Whale Trust founded in Maui, Hawaii by Dr. Meagan Jones, Dr. Jim Darling, and National Geographic contributing photographer, Flip Nicklin.
Receipt of first competitive research grant funding; first strategic planning meeting held in New York City
90% of donations directly fund research and education programs. Launched long-term research study into documenting reproductive strategies used by female humpbacks on the Hawaiian breeding grounds.
Revenues more than double from 2003, research and education programs increase.
Whale Trust supports graduate student, Elisa Girola, to investigate whether or not song composition varies with the size (and potentially age) of the singer. Support of a new study led by Jo Marie Acabes to describe a historically undocumented population of humpback whales in the Northern Philippines.
Publication of 50-page paper on the function of humpback whale song that describes new hypothesis on why male humpbacks sing songs during the breeding season. Development of 3-day public education program (Whale Quest Kapalua, 2006-2009 and Whale Tales 2010-Present), a community event that provides funding for additional Hawaii-based research groups and shares results of research with the public. New public outreach program launched in elementary schools in Maui.
Whale Trust research featured in a 22-page story published in National Geographic Magazine and on The Today Show with Matt Lauer.
Partnered with documentary filmmaker Daniel Opitz to create an award-winning documentary shown worldwide (The Humpback Code).
Published a comprehensive whale book by Whale Trust Maui co-founders, Dr. Jim Darling and Flip Nicklin (Hawaii’s Humpback Whales: Unveiling the Mysteries).
Completion of Ph.D. program by initial volunteer ED and hired F/T ED (75% grant funded).
Launched science education program with Lahainaluna High School and Makana Aloha Foundation to engage students in analysis of whale blubber (hormones) and skin samples (genetics). Launched three—year Pacific wide research project to simultaneously record and track changes in whale song across the Pacific Ocean. Completion of a Master’s thesis by one of our graduate students.
Launched partnership with University of Hawaii Maui College to develop curriculum and four-year degree marine science opportunities. Among Giants: A Life with Whales by Flip Nicklin is released. Publication of new study on how male humpback whale singers are attracted to playback recordings of similar songs.
Completed two long-term field research studies related to better understanding the function of humpback whale song.
Publication of initial research examining the similarities and differences between humpback whale songs in the Philippines, Japan and Hawaii. Launched new upper division Marine Mammal Biology Course and Lab at University of Hawaii Maui College to train Maui’s undergraduates in research techniques.
Partnered with MacGillivray Freeman Films and Pacific Life Foundation to create an award-winning giant screen film on humpback whales (Humpback Whales 3D). Launched new partnership with ASU and graduate student, Yaiyr Astudillo-Scalia, to determine whether or not steroid hormones can be detected in free-ranging humpback whales.
Publication of low-frequency sounds recorded near humpback whales in Hawaii. This represents the first time these lower frequency sounds have been associated with humpback whales. 10-year anniversary of Whale Tales (formerly Whale Quest Kapalua) celebrated, resulting in over a half million dollars raised to support whale research in Hawaii.