The first project launched by the Coll Perske Memorial Fund is the Perske Pinniped Health Project.

This project will focus on research that continues to enhance the health and welfare of all pinnipeds, with a special emphasis on the California sea lion.  With Coll’s inspiration, funds will be used to develop new medical and husbandry techniques, which could directly enhance the care provided to Navy sea lions. Funds will also be dedicated to wild seals and sea lions, applying veterinary expertise achieved with Navy animals toward medical response and conservation research initiatives.

The first sub-project of the Perske Pinniped Health Project is a student research award for an undergraduate, recent graduate, or graduate student interested in marine mammal physiology and training.

~ 2023-2024 SCUBA Certification Grant ~

The CGP Fund is supporting the 2023-2024 National Marine Mammal Foundation SCUBA Certification Grant. This grant is something we know Coll would support as it combines his two passions teaching children and underwater diving. Coll was an avid volunteer with children at the Boys and Girls Club and a highly skilled scuba diver and underwater photographer.

The NMMF SCUBA certification grant is for students who are interested in the marine sciences and would benefit long-term from receiving a SCUBA certification. The grant includes an Open Water Diver Certification, gear rental, and mentorship from the National Marine Mammal Foundation community engagement team.

The purpose of this program is to give students from underrepresented communities an opportunity to gain exposure and interest in the field of marine biology, which may not otherwise be available to them because of socio-economic barriers. The SCUBA certification grant is open to high school students from underrepresented communities throughout San Diego County.

Congratulations to this year recipients, Mary and Jose! Both are students at the PREUSS school, meaning they will be first-generation to attend university. Both have a strong interest in pursuing a degree in marine conservation.

~ CGP Fund Scholarship Program at CSUMB ~

The Coll Perske Memorial Fund for Marine Mammals is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual CGP Fund Scholarship Program at CSUMB.  Coll was an alum of California State University, Monterey Bay.  This scholarship will award 1 CSUMB senior or graduate student studying Marine Sciences a monetary stipend of $1500. The awardee will be chosen based on their application and the alignment of their research with the interests of the Coll Perske Memorial Fund.  Our mission, To improve the lives of marine mammals with a focus on the California sea lions, through scientific research, education, and promotion of ocean stewardship.   Applications are due September 15, 2022, and will be reviewed by the CGP Memorial Fund Committee.  The recipient will be awarded in October.  

Click here for the application

~ Partnership with PREUSS School~

The Coll Perske Memorial Fund for marine Mammals is proud to announce a new partnership with UCSD’s PREUSS School!  With support from National Marine Mammal Foundation employees, the CGP Fund will help the school create presentations to be used in their brand new marine mammal course in both the middle school and the high school at PREUSS.

Recognized by Newsweek as the top transformative high school in the nation for three years in a row, the PREUSS School at UCSD is a unique charter middle and high school for low income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college. Located on the UC San Diego campus, students come from 41 zip codes throughout San Diego County to take advantage of an environment that encourages intellectual risk-taking while offering an array of academic supports.

NMMF employees have given presentations at PRUESS in the areas of veterinarian care, psychology and how it is used in marine mammal training, as well as in physics and buoyancy and how they apply to marine mammals.  

Through working with PREUSS students, the CGP Fund expects to be able to leave a legacy for hundreds of students for many years to come, and we are excited about making an impact on the community in this way.

~ 2017 SMM AWARDS~

After careful review of 12 applications from around the world, the Coll Perske Memorial Fund for Marine Mammals(CGP Fund) is excited to support students Marina Banuet-Martinez and Casandra Gálvez as they present their pinniped research at the Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia this October!

Ms. Banuet-Martinez’s research regarding the impact of atypical environmental conditions on low levels of genetic variation in the California Sea Lion population and Ms. Gálvez’s research on the impact of the warm water “blob” on Guadalupe Fur Seals stood out among the 12 applications received by the CGP Fund.  As a result, the CGP Fund has provided each student with a $200 award, covering the cost of conference registration and some incidentals.

Congratulations to Ms. Banuet-Martinez, and Ms. Gálvez – The CGP Fund is grateful for your contributions to pinniped research, and we look forward to your presentations at the SMM Conference in October!


The first award of 2017 will be a The Coll Perske Memorial Fund is excited to announce that we will provide a $200 award for a student member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) to attend the 22nd Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals.  This conference will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from October 22-27, 2017.  Undergraduate or Graduate students that have been selected for oral presentations regarding research with pinnipeds may apply.  Applications are due July 12, 2017.

Award winners will be chosen based on the quality of their abstracts and the alignment of their research with the interests of the Coll Perske Memorial Fund. Special consideration will be given to research projects with California sea lions, which were of special importance to Coll.

To apply, please send the following material to cgpfund@gmail.com no later than July 12th, 2017:

1)   A copy of the abstract submitted to the SMM conference

2)   Proof of registration for the SMM conference

3)   Proof of acceptance for an oral presentation

Award winners will be notified by July 31, 2017.


While working as a sea lion trainer at the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program, Coll helped to collect data for a California sea lion diving physiology study that hasn’t yet been completed.  The 2016 Coll Perske Student Research Award, which is providing a student stipend of $2,000.00 to a qualified graduate student with a background in marine mammal physiology, aims to further analyze the data that Coll helped to collect.  

The committee received a number of exceptional applications for the 2016 Coll Perske Student Research Award. Following a thorough selection process, the committee is proud to announce the recipient for the 2016 Coll Perske Student Research Award, Ms. Natalie Bickett.

natalie bickett


Natalie is currently in pursuit of her Master’s degree at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Natalie’s research focus on diving physiology of marine mammals, coupled with her vast field experience, made her the ideal selection for this project.  In the months to come Natalie will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Sam Ridgway and will have the opportunity to learn from the animal care and training staff at the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program.  The committee is excited to have Natalie complete the research that Coll was so passionate about.


Since 2013 the NMMF has responded with urgency to the tragic sea lion stranding events along the coast of California.  The Coll Perske Memorial Fund for Marine Mammals subsequently presented the first ever Coll G. Perske Volunteer Award to NMMF employee Pixie Rixon for volunteering the most hours worked during the crisis.