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American Cetacean Society’s 15th International Conference


We are pleased to announce American Cetacean Society’s 15th International Conference to be held November 11-13, 2016 in Monterey, CA!

Celebrating 50 Years of Whale Conservation: Reflections and Innovations

ACS’s International Conference is a highly respected gathering of scientists, educators, conservationists, students, hobbyists – anyone with an interest in cetaceans and their ocean environment. Activities include speaker sessions with world-renowned experts, a poster session including a student research poster contest, a photography contest, a silent auction, book signings and art show. We will also host a pre-event all-day whale-watching trip held on Friday in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

ACS is celebrating its 50th Anniversary as the world’s oldest whale conservation organization. This year, we will reflect back at whale conservation and research history, and look forward to the innovations that are rapidly changing what we know about our world’s whales.

Don’t delay – register today! Early Bird Conference Registration rates end September 30. For more information and to register, please visit the ACS Conference website: http://acsconference.weebly.com

Conference-related inquiries can be sent to acsconf1@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Diane Alps
President / Conference Chair
American Cetacean Society


Abstracts for the Poster Session and Student Research Poster Contest will be accepted through September 9th.

Poster Session – This session will showcase a variety of programs and projects based out of educational institutions, agencies, and non-profit organizations, and is intended to encourage discussion and facilitate the exchange of current information pertaining to marine mammal research, conservation, policy, and education.
Student Research Poster Contest – We invite graduate and undergraduate students to present their work in the Student Poster Contest. First-, second- and third-place winners will be recognized at the conference banquet, with a $250 first-place prize for the top presenter. Winners will also be featured in an upcoming issue of the ACS Spyhopper newsletter.

The student contest provides an opportunity for students at universities and institutions to gain presentation experience in a professional environment and provides a forum in which existing professionals may meet their rising peers. Abstract submissions will be accepted from current undergraduate or graduate students, student interns, and recently graduated students (within the past year) who conducted their work prior to graduation. Student authors must be from accredited institutions of higher education.

For submission guidelines and details, please visit the ACS Conference website: http://acsconference.weebly.com

Poster session-related inquiries can be sent to acsresearch1@gmail.com

ACS Poster Session Committee:
Christina Tombach Wright
Sabena Siddiqui
Joy Primrose

August 31st: Behind the Bark: Saving Seals and Sea Lions in California

Wednesday: August 31st

Time:  7pm

Location: Pacifica Library, Pacifica

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

Join SF Bay ACS Chapter and Pacifica Beach Coalition for “Behind the Bark: Saving Seals and Sea Lions in California”

The Marine Mammal Center is the World’s largest marine mammal hospital, responsible for rescuing an average of 600-800 sick and injured seals and sea lions each year from over 600 miles of California coast.  With 40 years of experience, the Center has been able to give over 20,000 marine mammals a second chance at life with the support of the community for financial support and over 1,000 trained volunteers that conduct rescues, feedings, basic Seal Adam Ratnermedical procedures and education work.  In addition to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine mammals, the Center learns from every animal that is

rescued and collaborates with 40-60 organizations a year to further research on marine mammal and ocean health.  The veterinary work and research is shared widely to over 100,000 visitors to the hospital each year with the goal of inspiring ocean conservation. Adam will share the latest stories of the marine mammals found along the California coast, including the record number of California sea lions found sick along the
California coast in the past 2 years.

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Become A Member

Being part of ACS puts you in good company – conservation practitioners, marine scientists, local chapter teams, and concerned citizens who take personal action, reach out to educate and give you a clear path for information and involvement in the protection of cetaceans and their habitats. Your membership contribution and any additional support you designate go a long way to help ACS fulfill its mission.  As the world’s first whale conservation organization, ACS has long been dedicated to developing public education initiatives, funding research projects, and implementing conservation actions aimed at protecting cetaceans in their natural environments.

As a member, you will have access to ALL ACS events, learn about cetaceans and conservation efforts, meet like-minded people, and help ACS fulfill its mission.

We have different levels of membership, but you can join for as little as $35 a year!

Join Online

Join By Mail: Download Membership Form


September 29th: “Insights into rorqual lunge-feeding behavior gleaned from new video and accelerometry tags”

Thursday September 29th:

Time:  7pm

Location: Bay Model Visitor Center   2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

Meet 2015 SF Bay ACS Research Grant Awardee David Cade!

For nearly all of human existence on the sea, our understanding of whales has been limited to what we can observe at the surface.  For fully aquatic animals such as these, however, time spent on the surface is really a tiny fraction of the life cycle of these largest predators on the planet.  Basic questions about feeding behavior and ecology have only begun to be answered in Sept 2016 whale tailthe last fifteen years with the advent of animal-borne sensors capable of logging cetacean behavior underwater.  Only in the last two years have sensors that measure orientation and motion been combined with high-quality video cameras to provide us with a whale’s eye view of the feeding events that are so critical to overall population recovery from 20th century lows.  Please join us as we explore new insights into the feeding behavior of humpback whales from five oceans, fin whales from the Atlantic and blue whales from right here in California. Continue reading

October 25th: Dean & JoJo – The Dolphin Legacy

Tuesday October 25th
Time:  7pm
Location: Bay Model Visitor Center   2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA
$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

Join SF Bay ACS Chapter and The Marin Dive Club for:

Dean & JoJo The Dolphin Legacy


Dean Bernal first visited the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1981. Three small sociable dolphins swam in the shallow coastal waters. One would become known as JoJo and befriended by Dean and many island residents. The life of JoJo seems legendary, but the books and archive films are created directly from the observations, and research recorded by Dean Bernal on his amazing and heart warming journeys with JoJo.

Dean will give a brief history of JoJo the wild Dolphin and how DEAN lobbied to make JoJo the National treasure of the Turks and Caicos Islands. JOJO is now the most highly protected dolphin in the world. Their story is now used as a wildlife icon for protection of land and Ocean environments globally. 

Today DEAN and JoJo.’s battle is global  addressing issues like Japan where they succeeded in halting the kills of dolphins in Japan’s largest dolphin kill port~  addressing the proposed new captive facilities~ protecting other lone and sociable dolphins like JoJo ~and using DEAN and JoJo’s global media strength in licensing and branding for good cause programs.

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You shop. Amazon gives!

We just joined Amazon Smile! Amazon will donate a portion of proceeds to us every time you shop at no cost to you!

You shop. Amazon gives.

  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.


“Blimps and Whales”

Bethany Argisle & Neil Osborn’s book, “Blimps & Whales,” is a beautifully illustrated story of love and cooperation between two great beings, a blimp and a whale. This charming story recaps how the children of San Francisco inspired and celebrated World Whale Day, including messages about the health of our oceans and the need to protect whales and their migration routes.

Bethany has been an advocate since the early 1970’s, inspiring young people to notice, to listen, and to protect the sea and its inhabitants through theatre, music and appearances.

You can purchase her book through the iTunes app store or on Season’s Studios’ website HERE.



Oceanic Dolphins, Family Delphinidae

We all share a love of dolphins and whales. But there is another question – what we really know about them, about the whole order of cetaceans? Meera and Oleg Finodeyev are passionate about them and they discovered a very simple truth – “we love them but we don’t know them”. Because of that they created a mini-series of videos about order of cetaceans.

Irony is that there is no single source where one can go and learn about this civilization. Creation of these videos and digging into vast ocean of internet information was very tedious but an enlightening process and they wish to share its results with you. Please, invest a bit of your time to learn more about these Earthlings – they are amazing!

Dramatic 24-hour Gray Whale Disentanglement off Laguna Beach, CA

Capt. Dave and his wife, Gisele, were headed to dinner with friends Friday evening at 5:30 PM when they received a call from one of their whale watching boats that a whale with a huge amount of gillnet wrapped around its tail flukes had been spotted. They quickly abandoned their plans and headed to Dana Point Harbor where they met up with volunteer members of Capt. Dave’s crew, Tom Southern, Mark Tyson and Steve Plantz and headed out in their whale watching boat to see the entangled whale and attempt to help it before it got dark. Continue reading