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Home » Archives » September 2011 » Scat Happens & Can Influence Endangered Species Policy

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09/04/2011: "Scat Happens & Can Influence Endangered Species Policy"

ig_Samuel_Wasser_cfcb-01 (28k image)The Whale Museum’s 2011 lecture series continues on September 7th at 7:00 pm with a talk by Dr. Samuel Wasser, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology on the use of scat to influence policy for endangered species.

Humans impact the environment in many different ways and on very large scales. The Center for Conservation Biology aims to provide the kinds of information needed to optimize remediation of these impacts by taking advantage of two readily available natural systems: scat (feces) and domestic dogs.

Biological information from scat is used to study animal well-being in the same way a physician uses a blood sample. To acquire these samples, Dr. Wasser and his team capitalize on the incredible abilities of detection dogs to locate them over large remote landscapes at relevant time periods. This talk provides an overview of their approach with two detailed examples: killer whales off the San Juan Islands ( Related Story), and caribou, moose and wolf in the Alberta Oil Sands.

Dr. Samuel Wasser earned his PhD from the University of Washington in 1981. He is acknowledged worldwide as a pioneer of non-invasive wildlife monitoring methods. He has participated in a number of conservation programs throughout Africa and North America, in collaboration with state, federal and international organizations. His work is internationally respected by scientists, environmental activists, and government and non-government wildlife managers.

The September 7th lecture is free and open to the public, although donations are appreciated. For more information, call (360) 378-4710 ext. 23.

The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum also provides programs including the Orca Adoption Program, Soundwatch Boater Education, Marine Naturalist Training, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline. The Whale Museum can be found on-line at

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