Time: Refreshments at 7:30PM, program at 8:00 PM


Cost: Free


Speaker: Ted Cheeseman


Topic: Understanding California's Whales: A Beautiful Recovery... So What Now?



Ted Cheeseman, Humpback Whale Flukes


Description: We have gone from whale killing to whale loving in just a generation; today’s older generations used ‘whalebone’ (baleen) where we now use plastic, and the year before our speaker was born, California’s last whaling station closed, ending hunting of our local whales. They began to recover, and we now enjoy the fruits of this recovery with a robust whale watching industry that is far larger worldwide than whaling ever was. But what are our whales doing? Tonight’s lecture will explore the dynamics of the great whales in our marine ecosystem as learned through photographic ID and citizen science. Today thanks to automated image recognition and the citizen science website www.Happywhale.com, anybody can explore the history of individual whales migrating along the California coast and around the world. Image contributors become citizen scientists, contributing to a deepening world of understanding the behavior of individual whales and the dynamics of our ocean ecosystem.


Ted Cheeseman grew up in California, son of a naturalist and zoology professor couple whose shared mission in life was to educate the public about wildlife. Ted began whale watching at a very young age and has been leading wildlife and marine mammal focused tourist expeditions for Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris for more than two decades with a focus on Antarctica and, at warmer latitudes, on responsibly operated in-water whale experiences. Ted currently splits his time between Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris and developing Happywhale.com, seeking to both improve public engagement with marine conservation and to cost effectively fill the voids of data hindering effective ocean conservation.