Team Members

Nancy Black

Nancy Black

CEO & Director for CKWP

Nancy's goal for California Killer Whale Project is to continue studying these social and dynamic whales off of California and help to preserve their population.

Pierce O'Hearn

Pierce O'Hearn

Public Relations/Social Media & Marketing

Pierce is excited to do his part in helping out California Killer Whales, and use his advertising background for a great cause. In his free time, you'll likely find Pierce riding his bike or taking pictures.

Colleen Talty

Colleen Talty

Research Biologist & Secretary

Colleen’s goal for California Killer Whale Project is to continue helping to conserve this unique population of Killer Whales and to educate the public on the importance of these apex predators.

Cristal Cardenas

Cristal Cardenas

Website Designer

Cristal was overjoyed and honored to play a part in this wonderful nonprofit organization. Her goal is to spread awareness on these beautiful cetaceans and what they are capable of overcoming in this ever-changing world.

Kevin Talty

Kevin Talty

CFO & Treasurer

Kevin said "I always wanted to find a way to connect my professional life with my passion of ocean and environment. Killer Whales are amazing and beautiful animals. I want to do my part in helping to make sure they stick around!”

Bradley Vanston

Bradley Vanston

Research Assistant

Bradley began work in 2019 as a research assistant under the supervision of Nancy Black and Colleen Talty at Monterey Bay Whale Watch, which solidified her interest in this field of study and these incredible mammals!

Ken Balcomb

Ken Balcomb

Scientific Advisor

Ken founded the non-profit Center for Whale Research in 1985 and is its volunteer Executive Director and NWFSC contract Principal Investigator of Orca Survey. Ken is a Charter Member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

Alisa Schulman-Janiger

Alisa Schulman-Janiger

Lead Research Biologist

Alisa is on NOAA's Stranding Response Team and Large Whale Entanglement Response Team. She has authored/co-authored many scientific papers on cetaceans, and has been featured in several nature documentaries.

Tomoko Shimotomai

Tomoko Shimotomai

Research Assistant

Tomoko's goal is to help the well-being of killer whales of our coast in any way she can.

Jared Towers

Jared Towers

Scientific Advisor

Jared has published several scientific articles, and in addition to conducting conservation based field research also responds to cetacean incidents such as entanglements, entrapments, and strandings.