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Professor of Conservation Technology in Environment and Engineering, Duke University

Doug Nowacek’s activities represent a mixture of research tool development, coupled closely with the science driving the need for those tools, and the dissemination of resulting research to students at all levels as well as the broader society. Since starting graduate school and continuing to the present, Nowacek has pioneered several marine research tools and methods that, inter alia, seek to create knowledge as well as integrate and transfer it.

Some examples of these activities include: i) combined overhead video/audio for cetacean research that has been used for research and conservation; ii) multi-sensor acoustic tags that were pioneered when Nowacek was a graduate student for his project and have added significantly to the creation and transfer of knowledge; iii) Nowacek has worked to apply the tools and teachings of basic science to conservation driven research, including teaching innovative and experiential courses such as ‘the history and future of ocean energy’ and ‘ocean engineering’; iv) Nowacek’s commitment to STEM education extends to all levels of students, from the undergraduate and graduate students at Duke (including successfully mentoring undergraduates, masters and Ph.D. students through their degree requirements, advising numerous undergraduates in their independent study projects and guiding them through to preparing manuscripts for publication) to elementary and middle school students in the local school system where he routinely presents to and interacts with students, including organizing an ‘Antarctic mini-module’ with a local 7th grade science class; v) in 2015 Nowacek testified to Congress on the use of seismic airgun surveys and their potential impacts on marine life; and vi) Nowacek has served on the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for >10 years, and this work has resulted in numerous publications, recommendations, and practical guidance on industry/nature coexistence.


  • –present
    Professor of Conservation Technology in Environment and Engineering, Duke University