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A Photographer's Passion for Orcas

Citizen scientist Marla Smith is helping to track the orca whales in Washington state's Puget Sound

By Lisa Berglund and iPondr

As a professional photographer, Marla Smith understands the importance of capturing moments and she's using that skill to help scientists and researchers track endangered Southern Resident Orcas in Washington state's Puget Sound.

"I have a deep love for orcas and want to do anything I can to help their plight," she says.

Smith volunteers for Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network. Her photos are sent to the Center for Whale Research and other research agencies to help them understand more about whale behavior, foraging and distribution patterns.

During the pandemic, the network of orca-sighting volunteers shrank, which worries Smith. Now she's doing what she can to make up for lost time.

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Editor’s note: This piece was originally published on iPondr.

Contributor Lisa Berglund
Lisa Berglund is an award winning videographer, editor, producer and storyteller. Berglund was the first woman to earn the National Press Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year award. She is the only female videographer to receive this honor in the 50 years it has been presented. Read More
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