Flying Bridge Observing

The RV Reuben Lasker’s flying bridge is where the real action takes place on marine mammal surveys. Situated nearly 50 feet above the water, observers have a better vantage point for spotting whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and seabirds. Here, the research team goes ‘on effort’ on day one to start making sure everyone is comfortable with the protocols and their individual tasks, which might include entering data, looking through the big eye binoculars to identify the species or estimate the group size, communicating with the bridge and acoustics team, taking photos for individual identification, preparing to biopsy animals from the bow, etc. It’s quite the undertaking and requires everyone knowing their role and working together to successfully and smoothly collect as much data as possible in the short time available.

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