Research biologist John Calambokidis will highlight his work tracking the movements and estimating the populations of blue and humpback whales in the North Pacific during the “From Shore to Sea” lecture Tuesday at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and the following night at the Ventura Harbor, in two free lectures.

Calambokidis will unveil recent findings on the behavior of blue whales in the Santa Barbara Channel shipping lanes, and strategies for avoiding ship strikes. His lecture will include footage of blue whales obtaining during the filming of a National Geographic special that aired in March.

Blue whales, an endangered species with an estimated population of just 2,000, are found in higher concentrations off California than in any other location in the world.

Additionally, in his presentation, Calambokidis will chart the abundance of humpback whales in the entire North Pacific Ocean using photo-identification data.

He is a principal investigator for an international humpback whale research project known as SPLASH (Structure of Populaations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks) and works with more than 400 scientists from 10 countries.

Calambokidis, co-founder of Cascadia Research, served as the principal investigator of more than 50 research studies on marine mammals, marine birds and pollution. He has co-authored more than 60 papers in scientific journals and two books: The award-winning “A Guide to Marine Mammals of the Greater Puget Sound,” and “Blue Whales.”

He is an adjunct faculty member of Evergreen State College in Olympia.

The “Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, with generous support from the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. The purpose of the series is to further the understand of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters.

The lectures will take place at 7 p.m. on both Tuesday at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way in the Santa Barbara Harbor, and Wednesday at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open the public.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at

Laurie Jervis

Laurie Jervis, Noozhawk Columnist

Laurie Jervis can be reached at The opinions expressed are her own.