Nine HWS students and Professor Uta Wolfe of the psychology faculty spent two weeks of their holiday break in West Maui, Hawaii, conducting humpback whale research with a group of scientists from the University of Hawaii.
The students took part in an intense scientific and educational program organized by the Dolphin Institute, a not-for-profit organization of scientists whose research has aided in the steady recovery of the endangered humpback population and has furthered the knowledge of cetacean behavior.
Students worked with the researchers on studies of humpbacks' behavior, song, social organization and migration patterns. The students helped gather photographic and biopsy data for an international project surveying the status of humpback populations and the potential of human impact on the species.
While working 8 to 10 hours a day with only one day off, students brimmed with enthusiasm and called the program “an experience of a lifetime.” The scientists were equally impressed with HWS students and praised their hard, meticulous work and their insightful questions and comments.
This off-campus program, the first of its kind, included Liz Amis '06, Kristin Delaney '06, Nick East '06, Laura Evans '07, Jim Gray '06, Michelle Peters '07, Zach Schonfield '08, Jared Shahid '06, and Samantha Wason '08. Shahid took the photo that accompanies this story from the research boat.
The trip and research were arranged through Tom D’Agostino and Amy Teel of the Center for Global Education, the HWS Psychology Department, and the Committees for Academic Affairs and Global Education.