National Board of Directors

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 & Directors

Uko Gorter, President American Cetacean Society Board Member Uko Gorter, President | Email:

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. Uko's illustrations are featured in museum exhibits, interpretive signs, magazines and many publications like the Marine Mammals of the World, A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification, 2nd Edition (Jefferson et al., 2015). Samples of his work can be found on his website, Uko Gorter – Natural History Illustration ( 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 WhalewatcherSpyhopper publications. He currently lives in Kirkland, WA, with his wife, Susan.

Diane Glim, Secretary American Cetacean SocietyDiane Glim, Secretary | Email:

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 in 1988, Diane discovered the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society. She became very involved with the chapter in various capacities, and served two terms as Monterey Bay Chapter President and as ACS National President from 2012-2014. Diane is currently Secretary of ACS National. 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. Highlights of her whale life included visiting the gray whale calving lagoons at San Ignacio, Mexico and kayaking among a superpod of orcas off the San Juan Islands. Diane lives in Pacific Grove with her husband and is a certified California Naturalist. 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. 

Joy Primrose, Treasurer American Cetacean SocietyJoy Primrose, Treasurer | Email:

Joy is the Founder and President of the American Cetacean Society Oregon Chapter. She brings her passion for public education about whales and conservation to the ACS. In this capacity, Joy has developed the ACS volunteer handbook as well as developed and teaches the ACS Oregon Chapter naturalist training course.
Joy developed an interest in cetaceans during her teenage years living in Ohio. After moving to Arizona in 1986 she was able to travel 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 has been a nurse since 1987, as well as owned and operated a construction company for seven years. She brings her business experience to the ACS National Board of Directors.
Joy is a Certified Marine Naturalist (The Whale Museum, Friday Harbor, WA) and a CIG, Certified Interpretive Guide (National Association for Interpretation). She has volunteered with Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Spoken Here Program since 2004 and Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center since 2014 as an interpreter. She previously volunteered as an interpreter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium from 2007-2015. She lives on the Oregon Coast and has two daughters.

Raphael Fennimore, Board MemberRaphael Fennimore, American Cetacean Society Board Member


Raphael Fennimore has been an active member of ACS since 2008 and has excitedly joined us as a geographically flexible ‘at large’ board member. Raphael grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine where he was imbued with great respect for conscientious living and environmental stewardship. Always intrigued with multiple disciplines, he has a deep interest in marine ecosystem dynamics as well as in tinkering with various technologies. Raphael currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts where he enjoys combining his knowledge of computer systems hardware repair with his background in marine science to work with oceanographic instrumentation.

Raphael holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University in Marine Science and has worked in large whale research for organizations such as the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA) and the New England Aquarium in several research capacities. Raphael has held numerous technological appointments at multiple noteworthy academic institutions, including Boston University, Harvard University and Brandeis University, and is currently completing a degree (M.S.) in Marine Observation Technologies co-advised through the University of Massachusetts Intercampus Marine Science Graduate Program and the New England Aquarium. Raphael’s graduate research has focused on building a mid-sized, infrared-detecting, fixed-wing aerial drone for whale observance, and he has also concurrently obtained a Graduate Certificate in GIS from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. When not with whales, Raphael has enjoyed work as a Teaching Assistant, a sailing instructor, and a choir pianist. He is also an avid SCUBA diver and former NCAA Division 1 track athlete (sprinter/jumper).

Jayne Vanderhagen, American Cetacean Society Board MemberJayne Vanderhagen, Board Member


Jayne is currently the President of the American Cetacean Society San Diego Chapter and a Naturalist on board the Hornblower Whale Watching tours for the San Diego Natural History Museum. Both of these positions allow her to share her joy and passion for marine life while generating awareness and education through lectures, programs, field trips and community events.

Her love of the ocean and marine life started as a young child with continuous family visits to the beach watching the dolphins in the surf. As a young adult it was her adventures in sailing and boating that deepened her passion by being able to more closely observe the marine life but it was her trip to San Ignacio in 1999 that captured her heart after looking eye to eye with a gray whale.

Although her career life took her to the world of real estate, her passion for the ocean and marine life stayed safe in her heart.

Lynette Koftinow, American Cetacean Society Board MemberLynette Koftinow, Board Member


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.

Robert Wilson, American Cetacean Society Board MemberRobert (Bob) Wilson, Board Member


Bob Wilson is active in a number of environmental organizations. He is the former Chair of the Greater Farallones Association (formerly FMSA) board and is currently The Executive Director. He has been an active Beachwatch and SEALS volunteer. He has been on the Sanctuary Advisory Council for the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. He currently is CEO of Sanctuary Supporters LLC. Bob is on the Board of Directors of the American Cetacean Society (SF chapter). He is on the Board as treasurer of the Snow Leopard Conservancy. He is a director emeritus of The Marine Mammal Center, is currently Policy Liaison for TMMC and is a stranding and animal care volunteer. Bob is also a founder and former Board Chair of Polar Bears International (US) and Vice Chair of PBI (Canada). He is on the audit Committee for the Desert Tortoise Preservation Committee. He has served as a director for Earthshare California. He is an attorney and retired from the Federal government.

Sabina Siddiqui, American Cetacean Society Board MemberSabena Siddiqui, Board Member/Student Coalition Representative | Email:

Sabena is currently a master’s student at the University of Hawaii studying cetacean acoustics. Despite being raised in Indiana she had a strong desire to help protect cetaceans and the marine environment and wanted to find avenues for making an impact from the Midwest. Sabena is president of the ACS Student Coalition (ACSSC) and helps assist student regional groups within the chapter. The ACSSC started as a group at Indiana University and has now expanded across the nation. 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.

During her undergraduate career she worked with various research projects. Her experiences include interning at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL, The Dolphin Communication Project in The Bahamas; The Red Sea Dolphin Project in Egypt; and most recently she completed a project studying humpback whale acoustics with NOAA located in Woods Hole, MA. Sabena’s experiences volunteering with the Indianapolis Zoo marine mammal department, among others, led her to develop a poster presentation related to the topic of cetaceans in captivity. She presented this research at the 2010 ACS conference among other marine mammal science conferences.