A person who studies whales is called a cetologist. The field of cetology covers the study of dolphins, porpoises and whales, which are collectively called cetaceans.
Cetologists are trained in zoology and a variety of skills unique to their field. Because cetologists study marine animals that are often far from the coast or popular shipping lanes, scientists working in the field need strong boat-handling skills and survival skills, including first aid. Cetologists who don't perform field work still need life skills, such as the ability to cook, to aid far-flung research expeditions. Both types of cetologists also need strong computer and math skills to glean information from data gathered in the field.