PacMam’s New Publication Featured by CBC Radio!

08/10/2022: We were thrilled to be interviewed by Robyn Burns from CBC’s “All Points West” radio show, sharing more about our new scientific paper documenting bald eagles stealing fish from marine mammals! You can listen to the interview with Dr. Cindy Elliser here: listen to the interview.

PacMam Featured in A-Town Magazine!

10/04/2021: PacMam was featured as one of the highlighted non-profits in this quarter’s A-Town magazine, a local magazine published in Anacortes, WA. Through this type of advertisement, we hope to encourage more volunteers, donors, and supporters to help us continue our work here in the Salish Sea. If you want to help support PacMam, click to see how you can get involved.

PacMam Featured in Local News Article

8/31/2021: PacMam’s work was again featured in a recent article by the Skagit Valley Herald, investigating the recent harbor porpoise strandings in our area. The two harbor porpoise calves were found with a few days of one another. Read the full article here.

Dead Harbor Porpoises Found

8/24/2021: Two harbor porpoise calves were found washed up on the beach in Anacortes, WA in late August 2021. PacMam’s Research Director, Dr. Cindy Elliser, attended both stranding events and provided some insights to The Westshore’s newsletter. Read the full article here.

New Website Highlights Skagit’s Warming Waters

5/7/2021: Some of PacMam’s photos have been featured on a brand new website developed by the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology to highlight Skagit Valley’s Warming Waters. The website is a storymap that provides information on the issues surrounding increasing water temperatures, as well as how we can each make a difference! Check out this great new resource here.

Report Harbor Porpoise Sightings Using our New App!

4/20/2021: Did you know we now have a harbor porpoise sighting app? You can quickly and easily log any sightings on your smartphone (Android and iPhone)! Download Epicollect5 ( from your app store. Go to “find projects” and search for ‘PacMam harbor porpoise’. Simply download the form, and you’re ready to start reporting harbor porpoise sightings! By quickly submitting a sighting, you can help us learn more about harbor porpoises in the Salish Sea and directly contribute to our research! Make sure to share with your friends, family, and anyone else that might be interested!

Local Newspaper Features PacMam’s Latest Publication

5/13/2020: PacMam’s latest publication, “Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena vomerina) Catching and Handling Large Fish on the U.S. West Coast” has been featured by the Skagit Valley Herald in a new article published today. The article gives an overview of the paper and our recent presentation of its findings during the Virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (SSEC) 2020.

To read the article in full, click here. You can also read the open access paper in full here.

New Publication on Harbor Porpoises Catching Large Fish

4/20/2020: We are proud to announce our latest publication is now available on Aquatic Mammals Journal: “Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena vomerina) Catching and Handling Large Fish on the U.S. West Coast“. You can click the link to access the PDF of this article free of charge at the Aquatic Mammals Journal website. Many thanks to our co-authors on this paper for their help! Research Assistant Kat MacIver recently presented a brief summary of this paper at the Virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference which hopefully many of you were able to “attend”, but if not click here to read the paper yourself.

New 2020 Report on Harbor Porpoises for Encyclopedia of Puget Sound

1/8/2020: A new report has just been published for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound on the trends and status of harbor porpoises in the Salish Sea, and we are proud to say that Research Director Dr. Cindy Elliser was one of the primary contributors/authors of this article! Dr. Elliser and co-author and acoustician Scott Veirs put together a comprehensive report explaining what we currently know about harbor porpoises in our area, as well as looking at current and upcoming policy decisions in relation to this species in our waters. Read the full report here.

PacMam’s Research Featured by German NGO

9/9/19: We are excited to share our latest feature! PacMam has been featured by “The Dolphin’s Voice“, a small NGO based in Frankfurt, Germany in some of their latest educational materials which highlight non-profits from all around the world who are conducting cetacean research. Check out the awesome map they put together, along with a sneak peek into the “PacMam section” of an accompanying booklet featuring various non-profit organizations!

PacMam Meets Governor at New Whale Trail Location 

7/17/19: PacMam was excited to attend the initiation of a new Whale Trial location on West Beach, Deception Pass Park, with Governor Jay Inslee and his family.  Dr. Cindy Elliser met the Governor and shared the afternoon talking with him, stakeholders and board members about this new land-based whale watching site, one of a network of land-based whale watching sites along the whole Pacific coast. 

Dr. Cindy Elliser looks for marine mammals with Governor Inslee at the new Whale Trail location on West Beach, Deception Pass Park. (Office of the Governor photo)

PacMam was instrumental in getting the sign erected and provided information on the various marine mammals that can be seen from the location, so we are thrilled to finally see it up!  You can read about Governor Jay Inslee’s visit here. Find the West Beach location along with other Whale Trail locations where you can safely watch whales and other marine mammals from land on their website.

PacMam Founder/Research Director’s Talk Highlighted

8/28/2018: Dr Cindy Elliser was featured in a recent article on the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s e-Newsletter, highlighting her upcoming talk in Seattle and praising her credentials as a local educator at the Skagit Valley College. Click here to see the article about Dr. Elliser and her talk!

PacMam’s Research Featured in “Fidalgo Living” Magazine

3/14/2018: Our work was recently featured in “Fidalgo Living” magazine, with a fantastic two-page write-up about our work on harbor porpoises and education in the community.  We have been fortunate over the last few years to have several stories featured in local newspapers and magazines, all of which help to raise awareness about these unique animals and the work we do to study them.

To read the article, click here to access a PDF copy.

PacMam’s Paper Featured in Encyclopedia of Puget Sound

12/19/2017: PacMam’s recent paper, “Group characteristics, site fidelity, and photo-identification of harbor porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, in Burrows Pass, Fidalgo Island, Washington“, has been featured in The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, a comprehensive guide to the science of the Salish Sea ecosystem recovery.  Check out the feature and the rest of the articles available here.

New Paper Out: PacMam Publishes Harbor Porpoise Research

12/14/2017: We are thrilled to announce our first publication is now available online: “Group characteristics, site fidelity, and photo-identification of harbor porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, in Burrows Pass, Fidalgo Island, Washington“!  This paper describes the protocol we use to conduct photo-ID on this cryptic species, as well as the results from our last 3 years of work in Burrows Pass.

Click the link above to read the full article, or email us directly ( or for a copy.

PacMam’s Research Makes The Front Page!

09/15/2017: Reporters from the Skagit Valley Herald joined PacMam’s researchers in the field on Wednesday to find out more about our work here in Anacortes.  The article gives a great overview of our research to-date on harbor porpoises in the area and spotlights our newest “toy”, a hydrophone, which will be used to monitor background noise levels during visual observations.

Check out the article in full (and accompanying photos) here: 

New Article: STEM Camp 2017

08/23/2017: PacMam is back in the headlines!  We had the pleasure of participating in the Anacortes STEM Foundation’s “Summer STEM Camp” this year at the Anacortes Middle School and received a great write-up in the Anacortes American.  The Camp enabled 6th-8th grade students to choose two workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to participate in for 5 days during which they engaged in hands-on activities, outdoor experiences and class-based learning.  PacMam’s researchers led an “Intro to Marine Biology” class, teaching students about the entire marine environment and incorporating activities such as tidepooling, plankton building and marine mammal observations.

Read the article about our workshop in full here: , and make sure to contact us if you are interested in working with us doing workshops, presentations or hands-on learning!

Learning and Lunches

07/21/2017: Pacific Mammal Research has been out and about in the education community again, this time participating in the Anacortes Learning and Lunches program.  The program offers lessons and presentations to children and their parents on problem solving skills, desirable behavior, as well as other interesting topics such as mammal research.

Dr. Elliser pre-K talk
Dr. Elliser describes how baleen whales feed during a Learning and Lunches session.

Our Research Director Dr. Cindy Elliser has presented during two Learning and Lunches sessions, and is scheduled to present at another on August 8th 2017, engaging children in marine mammals and the importance of understanding them.

Read more about the program, how to get involved and PacMam’s participation in the following article: 

PacMam’s Photos Featured on NOAA Website

12/30/2016: Pacific Mammal Research was delighted to be asked to provide photographs of harbor porpoises to illustrate a recent story on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website.  The story highlights a study published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology documenting the re-population of the Puget Sound by harbor porpoises.  Harbor porpoises were virtually gone from the area in the 1970’s and remained absent during the 1980’s and 90’s, however a recent resurgence in their numbers indicates a recovery of the population.  This study will provide critical information for NOAA stock assessments of this species, which will assist in the continued management of the area and marine mammals.

To read the full story about this exciting change in harbor porpoise numbers (and to see PacMam’s photos!), head over to NOAA’s website here:

Back in the Headlines: New Skagit Valley Herald Article

5/18/2016: Pacific Mammal Research is back in the headlines!  Check out the latest article in the Skagit Valley Herald highlighting our ongoing work with the Anacortes schools’ life skills classes.  As well as doing active scientific research, PacMam is passionate about fostering and engaging the next generation through educational outreach.  Workshops like these provide a great opportunity to encourage young people to take an active interest in their environment, giving them both knowledge and hands-on experiences that allow them to better understand their natural surroundings.

You can read the full article here:

Skagit Valley Herald Article

10/9/2015: We made the headlines!  Check out the recent article about Pacific Mammal Research in the Skagit Valley Herald, featuring an interview with our Research Director, Dr. Cindy Elliser.  The article delves into our research on harbor porpoise and highlights the importance of understanding these little-known cetaceans, as well as noting the importance of education to pass on this knowledge interest in our environment.

For more details, check out the article here: