Eric S. Howarth


E-Mail: ehowarth@mail.sdsu.edu

Please visit my new laboratory, Association of Coastal Marine Ecologists, which offers both dolphin ecotourism and an intership program. .

Education

 

Cetacean Research Experience

Cetacean Behavior Laboratory Intern, Summer '96. Assisted Greg Campbell in analyzing dorsal fin photoidentification data from Belize. Additionally, I participated with Sam Ward in land-based theodolite behavior surveys. I have also applied my computer programming skills to write Visual Basic (VBA) code which interfaces theodolite data into Excel and another program which analyzes land-based behavioral data used to construct time budgets. As a second semester intern, I joined the Cetacean Behavior Laboratory research team carrying out boat-based photoidentification surveys in the San Diego study area.

Beginning February 1998, I spent two months assisting land-based behavior and boat-based acoustic and behavior observation of humpback whales for the Acoustic Thermometry and Oceanographic Climatology (ATOC) project. This marine mammal monitoring phase of ATOC was run by Cornell University's Bioacoustics Dept.

Current Research

I am currently conducting a series of pilot studies to develop and refine a new methodology for simultaneously recording dolphin behavior visually and dolphin sound production using sonobuoys. Sonobuoys are a listening devices built by the US Navy to track enemy vessels. The cliff-side vantage point of the Cetacean Behavior Laboratory study site is ideally suited for this methodology . From an elevation of 90 m we are able to watch dolphin behavior and group formations develop as though hovering from an airship. The elevation is also ideal for receiving radio transmission of dolphin vocalizations from the sonobuoys.  An informative summary is available on the CBL Current Projects pages.

Research Interests

In my thesis research, I intend to use passive location to correlate acoustic signals of wild living dolphins and their behavior. Passive location is the use of multiple hydrophones to locate a sound source. I have conducted several pilot studies to develop a methodolgy using modified surplus naval sonobuoys to record both dolphin vocalizations and visual land-based behavior observations simultaneously.

The Dave Dog "chillin" at a roadside cantina some where south of Ensenada.

Personal

My interest in cetaceans began when I was a diver for Sea World in Aurora, Ohio. My duties allowed me to observe and interact with bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, California sea lions, and killer whales. A good portion of my leisure time is devoted to exercise and play with my Vizsla, Dave. In an effort to keep pace with him, I've taken up Rollerblading. Additionally, I love all aquatic activities, especially those associated with boating. When my roomates can tolerate it, I also enjoy playing blues, jazz, and rock 'n roll on the alto and tenor saxophone. I am also the Cetacean Behavior Lab web-slave.

 

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