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Cetaceans enchant us with their grace, intelligence, and beauty, and have an exceptional ability to inspire people and serve as ambassadors for marine conservation. And yet these magnificent creatures face more threats today than ever before. Every student should consider joining a professional society-a society that represents its member and works for the good of their chosen profession. One of the benefits of joining the ACS Student Coalition is the ability to network and collaborate with your peers (future colleagues) and professionals in different disciplines, backgrounds, and institutions to address the challenges that whales, dolphins, and porpoises face in today’s complex world.

Leading your own ACS student group can be very rewarding and fun. ACS students host world famous guest speakers, screen films, create campaigns, organize fundraisers, host social events such as marine themed parties, educate their community and campus, network with other student groups, and most importantly, they help make the world a better place for both cetaceans and humans! 

the members at the end of year banquet
 ACS University of Hawaii-Manoa students at the end of the year banquet


How can the ACSSC help me start my own group?

The ACS Student Coalition is happy to answer your questions, give you more information, and assist you from the start with organizing your peers. It may seem daunting, but we are here to help you with every step. You will find yourself surprised at how many other people are in your community that also want to put their passion into action once you reach out. For example, ACS-Indiana University is the first group of the student coalition, the founder was able to connect with like-minded peers in Indiana, and you can too! We will provide you with tips on recruitment, campaigns, and offer resources and material we have created for our campaigns. We will also provide advice regarding fundraising and activities and dealing with your university. ACS can provide travel grants for student leaders to attend biennial ACS conference to come together and share ideas and meet each other. 



ACS student leaders at the international American Cetacean Society conference in Newport, CA 


What is expected of me as a leader?

It can be very rewarding to have a leadership position for a cause you care about. Leading is a learning process, a very important one that brings forth many useful skills for future careers. We understand that students are quite busy with maintaining grade point averages, part-time jobs, internships, etc., so we recommend ACS student leaders take on only as much as they can. Each regional student group can pursue the specific campaigns they feel passionate about or the ones that are more geographically relevant for their community. This can be very effective as some issues are better tackled when the group is conveniently located nearby to take action. Some groups meet weekly or every other week, whichever is most convenient for each group.


Get in touch with us!

If you are a student and you are passionate about cetaceans and marine conservation, we want to hear from you!Reach out to Sabena Siddiqui, the ACS Student Chair at  [email protected]


ACS Student Leader Alumni

Where are they now?


Brijonnay Madrigal

Nancy Foster Fellow, PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii Marine Mammal Research Program 


Kara Henderlight

ACS Advocacy Chair, MS in Environmental Conservation from Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison


Shelby Kasberger 

ACS Board Member and Conservation Chair


Michaela Setzer

PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology


Shelby Marhoefer 

Msc. James Cook University


Angel Valdez

MS candidate at the University of Hawaii Molecular Biosciences and Engineering Program


Cara Gallagher

PhD candidate at Aarhus University Bioscience Program