Whale Project benefit to be held Feb. 26 at UAS

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2009

JUNEAU - The Whale Project will hold a benefit at 7 p.m. Thursday in the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall. There is no charge, but donations will go to the Whale Project sculpture and fountain by R.T. "Skip" Wallen for Juneau's waterfront.

David Sheakley / Juneau Empire.
David Sheakley / Juneau Empire.

Ginny Jurasz Palmer, a pioneer whale observer, will be the featured speaker, followed by a showing of the film "Cry of the Bubble Warriers," by the Alaska Whale Foundation.

Palmer is a retired research associate and management analyst who moved to Alaska 1966. She and her first husband, Charles Jurasz, started doing research with humpback whales in Southeast Alaska in 1968 on their boat the R/V Gingur. Their research was continuous from 1968 to 1981.

During this early research they defined and described several recognizable behaviors, including the now well-known bubble net, and established numbers for the whale populations in Southeast Alaska.

They were pioneers in developing and identifying individual whales by using pigment patterns on the underside of the humpback's flukes.

All of the Jurasz's identification slides were donated to National Marine Fisheries Service to assist in identity, location and longevity data for the Pacific humpback whales. To view the on line data regarding identification of humpback whales, see www.afsc.noaa.gov/ABL/Humpback/JuneauCatalog.htm.

For more information about the "Cry of the Bubble Warriers" film, visit www.alaskawhalefoundation.org/.

For more information about the Whale Project or to donate online, visit the Juneau Arts & Humanities Web site at www.jahc.org/events.php and scroll to the bottom. To listen to Jeff Brown's interview with Ginny Jurasz Palmer on KTOO, tune in at 3 p.m. today on KTOO 104.3 FM or online at KTOO.org.

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