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Whale Watching Trip Naturalists
Meet the Naturalists
Our interpretative staff includes professional wildlife biologists and educators from institutions such as the California Academy of Sciences, the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, Point Reyes Bird Observatory and the East Bay Regional Park District. Through their collective experience, they have shaped the interpretive program aboard our whale watching and Farallon Islands educational day-trips. Most of our naturalists have worked with us for over a decade.
Gail Broesder is currently an interpretive naturalist for East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland, CA specializing in marine and aquatic education. With a degree in both Marine Biology and a Masters in Education she teaches in classrooms and in the field.
Roger Harris is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with over 25 years of professional experience on the oceans of the world. He has a B.A. from Cornell University and a M.S. from UC Berkeley in wildlife biology. His specialty is ornithology and he teaches classes on shorebirds and songbirds. A former National Audubon Society staffer and nature center director, Roger is currently a principal in an environmental consulting firm where he specializes in endangered species, wetland creation, and native habitat restoration. As a ship's naturalist, Roger has visited all of the continents and over 70 countries with a special love and enthusiasm for the tropics and the polar regions. Roger's favorite place on earth and one where he has done research is the Farallon Islands off of San Francisco, arguably one of the world's marine mammal and seabird hotspots.
Nicole Larson is a former marine educator with the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley. With an M.S. in environmental science, she is passionate about the marine environment and when not in the water or on a boat working as a naturalist, she can be found in classrooms educating youth about whales and marine ecology.
Susan Sherman. Susan earned her B.S. in Biology from San Francisco State University. She is currently a science teacher in San Francisco. Susan's specialties are birds, marine mammals, and marine ecology. As a science educator she has taught teachers, developed and written curricula, presented at conferences, aquariums and museums and recently won an award from the John Hopkins University for teaching talented youth. Some of the research projects that she has participated in as an assistant are: humpback whales in Southeast Alaska; for NOAA sampling fish populations in the Atlantic Ocean; on the Farallon Islands collecting data on various species of Alcid chicks; for 10 years with the National Park Service's fall bird census of Alcatraz Island.
Juan-Carlos Solis has his B.S. degree in Oceanography from the Institute of Oceanographic Research, Baja California, Mexico. His research experience includes field work in the ecology of North American estuaries and salt marsh, nearshore and pelagic habitats - their flora and fauna, including migrating species of birds and mammals, particularly the gray whale. Currently, he is the Public Programs Manager for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Isidore (Izzy) Szczepaniak. Izzy has his Masters degree in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University, where he also taught classes on marine mammals. He is a field investigator for the Oceanic Society/Cascadia Research humpback whale research program in California and Costa Rica. Since 1972, primarily as a Research Associate for the California Academy of Sciences' Department of Mammalogy, he has studied and published papers on marine mammals. In Australia and New Zealand he assisted with research on dusky dolphins and sperm whales. Other cetacean research includes work for Cascadia Research in northern California, and harbor porpoise surveys off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington for the National Marine Fisheries Service. He is a member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Rich Wilson is currently Program Manager for the Coral Reef Alliance. He started his conservation work as a marine naturalist aboard several small charter boats in Maui, Hawaii. He has also worked as a park ranger at Haleakala National Park in Maui.
Peter Winch graduated from Plymouth University, England in 1986,with a degree in Environmental Science. He currently is employed as an educator with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. He spent the next four years working for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, working worldwide to bring attention to various marine mammal conservation issues including illegal whaling. He has studied seabirds in Alaska, Hawaii, Baja Mexico and Oregon for US Fish and Wildlife and The Island Ecology Group.