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This research is a partnership with the Gitga’at First Nation, the North Coast Cetacean Society (NCCS), and the Cetacean Research Program of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. These and other stewards have been monitoring the whales of the Great Bear for many years, and without their support and good faith I would not have had the chance to contribute my small part to their ongoing work.

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  • National Geographic Society Waitt Grant (Grant number 2681-13)
  • Mullin Award from the Biological Oceanography group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)
  • 2012 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) video contest.
  • DFO Cetacean Research Program


  • Gitga’at Guardians
  • Explorers Club Exploration Fund
  • Cascadia Research Collective
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography Department (thanks in particular to Maureen McGreevey and Denise Darling)
  • DFO Cetacean Research Program
  • Engine Rebuild Donors:
    • The Cunningham Foundation (Joel and Trudy)
    • Robert and Patricia Ayres
    • Jim Watson
    • Jay Barlow and Barb Taylor
    • Crowd-sourcing donors:
      • Bill Wood and Kathy Wood-Dobbins
      • Rhonda Keen
      • Mary and Norm Humber
      • Klaus Wilging


  • Gitga’at Guardians
  • Lewis and Clark Fund, American Philosophical Society
  • Cascadia Research Collective
  • Office of Naval Research and SIO Whale Acoustics Lab
  • Private supporters:
    • Jim Watson
    • Robert and Patricia Ayres

Hartley Bay

The hospitality and support of the folks in Hartley Bay enabled us to survive our 3 field seasons. Their good nature and patience were constant, and it made all the difference. Hermann Meuter and Janie Wray of NCCS are our primary emergency contacts in the area, as well as our friends and supporters — as well as the primary inspiration for the inception and realization of this project. The maritime community in the study area, upheld by the Gitga’at, NCCS, DFO, the NPO Pacific Wild, and Karen and Stan on the Hawk Bay, provided critical friendship whenever it was needed.

Equipment & Logistics

Material support and equipment loans came from SIO’s Dayton Lab, the SIO Pelagic Invertebrate Collection (thanks to Linsey Sala and Mark Ohman), the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (thanks in particular to Jay Barlow, Shannon Rankin and Annette Henry), Don Yeungblat, the DFO Cetacean Research Program, Cascadia Research Collective, Andrew Wright, Will Watson, Luke Padgett, Bunker Dundas and Nicole Robinson (to whom I still owe a replacement generator), the North Coast Cetacean Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Keen family.

Advice from Jay, Barb Taylor, Hermann Meuter, Janie Wray, Mark Ohman, Linsey Sala, Tony Koslow, Jules Jaffe, Shannon Rankin, John Calambokidis, Erin Falcone, Annie Douglas, John Ford, James Pilkington, Graeme Ellis, Linda Nichol, Ian McAllister, Mike Reid, Moira Galbraith, Svein Vagle, Eddy Carmacke, Corinne Pomerleau, Andrew Wright, and Chris Picard substantially improved study design.


None of the above grants would have come through without letters of support from Jay Barlow, Paul Dayton, David Haskell, Trevor Branch and John Calambokidis.

The hard work, sense of adventure, and resilience of each season’s crew were astounding. In addition to my collaborators, I am particularly indebted to the friendship of Bunker and Nicole and their daughter Kota, Marven Robinson and Mike Reid. During the fieldwork preparation scrambles in 2013 and 2014, the patience and support of Jay, Jenna, Paul, Anne and Emily made preparations in San Diego possible. Airfare to get back and forth between San Diego and the northwest would be insurmountable without the support of JetBlue Airways. The encouragement, generosity, hospitality and friendship of the Calambokidis, Wright, Benson and Watson families have been incredible.

During the engine failure debacle of 2014, many crew members went above and beyond the agreed terms to support themselves while we were stuck at the Olympia dock without an engine, and demonstrated extraordinary friendship and selflessness in that difficult time. The assistance and friendship of Sue Schaeffer (Capital City Yachts) and Nathan Saline (Swantown Marina and Boatworks) were critical in this time.

No aspect of this project would have been possible without the financial, material, and moral support of the Keen family, particularly my dad. His encouragement, companionship and genius has turned this thesis project into a life-defining experience.

Many of those listed above and below had the power to stop this endeavor in its tracks by simply saying, “No”, but chose instead to give the Bangarang Project the benefit of many doubts. I hope that the outcomes and impacts of this project will justify their grace.


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