Orca Behavior Institute

$4,260 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 48 months
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The Orca Behavior Institute (OBI) is an unincorporated non-profit partnership started by Michael Weiss and Monika Wieland in March 2015. Our mission is to conduct non-invasive research on the Southern Resident Killer Whales, with a focus on social associations, acoustics, and behavioral response to prey availability.

Monika has been researching orcas as citizen scientist for over ten years, helping collect data for The Whale Museum's Sea Sound Project , completing her undergraduate thesis at Reed College on killer whale acoustics, publishing a paper in Marine Mammal Science, and reporting changing whale behavioral trends on her blog, Orca Watcher . Michael started working with the Southern Residents in 2013, and presented his first research project at an American Cetacean Society conference in November 2014.

Over the winter we invested in a boat and a hydrophone, and for our first official field season in 2015 we plan to collect data for Michael's undergraduate thesis at Reed College and also begin data collection for several longer term projects. All data collection is non-invasive will occur in accordance with federal whale watch guidelines. We are looking for support for our direct research-related expenses over what will be an 8-10 week field season.

Our on-going costs include boat moorage fees, gas, office supplies (e.g. write-in-the-rain notebooks and printer ink). We also have one-time expenses for a VHF radio, GPS, and a necessary ignition coil replacement on our engine to get us out on the water.

Updates on our research encounters will occur on Monika's blog, and we also plan to develop the OBI website this summer. Thank you so much for your support, and stay tuned for photos of the research team in action!

(Special thanks to Sara Hysong-Shimazu for the awesome logo!)
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We've got a new t-shirt fundraising campaign for the next two weeks, featuring a design by Sara Hysong-Shimazu of the K14 matriline (K14 Lea, K26 Lobo, K36 Yoda, and K42 Kelp). Check it out here:
https://www.booster.com/orcabehavior
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Whoops! That's the Orca Behavior Institute Facebook page that's now up and running - please like us there for research updates. (Though you can see lots of photos from our encounters at Orca Watcher Photography). :)
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We're blown away by how many people want to keep tabs on our first field season! To reach everyone more easily, we're going to switch from doing updates on our GoFundMe to posting more regularly on our new Orca Watcher Photography Facebook page. Please "like" us there!
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With whales around on a daily basis, we've been continuing to have amazing encounters with the Southern Residents. Check out a list of our 2015 field season encounters thus far on our website here:
https://orcabehaviorinstitute.wordpress.com/encounters/
Where applicable, there are links to my blog post for the encounter where you can see tons of photos.
We've got several exciting things in the works, so stay tuned for more updates as the season goes on!
J49 T'ilem I'nges
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John Boyd
47 months ago

Let me know when you get a T-Shirt design--I'll gladly sign up!!!!!!

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$4,260 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 48 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created June 7, 2015
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JK
$500
john/lisa/mia kovary
32 months ago

Michael, so awesome to see someone living their dream as a career. Best of luck in your future endeavors! Love, The Kovary Family

WF
$200
Widere Family
33 months ago

Congratulations Michael on your graduation from Reed and your amazing accomplishments. We know you will continue to do great work on behalf of our beautiful orcas.

VW
$100
Vera and Rainer Wieland
33 months ago

No need for photo or shirt :-)

LH
$20
Linda Horton
46 months ago

Great stuff

$50
Susan Marie Andersson
46 months ago

Love reading your reports. Keep up the great work you are doing for the Southern Residents.

$500
Anonymous
46 months ago
$50
Jay Fineman
46 months ago
AL
$100
Alice L.
46 months ago (Offline Donation)
TF
$300
The Hair Family
46 months ago (Offline Donation)
$100
Christine Bush
46 months ago

The orcas need you to speak for them. I hope that the world will hear.

John Boyd
47 months ago

Let me know when you get a T-Shirt design--I'll gladly sign up!!!!!!

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