Learn more about all of out episodes here! You can listen to Breaching Extinction on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Beaker, Overcast, Radio Public and Podbean!
70. Human and Cetacean Communication
This week Erica chatted with Moss Landing Marine Labs masters student Jack Barkowski about his research studying the anthropogenic impacts of sound throughout the ocean as well his thoughts on issues surrounding the Southern Residents and how we can use personal accountability and science communication to help them.
Jack has graciously offered to answer any lingering questions, to talk to contact him send an email to
68. Forming an Orca-stra
In this week's episode, Erica sits down with Howard Garret and Brian Jenkins to discuss Biden's infrastructure bill, the It's About Dam Time campaign, and the Red Road to DC Initiative. Howard is a sociologist and one of the founders of Orca Network, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats. Brian the founder of Blackfin coffee and SRKW activist. We urge everyone to continue to write our senators!
69. Mugs and Mental Health
This week Erica chatted with entrepreneur and high school student Oliva Perez about her new initiative to help the Southern Residents. Oliva shows us how we can all get creative to spread positivity and help the Orcas.
61. Q & A + How I Kelp
This week we did a special Q & A episode. If you guys like these send us more questions and we'll be happy to do another. We also launched our new campaign "How I Kelp" to share all the amazing things people in our community are doing. Please send us a video via Instagram (@breachingextinction) story post or email at . No matter how big or how small your effort is we want to see what everyone is doing to kelp! Don't forget to tag us and hashtag "How I Kelp"
62. Endangered Predators & Endangered Prey
In this weeks episode Erica chats with Brad Hanson wildlife biologist at NOAA about his most recent publication Endangered predators and endangered prey: Seasonal diet of Southern Resident killer whales. They also discuss his thoughts on science and orca recovery.
63. Salmon, Our Power Cord
In this weeks episode Erica chatted with Alexandra Morton about her work conserving salmon populations. She shares her experiences with the Northern Resident Killer Whales as well as her insights on what we can do to conserve salmon along the west coast of Canada and the United States
64. Scientific Discovery on the Road to Recovery
This week Erica chatted with Lynn Barre Southern Resident Recovery Coordinator at NOAA about current efforts in place to help the SRKW's. She talks about the role of science, NOAA, and how we can help as individuals.
65. Emoceanial Currents
This week Erica chatted with Kelly Biedenweg professor at Oregon State University in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife about her publication Mixed emotions associated with orca (Orcinus orca) conservation strategies. Kelly is an interdisciplinary social scientist who evaluates conservation through the lens of psychology, anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, and other disciplines. Her study provide important insight on the role of emotions in Orca conservation.
66. It's About Dam Time
It’s time to breach the Snake River dams, for endangered orcas and salmon, climate action, and social justice. And Biden’s Infrastructure Plan is the way to do it. Brian Jenkins from Blackfin Coffee and Gloria Pancrazi from the Coextinction film & PNW Protectors chatted with Erica about the new Infrastructure Plan and how we can use it to help the Southern Residents.
Call to action:
Call and write to Senator Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell!
Here are some bullet points of what to include in your call or letter:
⁃ Biden's infrastructure Bill needs to include breaching the Snake River dams this year.
⁃ This can be done by supporting and funding Mike Simpson’s plan to remove the four lower Snake River dams, but Simpson’s plan needs to be revised to breach this year.
⁃ This is key to saving endangered chinook salmon and southern resident orcas.
⁃ Breaching the Snake River dams will create 4000-8000 long-term jobs per year.
⁃ It is also an important step toward climate action and social justice.
WA. Senator Cantwell
Phone: (202) 224-3441
Fax: (202) 228-0541
Address: 915 Second Ave., Suite 3206
Seattle, WA 98174
WA Senator Murray
Phone: (425) 259-6515
Fax: (509) 624-9561
Address: 2988 Jackson Federal Building
915 2nd Ave.
Seattle, Washington 98174
58. You Know That You're Toxic
His week Erica chatted with PNW Protectors new biologist Kendra Nelson about marine toxins an their impact on the Southern Residents. Kendra shares her knowledge and her experiences working as an influencer and biologist thus far. Follow her on tiktok and instagram @intertidalkendy
59. State of Salmon
In this weeks episode Erica chats with Erik Neatherlan about salmon recovery efforts in Washington. He shares information about the history of salmon and its importance though out the Pacific North West.
Correction: There are 14 species listed on the ESA in Washington
In this weeks episode Erica chats with Jim Whitehead, new up and coming SRKW podcasters about his experience as an activist, thoughts on the emotional value of whale, and his new podcast Seaquarium's Shame. We want to give Jim a warm whalecome to the podcast community and fish him the best!
55. Capitalism, Culture, & Orcas
This week, Erica chatted with Breaching Extinction's Cultural Resources Intern Jake Rider about his current research project with Eckerd College evaluating the impacts of capitalism and culture on our views of Orcas. They discuss in depth the impact of capitalism on commodification and public view of killer whales.
Cultural Staples in Crisis: A Historical Analysis of Southern Resident Orcas and Chinook Salmon /By, Dylan Farrell Seidler
A Puget Sound Orca in Captivity The Fight to Bring Lolita Home /By, Sandra Pollard
Native American Almanac: More Than 50,000 Years of the Cultures and Histories of Indigenous Peoples /By Dennis et al.
Lolita: Slave to Entertainment /By Tim Gorski
Sponsored by Blackfin Coffee, use promo code "BreachExtinction20" for 20% off of your first order.
57. The Orcas as our Compass
This was by far one of the most difficult episodes I have yet to record. Controversy around new whale watching regulations in Washington inspired investigation, leading to some disheartening discoveries. I discussed these findings with regular guest Gloria Pancrazi in this week's episode. She reminds us all to continue to use the Orca and truth as our compass.
References will be posted on our website in the learn more section, will update here once it is live!
52. History of Dams, Mystery of Natural Connection
In this episode Erica chats with Liam Doucet, activist and high school student from Portland, Oregon about the history of the Lower Snake River Dams as well as their current function. They expand the conversation, exploring the spiritual connection between orca and humans.
53. A Vessel for Conversation
In this weeks episode Erica chats with Shelby Nielson, PhD student studying epidemiology about a study evaluating the impact of vessel traffic on foraging behavior of the SRKW's. They discuss this study, new regulations in Washington and the recent siting of what was thought to be a long lost Norther Resident Killer Whale.
54. A Crisis with Cole
In this weeks episode Erica chats with naturalist, captain and fisherman Cole Basar about his career, fishing culture, how to be the best hypocrite and whale dreams. This episode is not recommended with minors or those who do not appreciate humor. While they do discuss serious topics, there are some jokes that may not be whale received by all audiences.
Links for info discussed:
49. Ohio, Dolly Paton & Crying about Whales
This week we had the honor of interviewing Tori Obermeyer, coproducer of the film Coextinction about her journey in the field, up coming film, Dolly Parton & events with the Southern Resident.
50. Season Fin-ally
Ending our first season with none other than Ellie Sawyer. We reflect on the last season, discuss the most current politics surrounding the SRKW's, and of course harbor seals. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this, looking forward to the start of a new season!
46. Orca Lab, Ego, & Emoceans
Gloria Pancrazi comes back on for a special episode to share her experience volunteering at Orca Lab & thoughts anthropogenic contributions to Orca conservation. Her and Erica chat about the role of ego & emotions in conservation, and ways ensure these factors have a positive impact while directly supporting our goals. This episode is another reminder, that it is the humans who need managing not the whales.
This week we took a little break from our usual discussion about the Southern Residents and intersectional environmentalism to talk to Erica Page & Kirstie Bashford from the Ocean Lovers Podcast about their recent trips out on the ocean, fun fact, internet friends & more.
48. Whale of a Woman
In this weeks Erica dives into more facets of intersectionality within the environmental field in a discussion with Erica Page, co-host of the Ocean Lovers Podcast. The Erica's talk about challenges women face in the field, personal experiences and suggest tips for creating an inclusive work environment.
40. WHALES ARE BOMBDiGGiTY
In this episode, Erica chats with one of her best friends and freshwater biologist Madi Franklin about her awesome website: https://whalesarebomdiggity.shutterfly.com/. While this episode does not provide new information about the southern residents it will hopefully provide some giggles.
41. Inflating the Orca through Policy & Leadership
Erica chats with David Merner, green party candidate running in the upcoming Canadian leadership election. He shares his philosophies on the interconnection of many of our world issues as well as his plans for helping the orca and creating a sustainable future.
42. Ghost Fish
Hereditary Chief Gigame of the Laichkwiltach Nation, George Quocksister Jr shares his knowledge and experience in regard to Canadian fisheries. He highlights the work that needs to be done on both sides of the U.S Canadian Boarder
43. Harbor Seals are doing their best
This week we are joined by Breaching Extinction alum, Ellie Sawyer on her birthday! She tells us some awesome stories from the San Juan Islands, and teaches us about the behaviors that have been seen between the different orca pods.
44. Endangered Orca
In this episode Ellie chats with founder of Orca Behavior Institute and author of Endangered Orca, Monika Wieland Shelids. They discuss Monikas path studying whales, things she has learned over the years and what they think needs to be done on preserve the Southern Residents.
45. Whale Soup
In this weeks very exciting episode, Ellie Sawyer shares her experience being on scene at the most recent super pod event where J57 was discovered. They discuss the birth of the new baby, excitement in the Salish Sea, and as always encourage everyone to continue pushing dam removal. Erica also share the story of the time she met Ronnie Vannucci Jr, drummer from The Killers. Peace, love, whales
37. Nature has Rights
In this episode, Jordan Van Voast activists working with the Seattle Cruise Control to prevent more cruise ships from entering Southern Resident Orca habitat. He shares his thoughts on how we culturally value the environment and encourages listens to stay truly connected.
38. Remove the Dams, Save Orca, Salmon & Money
Jim Waddell, founder of Damsense share how his experience working for the US Army Corps of Engineers lead him to push for dam removal. He reminds us that we can save Orca, Salmon & Money if we remove the dams this year (2020). He reminds us to ask Senators Jay Inslee, Pat Murray, Maria Cantwell & other local politicians to push for dam removal.
34. Ecotourism, Bro Buds & Jesus
In this episode Erica talks with Florida State University graduate Lindsay Hooper, about her masters thesis evaluating compliance levels of ecotourism boats in relation to NOAA's viewing guidelines. They discuss the importance of science of community involvement in sustainable ecotourism.
35. Integrating Humans Back into Nature (Orca Month)
In honor of Orca Month, Erica chatted with Orca Biologist and founder or Wild Orca Deborah Giles (featured in episode four) about the three main threats impacting the Southern Resident. The conversation focused primarily on lack of prey as it has the greatest impact. Giles reminds listeners that this problem is solvable if we act now!
31. Cultivating Connection through Creativity, Part 2
This is part 2 of our 3 part short series exploring this importance of creative expression in conservation. This week Erica chatted with Michelle Fleur , conservation artist based in western Australia about the importance of using art as a bridge to connect everyone to wildlife. She discusses her two projects, Whales for a Wild World and 200 Whales which directly support cetacean conservation efforts.
32. Cultivating Connection through Creativity, Part 3
In this final part of the Cultivating Connection through Creativity Erica talks to the fintastic Nyk Lifson about their coloring book the Fluidity of Fish. They divulge into other topics like the intersectionality of queer issues, race, economics, and environmentalism and discover they are both gay for the ocean.
33. Exploring the Intersectionality of Race and Environmentalism
This week Erica chatted with Fana Scott & Alexandria Gordon students at Eckerd College and members of the EC Afro-American Society. They shared their thoughts on combating racial issues in the environmental field and provided insight for cultivating inclusivisity.
29. Know, Connect, Protect
In this week’s episode we interview Joe Gaydos, science director of The Sea Doc Society. Joe is a veterinarian by training, he now works better understand and connect to the environment through science and community connection. He shared the importance of connecting the community to the environment and discusses some of the challenges faced when working to preserve ocean habitat. Reminding us that while challenging, these endeavors achievable and worth it.
30. Cultivating Connection through Creativity, Part 1
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series, showcasing the the bridge between people and science through art. In this episode, Erica chats with Rosmary Connelli of Connllie Designs about her work as a conservation artist, the importance of art, and its roll in accessible science based education.
26. Emulate to Eliminate Extinction
In this episode, Erica interviews Snow McCormick and Cy Scammell co-founders of PNW Protectors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Salish Sea and its inhabitants through education, science and empowerment. They share the inspiring story of how the got involved working to conserve and the magic that has come out of being connected to this community. They elaborate on their mission, current projects and thoughts on how best to save the SRKW's.
27. Sanctuaries, Science & Advocacy
In this episode Erica explores ideas about cetacean brains, the whale sanctuary project and the relationship between science and advocacy with Neurobiologist Lori Marino. Lori is the President of The Whale Sanctuary Project and Executive Director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy. She has spent over two decades to dedicated to understanding the behavior of cetaceans in captivity through research, which she has used as a platform for Animal Advocacy.
22. Shedding Light on Parasites
Erica explores the world of parasite ecology with marine mammal researcher Natalie Mastick. They discuss her current project assessing parasite prevalence in killer whales, her partnership with Oceans Initiative, & work with the Women in Marine Mammal Science project. She encourages those of you feeling inspired to contribute to marine mammal science to donate to Oceans Initiative.
23. We Need to Connect in Order to Protect
In this episode Erica interviews Orca Network Co-Founder & Director, Howard Garrett about his life's work understanding and conserving the Southern Resident Killer Whales. He shares thoughts and experiences which have led him to dedicate his time working to connect people to the whales, and return Tokitae (Lolita) back to her family.
In this episode Erica interviews Heather Green, an author and intuitive healer about the spiritual elements of conservation, and human-animal relationships. Heather earned a bachelors degree in Nursing from Clarke College and went onto pursue a masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She spent thirteen years working as a registered nurse and several years as a counselor before transitioning into her current role. She elaborates on why spirituality plays an important role in conservation and what she thinks we can learn from the whales. (Correction: Erica meant to say Noah's Arc not Joan of Arc)
In this episode Erica interviews Biola University Communication graduate Emily Castro about effective communication skills when sharing science and navigating social media while (orca)hestrating dissemination of accurate information.
20. March to Avoid Extinction
In this episode Erica interviews Gloria Pancrazi, co-founder of the Coextinction film and organizer for the March for the Dams. This discuss the importance of taking action and unpack Glorias motivation behind the movement. We are again reminded that this is a group project and urge people to join the movment!
16. Exploring the Role of Photography in Education
In this episode we interviewed wild life photographers and educators Gary Sutton and Tasli Shaw discussed their role in conservation through photography, education and art. They share their thoughts on the whale watch industry, environmental stressors impacting the souther residents as well as personal experiences.
17. Act to Avoid Extinction
Ellie interviews filmmakers Michael Peterson and Steven Hawley, the director and writer of the acclaimed documentary, Dammed to Extinction in this week’s episode. They discuss the politics surrounding the dams, the frustrations of process, and the hope they still have for an ecosystem on the brink.
18. Research Survey with Adelaidee Fouache
In this episode, Adelaidee Fouache's masters student from the Swedish University of Agriculture studying Environmental Communications and Management interviews Erica for her thesis evaluating the human side of SRKW conservation, giving listeners the unique opportunity to experience part of the scientific process.
13. Southern Resident Recovery in San Juan County
This week we had the opportunity to interview Dr. Frances Robertson, leader of the SRKW recovery efforts in San Juan County. She discusses her role within the country, projects she’s worked on and thoughts on how we can all contribute to helping recover the species.
14. The Moral of the Story: Interview with Nature Novelist Barry Swanson
This week we interviewed Barry Swanson author of the book Lost Frequency and founder of the Salish Sea Orca Squad. He discusses the inspiration behind writing his book and starting his non-profit, shares personal experiences with the southern residents and explores potential theories relating to killer whale conservation.
15. It's Humans We Need to Manage Not Whales
In this episode, we interview leading researcher in marine mammal protection areas, Erich Hoyt. Erich has written several books including Orca: the whale called killer & Creatures of the deep. He has helped develop the International Committee of Marine Mammal Protected Areas and the Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force. He shares his experiences and findings and thoughts on what makes marine mammal protection areas successful.
4. How Puppies and Poop Help Us Understand Whales
Deborah Giles, killer whale research director for Wild Orca and professor the University of Washington discusses her experiences studying the southern residents and further explains complexities of the salmon crisis in the Salish Sea. Through work with Conservation Canines, she has contributed to cutting edge research challenging traditional research practices while furthering our understanding of cetaceans.
5. Looking Through the Lens of a Boat Captains Binoculars
Exceptional whale watch boat captain and naturalist Paul Weatherford shares insight and stories accumulated after spending over a decade in the industry. Paul expresses opinions and concerns with continual changes throughout the ecosystem, industry, and political landscape influencing southern residents. With hopes that his first child due later this month, will have the privilege of seeing southern residents he urges the removal of dams and encourages people to educate themselves about environmental issues and exercise their right to vote.
6. Aversion to Adapting Failed Conservation Efforts Leading to Further Decline of Salmon and SRKW's
Award winning director and producer Josh 'Bones' Murphy, talks about his new documentary Aritifishal which focuses on the exploring the long term impact of salmon hachteries. We discuss the implications of human involvement in salmon reproduction on behavior and survivability of Salmon and SRKW's. He expresses his concern for peoples lack of faith in nature and urges removal of dams.
10. Check in and Pod Goals
In this tenth episode, Erica and Ellie take time to check in and evaluate the goals of this podcast as well as reiterate the issues remaining with the 73 Southern Residents, emphasizing the need for accessibility, checking one’s privilege, and learning how to be empathetic.
11. Removing Our Cognitive and Physical Dams
This week we chatted with author, psychologist and founder of the Kerulos Center for Nonviolence Dr. Gay Bradshaw, who shares her experiences studying animals and what she has learned in the process. She encourages people to evaluate their perceptions of animals and remove their internal dams in an effort to conserver and understand. To learn more, check out her books Talking with Bears, Carnivore Minds and Elephants on the Edge.
12. The Most Watched Whales in the World
This week we had the privilege of talking to Taylor Shedd, program coordinator for Soundwatch, an organization dedicated to understanding and bettering the relationship between whales and water vessels. He dives into the history of the organization as well as its current role in the community and research findings.
7. Exploring Environmental Economics
8. It Takes a Village to Save a Species
Whale and Dolphin Conservation's Rekkos Orca Fellow, Colleen Weiler discusses her role in Southern Resident conservation, as wel as the mission of WDC. We explore the concept of the ecological whale and its role in environmental health. She encourages everyone to do their part and start somewhere!
9. Media Causing Waves of Change
Director of the film, Blackfish Effect, Bianca Uyen talks about her film, exploring the ripples of change that occurred after the release of the film, Blackfish. She shares her thoughts on captivity and experience with the Southern Residents this past spring.