Joe Gaydos to be Honored as Local Hero


Our Science Director, Joe Gaydos, will be honored with the Local Hero Award at the Friday Harbor Film Festival on San Juan Island this fall! The award will be presented at 7pm on October 27th, the final night of the festival. If you’re interested in attending the event, which takes place at the Whittier Theatre at the San Juan Community Theatre, check out their website for ticket information.

The Local Hero Award is presented annually to a current or former resident of the San Juan Islands who has made outstanding contributions to the region’s quality of life, impacting people, animals, the arts, health, or the environment.

A bit more about Joe:

Joe Gaydos is a Senior Wildlife Veterinarian and Science Director for the SeaDoc Society, a science-based marine conservation program of the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center. The SeaDoc Society funds and conducts science and uses the information to help educate people about our marine resources and help improve management and policy decisions regarding the stewardship of those resources.

Gaydos has a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania (1994) and a PhD from the University of Georgia (2001). He’s a science nerd with a passion for all things wild: wildlife, wild places, and wild people.

For over a decade he has been working on wildlife and ecosystem health issues in the Pacific Northwest. He has published dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers on topics related to diseases that impact human and wild animal health in species like harbor seals, river otters, porpoise, and killer whales. He also has worked on ecosystem-level issues including defining top principles for designing healthy ecosystems. He was appointed by Governor’s Lock and Gregoire to the Northwest Straits Commission, on which he served for eight years and by the Washington Academy of Science to the Puget Sound Partnership’s Science Panel, which he chaired in 2012.

In 2014 he was awarded the Seattle Aquarium’s Conservation Research Award. He recently served on Washington State’s Wildlife Diversity Advisory Council and is currently serving on Governor Inslee’s Killer Whale Recovery Task Force. He co-authored the bestselling book, The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest (Sasquatch Books) that received the 2015 Nautilus Gold Award for the Environment books for a better world). His new book Explore the Salish Sea, which targets 5th and 6th graders, was released in April and is on the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association’s bestseller list.

As a wildlife veterinarian, Gaydos works to address diseases in wildlife at the individual animal level as well as at the population level. As a translational scientist, he connects people to the amazing resources of the Salish Sea and has given numerous keynote presentations. He also has testified on the current state of the science for various marine wildlife conservation issues to groups like the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the Washington State Senate.

He lives on Orcas Island with his family and dog where he loves to run the trails, scuba dive, spend time outside, and enjoy the wildlife and wild areas of the Salish Sea.