Coffee Connections with Desi
October 10, 2023

12:00 pm EST / 11:00 am CST / 10:00 am MT / 9:00 am PT

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Spotlight Speaker: 

Alicia Pensarosa
Assistant Director
Ocean Alliance

Ocean Alliance’s mission is to protect whales and their ocean environment. Ocean Alliance has developed a new UAV-based, less invasive method for the deployment of non-invasive suction cup biologging tags on whales.

One of the most important tools in whale research right now is biologging data tags. These tags stick onto the back of a whale with suction cups (typically for around 24 hours) and give scientists enormous insights into how whales live their lives. Depth, speed, orientation, acceleration or deceleration, water temperature, acoustics, and even video! The challenge with these tags has been attaching them onto the whale; traditionally this is done by a team in a small boat that pulls up alongside a whale and attaches the tag with a long pole. Our UAV-based method has made it easier for researchers to collect the data they need for whale conservation.