The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

Sort Interviews by Affiliation or Theme

Bruce Mate Oral History Interview. September 8, 2016

Bruce Mate Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

September 8, 2016

Location:  Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon.

Bruce Mate (b. 1946) has been associated with OSU for more than four decades, first as a post-doctoral fellow in Oceanography, then as a Marine Extension Agent, and ultimately as a faculty member and administrator. Mate is internationally recognized as the chief pioneer of radio and satellite tracking of marine mammals; specifically, of whale populations. Beginning in 1979, Mate and his research group have used increasingly sophisticated tagging and tracking devices to better understand the migratory, feeding and reproductive habits of a wide range of whale species across multiple habitats. Mate and his colleagues have tagged over eight-hundred whales in all of the world's oceans, traveling to fifty-five countries in the process. The founder and director of the OSU Marine Mammal Institute, Mate's scientific contributions have led to numerous policy initiatives that have helped to rehabilitate whale populations that were once bordering on extinction. His interview largely recounts the specifics of his groundbreaking research, while also touching upon the history of the Marine Mammal Institute as well as his personal memories of working in Extension.