The WLC is pleased to welcome Molly Fraser to the team!

Learn more about Molly Fraser and how she will help fulfill the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council’s mandate. Click play to view the short interview, or read the transcript below.

Molly:

A little bit about my background is I completed a Master’s of science in the geography department in 2020 from the University of Victoria and my thesis focused on improving the understanding of small vessel interactions around humpback whales and killer whales, both Southern resident killer whales and Bigg’s Killer Whales in the Salish sea. So once I finished my Masters I moved towards, doing some contract work for the last year and a bit. I started off doing a contract with Environment and Climate Change Canada, and I was a data analyst. As a data analyst what I did was I worked on analyzing land-based camera data. That was all within Southern resident killer whale, critical habitat. And essentially the project was to look at the fishing vessel density in these key areas. After I went from my contract with Environment and Climate Change Canada, I moved into a contract with the Marine Education and Research Society located out of Port McNeil.

So we relocated and I spent my time up there as a data analyst and a Marine Educator. So as I started my time at the Marine Education & Research Society, my position was as a data analyst and Marine educator. The work I did was I worked on IDingand humpback whales. By people sending in photos of their whales, I was able to identify individuals with that photo. We also worked on entanglement work and educational campaigns for the public about voter awareness and impacts. 

Interviewer: What’s your role at the WLC?

Molly:

My role at the WLC is as a Marine biologist for the was W̱SÁNEĆ Southern Resident Killer Whale Monitoring Program. I will be helping put together a multi-year Southern Resident Killer Whale Monitoring Program that will help support the Leadership Council’s objectives and their new guardianship program.

Interviewer: What do you hope to accomplish during your contract?

Molly:

What I would hope to accomplish is being able to contribute to having a very strong and self-sufficient monitoring and guardianship program that would allow the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council to achieve conservation initiatives that are meaningful to the W̱SÁNEĆ people within their territories. That’s the main thing I want to focus on. And of course, working and collaborating with other organizations on Southern Resident Killer Whale conservation initiatives is something that I hope to accomplish as well, and just continue working on all the hard work that’s already been done. I’m on contract in my position until March of 2022, with the possibility of an extension.

Interviewer: What do you do when you’re not working?

So I’m a big whale nerd, even on my time off. I love to spend a lot of my time in the outdoors, love to do land-based whale-watching whenever possible. So I love to get into the outdoors. I love hiking. Kayaking is something I love dearly to do and walking my dog.


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