Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Robert F. Young


In recent years, there has been growing concern that anthropogenic noise in the oceans is affecting marine mammals. Scientists are afraid that marine mammal activities such as feeding, navigation, communication, habitat use, and behavior are being disrupted. Sources of anthropogenic noise include marine dredging, construction, low frequency sonar, and engine noise from vessels and airplanes. This study investigated whether the presence of construction noise affected the respiration rates of two dolphins in rehabilitation, a rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) and a pantropical spotted dolphin (Stene/la attenuata). The construction noise was due to a new building being built directly adjacent to their outdoor tank. Construction was in its preliminary phases. Respiration rates were measured over an 87-day period and divided into construction days vs. non-construction days. The data was analyzed statistically and it was found that there was no significant difference in respiration rate for construction vs. non-construction for either dolphin. However, further research is necessary to determine how marine mammals are affected by noise.