Philosophical Society of Washington

Tracking Bowhead Whales under the Arctic Sea Ice

William T. Ellison
President, Marine Acoustics

2184th Meeting Abstract
Friday, December 3, 2004 at 8:15 PM


Bowhead whales continue to be a species of particular interest. Their migration patterns through the Arctic have been studied with acoustic tracking using hydrophones to listen for their sounds. The behavior of the bowhead whales in response to noise in the water has been simulated using computer models.

About the Author:

WILLIAM T. ELLISON is President and Chief Scientist of Marine Acoustics, Inc. His work has included design, construction, testing, and deployment of the first field portable acoustic transient localization system. This sonobuoy-based system has been widely used for tracking whales in the Arctic ice pack. In 1999, he was a leader of a project to design build and demonstrate a real-time high frequency active sonar system for tracking deep diving whales at ranges of over a mile.

Previously, he had been Vice President of Cambridge Acoustical Associates. He served 11 years on active duty as a Naval officer and was Technical Director of the Navy Surface Ship Sonar Program. He holds a bachelor's degree from the Naval Academy and an M.S.M.E., a professional degree in Naval Architecture, and a Ph.D. in Acoustics from MIT.

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