News from the President and Board

Meet SMM President, Charles Littnan

I received my BSc. in Marine Biology from TAMUG in 1998 and my PhD. in Environmental Sciences from Macquarie University in 2004. For the last 15 years, I have worked for NMFS undertaking research and conservation actions to support the recovery of endangered Hawaiian monk seals. As a 20-year SMM member I have been an active scientific contributor and tried to help our research and conservation community continue to mature. I had the privilege to sit on the SMM Board for 6 years as the inaugural chair of the Ethics Committee – collaborating with members to develop our code of professional ethics and marine mammal handling guidelines and facilitating discussions on challenging topics. As President I would help the SMM continue our growth and influence on global marine mammal conservation issues. We need to accelerate and expand our ongoing efforts to apply rigorous science to address the numerous ongoing and looming conservation challenges marine mammals face. I believe we can do this in several ways including:

1.  Using our conferences, journal, and other forums to host more open and productive dialogs on the types of bold interventions, and their inherent risks, that may need to be undertaken to inform our future decisions.

2.  Increasing long-term research and management capacity in priority regions through professional development by instituting training programs/degrees in collaboration with outside NGOs, Agencies, and academic institutions.

3.  Engaging with terrestrial and aquatic research conservation programs by facilitating greater inclusion and information exchange between several IUCN Species Survival Commission Groups and international conservation societies.

We have faced many conservation challenges for our species. We have had some successes but have lost, and continue to lose, far too much. Our community needs to learn from our past experiences and be well-prepared to wisely and steadfastly face the many challenges ahead.

 

November 12, 2020

Discussion Panel on Unpaid Positions in Science

Dear Colleagues, We all agree that our marine mammal community, and science in general, benefits from increased diversity. We all agree that barriers to diversity and inclusiveness, where they exist, should be dismantled. In July 2020, the SMM received a petition requesting that the Society no longer post unpaid positions on our job board, as […]

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October 13, 2020

SMM Changing Policies to Allow for Stipends in Small Grant in Aid of Research Program

The Society for Marine Mammalogy is pleased to announce a substantive change to its Small Grant in Aid of Research (SGIAR) program. Beginning with the 2021 funding cycle, applicants can request a portion of the award to be allocated as a stipend. Specifically, SGIAR guidelines now allow applicants to provide “a detailed one-year, itemized budget […]

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August 30, 2020

SMM Strategic Planning

Aloha SMM Members- The Society for Marine Mammalogy began its journey some five decades ago. Our first focus was bringing marine mammal professionals together on a regular basis to share our science- thus our biennial conferences were born. Following that publication of Marine Mammal Science, our flagship science product, was started to disseminate our science […]

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Update on the Society’s Virtual Conversation on Unpaid Internships

Aloha Everyone- Just wanted to post a short update to let you know that the planning is still going on for the our digital meeting to continue the conversation on unpaid internships.  My original hope was to have it happen in August but we have passed that deadline. We have pulled together most of the […]

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July 21, 2020

Update Regarding Petition Related to Unpaid Internships

I wanted to put out a quick update on behalf of the Society for Marine Mammalogy Board regarding the petition related to unpaid internships and the subsequent discussion on MARMAM and beyond.   It is encouraging to see ongoing dialogue and the evolution of various positions as more voices and perspectives engage on the issue. At […]

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