The American Cetacean Society’s National Board of Directors consists of individuals with diverse professional backgrounds and affiliations who bring to the governance of the organization knowledge of conservation science, whale watching, business, finance, education, the arts, and public policy. These eclectic interests are united by their passion for cetacean protection and their desire to advance a new paradigm in marine education, research, and conservation.
Meet the ACS Officers and Directors
Diane Glim, President
Although raised far from the ocean, Diane became interested in cetaceans at the first Save the Whales symposium held at Indiana University in the 70s. Within the first month of her move to Pacific Grove, California, Diane discovered the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society by attending a talk on harbor seals. She became very involved with the chapter in various capacities, and has served two terms as president and delegate to the national organization. Diane achieved her dream of visiting the gray whale calving lagoons in Baja California, Mexico in 2002. Another highlight of her whale life was kayaking among a super pod of orcas off the San Juan Islands. Diane is extremely concerned with the highly endangered status of the vaquita porpoise and helped establish ¡Viva Vaquita! to raise awareness and funds to help save the species . Diane lives in Pacific Grove with her husband and daughter. She is employed by the Monterey County Weekly newspaper and is a long-time volunteer with the Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Diane Alps, National Vice President and Los Angeles Chapter Representative
Diane has been involved with the American Cetacean Society since 1998. She discovered
ACS through the Cabrillo Whalewatch Naturalist Program (of which she is still an active volunteer). Diane soon became active on the ACS/LA Board of Directors and has held positions of Conservation Chair, Whalewatch Chair, Membership Chair and Officer positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President. She has been the President since 2011. Diane also worked as the sole staff person for ACS’ National Headquarters for 8 years while concurrently working at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, where she is the Programs Coordinator. During her tenure at working at ACS, Diane led 5 successful ACS conferences and looks forward to continued involvement with all of ACS’ efforts.
In addition to her active community involvement with ACS, she is a Fisheries and Wildlife Biology major at Oregon State University. Diane most recently designed “WhaleSAFE”, a campaign to raise awareness about safe whale watching and responsible ecotourism. She is currently developing an outreach program to teach the community about the local bottlenose dolphins though citizen-science photo identification.
Barbara Bennett, Secretary
Barbara was introduced to ACS in 1990 when she became a volunteer naturalist through the ACS/LA project, Cabrillo Whalewatch. This training has opened many doors for Barbara, including a project for the Alaska Native Heritage Center, as well as her current job as a naturalist lecturing to cruise ship passengers touring Alaskan waters. With a strong support for public outreach, she feels she can fill an important role as an ACS Board Member. Barbara has also joined the Alaska Southcentral marine mammal stranding network. She is a strong proponent of public outreach.
Diane Cullins, San Diego Chapter Representative
Attending Sunset View Elementary, a “Whale of a School,” Diane watched the gray whale migration from the school playground from an early age, and has been active in several activities on and in the sea, including surfing, snorkeling, sailing and fishing.
Diane trained to become a “whaler” with the San Diego Natural History Museum in 2005, and shares her knowledge as a volunteer naturalist on Hornblower and H & M whale watches. She served as co-president of the group for two years. Her training and experience led to a naturalist/photographer position with San Diego Whale Watch and Pacific Nature Tours, which she has held since 2011.
Diane joined the San Diego chapter of the ACS in 2009, and served as their vice president since January of 2013. She has been in charge of arranging speakers for their Monthly Speaker Series, as well as planning whale watches for chapter members. She has traveled the west coast, watching and photographing cetaceans, as well as attending ACS events and the annual Southern California Marine Mammal Workshop.
Uko Gorter, Puget Sound Chapter Representative
Born in Amhem, Netherlands, Uko was a professional ballet dancer for 17 years, and is currently a scientific and natural history illustrator, specializing in marine mammal illustration. While cetaceans are his main focus, Uko portrays all fauna, including seals, sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, and land mammals. Uko also creates conceptual illustrations, anatomical drawings, logos, maps, and other graphic illustrations. His work is featured on his website, Uko Gorter Natural History Illustration (www.ukogorter.com). Uko is the President of the Puget Sound Chapter and has provided nearly all of the illustrations for the ACS’s national website, as well as numerous Whalewatcher and Spyhopper publications. He currently lives in Kirkland, WA, with his wife, Susan.
Lynette Koftinow, San Francisco Bay Chapter Representative
Having been raised exploring nature and the oceans by her father, Lynette has always held an abiding respect, love, and concern for the oceans. After years of diving and worldwide travel, she began seeing the oceans and their inhabitants changing for the worse and wanted to do more than passive activism.
After a successful career in the commercial arts, she had time to pursue her other love – marine biology. Taking time to study marine biology, working for The Marine Mammal Center (Sausalito, CA) and teaching for The Bayshore Studies program, she has worked with the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society since October 2010. Lynette creates the monthly Presentation Speaker Series, whale watching events, and outreach educational events.
In 2012 she and Cara Gallagher (a student at CSU East Bay campus, Hayward, CA), created the SF Bay ACS Student Coalition. Taking the lead from the National ACS Student Coalition and supported by the SF Bay ACS chapter, Cara works on issues combining science and activism to produce effective education for students and the public for the betterment of our oceanic world.
Jerry Loomis, At-Large Board Member
Jerry is a retired California State Park Ranger and Commercial Diver. He currently works as a naturalist and is the Program Coordinator for the Point Lobos Summer Adventures nature camp. He joined the American Cetacean Society in 1981, is currently a three-term president of the Monterey Bay Chapter, and also serves as a scientific advisor to that chapter.
Mike Makofske, At-Large Board Member and Media Coordinator
Mike was born in Santa Monica and grew up in Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA and got an English degree. He made a career out of technical/business writing and IT project management, including 19 years with the Los Angeles Times. Always an avid whale-watcher, he got interested in ACS when he met some of their naturalists on a 1990s trip with Condor Express in Santa Barbara. After he retired from The Times in 2008, Mike looked up ACS’s Orange County chapter, took their Naturalist training, and has been a dedicated ACS Naturalist/Chapter Board Member/Fundraiser/PR Guy ever since. Mike was elected to the ACS National Board as Media Coordinator in January 2013. He lives in Mission Viejo, CA with his wife Thecla.
Joy Primrose, Oregon Chapter Representative
Born and raised in Ohio, Joy moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1986. She began making trips to California and Mexico to go whale watching and explore marine life. After moving to Eugene, Oregon in 1992 she began exploring the Oregon Coast. Joy became an Oregon State Parks volunteer for Whale Watching Spoken Here in 2004, and a volunteer interpreter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in 2007. In 2010 Joy became a Certified Marine Naturalist from The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington. Joy is the founder and president of the ACS Oregon Chapter. Joy has worked as a nurse for the last 26 years, as well as owned and operated a construction company for seven years. She brings her passion for cetaceans, along with her business experience, to the ACS. Joy lives on the Oregon Coast and has two daughters.
Wellington Rogers, Orange County Chapter Representative
Wellington joined ACS as a member of the Orange County Chapter in 1978; he has served as that chapter’s sales director, newsletter editor, webmaster, vice president, and as chapter President since 1998. Wellington taught marine biology at Lakewood High School for twenty years, retiring from teaching in 1988.
Sabena Siddiqui, Student Coalition Representative
During her undergraduate career, Sabena’s research experiences included a manatee care and research internship at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fl; a summer field intern position with the Dolphin Communication Project in The Bahamas; and a research assistant position with the Red Sea Dolphin Project in Egypt.
Sabena’s experiences led her to develop a poster presentation and research paper entitled, Cetaceans in captivity: the education fallacy and the modern ark’s voyage to apathetic attitudes concerning the conservation of wild cetaceans, co-authored with Cheryl McCormick, ACS’s former Executive Director. Sabena presented the topic at the 11th Biennial International Conference of the American Cetacean Society in Monterey, CA, and at the 19th Biennial Conference of the Society of Marine Mammalogy in Tampa, FL.
Sabena is president of the ACS Student Coalition and helps assist student regional groups within the chapter. Her energies are currently dedicated toward extending the student coalition nationwide, creating a network of students united by their interests in cetaceans and marine protection.