free-ranging mammals, from stranded individuals, or from museum specimens is a powerful tool for increasing our understanding of these often cryptic species. There has been an emerging method of using metabolically inert yet continuously growing structures for hormone measures as well, that provide the possibility to conduct retrospective analyses; these include whiskers, claws, baleen, and baleen whale earplugs. This workshop will focus on methodology, future directions, and interaction among scientists interested in marine mammal endocrinology.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Danielle Crain (ddiancrain@gmail.com).

Workshop Leader (1):
Maria Cristina Fossi
University of Siena
Workshop Leader (2):
Cristina Panti
University of Siena

Workshop Summary: 

The workshop will be devoted to define the state of art and the recent advances on the impact of marine debris on marine mammals and to present the new data available on this topic ranging from entanglement to the ingestion of macrodebris and microplastics.

The main expected outputs are:

  • To define harmonized protocols for the analysis of marine debris in stranded organisms
  • To define new methods to evaluate the exposure to marine debris (in particular plastics) in free-ranging organisms
  • To identify the most threatened species by this pollution
  • To identify hot spot areas for marine mammals worldwide
  • To propose mitigation actions for future recommendation
  • To propose marine mammal species as indicator of ocean health

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact Maria Cristina Fossi (fossi@unisi.it).

SUNDAY AFTERNOON
(HALF DAY WORKSHOPS)

Workshop Leader (1):
ECM Parsons
University of Exeter
Workshop Leader (2):
Katie Nuessly
National Park Service

Workshop Summary: 

Underwater sound is an important characteristic of ocean health.

Tourism vessels are a frequently used platform of opportunity to gather data on marine species. This workshop will look at current best practices for collecting and analyzing acoustic data from tourism vessel platforms of opportunity (whale-watching vessels, cruise ships and other vessels) as well as best practices for incorporating citizen scientists in the collection, categorization and analysis of acoustic data.

The workshop will look at the benefits, barriers and untapped potential for utilizing platforms of opportunity, and citizen scientists, for gathering and analyzing acoustic marine mammal and environmental data.

Virtual Attendance: YES

For more information on virtual attendance, please contact ecm-parsons@earthlink.net.

Workshop Leader (1):
Eric Archer
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA

Workshop Summary: 

This workshop is designed to create plans for concrete actions that SMM can undertake to make a more diverse and inclusive society. The SMM ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee will be sponsoring a series of webinars throughout 2021 to examine issues related to internships, LGBTQ+ representation, gender equality in the field, underrepresented minorities, and funding science in developing countries. At the biennial conference, workshop participants will gather to review issues highlighted during the webinars and fine tune action items for the SMM D&I Committee to bring before the board of directors. We would like to use the time at the biennial to have focused discussions about realistic actions and goals and set priorities that match the needs of the membership. This workshop will also give the membership an in-person opportunity to voice their concerns and engage with the Committee and board in shaping the future of the society.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Sarah Courbis
Advisian Worley Group
Workshop Leader (2):
Kyle Baker
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Workshop Summary: 

There are 21 offshore wind projects proposed on the US East Coast. Regional organizations, developers, agencies, and independent academics are engaging in or planning research, and funding is increasing. We propose to gather developers and scientists together to present ongoing and upcoming research, discuss collaborative and funding opportunities, and develop a more coordinated effort that minimizes redundancy, improves regional communication, and makes researchers aware of current and future funding and priority questions identified by agencies and stakeholder processes. Coordination of this nature was valuable in the Arctic when significant research was undertaken around the oil and gas industry. We are focused on coordination and networking rather than planning, mitigation, or policy, which have been the subject of other workshops. We seek to connect folks doing and funding the science and share information and opportunities. Strong collaboration and communication will be key to optimal long-term monitoring outcomes.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

Workshop Leader (1):
Jennifer Lewis
George Mason University, Que Sera Sera Films and Tropical Dolphin Research Foundation
Workshop Leader (2):
Mahmud Rahman
Que Sera Sera Films and Tropical Dolphin Research Foundation

Workshop Summary: 

Scientists are losing major battles with the general public. Evolution, climate change, vaccinating children, the race for space exploration in the United States. Why? Because we are trained only to communicate with our peers. In this workshop we will provide an evolutionary explanation for the most effective way to communicate (using story and visuals). Participants will learn how to use this strategy with examples related specifically to marine mammal science and get hands on learning opportunities to gain practice. Our goal is to have participants leave 1) understanding why they must add this skill to their tool belt and 2) understanding the basics for better communication. Participants will leave the workshop ready to start producing material with greater success for conservation impact.

Virtual Attendance: NOT AVAILABLE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What and When are the SMM2021 Workshops?

SMM2021-affiliated workshops are half-day, full day, or two day events proposed by individual researchers (the “workshop leaders”) and coordinated by them if their proposal is accepted by the SMM2021 conference committee. Workshops are typically a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project. The format of such events varies widely and includes: a series of speakers and/or a panel followed by discussion, a training session on use of technology or data analysis; a small group effort to analyse data or draft an action plan, etc. Workshops are open to all conference registrants, and to those not attending the conference for an additional fee. The workshops will be held pre-conference on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December, 2021.

What time are the workshops?

The majority of the workshops are either a half-day (8:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM) or a full day  (8:30 AM – 5:30 PM). Workshops of two day duration are also being offered.

Will I be able to participate in workshops virtually?

Virtual participation in these workshops will depend on individual workshop organizers, but will not be included in the virtual conference experience. More information on workshops that may offer a virtual experience will be released after workshops are posted for sign-in this summer (date to be announced). 

What time will rooms be available for set-up on the day of workshops?

Please note that rooms will be available as of 8AM, but workshops will start as of 8:30AM.

Where are the workshops being held?

Workshops are being held at the conference venue, the Palm Beach Convention Center.

Will lunch be provided during the workshops?

All workshops will include coffee breaks, but in order to keep workshop costs down, lunch options are not available. We are recommending that full-day workshops allow at least 1.5 hours for lunch to allow time for participants to forage off-site and will provide you with a list of nearby places to eat.

How many people can attend each workshop?

Most of the workshop rooms available are limited in size, so be sure to sign up early! Available rooms are a variety of sizes to accommodate 35-150 participants in classroom-style seating; however, participants numbers may be lower than in previous years due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

How much do workshops cost?

Most workshops cost $50 USD for a half-day workshop and $100 USD for a full day workshop.

Conference registration is required to participate in workshops. If you are not registered for the conference, you are still required to pay a supplemental workshop registration fee. Supplemental fees for those only attending a workshop (and not the rest of the conference) are available in one or two day options:

1 Day Workshop ONLY (Members): $25 USD
2 Day Workshop ONLY (Members): $50 USD

1 Day Workshop ONLY (Non-Members): $125 USD
2 Day Workshop ONLY (Non-Members): $250 USD

Do I have to be registered for the conference to attend workshops?

In exceptional cases, individual workshop organizers can authorize attendance by non-registered individuals (e.g. an invited speaker who comes only to give a presentation, not to participate in the complete workshop). But preference will be given to those registered for the conference and non-conference registrants will have to pay a non-registrant participant surcharge (see above).

How do I sign-up for a workshop?

When available, you can sign up for workshops on the conference registration page. There you will see a list of the workshops being offered on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December, 2021. You will only be able to sign up for one workshop per day (or two half-day workshops).

Be sure to register for workshops early as space is limited. Once a workshop is sold out, a wait list option will appear in case space opens up.  Those on the waiting list will not have to pay in advance, but will be contacted by email if a spot in their preferred workshop opens up and then they will be able to pay and complete their registration for the workshop.

What if I sign-up and a workshop is cancelled, or I have to withdraw?

Note that workshops may have to be cancelled if the organizers/presenters have scheduling difficulties or the workshop does not reach a minimum number of signups. If a workshop is cancelled those who have signed up will be notified by email, and registered participants will be given an option to switch to a different workshop or be reimbursed.

If a workshop participant withdraws within three weeks of the workshop dates (by November 20, 2021), a refund is possible – after that date no refund is possible. 

Help! I’m having trouble signing in and I want to register for a workshop!

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Another possibility is that one of the extra toolbars or browser add-ons is causing an unexpected problem. You might try registering using another browser.

  1. Open a new browser.
  2. Click HERE to login.
  3. Once you are signed in to SMM, move to the conference software.
  4. Select “Registration” from the provided options on the profile home.

Still having problems? Contact us at workshops@marinemammalscience.org.