This week, we chatted with Katherina Audley, founder of Whales of Guerrero. Their mission is to connect people with nature through programs that inspire and empower marine stewardship and interconnection
What is your background?
- I have a Bachelor's Degree in Ancient Religion, actually! I've been a fishermen, travel writer, communications expert, sculptor, gardener, photographer, and all sorts of other things.
How does Whales of Guerrero contribute to ocean conservation?
- We have created a community of whale lovers, science nerds and nature fanatics in Southwest Pacific Mexico through a community-run whale and dolphin survey, hands on science and education programs, the development of responsible ecotourism and leadership training activities. When whales and dolphins are cared for by their local human community, the whole marine environment benefits. The awesome community where we work and live puts whales first, and the whole marine environment, along with the land-based environment are now benefitting.
How did you choose this career path?
- This career path is a beautiful synthesis of my love of community building, making big beautiful visions happen together, whales and Mexico. I've been studying whales for over 27 years, and I've been spending time with the Mexican community where my project is based for about the same amount of time, independently of my whale studies. When I realized that the local fishery was being overfished, and that my friends in the community were struggling to survive, I decided to make it my job to help by partnering with them to identify ways that they could develop responsible ecotourism options that prioritized the health and well being of both the marine wildlife and the entire community.
What is your favorite part of your job?
- My favorite part of my job is watching the people on my team and in my community grow as leaders and people and knowing I had a part in that.
What are future goals for Whales of Guerrero?
- My goal is to keep working together with our community in a way that leads our whole region to be known around the world as a place that puts nature first and people are connected and benefitting from their smart environmental and social decisions.
What advice would you give to others?
- You don't have to be a biologist to make a big difference! We need all hands on deck to reverse the direction that our planet, and especially our marine environment is going. Make a list of your passions and skills, then find organizations and people out there who inspire you and offer to help.
What gives you inspiration?
- I am refueled by meeting and talking with other people in the world doing community-based work, and all the art, science and other projects that have sprung up as a direct and indirect result of our work.
Who is your environmental hero?
- Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, David Attenborough and Barry Lopez are a few
To learn more about Whales of Guerrero and how they work to save marine mammals you can visit their website.
You can also check out our humpback whale collection that donates 20% to this great orgnization!