Found in all tropical and warm-temperate seas worldwide, the whale shark is known as the largest fish in the world, yet it is also one of the least-known shark species. This biologically unique species is declining in numbers due to its vulnerability to exploitation because of its large size, slow growth, and late maturation. Moreover, disturbances to their ecosystems are impacting their migration, feeding, and mating patterns. Nevertheless, current information (reliable scientific data) on their migration routs is insufficient for conservation policies to be created and most research methods are limited. This is why I am proposing to use a satellite transmitter tagging method to study the migration patterns and correlated genetic variability within whale sharks. This will be done by tagging and extracting skin tissue from the same specimen in order to follow their migration tracks via satellite data and analyzing their DNA. After analyzing and interpreting my data I expect to show that whale sharks are able to travel long ranges through multiple political jurisdictions, thus confirming the need to manage the populations on an international level.
Archive for the '04-25-1450' Category
The beluga sturgeon is an ancient fish that is famous for its black, pearl-like caviar, which is valued to be the best of the best by connoisseurs. Although the beluga sturgeon has survived the disappearance of the dinosaurs, human overconsumption and habitat degradation have caused the species to decline over 90% in the past 20 years. Now listed as critically endangered, the beluga sturgeon is still harvested in many countries under a lax quota system. To make matters worse, illegal fishing is rampant because of the high prices that the caviar can fetch.
The predominant conservation measure is hatchery supplementation. However, several studies have shown that this method is ineffective and will prove harmful to the species in the long run because of the diminish in genetic diversity. Thus, I propose that hatchery supplementation needs to be reduced and eventually eliminated. Instead, the root of the problem needs to be eradicated. Because the biology and the life cycles of this species are not well known, satellite tagging and harmless tissue samples can be used to provide this critical information. From this, migration paths, interspecies interactions, population size, sex ratio variation, and allelic diversity can be determined and can be used to guide habitat conservation through the removal of threats along key waterways.
By Alissa Wall.
The Japanese dolphin slaughter is decimating coastal populations of dolphins, yet it is unregulated by the International Whaling Conference (IWC). Emotionally charged pleas have yet to stop the unethical killings. Because wildlife conservation acts at the species level and because dolphins are comprised of many non-endangered species, a new method to conserve populations is needed. If individual populations of dolphins are demonstrated to exhibit unique cultures, then the destruction of individual populations parallels human genocide. A strong case could thus be made to extend the conservation of biodiversity to include the preservation of culture.
Several studies have been designed to determine whether dolphins exhibit cultures analogous to those of apes. Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected in individual neurophysiology, intrapopulation interactions, and interpopulation interactions. The data will be analyzed and presented to the IWC with the goal of effecting policy change that protects dolphins from unnecessary destruction due to their advanced cognitive abilities and distinctive cultures.
By Chris Brown
At the 1980 winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, a group of ragtag American amateur hockey players took on the heavily favored Soviets in the Gold Medal game. The game was played at the height of the Cold War and showcased a nationalist frenzy on both sides. The sounds of the arena, from the booming “U-S-A!!” chants to broadcaster Al Michaels’ legendary “Do you believe in Miracles?” call, helped make this game possibly the most memorable in sports history. I will be looking into the sounds of this game and analyzing academics’ papers on the phenomena of sports fandom, sound, and nationalism.
By Jordan Cole
For my final paper, I will attempt to determine why there is a band at sporting events – is it for the players, the fans, or both? What does it represent? Is there a difference between how music affects the players versus the fans? Does it contribute in any way to the action, momentum, or outcome of the game? Does music distract us, focus us or both?
By: Laura Weinberg
The phenomenon of momentum and energy shifts oftentimes play a crucial role in modern day sport. There are several factors that can be attributed to this propulsion, yet what is it that truly has the ability to maximize a teams potential and provide them with the drive and determination to win a game? Certainly, spark plays and inspirational actions on the playing field can provoke momentum. Yet before any of that can take place, home court advantage provides a source of momentum that occurs prior to the beginning of the sporting event. The crowds’ role in home court advantage can provide further understanding into why, in many cases, the home team enters the playing arena with a spark while the visitor does not.
By Jonathan Wilkins
Sound is one of, and not the factor that determines momentum and general shifts in sports. The same sound can encourage a change or simply solidify the lack thereof. It is far more important to understand the complete context of the game than to rely on sound to work backwards to a comprehension of the match. In fact, sound usually can be understood best as an indicator of the game’s actions. Then, from there, sound can act as an affecter on the action. It is a by-product of the crucial events on the field, which can only partly help change the course of the game. When sound does affect the game, which often occurs, then it can either increase a side’s momentum or help cause no change in the event. From there, context and an understanding of the variety of factors are crucial in understanding sound in sport as both an encourager and an indicator. A play occurs, which requires an auditory response from the audience or actor within the game. This response, in turn, is an indicator of the previous events and, depending on context, can potentially encourage an effect on the game. It is not just the sound, but how it is listened to, whether by active or passive participants within the action, that help decides the ultimate importance of an event. Sound does not simply cause changes in the game in consistent ways, but rather sound requires nuanced understanding.