Amanda Hooper – Volunteer Coordinator and Intern at the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center in Crescent City, CA
After studying bottlenose dolphins on the Coastal Dolphins of Orange County project the fall of 2013 after graduation, I moved to Guafo Island, an uninhabited island in the northern portion of Chilean Patagonia to study the transmission of hookworm between the mom and pup pairs of South American Fur Seals that breed there. This past winter, I lived on the Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI) working as a research assistant for Point Blue Conservation Science studying the breeding elephant seals.
I then worked on the Murre Restoration project, a collaborative between USFW and HSU, monitoring the colony of Common Murre that breed at Devil’s Slide. A big reason I got that job was because of the experience I gained monitoring the PECO colony during BI 455 – Marine Birds and Mammals. I am really enjoyed this work but I really miss studying marine mammals which is what I have been focused on since graduating. Recently, I was able to participate with CAL Academy of Sciences in the necropsy of an adult female humpback that washed up near Devil’s Slide. Sadly with 4 vertebrae with snapped lateral processes, she was likely killed by a ship strike.
I am currently at the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center in Crescent City, CA. I am the volunteer coordinator and also an intern right now. Since there is no director here I am in charge of daily operations. I also am working with some board members to write a grant and fundraise for the center. I hope to start in a graduate program soon studying behavioral ecology of marine mammals. Like I told Jan, the Marine Birds and Mammals class at OIMB was a huge influence on the opportunities I have been lucky enough to have after graduating.