Victoria Souze

Naturalist

Victoria is currently director for the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to responding to marine mammal strandings and the welfare of marine mammals. After completing her studies in fisheries and wildlife at Grays Harbor College and marine biology at Western Washington University, she moved to Lummi Island, a small island that is part of the San Juan Islands in Washington State. For the past two decades she has worked as a marine naturalist on tour boats with an emphasis on the endangered Southern Resident killer whales in the Salish Sea, a region that encompasses the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia (Canada). In 2009 this area was officially renamed the Salish Sea in honor of the Coast Salish native tribes who have lived there for thousands of years.

Victoria feels it is very important to educate the public about the delicate ecosystem in the islands and how it affects the wildlife. In the off-season, she spends time attending conferences and workshops with an emphasis on marine mammal health. She conducts presentations for the public and goes into the classrooms of Whatcom County to educate the local children about the marine mammals in the Salish Sea.

An avid birdwatcher, Victoria leads birdwatching tours in the Salish Sea and is also an active member of the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists based out of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

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