Every naturalist we use is an expert at narrating. They can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about geology, natural history, sea birds, great white sharks, other sharks, whales, dolphin, porpoises, fish, coastal landmarks, and the Farallon Islands. If you aren’t sure what you are seeing, feel free to ask. Our trips are meant to heighten awareness and education of all the marine and wildlife around you.
Naturalist Michael Pierson has spent a lifetime compiling information about all things nature. He has collected ecological data on beaches along our coast for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in their Beach Watch program since 2012, has been called into action by the Oil Spill Prevention and Response team when the worst has happened in the waters of San Francisco Bay and was involved in Natural Resource interpretation with the National Park Service for 5 years. He enjoys attending lectures and continued education classes at the California Academy of Sciences and you’ll never find him without his binoculars staring up into a tree looking for some amazing species of bird, his ornithological knowledge has been a true asset to our company and he is truly passionate about what he does.
Hello! My name is Angelica Patyten and I am an avid ocean enthusiast and conservationist! I have been in love with the ocean and all the life that it harbors for as long as I can remember and I’m always striving to learn more about this amazing place. I achieved an Associate of Science in Marine Science Technology as well as a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology with a minor in Oceanography within an eight year time span. I feel truly blessed to be able to educate and inspire others with all the knowledge I have acquired, whether it be on the whale boat or at Aquarium of the Bay. In the time I’m not educating others about the conservation of ocean life, you will find me either on the water as often as possible be it kayaking, snorkeling, or whale watching or under it as I also love to Scuba dive! What is my favorite animal on the entire planet: Orcas!
Allison Payne has studied whales around the world, including bottlenose dolphins in Spain and Hector’s dolphins in New Zealand. She collects data from SFWT whale watching trips to contribute to studies at Golden Gate Cetacean Research. Her main interest is in marine mammal cognition and behavior. She started off studying the behavior of squirrels at UC Berkeley and has loved being out in the field ever since. She’s also passionate about science education and hands-on learning experiences. She loves being on the whale watching boat because every day is a new adventure! Find out more at whalegirl.org
Alyxe Anderson is a naturalist with San Francisco Whale Tours. She educates SFWT visitors on animals and ecosystems native to the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. Her focus is to interpret and relate the nature observed on the tours to our day-to-day lives. From the ingredients in our toothpastes to the availability of clean air, we are dependent on the ocean. Alyxe holds a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Social Justice and Sustainability from San Francisco State University. She is an experienced educator who has worked with multiple organizations to conserve our marine environment. Growing up on the coast, Alyxe has learned that to protect the ocean, it is important that we first fall in love with its wonders and then understand our inherent connection to it.
Ryan Jones grew up in San Diego around the beach with a love for animals and a desire to learn all he could about the natural world. After moving to San Francisco and graduating from San Francisco state he found his calling as an educator at the aquarium of the bay which he worked at for 11 1/2 years. In May 2016 he began working for San Francisco whale tours and is thrilled to be able to be on the water everyday educating people about the amazing wildlife, and why it is vitally important that we protect our ocean habitats.
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