News and Events


harbor porpoise


2016 Porpathon

Many thanks to all who braved the windy weather (or watched wildlife from a cozy indoor spot), for the Porpathon on October 1st. Reports came in from all around the Salish Sea, and you can read more about it here.


This region-wide wildlife observation event provided an important snapshot of the local marine environment to assist Pacific Biodiversity Institute research into alleviating human-caused stress on the Salish Sea. Learn more about PBI's research in this region, here.


group watching water


fidalgo bay day


Find the Harbor Porpoise Project at Fidalgo Bay Day
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2016
Time: 11:00AM - 3:00PM
Place: Fidalgo Bay RV Resort (4701 Fidalgo Bay Rd, Anacortes)

Click here for the 2016 Fidalgo Bay Day event poster.

Skagit MRC sponsors the annual Fidalgo Bay Day event, hosted at the Samish Indian Nation’s Fidalgo Bay Resort. The purpose of this free educational event is to increase public awareness of the marine environment and foster environmental stewardship.





course students



Conservation Science and Leadership Course is a success!
PBI's new Conservation Science and Leadership Course recently concluded, and we're pleased to report that it was a great success! 13 upper-level undergraduate students or recent graduates who are preparing to be conservation leaders and professionals participated. Learn more about this initial round of the course here.


One of the students in the course, Lindsay Warne, stayed on to join PBI for an internship. She is working with interns Carl Smith and Daniel McGill on PBI's investigations of local ecosystem recovery after wildfire.


lindsay warne




Scout for harbor porpoises at Bluff Days
Join Pacific Biodiversity Institute naturalists for a Bluff Day this summer to watch for harbor porpoises and learn about the incredible Salish Sea ecosystem! Bluff Days will be held on Saturday, July 2 and 16, 1-4 PM, at Rosario Head (Deception Pass State Park), and on Saturday, August 6 and 20, 1-4 PM, at Washington Park (Anacortes). Bluff Days are free, but at Deception Pass State Park, a Discover Pass or $10 parking fee is required. Learn more here.


rosario head


heron and gull


Seeking home-based marine wildlife observers
Do you live on the waterfront in the Salish Sea? Expand your view by becoming a Pacific Biodiversity Institute marine wildlife observer! Home-based citizen scientist observers collect scientific data on harbor porpoises, harbor seals, seabirds, and more from the comfort of their own homes, on their own schedules. To join the observer network, attend one half-day training session on August 25, August 28, or September 3. Sign-up is required. Contact for more information.






monitor underwater


Acoustic monitor re-deployed at PTMSC to track harbor porpoise activity

Many thanks to Phil Dinsmore and Zofia Knorek with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center for their help in placing one of PBI's acoustic monitoring (C-POD) devices, to record harbor porpoise vocalizations underwater. The C-POD records continuously for several months until the data is retrieved. PTMSC and PBI are partnering to do land-based observations from the pier to compare to the acoustic recordings. If you live in the Port Townsend area and are interested in helping with harbor porpoise observations, contact Betsy Carlson, PTMSC's Citizen Science Coordinator, at 360-385-5582 x 301.


Phil with monitor



Carl Smith


We welcome interns and volunteers for the 2016 field season!

Carl Smith (at left) and Daniel McGill (right) have joined PBI as interns for the 2016 field season. Learn more about their backgrounds and qualifications here.


You can join Carl, Daniel, PBI staff and other volunteers as they investigate the ecological impacts of wildfires on wildlife and their habitat. There are citizen science opportunities to gather data on (and learn about) forests, native plants, birds, and mammals. Training will be provided by our well-qualified biologists. If you would like to help, please call 509-996-2490 or email


Daniel McGill




Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference logo


Anna Hallingstad presents at Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Anna is PBI's Harbor Porpoise Project Citizen Science Coordinator, and recently gave a well-received talk at the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, in Vancouver, BC. She gave a brief overview of the Harbor Porpoise Project, and spoke in-depth about proper design and protocol for citizen science projects in general, to ensure a consistent and repeatable data collection process.


Anna is pictured here during a training session for citizen scientists at Burrows Pass, Anacortes, WA.


Anna Hallingstad


Laura Steffolani



María Laura Steffolani joins South America team as an intern

Laura is a biologist who received her undergraduate degree from the National University of Córdoba. Recently she completed her thesis to receive a Master´s degree in Biology and Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Salamanca, Spain. She is now working with Lucila Castro in our Córdoba office. Her interests are conservation and biological behavior.




students in discussion circle


PBI announces Conservation Science and Leadership Course!

We are thrilled to announce an exciting expansion of PBI’s conservation science internship program, with a new opportunity for 14 upper-level undergraduate students or recent graduates who are preparing to be conservation leaders and professionals. PBI’s new four-week Conservation Science and Leadership Course will take place May 23 through June 19, 2016, in the biologically-rich and scenic North Cascades Mountains and Methow Valley of Washington State. Students will gain a diverse and holistic view of ongoing conservation and management issues prevalent throughout the Pacific Northwest. Learn more here!

conservation course
harbor porpoise

Join us at Sound Waters 2016, in Langley, WA

PBI will present "The Curious Harbor Porpoise - How We Monitor Its Acoustic Activity" at Sound Waters 2016 on Saturday, February 6, at South Whidbey High School in Langley, WA. Sound Waters, a "one day university for all," has been bringing together people passionate about life in Puget Sound since the early 1990s, and now attracts 600+ people yearly. No prior knowledge is required to attend - just an interest in learning about and taking care of this amazing place that we call home. Learn more, and register here.


sound waters logo
Lisa Geres


Lisa Geres joins South America team as an intern

Lisa recently finished her thesis to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Konstanz, Germany. She is working with Lucila Castro in our Córdoba, Argentina office for six weeks, as part of a one-year break before starting a Master's program in environmental conservation.


This is an exciting time for our work in South America, with great momentum on many fronts, and we are thrilled to have Lisa's involvement and assistance.

map of south america roadless areas



avalanche lilies


Conservation in a Changing Climate

PBI staff and board members are compelled to increase our outreach and advocacy on climate change, along with our research on the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on specific species and ecosystems that are adversely affected. We developed an action plan addressing the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on biodiversity. You can read the full plan here, as well as a letter from PBI's board president describing our motivation. If you think this effort is as important as we do, please, support our work today!

argentine desert


Rosario Head
PBI is expanding work in the Salish Sea!

In addition to our ongoing study of harbor porpoise, via underwater acoustic monitors and land-based observations, PBI will strive to reduce the negative repercussions of climate change in the Salish Sea ecosystem. We will work in collaborative partnerships to identify and reduce the stressors that threaten individual species and the entire ecosystem, so that species are better able to withstand the increasing stress of climate change and ocean acidification. We will be expanding our project focus to include other marine mammals, sea and shore birds (birder alert!), and will be raising the public's awareness of forage fish. We will also expand our observation network to include new sites and partners.
And you can help!





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