The WHALE TALES 2016 Presenter Lineup has been announced!
SUSAN CASEY, award-winning journalist and ocean lover, is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, most recently, Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins. Formerly editor of O, The Oprah Magazine, Susan also worked on Outside magazine’s editorial team, producing the blockbuster stories Into Thin Air, The Perfect Storm, and Blue Crush.
JIM DARLING, Ph.D. has led research programs on humpback and gray whales for over 35 years, and is a cofounder of Whale Trust Maui. Since the mid-1990’s, Jim has focused on describing the social function of humpback whale song. This year, Jim will present his latest findings on the similarities and differences of humpback whale songs across the Pacific Ocean.
BETH GOODWIN has spent more than 30 years identifying marine mammals throughout the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Presently she is the Vice President of Hawaii Operations for The Jupiter Research Foundation, a non-profit scientific research organization developing marine technology to better monitor the world’s oceans.
RALPH LEE HOPKINS travels to the world’s wildest places with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic; he is the Director of Expedition Photography for the National Geographic fleet. He’s photographed expeditions from the Arctic to the Antarctic and his work appears regularly in National Geographic publications. His most recent book is Nature Photography: Documenting the Wild World.
ED LYMAN is Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From Maui, he coordinates community-based response efforts surrounding entangled large whales around the state, in Alaska and along the U.S. West Coast. Ed has participated in over 70 disentanglements. He also works with fishermen to create “whale-safe” gear and fishing practices.
GREG MACGILLIVRAY has produced and directed many of the most successful films ever shown in IMAX® theatres, including Everestand the Academy Award-nominated films The Living Sea and Dolphins. With 37 giant screen films to his credit, MacGillivray has shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history. Greg will present his latest film, Humpback Whales, at Whale Tales.
JOHN MORAN is a research fisheries biologist with the Recruitment, Energetics, and Coastal Assessment program at the Auke Bay Lab in Juneau, He is the principal investigator for the Gulf Watch Alaska long-term monitoring program funded by the Exxon Valdez oil spill Trustee Council, monitoring the impacts of recovering humpback whale populations on herring populations.
CHUCK NICKLIN is an Emmy-Award winning cinematographer and photographer with over 40 years of underwater cinematography experience and film credits that include: The Abyss, The Deep, Never Say Never, Gentle Giants of the Pacific, Nomads of the Deep, and In the Company of Whales. Chuck’s new book, Camera Man, was released in 2015 and chronicles his adventurous life and career.
FLIP NICKLIN is a world-renowned underwater photographer who has spent his 40-year career specializing in the photography of marine mammals, especially whales and dolphins. He is a contributing photographer at National Geographic magazine and is a cofounder of Whale Trust Maui.
KENNETH O’BRIEN has spent his career sharing the science and wonders of nature and has taught environmental education in Alabama, Colorado and Washington. When he is not serving as a naturalist and expedition leader aboard ships in Alaska and Hawaii, he works with long-time colleague Fred Sharpe at the Alaska Whale Foundation investigating the historical ecology of North Pacific whales.
FRED SHARPE, Ph.D. has been conducting award-winning research into the behavior of humpback whales—particularly bubble net feeding– for more than 25 years. He is co-author/illustrator of Wild Plants of the San Juan Islands, Birding in the San Juan Islands andVoyaging with the Whales. Fred is principal investigator with the Alaska Whale Foundation and volunteers with the Alaska Stranding Network.
JONATHAN STERN, Ph.D. is a faculty member at San Francisco State University where he studies marine ecosystems with an emphasis on cetaceans. He is a leading expert on minke whales, and recently charted the amazing recovery of harbor porpoises in San Francisco Bay. Jon will be discussing the potential impacts of environmental change on recovering populations of humpback whales.
OLGA VON ZIEGESAR began studying the humpback whales of Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1980 and has gained a unique perspective on this relatively small and stable group of humpback whales. She has documented each individual and followed their long-term associations and social groups over 30 years and will present the results of her study with colleague, Beth Goodwin.
MARTY WOLFF is a fine art photographer who specializes in marine life, especially the humpback whales off Maui. He is the exclusive photographer for Maui Whale Watch magazine. His art can be found in shops and galleries on Maui as well as the other islands. He will talk about the critical role of art in marine conservation.
“The Future of Whale Research”
Up and Coming Whale Research from the Next Generation, featuring:
YAIYR ASTUDILLO-SCALIA is pursuing a PhD degree with concentration on cetacean studies at Arizona State University, where she conducts research on humpback whales in Maui, Hawaii in collaboration with Whale Trust Maui. Her doctorate research focuses on how hormones may correlate with behaviors commonly observed on Maui’s breeding and calving grounds.
MAURICIO CANTOR is a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University, Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Hal Whitehead, studying the interplay between society and culture of sperm whales off the Galápagos Islands. His research aims to describe patterns in non-human societies, reveal the potential mechanisms that generate them and model the spread of information through populations.
MERRA HOWE developed an interest in acoustics and marine mammals shortly after graduating from Vassar College with a degree in Biology. She worked in Kona and in Alaska, where she studied beluga whales. She currently is pursuing a Marine Biology degree at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, focusing on using acoustics as a conservation and management tool for threated cetacean populations.
LAUREN SHOEMAKER fell in love with whales and ecology as a six-year-old on a Maui vacation, where she heard humpbacks singing for the first time. Now, Lauren is a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder studying ecological phenomena ranging from sperm whale social structure and the evolution of cetacean’s body size to processes that promote biological diversity in grasslands.
With Special Guests:
DR. RACHEL CARTWRIGHT is the lead researcher of the Keiki Kohola Project, a locally based, non-profit research organization. Rachel began her career in whale research as a naturalist working here on Maui, and was always drawn to the youngest whales, the Keiki Kohola. Rachel’s research focuses on early development in baleen whales; she holds a PhD in Conservation Biology, teaches bio-statistics at Cal State University Channel Islands, and continues to run the Keiki Kohola Project research program. The mission of the Project is to ensure that humpback whale mother and calf pairs are fully protected during their time in Hawaiian waters. To this end, the KKP team conducts management-oriented research to help preserve this region as a nursery, where humpback whale mothers can safely raise their young calves.
DR. MEAGAN JONES GRAY has been leading whale research and education programs in Hawaii for over twenty years. Her commitment to bridging marine science with education and conservation programs around whales and their natural environment helped lead to the founding of Whale Trust Maui, where she now serves as the executive director. For the last 20 years, Meagan has worked in and between these two disciplines, leading and working on cetacean research programs in Hawaii, Australia, Africa, Alaska, Canada and in the South Pacific, while creating and developing marine education and interpretation programs for schoolchildren, college students, naturalists, and the general public. In 1997, Meagan was honored with a national award from the National Marine Educator’s Association for her work in marine education. Her research focuses on the natural behavior and communication of whales, especially as it relates to reproduction. In addition to her work with Whale Trust Maui, she is currently working with the University of Hawaii Maui College to help develop four-year degree opportunities in the marine sciences.
DR. MARC LAMMERS, is a co-founder and the President of Oceanwide Science Institute. He is also an Associate Researcher at theHawaii Institute of Marine Biology and is on the Graduate Faculty of the University of Hawaii’s Marine Biology Graduate Program. He holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii. His research interests are diverse, but generally focused on marine bioacoustics, cetacean behavior and the effects of anthropogenic activities on marine life. Marc is an active collaborator with many researchers in Hawaii and around the world, and is a teacher/mentor to undergraduate and graduate students. He has worked on projects focused on a variety of topics and marine organisms, including dolphins, whales, corals, fish and turtles.
JASON STURGIS, is an independent cameraman who has been filming wildlife since 2002. He grew up in Gardnerville, Nevada, but spent time on the British Columbia coast and Maui where he learned to dive at age 8. He got his start working for Whale Trust on Maui, Hawai’i, documenting whale behavior both above and below the surface. Jason has been an avid diver for over 25 years and his love of the ocean that led him to pursue camera work and documentary filmmaking. Jason runs his own production company, Open Ocean Productions, and his work has been featured on the National Geographic channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Canada, NDR Germany, Dan Rather Reports, ABC’s Pacific Adventures, and NBC’s Today show. In 2007, Jason joined the Board of Directors of the Institute of Nautical Archeology. He currently is based in Victoria, British Columbia where he lives with his wife and baby girl.
Featured Artists and Photographers:
DOUG HOFFMAN’s black and white Humpback & Sperm Whale portraiture has received international acclaim. His work can be found in galleries, book & museums. For the last decade, he has led dozens of photographic whale expeditions to Tonga. He is based on Maui.
Sherri Reeve Designs