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.

 

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

June 4, 2020

A Letter to the Community Regarding Racial Injustice

Dear Marine Mammal Science Community, A core tenet of the Society for Marine Mammalogy is that our science is strengthened by the participation of people representing all ages, races, national, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. Our science is at its best when all voices are at the table. […]

Read more

August 1, 2019

Call for 2023 SMM Conference Venue Hosts

Aloha SMM Community- One of my responsibilities for the Society is to bring to the membership options for the venue for our 2023 Biennial (as a reminder 2021 will be in Florida). As we have in the past, we are reaching out to the membership to engage with groups who may wish to host the conference […]

Read more