Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Lasting legacies

Lasting Legacies: Orca Action Month 2023

Each June we celebrate Orca Month and the unique community of Southern Resident orcas, and this...
North Atlantic right whale - Peter Flood

Whale AID 2023: A Night of Music and Hope for North Atlantic Right Whales

The inaugural Whale AID concert to support Whale and Dolphin Conservation's (WDC's) work to protect...

Meet the 2023 Interns: Thomas Zoutis

I'm happy to introduce WDC's first Marine Mammal Conservation Intern of the year, Thomas Zoutis!...
MicrosoftTeams-image (9)

Double Your Impact for Marine Animal Rescue & Response

On a chilly day this past December, the WDC North America team celebrated the first...

WDC’s Education Wishlist = Cleared!

To the WDC Community, I want to thank you so much for your support of...
Hysazu Photography

Looking forward for Southern Resident orcas in 2023

Hysazu Photography 2022 was a big year for Southern Resident orcas - 2022 brought the...
Credit: Seacoast Science Center

The Unlikely Adventure of Shoebert, a Young Grey Seal Who Visited an Industrial Park Pond

Credit: Seacoast Science Center In mid-September, our stranding partners in northern Massachusetts were inundated with...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...

Meet the 2022 Interns: JJ Cruz

I'm excited to introduce WDC’s first ever Marine Animal Rescue and Response intern, JJ! He may be new to the marine mammal response business, but his natural curiosity and sense of adventure have been on display with each field response. JJ’s extensive experience with wildlife videography and photography has already been put to good use, creating trainings and outreach videos that will ultimately aid in the conservation of marine mammals.

WDC Marine Animal Rescue and Response Intern, JJ Cruz, measures a deceased harbor seal under authorization from NOAA

Meet JJ!

Hometown: Guatemala

Favorite food: Spinach lasagna

Song that pumps me up: Sail, Awolnation

Movie I can always rewatch: Lord of the Rings trilogy

First concert: Hardwell and Nervo

Tell us the story of what sparked your interest in the environment, conservation, and/or whales and dolphins 

I would say that my interest in wildlife was always there. Even as a kid, I spent a lot of my time watching wildlife documentaries on BBC, Discovery, and Natgeo. Every chance I had to go to the field, I took it. I also spent a lot of time doing research on the different species we had in our area and the places I could find them.  

As part of my last school semester, I had to find a job related to what I wanted to study at university. I managed to find a scuba diving center that took me as an intern, and I worked there for 4 months. During my time working there I had the opportunity to dive a lot and I think that is what got me set in study wildlife biology and then get a master’s in marine biology or conservation. 

Why did you want to be an intern with WDC? 

I saw it as a great opportunity to start my career in wildlife conservation and mix 2 of the things that I really enjoy doing - working with wildlife and making videos for education - while being paid to work without direct experience in the field of marine biology, which is not common in conservation internships. While studying biology I got really interested in big mammals, but never had a chance to work with them hands on. Getting this job would give me the chance to learn and the hands-on experience I was looking for. 

What are you most excited to learn/do during your internship? 

I am really exited to learn about what it takes to run a rescue and response program (logistically) and the conservation actions that are being worked on plus what it takes to make them work efficiently. 

What is your favorite fact about marine mammals? 

My favorite fact is that sperm whales have different accent depending on their location and clan. Scientists can use this to identify a clan just by the clicks on the sound they make and can also determine if the numbers of individuals are going down by studying each clan after ID’ing it with their unique accent. 

We are excited to have JJ on our Marine Animal Rescue & Response team!

To support WDC's paid internships and the Marine Animal Rescue and Response program, please consider making a donation so we can continue to host young professionals like JJ.

Sharing this on social media!

Leave a Comment