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Blogging from Biennial

The marine mammal community is meeting for the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, organized by the Society for Marine Mammalogy. This meeting brings together scientists and conservationists from all over the world to talk about ongoing research, current policies, and educational outreach,  and is considered the “big leagues” for anyone who does anything with marine mammals.

This year, WDC is proud to be sending two members of the North American team to the meeting, taking place October 23-27 in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. Between the two of them they be giving workshops, oral presentations, and poster presentations, representing WDC at all levels of presentations offered. While their days will be action-packed with workshops, presentations and networking, both Colleen and Monica will be using this blog to give us updates each day about who they’ve met and what they’ve learned.

Day 5: Friday was the last day of the official Biennial Conference and the weekend was filled with workshops about specific topics. Colleen and Monica will fill us in on those later this week, once they return to the US, but here are their thoughts about the final day  of the conference!

Day 4: After 4 full days of presentations and non-stop learning, Colleen and Monica are feeling the wear and tear of the conference. They only have one more day of the conference, followed by 2 days of workshops, so they are in the final stretch! They were able to celebrate as Monica gave an oral presentation today and Colleen completed her second poster session!

Day 3: Half way through the conference and there are no signs of slowing down! Monica and Colleen both had busy days learning about everything from narwhal hearts to beluga ear structure! 

Day 2: Colleen and Monica are still going strong at the Biennial Conference and it sounds like Day 2 was all about networking. For so many in the marine mammal field, everyone is spread out geographically, so this conference brings everyone together in one place. 

Day 1: Yesterday was the first day of the Biennial Conference and sounds like it was full of information! Collen and Monica’s brains are already bursting with new facts so let’s hear what they have to report back:

Let’s learn more about Colleen and Monica…

I’m Colleen Weiler, the Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation at WDC.  This is my second SMM Biennial and I’m excited to present a poster on WDC’s collaborative work to recover Southern Resident orcas and Chinook salmon.  I’m looking forward to a very full week of hearing the latest in marine mammal science and getting updates on orca research around the world.

Colleen Weiler with orcas

I’m Monica and I am a Policy Manager for WDC North America.  This is my first biennial conference, and not only am I attending but I am also giving an oral presentation on Thursday afternoon on our outreach program Sharing the Seas: Safe Boating for Sailors and Whales. During the conference I am looking forward to connecting with colleagues, meeting some of them in person for the first time, and learning more about marine mammal conservation in other regions and how it compares to our efforts here in the North Atlantic. 

Monica Pepe with humpbacks

We would like to thank the Jessica Rekos Foundation http://www.jessicarekos.org/ for their support!