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.


February 17, 2022

The Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) announces six conservation awards totaling $140K!

The Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) announces six conservation awards totaling $140K! Over the past several years the SMM has raised money for a newly created Conservation Fund. The purpose of this endowment fund is to support research and education projects worldwide that can help catalyze real conservation action to save the world’s most endangered […]

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February 3, 2022

Recording of February 2, 2022 Inter-Conference Members’ Meeting

Aloha Everyone. Thanks to all of our members that were able to join us for the live portion of the member’s meeting.  For those of you that were unable to make it you can know watch the meeting on demand at the link below.  The topics on the agenda were the following: Welcome and 2021 […]

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January 18, 2022

Members’ Meeting Reminder: February 2, 2022 at 18:00 GMT

Aloha SMM Members- This is a reminder that we will be hosting our Members’ Meeting online next week. We will give an update on our budget, explain some changes to our governing documents that will be on the March ballot, announce the winners for our inaugural Conservation Fund grants, and more.  We will also share […]

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January 5, 2022

SMM Inter-Conference Members Meeting – February 2nd 1800 GMT

Aloha and Happy New Year SMM Members- The delay of the conference means we are overdue for an update to our members.  We would like to kick off the new year with an inter-conference meeting to give an update on our budget, explain some changes to our governing documents that will be on the March […]

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November 18, 2021

Welcome to our new Ethics Committee Chair,  Dr. Karen Stockin and Aloha to Dr. Paul Nachtigall

Aloha, Dr. Paul Nachtigall will be stepping down after five years of guiding the SMM Ethics Committee.  His legacy of commitment to the SMM is worth mentioning again.  He presented his doctoral work at Ken Norris’ meeting in Santa Cruz in 1975, setting in motion  his strong involvement at the founding meeting in San Francisco […]

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