Marsha Green, Ph.D. – Albright College

Marsha Green, Ph.D.

Marsha Green, Ph.D.

Marsha Green, Professor of Psychology
228 Roessner Hall

B.A. Psychology, Albright College, 1963 summa cum laude.
M.A. Psychology, Temple University, 1965.
Ph.D. Psychology, Temple University 1969. Clinical Internship, Temple Medical School.

Areas of Expertise


  • National Science Foundation Cooperative Graduate Fellow, 1965-1968
  • National Science Foundation Summer Fellowship, 1966 and 1967.

Areas of Research

For many years my research has focused on the impact of vessel traffic on the Hawaiian humpback whale.  Research conducted with Albright students in Hawaii showed that the operation of jet skis and parasail boats displaced endangered whales from near shore waters.  This research convinced the Hawaii state legislature to pass a law banning the operation of jet skis and parasail boats in important whale habitats around Hawaii between December 15 and May 15 each year while whales are present.  This is a good example of how science can be used to protect nature.

In the course of documenting the effects of boats on whales I started studying how whales react to specific levels of engine noise.  My research showed that whales begin to avoid sounds at about 115 to 120 decibels which is the sound level of a 25 horse power outbound engine measured underwater at 100 meters.
I began studying the impact of very, intense underwater sounds from high intensity sonar, air guns used for oil and gas exploration and shipping on whales as it became clear that whales and other marine life can be harmed and or killed by intense noise.
Conservation Initiatives
At that point I realized it was very important to protect whales from intense noise which can disrupt their feeding, breeding, communications and navigation. I visited the European Parliament and shepherded a Resolution through that body in 2004, calling on member states to restrict active sonar use until an assessment of its impact on marine life was completed.  I organized a meeting of scientists and members of the European Parliament with NATO to discuss NATO’s role in calling for mitigation in the use of high intensity active sonar.  I was a member of a Federal Advisory Committee on Acoustic Impacts on Marine Mammals.  I frequently speak at the annual United Nations meeting on Oceans and the Law of the sea on the impact of ocean noise.  I initiated several lawsuits to protect whales from high intensity active sonar.  As a result of the work I spearheaded at the United Nations over the past ten years, the recent brochure published by the U. N. Division of Oceans and the Law of the Sea lists ocean first under Threats to Marine Life and Biological Diversity.
Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Zoidis, A. and Green, M. (2001).  Relationship of Social Vocalizations to Pod Size, Composition, and Behavior in the Hawaiian Humpback Whale.  Paper presented at Fourteenth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Marine Mammology, Vancaouver, Canada.
  • Green, M., Au, W. W. W.L., and Calvez, L. (1991).  Impact of Vessels on the Hawaiian Humpback Whale.
    Paper presented at Thirteenth Biennial Meeting of the International Society of Marine Mammology, Kihei, HI.
  • Au, W.W. L. & Green, M.L. (2000).  Acoustic interaction of humpback whales and whale-watching boats.  Marine Environmental Research, 49, 469-481.
  • Green, M. L., Green, R.G, & Santoro, W. (1988). Daily relaxation modifies serum and salivary immunoglobulins and psychophysiologic symptom severity.  Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 13, 187-199.
  • The Impact of Ocean Noise on the Global Food Supply.  Address at the United Nations meeting on Ocean and the Law of the Sea, May 2014, New  York
  • The Impact of Ocean Noise on Marine Life, Presentation at U.S. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.  January, 2014, Maui Hawaii.
  • Read more about Dr. Green’s work to protect marine life in the book Warrior Mothers.

Courses Taught

  • General Psychology
  • Ecological Psychology
  • Sex Roles
  • Field Research on the Hawaiian Humpback Whale
  • Senior Seminar
  • Freshman Seminar