Deborah Giles, research scientist for Sam Wasser's University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology, was featured in an article on KUOW about Pacific Northwest whales and whether they are benefiting from the current drop in boat traffic due to the pandemic. Giles, along with scat detection dog Eba, locate whale scat for collection.
“Specifically right now, we’re interested in looking at stress levels,” Giles said in a brief interview as she was leaving Snug Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington, on Friday. “Hopefully, at some point being able to compare them with stress levels in fecal samples collected at other times of the year and possibly even next year to see whether or not this low-boat data is having an impact.”
A specially trained dog stood in the bow of Giles’ boat to help her locate whale scat for collection. Giles teaches at the University of Washington as well as serves as research director for the nonprofit Wild Orca.