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Kim Shelden


Research Biologist


Marine Mammal Laboratory





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

Current Activities

Kim Shelden's current research focuses on the status and habitat requirements of bowhead whales, gray whales, beluga whales, and North Pacific right whales. This includes monitoring the abundance, trends, distribution and movements of these marine mammals to ensure their continued conservation and recovery under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. This research takes place in Alaska and Arctic waters with excursions to the warmer central California coast for the winter gray whale census.


Kim has worked for the Alaska Fisheries Science Center since 1989. Before joining the AFSC she earned a B.S. in environmental science/marine studies from Rutgers University Cook College, New Jersey, after completing a senior project studying “greeting ceremonies” between Southern Resident killer whales. While working full-time at NMML, Kim earned a M.M.A. in marine policy/conservation biology from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs. Her thesis focused on selecting recovery criteria for bowhead whales and received the Donald L. McKernan Award for outstanding thesis. Kim received a Department of Commerce group Bronze Medal award in 2002 and 2005 for her work on the conservation of Cook Inlet beluga whales. She also received the National Association of Environmental Professionals Award for NEPA Excellence in 2003 for her contributions to the Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures Environmental Impact Statement. In 2005, she received the NOAA General Counsel’s award for contributions toward the designation of North Pacific right whale critical habitat.

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