Please Join SF Bay ACS Chapter for Katherina Audley’s “Whales of Guerrero Research Project”
Event on 2015-08-25 19:00:00
The Whales of Guerrero Research Project advances marine science in an ecologically-sensitive region of Mexico, which supports many large marine wildlife species, and provides sustainable economic benefits to impoverished local residents through education, ecotourism and capacity building.
We work with Mexican agencies and universities to educate coastal residents about the value of their richly diverse ecosystem. Our approach respects local perspectives by using the cultural lenses of the community, instilling a sense of stewardship via meaningful education, arts, and conservation programs. We use humpback whales as a highly visible exemplar and entrance point to our conversations about marine wildlife.
Historically, local mariners were hostile toward marine mammals, viewing them as dangerous to boat traffic and as competitors for diminishing fish resources, while non-sea-going residents were barely aware of marine wildlife. In the last two years, we have improved local attitudes, and encouraged locals to embrace wildlife ecotourism as an economic boost to their livelihoods.
Our continuing objectives are to:
* Conduct a community-driven research study of humpback whales and dolphins, with the assistance of local mariners, schools and community members who share sightings of marine mammals, and in partnership with visiting scientists and educators.
* Provide opportunities for Mexican graduate students to conduct marine conservation research, by supporting costs of research, lodging, and professional development.
* Train fishermen and boaters to offer informed, responsible ecosystem tours, with emphasis on sustainability and vessel best practices around marine mammals.
* Cultivate an interest in marine conservation through a variety of educational programs for all ages.
Biography: Project director, Katherina Audley, has been participating in whale studies and counts for over sixteen years. Formal marine mammal projects include a boat/whale interaction study at Robson Bight in British Columbia in 2003 and annual whale counts on the Oregon Coast and Hawaii. Katherina has a lot of boat moxie. She has worked as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, owns and captains a small boat in Oregon and has spent thousands of hours on the water, mostly in the interest of marine mammals. A consistent open water SCUBA diver since 2002, Katherina is as happy underwater as she as when she is on it.
Katherina is more than just a whale researcher. Having spent five years working as a researcher, data collector and project evaluator in the Research and Evaluation department at The Exploratorium, a prestigious science museum located in San Francisco, Katherina is experienced with data collection, interviewing, study design and data analysis. Today she keeps up on her spreadsheet and report writing skills by assembling monthly and quarterly reports for web and business clients. An entrepreneur, web developer, graphic designer, writer, search engine optimization and marketing specialist and project manager with over 19 years of experience, Katherina has helped dozens of businesses, large and small, start up, grow, increase visibility and thrive and has organized and overseen groups of people on all organizational levels. As a travel writer and photographer, Katherina is known for her ability to connect, communicate and inspire. She is a frequent contributor to The Oregonian’s Travel section, Oregon Coast Magazine and Northwest Travel and has also published her work in MSN Local, Bing Travel, VIA Magazine, Bark Magazine, The Sun, Orion online, The San Francisco Chronicle and a number of anthologies. Her stories about Playa Blanca and El Refugio de Potosi – located within this study region – published in The Oregonian, generated a notable increase in tourism for the area in 2013.
Katherina has traveled to over 25 countries and lived in five. She has spent a total of at least three years in Mexico and knows and loves this country the best. Barra de Potosi holds a special place for Katherina as several members of her family, including her parents, own property within two miles of Barra de Potosi. She has been visiting the area for over 15 years, was married on the beach (during whale season, of course) and has maintained meaningful relationships with people in the village as well with members of the expat community over the years. She lived in Spain, Argentina and Bolivia for extended periods of time and has been studying and speaking Spanish for 25 years.
Barra de Potosi and Playa Blanca is the place in Mexico that Katherina is the most passionate about she believes this whale project will help to protect it. She is committed to combining and applying her talents to this region and this project in order to help the local people and the place they live in to thrive.
at Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar
Sausalito, United States