Learn About Ecology
Data And Science
World Biomes
Marine Mammals
Classroom Projects

Data Collecting

student on boat


whale tailStudents in Santa Barbara collected whale watching data in the Santa Barbara Channel. During the month of February, they collected data on whale sightings from various points on shore. During the month of May, they again collected data on whale populations during a boat trip to Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands off the California coast. For each of those months, the students kept track of all the whales and dolphins they saw. They wrote down the type and numbers of animals, along with the location of the sightings (latitude and longitude).

You may be wondering why we would want this type of data. Data like this are used to answer questions, and to help make decisions. For example, we can use the data collected to answer questions such as "Which mammals are seen and when?" or "Do some types of mammals show up in higher numbers than others?" People in charge of making decisions about natural resource management also use this type of information to learn whether marine mammal populations and increasing or decreasing, and sometimes to help decide whether certain animals should be protected.

Learn about the data collected, the graph results, and mapping whales:

Whale Data

Mapping Whales

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