Victoria has been with the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network since its inception in 2007. She was the Education Director until 2015 when she took over as Principal Investigator. Victoria has worked in marine and fisheries research. For the past twenty three years she has also worked as a marine naturalist on tour boats plying the waters from the San Juan Islands to Alaska. She enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge about the marine mammals and birds in the Pacific Northwest. She lives on Lummi Island where she is surrounded by the ocean that she loves. Victoria holds a 24 Hour HAZWOPER certificate that is for oil spill response.
Alysha has been working with wildlife for the last 12 years including marine mammals. She is an LVT and Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator currently managing the Whatcom Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Alysha’s passion is wildlife medicine and she feels honored to expand her skill set and be on the board of WMMSN. Alysha has been the Co-Investigator for WMMSN for the last 4 years and also assists with necropsies.
Makenna Johansen was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and moved to Bellingham in 2013 to attend Western Washington University where she obtained degrees in Dance and Biology. She is the Lead Rehabilitator at the Whatcom Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Services Department where she takes part in rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife. She is currently pursuing a degree in veterinary technology with the goal of becoming a licensed veterinary technician to gain skills and knowledge to apply to her work with wildlife. She is the Necropsy Director for the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Kelsey was born and raised on Lummi Island, and returned to live there after graduating from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She has been a volunteer responder for WMMSN since 2015, and joined the board that same year as Education Director. Kelsey holds a 24 Hour HAZWOPER certificate that is for oil spill response.
Samantha is our Finance Director and Responder since 2016. She has owned her own business, DUCKS IN A ROW since 2003 serving other small businesses with bookkeeping and office solutions. Samantha majored in Zoology with a Marine Biology minor at UW Seattle and the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She was a veterinary assistant at an emergency vet clinic in Seattle for several years while attending college there. She has volunteered with Sardi's Raptor Center in Custer, WA for 2 years specializing in the rehab portion of the organization. Samantha has a deep love for all animals, marine and land. here
Paul is an animal control officer for whatcom county and has been doing this for over 20 years. He first got started helping marine mammals four years ago and has since joined the board to further help the organization. Paul enjoys working with marine mammals as they have such unique personalities and working with them involves being outdoors!
Nancy has been active with WMMSN for three years now and has been a board member since August of 2017. Her experience as a volunteer with the Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery in California has helped her to fit right in. Nancy holds a 24 Hour HAZWOPER certificate that is for oil spill response.
“Life long beach lover, geologist and anatomy instructor, retired, new to WA state, and loving it here. “
As a journalist for eight years, I covered natural disasters, crime, war, professional sports, celebrity news, politics and events of national importance. My work has been featured in several newspapers, magazines, radio, national news outlets and international news websites.
My true passion, wildlife photography, was a byproduct of trying to pick up the pieces of my health, which was ravaged by Meniere’s disease. It was while sitting on cold, wet stone-covered beaches in the Pacific Northwest, I learned about animals in their natural habitat. Red foxes, harbor seals, orca whales, bald eagles, Olympic marmots and snow geese became my physical therapists, as I spent hundreds of hours watching and following them in their daily lives. The end result was my first book, “Nature Aware,” published in 2012.
These days I am a champion of animal conservation causes, supporter of education and an advocate for the hearing-disabled. “Fragile Waters,” (2014) a documentary about Southern resident orcas, won “Film of the Year” at Dolphin & Whale Film Festival 2015, in Dana Point, California. “Deconstructing Eden,” my latest film, tackled the story of sea otters in California. Along with the film, “Rough Cut: Lessons from Endangered Species” was published by Homeostasis Press to further explore the issues found in all of my documentary works.
I have volunteered with Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network for the past few years, initially as a responder, and later also serving as Marketing Director for the organization.