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The Center for Whale Research (CWR) has employed countless staff and volunteers during the past five decades to assist in its essential work. Each of these devoted people has contributed to the CWR cause: identifying and understanding the Salish Sea orcas and advocating for the Southern Resident orcas (SRKW) in their efforts to survive. We extend our sincerest thanks to all who have invested in our mission.

Meet Our Expert STAFF

A team of skilled and passionate animal scientists, marine photographers, public educators, and orca conservationists propels our day-to-day work. Each is a leader in their area of expertise. They continuously strive to understand the Salish Sea’s orcas better, monitor their well-being, and rejuvenate their habitat.

CWR STAFF at work

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Center for Whale Research FOUNDER
Dr. Kenneth C. Balcomb III

On December 15, 2022, we said goodbye to our founder and leader Ken Balcomb. A significant life dedicated to an important cause. He was a trailblazer, a curious mind, and inspiring to so many. We deeply miss him and we will carry you in our hearts forever.

Dr. Kenneth C. Balcomb III founded the Center for Whale Research in 1976. Ken was a pioneer and legend in the whale world. But more importantly, he was the North Star, a guiding light. Over half a century of whale research and advocacy, he lit a path for tens of thousands to follow. He was a scientist with a deep-rooted love and connection to the whales and their ocean habitat. He inspired others to appreciate both as much as he did. CWR’s Southern Residents orca research began in 1976, the longest study of this population. Read more about Ken.


Thank you, Ken. You taught us well, and we will take it from here.

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