In 2021 we lost Caroline Gibson who worked at the station for several years in the 80s and whose father first took me on as a fish biologist to work at a field-station situated just a bit east of Sep-Iles. Caroline grew up in Massachusetts and in St John’s NFLD and was made to work in the field at sea. She was a long-time friend and probably cared about sharks more than marine mammals, but still found them to be of major interest. Caroline contributed to the research effort during the first decade of the MICS’ existence and was one of the early pillars of the station. She died after a prolonged battle with cancer. The day before she died, she insisted on going out on the water to have a look at seals offshore of the town where she lived on the Olympic Peninsula, WA.
Caroline worked along the Salish Sea where she was committed to restoring its coastlines, cleaning its waters, and preserving its habitat, in order that wildlife and humans can enjoy the Salish Sea’s life-sustaining benefits for generations to come.
During her career in the Northwest Straits, Caroline served as a member of the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee, as the Marine Program Manager at the Northwest Straits Commission, and as Executive Director of the Northwest Straits Foundation. Her spark and passion inspired others to not just talk about marine conservation, but to roll up their sleeves and do it!
She formed the Salish Sea International Kelp Alliance increasing awareness, understanding and support for kelp as critical habitat. She worked with commercial fisherman on ways to reduce lost gear and mitigate impacts to marine wildlife.
Caroline’s spirit filled a room. You didn’t have to know her to feel it. She simply radiated a joy for thinking, learning, and sharing life on a different frequency than the rest of us.