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Meet Our

Ken Balcomb and Howard Garrett at Balcomb Big Salmon Ranch, located on the Elwa River.

Photograph by Susan Berta.

As many of you know, my brother, Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research founder and senior scientist, recently passed away. Ken and I were very close. We chose similar career paths: following our passion for wild animals and the environment, specifically the Pacific Northwest orcas and their Salish Sea habitat. 

During Ken’s final months, we talked for many hours about the continuation of his life’s work: how important it was for the Center for Whale Research to press on in perpetuity. Relinquishing the helm, he entrusted me to help steward CWR’s present and long-term planning. Fortunately, Ken left me with a skilled, experienced, and committed team of professionals. Each of these individuals worked for Ken for many years, and they know what is required to maintain and build on the Center for Whale Research’s forty-seven-year foundation. With the ongoing support of volunteers and donors, the CWR staff, and the CWR board of directors, will continue playing a crucial leadership role for generations to come—studying the Pacific Northwest orcas and speaking out on their behalf.


As we have repeatedly said in the past few months, “Thanks, Ken, we will take it from here.”

Howard Garrett,

CWR Board Chair


Our outstanding volunteer Board of Directors possesses extensive knowledge and expertise in marine-mammal ecology, non-profit organization management, community engagement, law, and business, setting the strategic compass of the Center for Whale Research. The CWR board offers regular guidance to staff on operational issues.