Tishylinda Bunk

Los Angeles , California

Marine Scientist



Personal Bio

Tishy Bunk grew up in the mountain town of Greenfield Massachusetts always dreaming of protecting the world’s oceans and its’ creatures. Cousteau inspired and Flipper influenced, at the age of 18, Tish left home for Florida and became a dolphin trainer,a childhood dream and a result of her persistence to her goals.She was one of the last “traveling” dolphin trainers hired in the U.S., her activism for the humane treatment of her dolphins saw to that. Tish later attended Moorpark College in California, and got her Wild and Exotic Animal Training and Management Associate degree (1988). Tish spent most of her 20’s in the captive animal field training or in zoo keeping of many species. Disillusioned with the ability of the captive work to make the “difference” that she envisioned, she returned to school for a BS in biology at SDSU (1994). At that time she married a “sweet Brit”, Danny and they bought and owned a restaurant while she attended full time college. She calls that the “crazy loving growth years”!

Tishy has since worked extensively in field biology, having gone to Hawaii, Baja California Mexico, Northern and Southern California and the Eastern US seaboard working in remote camps and on sea vessels gathering data, conducting fieldwork research by restraining, radio tagging, tubing, and feeding injured or orphaned seals, whales, even mountain lion, to name but a few of her accomplishments. She once backpacked by herself through Baja to meet the University of La Paz, Mexico, students to set up a remote field camp in Laguna San Ignacio for the calving season of the gray whale. After seeing extreme changes in these ecosystems,Tish returned to school again to further her skills. But first she took a short break in 2001-2003 to beat ovarian cancer. 

Tishy is a survivor. During that break she came across CSULA Interdisciplinary Program, of which she completed a triple discipline Master’s degree (2009), in Genetics, Geography and Environmental Policy.She wrote her thesis while living off a sailboat in Mexico. While pursuing this degree Tish got hit by a car while walking in L.A.(“no body walks in L.A”..), and was thrown 15 feet. Tishy sat up on the curb bleeding from head to toe and shouted, “Really is that all you got, the cancer wasn’t enough?” And even through the year of recovery, she finished her MS degree, while the courts decided to settle her life at $1300.00 in damages, (because the policeman who wrote the accident up said she was “out of the cross walk by 5 ft”), and the defense insurance lawyer argued it was her fault the woman drove over her. To that end, Tishy quipped,”well I have always been a ‘day late, and a dollar short’, this certainly proves that point! C’est la vie, at least I’m still alive!”.

In Tishy’s words her Bragging rights…

“I’m a true survivor and adventure seeker! I fell out of the truck at 17 yrs split my head open…beat O cancer 2001…got hit by a car and flew 15 feet 2006. Many other close calls in between. Trekked through Baja alone in 1994-5. Lived on a remote island for 7 months/3.5 miles across in the South Pacific 2000. Wrote my thesis while living on a sailboat off Mexico 2009. I’m here for a big reason!”

Truth is, Tishy has a bigger dream for her amazing life, and just maybe that is why she beats the odds every time?

It is her humor, energy and tenacity that drives her success. Her plans are to start the Global Ocean Network, a foundation with focus areas to support young entrepreneurial students who seek to make a difference environmentally, as well as areas on climate change, trash and debris,marine species preservation,eco-tourism through conservation, and eco-filmaking and documentaries, to support environmental stewardship around the world. She had drawn up these plans and just needs the right “army” to implement such an endeavor. Tish has been networking her science community, aligning successful organizations already working for “the cause”, and policy makers and “Hollywood” types to launch this foundation. She has moved past the child dream to be that dolphin trainer that she once was at 18 years old, and maybe you can help her dream bigger and do better things for the ocean world, and the world itself? Tishy has a vision of compassion, hope, integrity, and change. It’s no longer “save the whales”, it’s about saving humanity.

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