Dr. Chris Parsons has been involved in whale and dolphin research for nearly three decades and has been involved in projects on every continent.
Dr. Parsons is currently an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow acting as a communications and policy specialist for the Oceans Division of the US National Science Foundation (NSF). In this role he develops ocean science communications materials and strategies for the NSF and is involved with a number of inter-agency bodies governing and coordinating US ocean science policy policy. These include the Sub-Committee on Ocean Science & Technology, the US Global Climate Change Research Program and the US Coral Reef Task Force.
Before that he was the Scientific Content and Creative Director for the Speak Up for Blue network – a leading independent marine science/nature podcasting company producing, editing and hosting a number of marine science & conservation podcasts. He was also a consultant for a number of environmental groups in Washington DC, consulting on marine wildlife, conservation and science communication and policy issues.
Before this, he spent 15 years as an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science & Policy at George Mason University , in addition to being the Director of their undergraduate program in environmental science and the Deputy Director for the Smithsonian-Mason Center for Conservation (now the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation) .
He’s a member of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), has been involved in organizing four of the International Marine Conservation Congresses (IMCC) (the world’s largest academic marine conservation conference) and two of the International Congresses for Conservation Biology. He was a Governor of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) for nearly a decade and also served two terms as the president of the SCB Marine Section and was on the Board of the SCB Conservation Marketing & Engagement Working Group. He was also a Director of the American Cetacean Society as well as their their Conservation Chair. He is currently the Membership Chair and on the Board of Directors of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.
In addition, Dr. Parsons has published over 170 scientific papers and book chapters and has written a textbook on marine mammal biology & conservation and co-edited a book on marine wildlife conflict resolution.