What’s “The Marine Detective”?
It’s me, Jackie Hildering, a biology teacher, cold-water diver, underwater photographer, and Humpback Whale researcher living on NE Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CANADA.
It’s my handle under which I work to raise awareness about life in the cold, dark NE Pacific Ocean and illuminate the fragility, beauty, and mystery there. I hope the name suggests the correct humility. I want to share what I learn so that it may lead to greater knowledge, appreciation, and positive action for the Ocean to which we are all connected and upon which our health depends.
I was raised in British Columbia but taught and administered international schools in the Netherlands for 14 years; also writing curriculum for the International Baccalaureate.
My life changed acutely in 1998 when friends took me on a surprise whale watching trip when visiting NE Vancouver Island. That experience led to my stepping away from a mainstream education career, returning to BC, and striving to find a more effective way to enable people to know their connection to the Ocean and how easy it is to create positive change – for the sake of the whales, our life-sustaining seas, and therefore . . . for ourselves.
Having the privilege of witnessing the return of Humpback Whales led to my becoming a whale researcher and co-founding the Marine Education and Research Society. My additional work has included being a Department of Fisheries and Oceans Education Coordinator; the Communications Director for the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation; Community Liaison for the ‘Namgis First Nation’s KUTERRA land-based salmon farm; being a team member on Fisheries and Ocean Canada’s marine mammal surveys; and serving as a marine naturalist and naturalist trainer for a wide variety of audiences.
On-camera experience includes:
- Featured on Animal Planet’s Wild Obsession series
- Coastal Revival – The Marine Detective
- BBC’s New threat to Canada’s Pacific humpback whales
- BBC’s Ingenious Animals (at this link as of 41 min)
- PBS’ Lineage / When Whales Walked (as of 52 min)
- November 2019 – ECOSTAR Educational Leadership Award
- October 2019 – Canadian Power Squadron Environment Award
- January 2018 – Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Professional Merit Award
- October 2018 – Science Writers and Communicators of Canada, People’s Choice Award for best Canadian Science Website
- May 2018 – Black Press “Local Hero” awards, Environmental Hero of the Year, Northern Vancouver Island
- January 2011 – Vancouver Aquarium / Ocean Wise, 2010 Murray A. Newman (MAN) Award for Excellence in Aquatic Conservation
- June 2010 – Recognition from DFO Director of Oceans, Habitat and Enhancement for “whose contribution to the preservation to the enhancement of the salmonid resource of Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, has helped ensure a better future for all Canadians”