About CIMWI 2017-05-11T15:52:33+00:00


Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) is an organization filled with dedicated individuals that share the same mission. Our goal is to positively impact conservation through marine mammal rescue, rehabilitation, research and education to promote ocean and human health.

CIMWI’s Board of Directors is made up of professionals that are committed to building a first-class marine mammal institute. Most of the team has a great deal of marine mammal experience (over 165 years cumulatively). These leaders paired with the volunteers that are responsible for the day-to-day operations creates a winning combination. CIMWI volunteers provide the time, energy and dedication that enable CIMWI to make a difference.

Board of Directors

Sam Dover, D.V.M. – President
Executive Director and Chief Veterinarian

Ruth Dover – Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Director of Business Operations

Terry Bartlett, Esq. – Secretary
Reetz, Fox & Bartlett, LLP – Partner and Attorney

Jim Antrim – Director
SeaWorld San Diego – Vice President, Zoological Operations (retired)

Jim McBain, D.V.M. – Director
SeaWorld Busch Gardens – Vice President, Corporate Veterinary Services (retired)

Rick Linnehan, D.V.M. – Director
NASA – Astronaut and Veterinarian

Dan Petersen – Director
U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program – Navy Seal (retired)


CIMWI is essentially an all-volunteer organization and successfully runs its daily operations with an extremely dedicated, caring and talented team of volunteers that are eager to learn and contribute to our organization. Volunteers actively participate in managing CIMWI’s rescue hotline, coordinating responses, making assessments, performing rescues and transporting animals, caring for and providing medical attention for the animals in rehabilitation and managing releases as well as collecting data on dead stranded animals. Most of CIMWI’s volunteers perform multiple roles in the organization. Aside from working directly with stranded marine mammals, they also assist with outreach and education, fundraising, grant writing, social media, public relations, administration, groundskeeping, facility maintenance and construction.

If you are interested in volunteering with CIMWI, click here (.pdf) to complete CIMWI’s volunteer application. Please email your completed application to info@CIMWI.org or fax it to (805) 963-9684.

CIMWI Affiliate Organizations

CIMWI is a member of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Network under the direction of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. CIMWI is also a member of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and the Marine Mammal Disentanglement Team.

CIMWI is committed to cooperating and collaborating with other agencies, organizations, universities and researchers that share our commitment to promote ocean and human health.

CIMWI Facility

Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) is located at the historic Vista Del Mar Union School along the Gaviota Coast. The Hollister heirs donated the property to CIMWI on May 27, 2011. This gift provides CIMWI with a permanent home.

The organization’s goal is to create a world-class marine mammal institute and this historic school site is a perfect location with 2.81 acres. The combination of classrooms, support buildings and open areas provide ample space for the Institute. The school grounds accommodate outdoor rehabilitation enclosures with pools, while the indoor facilities include a Hospital/Quarantine Room, Laboratory/Pharmacy, Fish Kitchen and Surgery/Treatment Room with a plan for future research facilities, administrative offices and education space.