orca with spy hopping, head out of water


Jill Hein, SWS Class of 2005, Naturalist, Photographer

Speaker: Jill Hein became involved with the marine mammal community upon moving to Whidbey Island full time in 2004. As a Steward, Jill has recorded over 12,000 volunteer hours. From 2006 through the present, Jill is a certified naturalist, volunteers as a naturalist on whale watch boats, is a member of the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network, helps with educational events at fairs and many workshops etc, contributes to research (mostly through photography) with humpback whales, gray whales and our local orcas, both Southern Residents and Biggs killer whales, and she takes phenomenal nature pictures. She’s been an Orca Network Board Member for over 10 years. Jill was named the Jan Holmes Volunteer of the Year Award in 2014 by Island County Marine Resources Committee.


  • Take a 2-minute virtual tour of the Langley Whale Center, from Orca Network  (on YouTube) – Langley Whale Center needs volunteer docents if you are interested in volunteering in person. Ask Kris Holley if you can shadow her for a day. 
  • Visit the Coupeville Wharf to see Rosie, the gray whale skeleton along with beautifully designed interactive displays of marine mammals and Salish Sea species.
  • Visit the Cama Beach State Park Welcome Center on Camano Island and look up to find a sea lion skeleton hanging from the ceiling. Sound Water Stewards cleaned and re-assembled the vertebrae and bones before it was hung. 
  • Explore Langley Whale Center & Orca Network (the best way to stay in touch with the latest info is on their Facebook pages)
  • Orca Network Sightings Page
  • Cascadia Research Collective
  • Center for Whale Research
  • Orca Behavior Institute – Southern Resident and Transient Killer Whale Research in the Salish Sea


  • Find recent sightings on Facebook pages for Orca NetworkCamano Whale WatchersPort Susan Whale Watchers (some FB groups require you to join)
  • Happywhale engages citizen scientists to identify individual marine mammals, for fun and for science – on your own citizen science.
  • NOAA Webinar: What the orcas teach us: the southern residents’ battle against extinction and state of our watersheds featuring award-winning Seattle Times journalist, Lynda Mapes. (one hour) 
  • Burke Museum – Cetacea classifications for Marine Mammals of Washington 
  • Encyclopedia of Puget Sound – Mammals 
  • Scroll down inside the Volunteer Video Library to find the recorded presentation on Humpback Whales of the Salish Sea with Erin Johns Gless

More Classes on this day

Crab Lifecycle, Derelict Gear, Preserving the Resource
5-18-2023: Don Velasquez, WDFW, provides an overview of the biology, ecology, and complex nature of the Puget Sound Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) fishery.
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