Bird and marine mammal concentrations were surveyed in central PWS during the field experiment in order to model the potential impact of applying dispersants to theoretical oil spills. Biologist Rebecca Fedderer used U.S. Fish and Wildlife protocols to record the number and behavior of birds and marine mammals present within a 300m around the boat. She also recorded other noteworthy observations out to 1km on either side.
The abundance of wildlife in Prince William Sound was clear. Species recorded from the boat included humpback whales, orcas, Dall’s Porpoises, common murres, puffins, loons, pidgeon guillemots, marbled murrelets, and many others.
Five transects had been identified prior to the experiment that corresponded with the CTD data collection. However, schedule changes due to weather altered both the CTD and bird and mammal data collection efforts. Instead of five CTD transect lines, eight CTD transect lines were sampled anywhere from once to four times.
Rebecca Fedderer describes her role as a marine mammal observer