Andrew Johnson, Sea Otter Program Manager

Areas of expertise: Sea Otters, Research & Policy, Animal Care, Conservation & Science

Andrew Johnson oversees the aquarium’s pioneering work with California’s threatened sea otter population, including rescue and care efforts for stranded animals, field research programs, and collaborations in the overall sea otter recovery plan managed by federal wildlife officials.

He has pursued the care, handling, rehabilitation, transportation, training, research, and conservation of marine and aquatic mammals for 35 years. Since 1997, he has managed the Sea Otter Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, overseeing the Aquarium’s contributions to the research on and recovery of this iconic species. His work includes a role in formulating legislative and policy reform in support of sea otter recovery efforts.

In his career, Andrew has worked with more than 30 marine mammal species and has maintained direct or peripheral responsibility for the care of more than 2,000 marine mammals in exhibit and performance settings, critical care and rehabilitation settings, and research settings. He has served as a consultant on aquatic mammal management and exhibit design in the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, Iceland and the United Kingdom.

Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and has completed graduate-level coursework in psychology and animal behavior at San Diego State University and the University of Reading (UK). Through the years, he has served on the Southern Sea Otter Recovery Implementation Team, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of The Otter Project, and the Board of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (San Diego Chapter). He has edited feature and research articles as a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association’s Editorial Advisory Board.

Andrew belongs to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Society for Marine Mammalogy, and the International Marine Animal Trainers Association. He lives in Pacific Grove, Calif., with his wife Elin, a consultant on environmental policy and a children’s book author; and their two children, Kip and Esmé.

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