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Title: Sea Otter Biologist (15 minutes)
Producer: Gary Hochman

“I grew up around cattle and horses. When I took the job here in Alaska and started working with sea otters, it was a very new environment for me. All of a sudden, I was in boats and we didn’t have fences or gates in which we could close the animals in.”
–Brenda Ballachey

Brenda Ballachey

U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Brenda Ballachey travels Alaska’s Prince William Sound to study the living habits and survival of sea otters following the catastrophic spill of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker. Brenda takes viewers on a research boat to observe otter behavior, then up in a plane to track the movement of otters using radio transmitters, and finally underwater where divers collect shellfish specimens. Brenda plots all her research data on computers, collaborates with other researchers, and mentors two women who are pursuing careers in marine biology.



Introduction to the Video

Alaska's wide open spaces are an ideal setting for a vast variety of wildlife. But the region's enormous size and rugged conditions do present a challenge for those who want to know how wild animals live and what happens when they share their space with people.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9909496.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and
do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).