9th annual whale tales: learn about these incredible creatures and meet renowned researchers

02_WHALET_Jason SturgisCuriosity, connection, and communication come together over President’s Day weekend as the public is invited to gather on Maui to network and learn from world-renowned experts in whale research.

Leading scientists, photographers, and conservationists headline the 9th Annual Whale Tales, a four-day educational and fundraising event hosted by international whale research organization Whale Trust Maui. This year’s event will highlight the role that technology plays in advancing research.

Guests are entertained by presentations, receptions, and guided whale-watching tours with the experts. Presentations include some of the latest findings on social, behavioral, and conservation topics related to whales and their natural environment. Hear directly from the source on recent discoveries and view stunning underwater photography and video of whales in their natural environment. Join the experts on the water with the whales during the benefit whale watching cruises hosted throughout the weekend.

Whale Tales 2015 Schedule

Friday, February 13
Opening Reception • 4:30 – 6:30pm
Courtyard of Historic Pioneer Inn, Lahaina, $30 includes light pupu, live music, cash bar.

Friday, February 13
“Whale Love” • 7pm
Flip Nicklin and Jason Sturgis “Whale Love” Presentation Under The Stars, The Baldwin House, Lahaina, FREE

Saturday, February 14 • 10am – 4pm
Morning Whale Watch (starting at $55)
Presentations 10-4, The Maui Theatre, Lahaina, FREE

Sunday, February 15 • 10am – 4pm
Morning Whale Watch (starting at $55)
Presentations 10-4, The Maui Theatre, Lahaina, FREE

Monday, February 16
Benefit Whale Watches • All day
Lahaina Harbor, (starting at $55)
Reservations are open to the public after January 26 by calling 572-5700; for more information please visit http://www.WhaleTrustMaui.org.

Gathering together for Whale Tales 2015:
Dr. Bruce Mate, a pioneer in satellite tagging of whales and migration patterns; Ken Balcomb, a foremost authority of the devastation that underwater sonar testing causes for whales and whose findings inspired the recent book “War of the Whales”; Bryan Skerry a National Geographic photographer that specializes in photographing marine wildlife and underwater environments; Travel pioneer Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and President of Lindblad Expeditions; National Geographic contributing photographer Flip Nicklin and underwater cinematographer Jason Sturgis will show some of their favorite underwater footage of dancing humpbacks.

A special showing of the new IMAX movie Humpback Whales 3D will be premiering starring Whale Trust co-founders Meagan Jones and Jim Darling, Ed Lyman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and Fred Sharpe of Alaska Whale Foundation.

Photographer Marty Wolff and famous marine artist Wyland’s non-profit organization Ocean Artists Society will be partnering to present “Whales and Art”. Again this year, a new custom piece designed by bronze artist Randy Puckett for Whale Tales will be released at event, a benefit for Whale Tales beneficiaries.

Additional speakers for Whale Tales 2015 include: National Geographic contributing photographer Flip Nicklin; marine life photographer Marty Wolff; Dr. Mark Lammers of the Oceanwide Science Institute; Christine Gabriele with Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium; Ed Lyman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; and Drs. Meagan Jones and Jim Darling of Whale Trust Maui.

“Whales bring thousands of people and millions of dollars to the economy in Hawaii alone each year,” says Whale Trust Maui Executive Director, Meagan Jones. “Whale Tales gives residents and visitors the unique opportunity to experience whales first hand with the experts – the people that have dedicated their lives to studying them – and to give back in meaningful ways by supporting the research community to continue their important work.”

Presentations are free and open to the public on Saturday and Sunday at The Maui Theatre in Lahaina, Hawaii. Benefit whale watches with the experts are held throughout the weekend, with morning whale watches daily and excursions all day on President’s Day Monday, February 16.

BEHAVIOR & CONSERVATION TOPICS
for Whale Tales 2015:

In brief, this year, the event will highlight some of the new technology being used to understand whales and their environment. Topics include:

  • Satellite tagging efforts in Hawaii and Alaska to track and document migration and habitat patterns of humpback whales in the North Pacific (Dr. Bruce Mate);
  • Use of remote acoustic technology (ecological acoustic ears) to monitor and track cetacean populations in Hawaii and around the globe (Dr. Marc Lammers);
  • Use of Wave Gliders (unmanned ocean robots) to record humpback whale songs and underwater noise in Hawaii (Chris Gabriele).
  • Impact of Navy Sonar on marine mammal populations around the globe (Ken Balcomb);
  • Evolution of the changing nature of whale songs across the Pacific Ocean (Dr. Jim Darling);
  • Impact of ecotourism on conservation (Sven Lindblad);
  • The amazing comeback of the harbor porpoise to San Francisco Bay (Dr. Jon Stern);
  • Recent efforts to prevent and decrease entanglements in humpback whales (Ed Lyman).

Visual Presentations:

  • Behind the scenes look and preview of the new IMAX film, Humpback Whales 3D (Jason Sturgis, Meagan Jones);
  • Under the Water with National Geographic photographer Bryan Skerry, dolphin research around the world.
  • Whales, Art and Conservation led by Marty Wolff and Charlie Fasano from Ocean Artists Society (lunchtime, Saturday).

Whale Trust Maui is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to whale research and education. Funds raised at Whale Tales support whale research efforts in the Hawaiian Islands.

For more information, please visit the website at http://www.WhaleTrustMaui.org.

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