SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINE MAMMAL Stranded Animal Coordinator for marine mammals, birds and sea turtles

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    JANUARY 27 – JANUARY 28, 2017





    LIST OF ATTENDEES (P. 11-13)




    All photos credited to Robert Perry ©2017



     9:30 – 10:00am Arrival and Registration

     10:00 – 10:15am Welcome: Tennyson Oyler, Pacific Life Foundation President

     10:15 – 12:30pm New Technologies for Marine Mammal Research Lead: John Hildebrand, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance Shaili Johri, University of Washington Ted Cranford, San Diego State University

     12:30 – 1:45pm Lunch and Networking

     1:45 – 4:00pm Marine Mammal Veterinary Medicine: Current Issues, Ideas, and Research Lead: Claire Simeone, The Marine Mammal Center Jody Westberg, Sea World Tenaya Norris, The Marine Mammal Center Fernando R. Elorriaga-Verplancken, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias

    Marinas from Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN) Lorraine Barbosa, California Wildlife Center

     4:00 – 5:30pm Poster Session (upstairs for hors d'oeuvres and sunset viewing)

     5:30 Dinner, Networking, and Videos of Tagged Whales with John Calambokidis




     9:00 – 10:00am Breakfast

     10:00 – 12:00pm Conservation Issues in Marine Mammal Science Lead: Dave Weller, NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center Barbara Taylor, NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center Lynne Barre, NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Regional Office John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research Collective

     12:00 – 1:30pm Lunch & Keynote Address John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research Collective

     1:30 – 3:30pm Social Media and Communications Hot Topics Lead: Sarah Wilson Finstuen, SCMMW Coordinator Ted Cheeseman, Happywhale Alisa Schulman-Janiger, American Cetacean Society – LA, Gray Whale

    Census and Behavior Project Dave Bader, Aquarium of the Pacific Susan Poulton, The Franklin Institute

     3:30 – 3:45pm Concluding Remarks

     3:45 – 4:00pm Evaluations



    John Calambokidis

    Saturday, January 28th · 12:00pm

    John Calambokidis is a Research Biologist and one of the founders of Cascadia Research, a non-profit research organization formed in 1979 based in Olympia, Washington. He periodically (1991-2012) serves as an Adjunct Faculty at the Evergreen State College teaching a course on marine mammals. His primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans. As a Senior Research Biologist at Cascadia Research he has served as Project Director of over 100 projects. He has authored two books on marine mammals (the award- winning Guide to Marine Mammals of Greater Puget Sound from Island Publishers, with R. Osborne and E.M. Dorsey and Blue Whales from Voyageur Press, with G.H. Steiger) as well as more than 150 publications in scientific journals and technical reports. He has conducted studies on a variety of marine mammals in the North Pacific from Central America to Alaska. He has directed long-term research on the status, movements, and underwater behavior of blue, humpback, and gray whales. His work has been covered on shows by Discovery Channel and others and has been featured in National Geographic TV specials and a magazine article in 2009.

    Friday, January 27th · 6:00pm

    John will be sharing a video presentation of new underwater behavioral video, taken from tags, featuring blue, humpback, and gray whales.


  • SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES New Technologies for Marine Mammal Research

    FRIDAY, JANUARY 27th · 10:15am – 12:30pm

    John Hildebrand (lead) is a professor of oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He is associated with the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on using sound to study marine mammals and the impact of anthropogenic sound in the ocean. Born in San Diego, California, Hildebrand received a B.S. in physics and electrical engineering from UCSD and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University. He held a research position at SIO before joining the Scripps faculty. He has served on the Marine Mammal Commission’s board of scientific advisors and is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. He is a member of the Society for Marine Mammology and is the author or coauthor of more than 150 scientific publications.

    Iain Kerr is the CEO of the Ocean Alliance, an organization dedicated to whale research and ocean conservation since its founding by Dr. Roger Payne in 1970. Under Iain and Roger’s leadership, Ocean Alliance has a reputation for developing innovative research techniques that engage scientists and conservationists alike. SnotBot, our Exhaled Breath Condensate collection drones, are the most recent iteration of that. Iain lead the Voyage of the Odyssey an expedition to collect a baseline global data set on ocean pollution using sperm whales as a bio indicator species, that ran between 2000 and 2006.

    Shaili Johri recently completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Conservation Biology, University of Washington, Seattle and is currently a SCB visiting scientist conducting elasmobranch studies in western India. Shaili is a molecular geneticist whose main focus is the development of non-invasive tools for ecological monitoring of wild life populations with respect to anthropogenic threats. To this effect, she has developed an economical and high throughput method for predator and prey species identification in carnivore scat. Her current focus is the development of ‘omic’ tools- such as the microbiome and transcriptome- as health metrics for free ranging marine and terrestrial mammals. Shaili is particularly focused on developing these tools to understand mechanisms of toxic injury from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in marine mammals. She is currently involved in studying the effect of POPs on health and reproduction in Southern Resident Killer Whales, North Atlantic Right Whales and some elasmobranch species.

    Ted Cranford’s research focuses on the functional morphology of biosonar in toothed whales and hearing in baleen whales. His research can be characterized as question-driven innovation, combining modern technology with traditional anatomic tools to develop new methods that allow investigation of the structure-function complex in marine organisms. Our current hypothesis is that cetacean heads function like acoustic antennas, such that sound enters through multiple pathways that eventually collect at the ears by various means and mechanisms. Those pathways can modify the incoming sound by amplification or attenuation. Industrial CT scanners have been used to scan whale heads instead of solid fuel rocket motors. A few of those scans have led to the most intriguing recent discovery. Bioacoustic simulations of a mysticete show that the whale's skull plays a significant role in low frequency sound reception. This has significant implications for probing the potential effects of anthropogenic noise.


  • Dr. Claire Simeone (Lead) is the Conservation Medicine Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center and National Marine Fisheries Service. She is a graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a post-doctoral internship with the National Marine Mammal Foundation and SeaWorld San Diego. Claire’s current primary projects include Unusual Mortality Event investigation, international stranding response, and development of the Marine Mammal Health MAP.

    SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES Marine Mammal Veterinary Medicine: Current Issues, Ideas, and Research

    FRIDAY, JANUARY 27th · 1:45am – 4:00pm

    Jody Westberg currently supervises SeaWorld San Diego’s Rescue Team as their Stranded Animal Coordinator for marine mammals, birds and sea turtles. She began her career more than 20 years ago, with SeaWorld’s historic rehabilitation and release of a California gray whale. She is an active member of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, large whale entanglement response team and UC Davis’ Oiled Wildlife Care Network. Westberg has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications, including Trace Element Concentrations in Renal & Hepatic Tissues of Stranded Sea Lions, and also wrote a chapter for operating standards for facilities in the North American Tursiops truncatus stud book manual. She has been a technical advisor on several children’s books, and currently can be seen on Litton Entertainment’s Weekend Adventure show, “Sea Rescue,” on ABC. Her professional goal is to inspire and educate individuals to make easy, everyday choices that have the least amount of impact on the environment and wildlife surrounding them.


    Tenaya Norris has worked at The Marine Mammal Center, a leading marine mammal rehabilitation and research facility located in Sausalito, CA, for over 10 years. In her current role as Marine Scientist, she works collaboratively with scientists and man