67690330_539784633430730_149417656774243

ORCA Survey

Outreach & Education Center

Temporarily CLOSED

April 2021

The ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center is temporarily closed until further notice as per Governor Inslee’s recent COVID 19 restrictions.

185 S. First St. Friday Harbor, San Juan Island

The ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center opened in Friday Harbor in the Summer of 2018 to address a need for effective public outreach. Since then, 14,000 people from across North America and around the world have visited and learned from knowledgeable CWR staff and volunteers about killer whales and how they can help the struggling population of Southern Resident orcas. 

Learn about new attractions, upcoming lectures, and Monday Movie Night films at WhaleResearch.com

185 S. 1st St, Friday Harbor,

San Juan Island, WA   

Hours: Fri - Sun / 10am - 4pm

Our MISSION

The Mission of the ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center is to educate and give back to the public the information and knowledge that CWR, and our colleagues, have gathered during 45 years of research of killer whales (orcas) in the waters around the San Juan Islands.

Attractions, Exhibits, and Activities:

The ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center was closed for most of the past year due to COVID-19. Check HERE for opening updates.

  • VR! Virtual Reality. Experience the Whales UP CLOSE through the eyes of a whale researcher! Be introduced to a world of orcas as you've never seen before on a whirlwind 5-minute video ride aboard the Center for Whale Research's research vessel, Orca, when field researchers encounter whales.

  • Computer Education Stations. Watch drone video of orcas taken by CWR field researchers. Learn how to ID individual whales. Find out which whales are females and males, their ages, and who's related.  

  • The Whale Skull. See a full-size, real-life orca skull on display. ​

  • Lectures with Experts. Learn about whales from CWR field researches and guest lecturers. ​​​

  • Monday Movie Night. On select Mondays throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall, see a film from our vast media archives and video vault.​ Last year's movies included: The Breach, DamNation, The Whale, and Dammed to Extinction.

86933223_2022015544611641_64717378148903

Attention Educators!

We know that most learning is taking place virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions. Please know that our Education & Outreach Manager, Katie Jones, is available for talks about Southern Resident killer whales via Zoom. Please contact katie@whaleresearch.com for more information!

group.jpg

We are excited to be bringing people and orcas face to face in new and innovative ways. See big-screen video and virtual reality footage of the whales in the wild taken from our research boats and CWR's drones. Enjoy other fun and educational displays. Learn from trained CWR staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions about our beloved local whales. 

 

The information that we provide at the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center is free to the public. Becoming a member or making a donation to the non-profit Center for Whale Research supports our on-going research and advocacy efforts. Your financial contributions are much appreciated.

 

We encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about the plight of the Southern Resident orca population, now at an all-time low of 73 whales. With your new knowledge, we ask you to speak out on their behalf. The Center for Whale Research is standing with you, speak out loudly and clearly for the powers that be to do what is necessary to ensure these whales live long into the future.

ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center visitor taking a close look at the Bigg's Transient killer whale skull.

Locals and visitors gathered at the ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center for MONDAY Movie Night.

The Center for Whale Research emphasizes that the primary threat facing the Southern Resident orcas is a lack of food security. They require a constant diet of healthy Chinook salmon. In our face-to-face discussions at the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center and our other communication efforts, we stress that a sustainable source of their main food - quantity and quality of Chinook salmon - is critical to the whales' survival.

ORCA SURVEY Outreach & Education Center visitor taking a close look at the Bigg's Transient killer whale skull.

header.fw.png

Are you experiencing the “no whales blues?”

 

Well, do we have a remedy for you: VR! Virtual Reality.

 

We promise it’s practically as good as being there in person.

Stop by the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island; see Katie Jones, or one of our outstanding volunteers, for your introduction to a world of whales like you’ve never seen before. VR headset on, you will be taken on a whirlwind 5-minute video ride aboard CWR research vessel, Orca, during which field researchers encountered orcas.

 

One minute the sea in Haro Strait is tranquil under a beautiful sunny sky. Then the T65Bs, T75Bs, and T75Cs arrive.

You see their first surfacing blows, their dorsal fins slicing the calm water surface, and a rare, once-in-a-lifetime moment when these Bigg’s Transients swim around and under the boat!

 

So much for the “no whales blues.”

 

The Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center provides everyone with a chance to be immersed in the world of whales. We look forward to your visit.

Screen Shot 2019-08-13 at 8.47_edited.jp

The mission of the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center is to educate and give back to the public the information and knowledge that we, and our colleagues, have gathered during 45 years of research of killer whales (orcas) in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands.

45434301_988516568003056_134810932991544
Merci beaucoup pour le soutien de la France!

YouTube producers Morgane (Little Gypsy) and Lea presented Ken Balcomb and the Center For Whale Research with a donation as a result of their successful #WeAreTheOrca crowdfunding campaign in France. The funds raised for CWR will go directly towards continued research. We are extremely grateful to Morgane, Lea and all of their supporters in France that care about helping the endangered resident whales. Merci!​ See YouTube video

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 6.58.18 AM.jpg

The #WeAreTheOrca team from France launched a new bracelet today to raise awareness and funds for the Center for Whale Research, as well as two other regional organizations supporting the Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon.

 

With the sale of each bracelet, #WeAreTheOrca donates 3 euros (approx. $3.40 US) to CWR for continued research on the Southern Resident Killer Whales, as well as 3 euros each to Alexandra Morten project and The Whale Museum. The bracelets are made in France with sustainable products by people with disabilities.

 

Here is the link to order: 

#wearetheorca

The Center For Whale Research team members are proudly wearing their bracelets. As Morgane Trussardi, founder of #wearetheorca stated, “We will all be linked ❤️”

It was a fun and educational weekend at the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center!
October 20, 2018

Girl Scout Troops from Bellevue/Eastside, along with their families, visited San Juan Island to learn more about Southern Resident Killer Whales and ways that they can help the endangered orcas. Katie Jones, Outreach & Education Manager presented the group with fascinating information which was well received triggering engaging questions, responses, and brainstorming by troop members ages 6 -12. The troops then participated in hands on activities with staff and volunteers, learning more about salmon, orcas, and the Salish Sea. We are very proud of these young ambassadors that are so eager to help improve conditions for Southern Resident Whales. Thank you for your dedication.

IMG-8592.jpeg
42194186_2106574222695408_50608395806855
It was a great evening. Thank you, Astrid, for sharing your wonderful stories.

Dr. Astrid van Ginneken has worked with the Center for Whale Research since 1987. She is co-principle investigator for CWR's Orca Survey and has published both scientific and popular articles in addition to a book about killer whales. Astrid has great enthusiasm for Southern Resident orcas and her stories about these wonderful creatures are beautifully told.

A few images from our recent Grand Opening, August 21, 2018.