Welcoming a new staff member to OCR

This week Kathi Koontz began working with us in our new office in San Rafael, CA. She comes on with the title “Program Director” but as we all do here, Kathi wears a lot of hats. I’ve known her as part of the Bay Area ocean conservation community for quite a few years, and was pretty excited when we met up a couple of months ago at an American Cetacean Society meeting when she indicated that she was looking for work.

I had known her as a project manager and production coordinator for the California Academy of Sciences, and I knew she was affiliated with the Marine Mammal Center (MMC). What I didn’t know was how far her sleeves were rolled up around the MMC, where she is supervisor for the MMC special rescue operation team. And as the Northern California lead for the National Marine Fisheries Service Whale Entanglement Team she’s participated in coordinating and disentangling whales that have run afoul of fishing gear and crab and lobster traps. (Actually it is a whale disentanglement team, but WDT is a lousy acronym.)

I also didn’t know Kathi was such a fabulous presenter until I saw her in action at the SF Chapter of the American Cetacean Society presenting on her whale disentanglement work where she had everybody jumping through hoops reenacting a whale entanglement response.

kathi-disentangleShe comes on board as OCR moves into our new office space – stewarding our expansion into a greater public presence. We’re planning some events, presentations, and installations that we hope will invigorate the public conversation about ocean noise pollution. (We’re also planning a big office-warming party on April 19 – so save the date!)

We’re honored to have Kathi as a partner in OCR and are excited about what her talents will bring to our mission. Stay Tuned!