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Catherine Kinsman founded the
Whale Stewardship Project in 1998 in answer to the need for protection, education and research on behalf of a solitary sociable beluga whale in Nova Scotia. With funding support from the general public and approval from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, she designed and implemented an effective program that helped to minimize dangers to the whale through encouraging respectful and responsible conduct by whale watchers. As Project Director, Catherine has since built on that success and experience for the benefit of several other unique  beluga whales and communities in Atlantic Canada, most recently in Newfoundland & Labrador.


Catherine's cetacean work began in 1990 with her independent study of whales and dolphins in Canada, New Zealand and USA. For nearly two years in Florida, Catherine participated in a program to rehabilitate previously captive bottlenose dolphins for return to their native waters. In addition to daily care of up to six dolphins, she assisted with readaptation protocols. While in New Zealand, Catherine investigated human/dolphin swim operations and completed a course with Project Jonah in whale stranding and rescue.


Catherine has been privileged since 1995 to know as friend, colleague and mentor, Dr. Toni Frohoff, one of the world's leading behavioural biologists specializing in human-dolphin interactions. Under the direction of Dr. Frohoff, Cathy began her behavioural  research training in a two-year study for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), which looked at high-risk interaction between humans and captive dolphins in North American petting/feeding pools. Her contribution to this project included scoring (analyzing) videotape data, writing and assisting Dr. Frohoff with development of a behavioural catalogue. The study results have been incorporated into a recent report by WDCS and the Humane Society of the United States. Catherine has also co-authored scientific publications on solitary sociable beluga whales.


Catherine's passion for whales and dolphins encompasses a wide range of expression from music composition, film making and painting, to popular and scientific writing. Her work  has been featured in several documentaries internationally. She is also writer and co-producer of  her own educational documentary film Where Whales and Humans Meet , which garnered three awards in the categories of  education and human/animal interaction at the 2000 International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. She is a contributing author in the anthology entitled, Between Species: A Celebration of the Dolphin-Human Bond, edited by Toni Frohoff and Brenda Peterson, published May 2003 by Sierra Club Books. Catherine's commitment  to sharing important information about marine life and the environment is evident through the many presentations she gives in schools, universities and other institutions.

 

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Catherine (Cathy) Kinsman, Project Director