About Us

The Orca Behavior Institute (OBI) is an unincorporated non-profit partnership started by Michael Weiss and Monika Wieland in March 2015. Our mission is to conduct non-invasive research on the Southern Resident Killer Whales, with a focus on social associations, acoustics, and behavioral response to prey availability.

Monika has been researching orcas as citizen scientist for over ten years, helping collect data for The Whale Museum’s Sea Sound Project , completing her undergraduate thesis at Reed College on killer whale acoustics, publishing a paper in Marine Mammal Science, and reporting changing whale behavioral trends on her blog, Orca Watcher . Michael started working with the Southern Residents in 2013, and presented his first research project at an American Cetacean Society conference in November 2014.

Over the winter we invested in a boat and a hydrophone, and for our first official field season in 2015 we plan to collect data for Michael’s undergraduate thesis at Reed College and also begin data collection for several longer term projects. All data collection is non-invasive will occur in accordance with federal whale watch guidelines.

You can help support our first research season by donating here.