Marine Mammal Online Experience

Interested in learning more about marine mammal research and conservation from experts in the field? The California Ocean Alliance invites you to sign up for The Marine Mammal Online Experience (MOE)! This is a unique and engaging one-week online educational course designed to provide students of all ages the opportunity to work directly with world experts in marine mammal science and conservation.  Each day we will explore the underwater world of seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, and sea otters, showing you our strategies for conserving and protecting ocean ecosystems. You will be presented with a combination of exciting lectures and group-based online, interactive activities. Students will have access to scientific papers, multi-media material, and guidance from top marine mammal researchers.

Curriculum highlights include:

  • Interactive lessons from researchers at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the evolution of marine mammals

  • Virtual tours of seal breeding colonies in California

  • Virtual tours of the newly-renovated captive marine mammal research facilities at UC Santa Cruz. See how we train captive seals, sea lions, and dolphins, and cooperatively conduct cutting edge research right here in Santa Cruz!

  • Analyzing video data obtained from multi-sensor tags on the backs of humpback whales

  • Learning about the use of drone technology to study the health of marine mammals, and how to measure animals, including killer whales

  • Introduction to the underwater acoustic world of marine mammals, current threats of sound pollution, how to analyze marine mammal sounds, and why this is important

  • Panel discussions with leaders in the field about how to pursue a career in marine mammal science and conservation

Participants in this online course will:

  • Receive a certificate of completion signed by active researchers noting each student’s accomplishments
  • Participate in a unique variety of interactive, hands-on science learning activities
  • Form direct links to scientists researching and conserving marine mammals around the world

Course Details

  • Dates: June 26 – June 30 2023

  • Times: 9am – 12pm, Monday – Friday

To apply, please visit the link below to register. Once registered, we will follow up with an informational e-mail on details of the course, how to access content, and a detailed schedule for the week! Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions.

Here is YOUR opportunity to engage in this unique and exciting marine mammals course.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of marine mammal biologists, and all you citizen scientists out there! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to participate, but don’t think I can cover the costs of the course – is there financial support available?

A: Yes! If you want to take the course and would like to be considered for financial assistance to cover the costs of tuition, please e-mail both and in one e-mail and tell us:

  1. Who you are
  2. Why you would like to take the course
  3. Why you are requesting financial support to cover the costs of tuition

We will review your request, and if you are selected to receive a scholarship you will be provided with additional instructions on how to enroll without paying the course costs.

Q: I am interested in taking the course, but won’t be available for the entire time because of other scheduling conflicts. Will the course material be available to me outside the 9:00am-12:00pm timeframe?

Yes! We recognize that you may have a busy schedule. If you would like to take the course asynchronously, all of the lecture videos, Powerpoints, and associated materials will be available to you through our online learning platform.

Q: I am not a high school or college student, but am very interested in taking the course. Can I enroll?

YES! This course is open to all who are interested