PWF GOES DOWN UNDER FOR WHALES
Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) participated in the 12-hour Hervey Bay Whale Festival in Australia this year. Hervey Bay, located in Queensland, Australia, is known as the “Whalewatch Capital of the World” for the humpback whales found there from July to October. PWF has been operating on Maui for 31 years and in Australia for 27 years.
“We don’t have a ‘fleet’ in Australia—just one research boat,” said Anne Rillero, a PWF official. “We currently have two members of our research team gathering data on whales in Hervey Bay and later, along other points of the eastern coast of Australia.”
An important migratory route for a specific population of South Pacific whales is found along the eastern coast of Australia. This population of whales feeds near Antarctica during summer (in the southern hemisphere), then migrates north along the coast to warm water breeding areas during winter. Then as the weather warms and spring approaches, the whales migrate south along the coast back towards their feeding area near Antarctica. Hervey Bay is along that migratory route and is where at least some of the migrating whales, especially mothers and calves, stop for a few days or more.
Hawaii is a breeding ground, so it’s more of a destination than a point along the migratory route. The whales seen in Hawaii spend their summer feeding off the coast of Alaska.
“Pacific Whale Foundation has studied and watched whales in Australia for 27 years,” said Greg Kaufman, president and founder of the PWF. “We’ve worked in Hervey Bay since 1987. We were absolutely delighted to take part in this year’s Hervey Bay Whale Festival.”
Andrew Ellis, Pacific Whale Foundation’s Australia Operations Manager, served as the emcee at Ocean of Fun on the Children’s Stage for much of the day and also offered an interactive talk about whales. Kaufman also gave a presentation about whales.
During the Illumination Parade, Pacific Whale Foundation presented its research vessel. The boat was decorated with paper mache whale flukes, handcrafted by a local family.
“This was a fun way to launch our 2011 whale research season in Australia,” said Kaufman. “We commenced our research shortly after the festival, driving up to Port Douglas to study humpback whales in an area where they are thought to breed and give birth.”
Last year, PWF researchers gathered data on whales in Port Douglas, the Whitsunday Islands, Hervey Bay and Eden. The foundation shares data with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage and the International Whaling Commission to help establish effective management plans for protecting whales. They also run a small retail shop in Urangan Harbor.
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BK AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO THREE MAUI STUDENTS
Thirty one Hawaii students will “have it their way” via Burger King’s education foundation this year. The foundation gave $1.4 million in scholarships to 1,258 students nationwide. Among the winners were 31 students from Hawaii, who each received $1,000 awards in recognition of their outstanding academic and community involvement achievement. The Maui students who won are Kento Tanaka-Tamaki from St. Anthony High School and Fabrienne Joy Cariaga and Jethro Casina from Maui High School.
Created in memory of Burger King co-founder, James W. McLamore, the scholarship program has awarded a total of 15,070 scholarships, representing $15.4 million in awards since the program’s inception in 2000.
“In today’s economy, it’s too easy for dreams to be deferred,” said Ivette Diaz, executive director of the Have It Your Way Foundation. “This year, we have enriched the program by not only giving away a record number of scholarships, but by adding three $50,000 awards and one $25,000 award.”
Eligibility requires a 3.3 minimum GPA and U.S. or Canadian citizenship. In addition, high school graduates must apply as a full-time freshman to a four-year accredited college or university located in the U.S. and achieve a minimum ACT score of 25 or 1700 on the SAT.
Students throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada are eligible. Recipients are selected based on their grade point average, work experience, extracurricular activities and community service.
This year’s changes attest to the Burger King Scholars Program’s growing popularity, as well as the large number of deserving students in need of financial help. The field of 31,000 applicants represents an exponential increase in the number of applications over last year, when just 3,200 students applied.
For more information on applying for a scholarship in 2012, visit www.haveityourwayfoundation.org.