December 1st, 2016
It is with mixed emotions we announce that OBI co-founder, Michael Weiss, will temporarily be leaving the Orca Behavior Institute to pursue his graduate studies. In part due to his undergraduate thesis based on our first field season of work, Michael received an exciting offer to join a PhD program at Exeter University to continue studying orca social networks in collaboration with the Center for Whale Research. Unfortunately, a condition of this opportunity was that he not hold an affiliation with OBI during this time. While his contributions to OBI are impossible to replace, we wish him nothing but the best on this adventure and look forward to his return, where his additional experiences will be an even greater asset to OBI going forward. In the meantime, Monika and the OBI Board are as committed as ever to our mission of pursuing independent scientific research on the social structure and acoustic communication of Southern Resident Killer Whales. We’re in discussions with several other researchers on collaborations that will strengthen our work over the next few years in Michael’s absence, and will remain dedicated to building our long term data sets while also exploring new projects. We will have more information to share over the winter as we prepare for our third field season in 2017. Thank you for your continued support!