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Harbour porpoise. Image: Charlie Phillips/WDC

Speaking up for the little guys – WDC in action

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Humpback whale fluke in Alaska.

An unforgettable first encounter – observing the whales we work to protect

I have kept a dark secret since joining WDC back in June 2021. Despite my...

WDC in Japan – Part 2: Digital dolphins

Welcome to the second chapter of my incredible journey to build alliances in Japan. As...
Amanda the intern

Meet the 2023 Interns: Amanda Eskridge

We are so excited to welcome Amanda Eskridge, our final Marine Mammal Conservation Intern of...

Meet the 2023 Interns: Kaylee McKenna

I’m excited to introduce Kaylee McKenna as WDC’s summer Marine Mammal Conservation Intern. Kaylee has enthusiastically jumped right into joining our education programs and has thoroughly enjoyed introducing students to Delilah, our life-sized, inflatable North Atlantic right whale and getting them inside! We are happy to have her also supporting WDC’s Marine Animal Rescue & Response and Boater Outreach programs.

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Meet Kaylee McKenna!

Hometown: Assonet, MA

Favorite food: Fruity Pebbles

Song that pumps me up: Cowboy Killer by Ian Munsick

Movie I can always rewatch: Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse

First concert: Jake Owen with Maddie & Tae

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

When I was about five or six years old, I refused to go into one of my parent’s favorite restaurants. Davey’s Locker was a restaurant in New Bedford that was on the water, where Cisco’s is today. In a stroke of genius, my mother told me I would be able to see whales from the window. She was just trying to avoid a tantrum but I’ve been searching for whales ever since- all because of a little white lie. 

While I was studying  at the University of Maine, I wrote a social sciences paper on the interactions between fisherman and right whales. I knew then that whales were not just a childhood fascination I never grew out of. After I graduated, my path took me away from marine biology and conservation, but I was always trying to learn more about right whales and other cetaceans. I knew I had to jump on this opportunity for the little five year old girl who started it all.

Why did you want to be an intern with WDC? 

When I first discovered the job application, I started to learn more about what the WDC did and I knew it was the place for me!  I knew working with the WDC would be a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in marine biology while learning from people who love whales as much as I do. I was particularly excited about being able to contribute to the protection of North Atlantic Right Whales, a species I have always felt so connected to.

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

I am the most excited about learning more about marine mammal stranding response and possibly getting some hands-on experience. Growing up in southeast Massachusetts, I have seen and heard so much about local stranding events but didn’t know anything about stranding response or any technical information. I think it will be really interesting to get an insider’s look at stranding responses.

What is your favorite fact about marine mammals? 

Bowhead Whales live to be about 200 years old! In fact, harpoons from 19th century whalers have been recovered in modern whales. While the whale was found in Alaska, the harpoon was identified as an exploding lance made in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Based on the age of the harpoon, the whale was estimated to be at least 115 years old.

We are excited to have Kaylee on our WDC team!

To support WDC's paid internships, please consider making a donation so we can continue to host young professionals like Kaylee.

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