Special Guest Speaker

Toby Stephenson

Toby Stephenson is a passionate educator and naturalist. In 1991 he began teaching environmental science and leading wilderness expeditions in the Appalachian Mountains of New England and throughout the coastal Maine islands of the US. In 1995 he began his marine mammal studies at the College of the Atlantic where he worked on humpback whale identification. Shortly following he began guiding whale and seabird tours to remote nesting islands and offshore feeding grounds, as well as becoming and Endangered Species Observer for NOAA. In 2001 he obtained his USCG license and since 2011 has captained a research vessel for the College of the Atlantic, where he teaches navigation, safety, and small boat operations.

Toby has a particular interest in anatomy and has dissected dozens of marine mammals, from fin whales to harbor seals, as well as assembling several whale skeletons for private and public exhibitions. As Captain of the M.V. Osprey, he leads summer research trips in the Gulf of Maine dedicated to population and health studies for minke, humpback, and fin whales, and flies drones to assess health and fitness of whales in this same project.