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IMATA Contributes Over $7,000 to Conservation

IMATA's Research & Conservation Fund has donated $7,486.50 to the National Marine Mammal Foundation's (NMMF) "Ridgway Fund." The fund was created in honor of Dr. Sam Ridgway, a pioneer in the field of marine mammal science and veterinary medicine. IMATA's donation supports cutting-edge research that protects wild dolphins, whales and other marine mammals, funds bold conservation work to save critically endangered species, makes it possible for the NMMF to collaborate with scientists around the globe, helps evaluate human impacts/environmental changes on marine mammals, and encourages young students to pursue an education and career in science.

About Dr. Sam Ridgway DVM, PhD, DACZM (1936-2022)
Sam was a founder of the United States Navy's Marine Mammal Program, which he served for more than 60 years. He was the founding president and CEO of the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF), a nonprofit he helped establish in 2007. Sam was widely known for establishing novel methods to partner with marine mammals in the open ocean, which allowed humans to observe and interact with animals in their natural environment. This led to great advancements in marine mammal behavior, physiology, and acoustics. He was one of the largest contributors to marine mammal science, publishing more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and books. Early in his career, he published a book called Dolphin Doctor, a name that became synonymous with Sam himself. A large volume of his work focused on cetacean neuroscience, anatomy, and physiology. His book Mammals of the Sea, published 50 years ago, remains one of the most comprehensive textbooks on marine mammal physiology.

Sam was affectionately known among his colleagues as the "father of marine mammal medicine" due to his pioneering spirit and ground-breaking discoveries that advanced the health and welfare of dolphins, porpoises, whales, sea lions, and seals. Sam embraced conservation biology and medicine, and he was eager to apply his knowledge and expertise to marine mammals in the wild. His scientific discoveries served as a foundation for the protection and conservation of marine mammals globally.

About IMATA's Conservation Fund
The International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) Conservation Fund was founded in 2011 to provide financial support for third-party non-profit organization projects which focus on conservation-oriented issues and promote communication, professionalism, and cooperation among those who serve marine mammal science through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education.