Subject: Studying Orcas

Peter Scheifele (
Wed, 28 Jan 1998 09:56:19 -0500

Dear Miss Dutton-

        The field of marine mammalogy is not the easiest to break into.  I
have found that it helps if you can find a mentor who is already in the
field that you wish to pursue [i.e.   veterinary, mammalogy, acoustics,
ecology, etc.].  It is also helpful to attempt to volunteer or do an
internship at a local aquarium.  For my part, I am a bioacoustician and the
Acoustical Society of America has a [free, I think] booklet on how to get
started in bioacoustics, if that is your desire.  I sometimes take on
interns in my research.

As for college courses:  physics, chemistry, biology, population ecology,
marine biology, physical and chemical oceanography are all starting points.
If I can be of further assistance please let me know.


At 02:09 PM 1/27/98 EST, you wrote:
>My ambition is to study orcas, dolphins, or another type of whale in the wild.
>I was just wondering if you would be able to give me some idea about what kind
>of courses would be most useful to take at university if i was to follow this
>line of work.  I'm currently taking Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A'Level.
>Also, i would like to know if you can give me the details about someone i
>could contact to find out more information about this kind of career.  I would
>be very grateful.
>Yours Sincerly,
Peter M. Scheifele
National Undersea Research Center
University of Connecticut
Bioacoustic Research
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton,  CT  06340-6097
Voice:  (860) 405-9103
FAX:  (860) 445-2969