Workshop and FUNraiser for the Center for Whale Research

Ken Balcomb kicks off the symposium. Photo Credit: Lodie Gilbert Budwill

Center for Whale Research Workshop and Raise A Glass For Research FUNraiser ~ A Whale of a Success

The Center For Whale Research held it’s first workshop and auction on July 21st with a focus on Research-Action-Recovery of the local Southern Resident killer whales.

The Celebrating Science Workshop filled every seat at Brickworks with 150 registered attendees. Ken Balcomb, Founder and Senior Scientist of the Center For Whale Research opened the day explaining that our local whales are at risk of extinction, and how it is going to take everyone’s efforts to save them. In 2016, the population suffered the loss of several members including long-time matriarch J2, leaving only 78 individuals in the population.

Ken Balcomb, Dr. Deborah Giles, Dr. Astrid van Ginneken, Dave Ellifrit, Jane Cogan and team from the Center For Whale Research, in partnership with researchers from the University of Exeter under the direction of Professor Darren Croft, and the University of York delivered the latest research on killer whales and how this translates into conservation, action and population recovery. Additional speakers included Fred Felleman Port of Seattle, and Sheryl Nolan of Microsoft.

Ralph Munro, former Washington Secretary of State, gave tribute to Ken Balcomb receiving a standing ovation, and presented him with a First Nations orca whale painting.

The Raise A Glass For Research FUNraiser immediately followed, drawing an eager crowd of supporters for the Center For Whale Research from the local community. The enthusiasm was contagious as the silent auction was followed by a spirited live auction. Live auction bidding on individual items went as high as $3,100 for dorsal fin art of J2/ Granny, created by Friday Harbor High School STEM students.

The lucky seven live auction winners with Ken Balcomb and Sara Hysong-Shimazu. Friday Harbor High School STEM students created the dorsal fins which were then painted by artist Sara Hysong-Shimazu. Photo Credit: Lodie Gilbert Budwill

Ken Balcomb shared, “The response from this community for the whales brought tears to my eyes. We must show the rest of the world how important it is to our souls to have these whales as neighbors, and do our best to ensure their survival for future generations.”

The Center For Whale Research wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the local community for the tremendous outpouring of support. All monies raised support the Center For Whale Research as they continue conducting imperative studies on the Southern Resident killer whales. Additional information can be found at

Dr. Deborah Giles, Ken Balcomb and Carol Knight proudly holding one of her wins J2 Granny fin. Photo Credit: Amber Chenoweth

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 5:57 am by

Categories: Animals, Wildlife
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