Since July 2004, Cascadia Research has participated in quarterly marine mammal surveys with graduate students from Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation cruises. The CalCOFI cruises were begun in 1949 to monitor the ecological aspects of the sardine population collapse, and since then have continued to study the marine environment off of California. In addition to the valuable oceanography data, the cruises provide an excellent platform for collecting visual and acoustic marine mammal observations in relation to the chemical and physical properties of the California Current System.
In the spring of 2004 Melissa Soldevilla, a graduate student of Scripps, began using the CalCOFI vessels as a platform to monitor and record acoustic data of marine mammals encountered along the cruise track using a towed hydrophone. Cascadiaobservers joined the effort to provide species identification and group size estimates that could be paired with the acoustic data.
See an update from the March/April 2008 trip
For more information see: Soldevilla, M.S., S.M. Wiggins, J. Calambokidis, A. Douglas, E.M. Oleson and J.A. Hildebrand. 2006. Marine mammal monitoring and habitat investigations during CalCOFI surveys. CalCOFI report 47:79-91.