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Christy Sims




Marine Mammal Laboratory





Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center/NOAA
7600 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115-6349

Current Activities

Christy Sims' current research involves photo-analysis of Alaska’s Cook Inlet belugas and North Pacific humpback whales. She oversees the analysis of aerial survey video taken to estimate population abundance and detect and monitor calves of the Cook Inlet beluga population. Her humpback research includes analyzing and matching humpback images and data from various field surveys and compiling a Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program (CAEP) humpback photo-identification catalog. In addition to the analysis of video and photographic data, Christy designs and maintains databases of humpback and beluga sightings and participates in annual field work.


After earning a B.S. in zoology from Texas A&M University in 1996, Christy volunteered for a Ph.D. student working on coral reef fish identification and abundance. In 1997, she volunteered for graduate students of Professor Berndt Würsig, assisting on field projects and photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins. Christy moved to Seattle in 1998 and began working with CAEP working on killer whale photo-identification. She earned her master’s degree at the University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs in 2001. For her thesis, Christy analyzed conservation measures and management policies as applied to southern resident killer whales.

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