GIVING IN ACTION: Making Dreams Come True

Houghton Headshot

Juliana Houghton

Third-year graduate student

Area of Study
Marine and conservation biology

Big Idea
To inspire marine conservation through research and outreach

Big Idea Supported By
Clarence H. Campbell Endowed Lauren Donaldson Scholarship
Robert E. Resoff Scholarship (undergraduate)

Juliana, a Lynnwood, Wash. local, is inspiring marine conservation through her research in Puget Sound and community outreach at the Seattle Aquarium.

Make a Gift
Support more students like Juliana and contribute to the Clarence H. Campbell Endowed Lauren Donaldson Scholarship.

I grew up around here and have been fascinated by the ocean and the life that lives below the surface since elementary school. A lot of people in the Pacific Northwest share my interest in the ocean’s big creatures, especially killer whales. People love them so much that they want to be near them. And what better way than to go on a whale-watching trip? Those trips are great to learn about whales, but they also might be hurting them.

Puget Sound’s killer whales are endangered. My graduate research is focused on how whale-watching boats may impact this beloved species. For instance, does the noise from the boats disturb their habitat? Is the number of boats more detrimental than their speed? Hopefully answering these questions will lead to changes in how we use boats around whales, maybe even allowing their population to recover.

I think it’s so important for scientists to be able to communicate their research, which is why I volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. Recently, I took a seminar on explaining science to the public, which led me to give a talk at Seattle’s Town Hall. I hope to continue helping people learn about whales and other marine mammals by teaching or working at an aquarium after I graduate. When people learn more about the environment, they are inspired to protect it.

I’m very thankful for the Campbell-Donaldson scholarship. Their support enables me to devote more time and energy to inspiring kids and educating adults, showing them firsthand why conservation of whales and all marine life matters for our world.

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Juliana in Action: A Slideshow


  • Committed to Killer Whales
    Juliana Houghton has always been fascinated by what lives beneath the ocean. As a UW graduate student in marine and conservation biology, she spends her days studying Puget Sound’s killer whales.
  • On the Sound
    Juliana’s research focuses on how whale-watching boats may impact the habitat of endangered killer whales in Puget Sound.
  • Traffic Tracks
    Part of Juliana’s studies includes analyzing boat patterns in Puget Sound. This is an example of vessel traffic collected from NOAA/Northwest Fisheries Science Center data off the coast of San Juan Island.
  • Community Education
    Juliana volunteers at the Seattle Aquarium to educate the community about marine life and conservation. She works with harbor seals and hopes to work at an aquarium after graduation.
  • Scholarship Support
    The Campbell-Donaldson scholarship allows Juliana to devote more time and energy to research and community outreach, showing kids and adults why healthy oceans matter for our world.

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