Director, Senior Scientist
Sea Otter Savvy
Since 2001, Gena has worked as a sea otter biologist, studying sea otters in such wide ranging locations as the Aleutian Islands, Russia’s Commander Islands, San Nicolas Island off the coast of Southern California, and along the Central California coast. She studied zoology and marine biology at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and obtained her master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz under Dr. James Estes. After years of studying sea otters in the wild, Gena has learned much about their unique biology and behavior, and witnessed first-hand the chronic nature of disturbance to sea otters by human recreation activities. In early 2014, together with members of the Southern Sea Otter Research Alliance, she first began to pursue the idea of organizing a program specifically dedicated to alleviating this chronic disturbance through education. Gena now coordinates the Sea Otter Savvy program and reaches out to the central coast communities of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz counties and is a Research Affiliate at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.
Listen to an interview with Gena on the Projects for Wildlife Podcast:
Science Communication Director, Research Scientist
Sea Otter Savvy
André Hoffman Fellow in Big Ocean Data
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and World Economic Forum Ocean Action Agenda
Kate’s research focuses on stakeholders’ knowledge, attitudes, and decision-making in complex governance of oceans and climate. Kate holds an MSc in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Public Policy and Management from the University of Washington. Her passion for understanding the conditions that facilitate sustainable human interaction with the natural world springs from decades spent living in varied areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the Monterey Bay area, where she participated in Southern sea otter field research led by Gena Bentall and coordinated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Sea Otter Savvy Ambassador
Harry the beagle has 8 years of sea otter research experience and has spent many hours in the field studying sea otters (and ground squirrels). He now monitors disturbance and works as an ambassador for Sea Otter Savvy and sea otter biologists. He is a beloved member of our citizen science team!