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Marc Webber

Marc Webber

Cetacean Field Research Associate

The world’s marine and freshwater habitats are undergoing rapid change, and the conservation and protection of marine mammals has never been more important than now. My work is focused on understanding the effect of these changes on marine mammals through research and sharing that information through publications, education, and outreach.

Marc Webber recently retired from a 30-year career with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the National Wildlife Refuge and Marine Mammals Management programs. His last assignment was as Deputy Manager of the 4-million-acre Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to more than 60 percent of North America’s breeding seabirds and provides habitat for numerous pinniped species including an endangered population of Steller sea lions and threatened populations of polar bears and northern sea otters.

Marc is an Adjunct Instructor in Biology at the Kachemak Bay Campus of the University of Alaska in Homer, and is a member of the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network. He worked extensively with stranded marine mammals in Alaska from 2010-2020 and at The Marine Mammal Center from 1976-1992. He is also a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences.

His field research includes work on small cetaceans including harbor porpoises, bottlenose and dusky dolphins, and pinnipeds, including Hawaiian monk seals, Pacific walrus, California sea lions and northern fur seals. Current research is on the cetaceans of the San Francisco Bay Area: harbor porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, gray whales and humpback whales, and he continues his lifelong fascination with pinnipeds through several ongoing projects.

Marc has also led natural history expeditions in Antarctica, the Arctic, South America, off the California coast, and in Baja and the Gulf of California. Marc has worked as an observer and Cetacean Identification Specialist for the National Marine Fisheries Service on survey cruises in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. In the Arctic, he has been a Marine Mammal Observer on Coast Guard icebreakers from Greenland to Alaska, flown aerial surveys for walrus in the Bering and Chukchi seas, and traveled to Russia to collaborate on walrus research.

Marc is a co-author of “Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to their Identification" (Academic Press, 2008 & 2015) along with chapters in other books and peer-reviewed papers in journals.

Areas of Expertise

  • Field Identification and Global Distribution of Marine Mammals
  • Vessel, Aerial and Shore-Based Marine Mammal Surveys
  • Marine Mammal Conservation
  • Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises of San Francisco Bay Area

Recent Publications