Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ES - Environmental Science

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Every other year

This Fall course provides an introduction to the biology and natural history of marine mammals, specializing in species resident within the North Atlantic, in a field setting.

Students spend the last two weeks in August of the preceding summer at the College’s Mt. Desert Rock Marine Research Station.

In addition to introductory topics in marine mammal biology that include phylogeny and taxonomy; anatomy and physiology; behavior; sensory ecology; and management/conservation issues, students also integrate themselves into the resident research team and work on team projects that will include observation of animals in their natural habitat. In the Fall, students meet 3–4 further times for dissection of specimens, team project presentations, and optional attendance at a regional conference.

Assessment is based on two individual literature-based reviews, one species- and one system-based, to be presented in class, participation in research projects, and written submissions of their research. Lab fee covers costs of field trips, including boat and field station time, and conference costs. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is required by June 1. 


Biology I, II and a writing-focused class or permission of instructor.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.