News Splash™

Two exciting events coming up:


  • 1) Fun-filled evening August 12th, "Whale of a Good Time": Click here for details on the August Benefit for Marine Life Studies provided by the Monterey Bay Educational Center and Benefit Gallery. Hope to see you there.


  • 2) Attention Kids! Learn how to research whales and dolphins in Monterey Bay and become a Marine Life Studies Junior Research Scientist. Classes for kids 8 to 13 years old start September 6, 2011 so sign up today, as class size is limited. Click here for more details or call 831.372.3196 to register today.



Important Announcement .....


Jenna_Heart_MustangRecently our Volunteer Coordinator at Marine Life Studies, Jenna Contuchio, has taken on the position as our new Education Coordinator along with her current duties. Jenna has a background in marine animal research, education, and outreach. Jenna is committed to the mission of Marine Life Studies and she has already proven her excellence in working with the youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, both Seaside and Salinas Units.




Marine Life Studies recently obtained the rights to screen the award-winning film "Bag It". Jenna is developing a curriculum specific to the effects single use disposable plastic pollution has on the whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


We know Jenna will provide the local youth and our community members alike with quality educational opportunities for many years to come.




Kids excited about Marine Life Studies Educational Programs at Boys & Girls Clubs!




Excitement has been building the last few of weeks at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, both Seaside and Salinas Units. Jenna Contuchio and Peggy Stap have been teaching classes about whales and dolphins in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The kids are so enthusiastic about coming to class they are waiting at the door the moment we arrive to set up. It is so fun to watch the surprised looks on their face when they realize how large a blue whale really is after laying out lines of different lengths representing the size of several whales and dolphins. They were excited to touch and feel the baleen from a blue whale, a bone from a gray whale and seeing the big black eyes of the tiny krill that many whales and dolphins feed on. The classes were to prepare the kids for the whale watch Marine Life Studies had planned for them.


They were thrilled when the day finally came to go whale watching. You could feel the excitement as the kids boarded the Pacific Explorer at Princess Monterey Whale Watching, Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. Most of the kids had never been on the ocean.


Peg_BGClubBoatHarborThe children saw sea lions, sea otters, and harbor seals while still in the harbor before heading out to sea. They were so excited and enthralled with everything, even the barnacles growing on the pilings under the wharf! The joy on their faces was priceless.


The kids were enjoying the feel of the wind and the salt spray of the ocean as the Pacific Explorer continued out in Monterey Bay. Then the most amazing thing Peggy_BGClub_grp_picBookhappened - blue whales were sighted. To see the tall blow and the body of the blue whale was exciting for all, but then one come over towards the boat and made a close pass. “Wow, did you see that.”, exclaimed some of the kids.


It was such a thrill for the children to actually see some of the animals they had learned about in class.



JennaPeg_BGClub_Cert_boyThe fun continued on the grassy area near the Bocce course at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf where we had a picnic lunch. The kids were still talking about the blue whales they saw. Following lunch we had a “Marine Life Studies Graduation Ceremony”. Each child received a personalized Certificate of Completion, an REI reusable bag made from recycled plastic bottles, and a folder with fun hands-on activities plus photos of whales and dolphins.




Marine Life Studies provided all of this at no charge to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, both Seaside and Salinas Units. This was made possible with the funds Marine Life Studies raised through the Monterey County Gives! 2010 campaign. Thank you to all that donated during the campaign, many were anonymous. We really appreciate it and you have made it possible for Marine Life Studies to provide a life-changing experience the children will never forget and will help them get excited in science and being better stewards of our planet. You can donate year-round to help us inspire future scientists by donating to our “Joey Jones Scholarship and Educational Fund”.


Thank you to all the Marine Life Studies volunteers that made this program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County a success: Kate Cummings, Duane O’Sullivan, Dotty Weisheit, Sue Leinweber, Linda Bellamy and Barbara Howard. Thank you REI in Marina for donating the reuseable bags.



Whiskie the Whale Spotter™ in the News .....




Whiskie and her whale spotting abilities were featured in the Monterey County Weekly's new Animal Blog. The story was written with the help of her research associate Amanda Banks. Click here to see the full story.


For those who have been following on Facebook you know Whiskie had a tumor removed in June. We feared she might have another Mast Cell tumor but we can breath a sigh of relief - just found out it was benign. Soon Whiskie will be back to her favorite things including spotting whales.




Thank you Amanda Banks!


AmandaMustangSuitWe were so fortunate to have Amanda Banks come all the way from Brighton, England to volunteer. She is such an amazing, talented young lady. Amanda worked side by side with me for over a month. It was so much fun. Amanda worked both in the office doing some of the tedious day to day work that comes as part of being in charge of a non-profit organization and out in the field where we study a variety of whales and dolphins with an emphasis on Orcas. Amanda's energy and enthusiasm for her writing and the work she so kindly did for us at Marine Life Studies was inspiring.


Amanda wrote a blog during her time with us and below are links so you can get to it easily. Amanda also wrote an article for Planet Whale called "Oceans Alive - whale tales from the Field...Monterey Bay". Click here for article.


After leaving Monterey, Amanda was off to Peru to write about Stefan Austermuhle of Associacion Mundo Azul and then to Canada to write about Laurie Murison of Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station in Canada. Amanda finally made her way safely back to England for a well deserved reunion with her Mum and brother. Click here to read all about her adventures.


Amanda hopes to come back to Monterey again soon, maybe even this fall. We could use your help in getting her back by donating airline miles to Marine Life Studies. We all miss you Amanda and look forward to your return. Until we meet again.......


Below are the links to each blog post written by Amanda while in Monterey:

1) Peggy Stap - first impressions

2) Awesome Orca's all round

3) Peggy Stap - dipping a toe in the water

4) Peggy Stap - not exactly a conventional background

5) A conversation with Pieter Folkens

6) Peggy Stap - Maui to, almost, now

7) Peggy Stap - her present day life with Marine Life Studies

8) Peggy Stap - her best bits!

9) Peggy Stap - reflections on humanity

10) Peggy Stap - who has the last word?

11) A little something about me

12) A pause in the proceedings - Links to articles on Whiskie the Whale Spotter™

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