By Marie Hill and Andrea Bendlin
We represented the PIFSC Cetacean Research Program (CRP) when we visited Saipan 4-6 May, 2015 for education and outreach. We gave presentations at Saipan Southern High, William S. Reyes, Garapan Elementary, and Saipan International Schools. Students ranged from grades 2 – 12. We talked about the research that the CRP has been conducting in the Marianas since 2010 including some of the results from the research.
The students also participated in hands-on activities to learn about the tools that we use in order to study cetaceans. One of these activities involved matching the nicks and notches on the dorsal fins of short-finned pilot whales to identify individuals. They also had a chance to practice taking identification photos. Additionally, students learned about passive acoustics and using software to visualize sound.
Overall we considered this a great trip. After visiting 13 classes that included over 400 students, we have developed a new appreciation for our teachers and the long days they put in! We look forward to visiting the Islands again soon!