Is Psychology important?

From: Howard Garrett (
Date: Wed Feb 16 2000 - 14:31:20 EST

HI, I'm 16 and currently studying for my GCSE's. I am choosing my subjects
for 6th form soon and I have been told by a organisation (Dolphin Quest) that
Psychology is a good subject to have if I wanted to work with marine mammals.
I was just wondering if you had any advice or information you could give me
and if you could tell me whether Psychology is important for me to study, and
would I do this in the 6th form or at university?
Thankyou for your help.
Hayley Chambers

Dear Hayley,

        That's a very interesting question. I agree that psychology is very
important in order to understand dolphins and their relationships with each
other as well as with humans. Dr. Hal Whitehead, who has written many
scientific articles on sperm whales and other species, recommends that
students of cetology also study sociology and anthropology, because as Dr.
Whitehead has demonstrated with MtDNA studies (Science magazine, Nov 24,
1998), some species exhibit signs of having developed sophisticated
cultures and communication systems.

        I am not familiar with 6th form, but my guess is that you might be better
off to wait until university to study these subjects. In the meantime you
might look around for articles that will give you an introduction to marine
mammal social systems.

Howard Garrett
Tokitae Orca Conservation Foundation
Greenbank WA 98253
(360) 678-3451

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