Center for the Study of Pinniped Ecology & Cognition

The Center for the Study of Pinniped Ecology and Cognition (C-SPEC) investigates the habitat and behavior of pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walrus). While there are a broad range of topics that we are interested in, the Center primarily focuses on two main lines of scientific inquiry – one line involves questions of cognition (i.e., reasoning and problem solving) in sea lions, and the other involves wild seal behavior and demographics in natural and urban ecosystems.

C-SPEC seeks to educate, engage, and serve researchers, students, and the local community on aspects such as human-animal interactions, pinniped communication, habitat conservation, and ecotourism. We are committed to engaging in science education and collaborative projects that foster intellectual growth and providing opportunities for students to participate in rigorous research. The Center is interdisciplinary and collaborative in its approach, seeking to engage with experts and laymen alike at the intersection of psychology and biology.

The Center plans to host special events, community outreach workshops, lectures, and guest speakers, both on and off campus.


For our official C-SPEC webpage, go to:
And, please visit our Facebook page:



Photo credit: Bjoern Kils

In the last couple of years, we have also partnered with Bjoern Kils and his team at New York Media Boat to conduct some of our field observations. Check out their operations page:


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