Feb 23rd: “The Porpoises & Dolphins of the San Francisco Bay Area” at the Bay Model

Tuesday February 23rd:

Time:  7pm

Location: Bay Model Visitor Center   2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

 Golden Gate Cetacean Research Organization:  “The Porpoises and Dolphins of the San Francisco Bay Area”

ggcr2Golden Gate Cetacean Research biologists, Jon Stern, Bill Keener and Izzy Szczepaniak, will present the results of their newest research on the porpoises and dolphins of San Francisco Bay, providing an up-to-date since their last talk for ACS in 2012.  The team has been studying two species, harbor porpoises and bottlenose dolphins, from shore and boat for the past 6 years.

The team has compiled the first photo-identification catalogs for harbor porpoises and the San Francisco Bay bottlenose dolphins, giving us a window into the lives of individual animals. They will share their observations about the unexpected return of harbor porpoises to the Bay, and the appearance of bottlenose dolphins off our coast.  GGCR1Learn about changes to the Bay ecosystem that played a role in bringing back porpoises, the warm water El Niño conditions that brought bottlenose dolphins up from Southern California, and what this may mean for our coast.

Here’s your chance to find out the difference between a porpoise and a dolphin, where to see these fascinating creatures, and what you can do to help in the study of marine mammals in the Bay.

For more information, visit: www.ggcetacean.org Continue reading

SF BAY ACS 2016 Symposium: “Our Changing Oceans”

“Our Changing Oceans”


Saturday,  May  14,  2016  from  9 a.m.  to  6 p.m. 

SFSU Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Romberg Bay Conference Center

3150 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA

Early Bird Ticket Pricing (12/26/15-2/29/16):    $35.00

  • Standard Ticket Pricing(3/1/16-5/14/16): $50.00
  • Every Ticket Includes Lunch & Admission to Reception

To Purchase Tickets Click Here

Buy Ticket Now

Climate change is a global issue affecting our oceans. The effects of global warming on marine mammals and other species are of growing concern. Discussing the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans is critical to understanding what is changing, how is it changing, and how these changes will influence their inhabitants.

This symposium will address how climate change impacts marine environments and ecosystems including temperature, ocean acidification, ocean productivity, and calcification.

The symposium seeks to improve the understanding of climate change impacts on marine mammals and other species, the vulnerability and adaptability of marine ecosystems to climate change, and their resiliency. We will also discuss future conservation and adaptive management regimes.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Dr. Brandon SouthallPresident and Senior Scientist for Southall Environmental Associates, Inc. based in Santa Cruz, CA and a research associate with the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently involved in research to measure behavioral responses of marine mammals to various human sounds, primarily military sonar signals, the effects of impulsive noise on hearing in seals and sea lions in laboratory settings, efforts to implement quieting technologies on the largest commercial ships in the oceans, and developing environmentally-responsible ways of capturing offshore energy.
  • Jeremy Goldbogen Ph.D.: Principal Investigator for Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station and Assistant Professor of Biology: Comparative biomechanics, foraging energetics, functional anatomy and bio-logging technology.
  • Kate Stafford, Ph.D.: Principal Oceanographer of the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory. Her research focuses on the use of passive acoustic monitoring to study large whale species primarily based in polar regions, with a particular focus on the Arctic. Much of her research looks at the geographic and seasonal occurrence of large whales based on sound production and the integration of acoustic data with environmental variables to develop predictive models of the occurrence of whales based on their environment.
  • Dan Costa, Ph.D.Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Santa Cruz. Postdoctoral work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He focuses on  adaptations of marine mammals and seabirds to life in the marine environment, especially the movements, foraging ecology, and energetics of pinnipeds and seabirds.
  • Guy Oliver, Ph.D.: Research Associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who investigates  the behavior, ecology and physiology of Northern elephant seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions and harbor seals at Año Nuevo and throughout their ranges.
  • Jaime Jahncke, Ph.D.Director of the California Current Group which works to advance marine conservation and management in the California Current by conducting research and developing tools to inform climate adaptation, marine spatial planning and ecosystem based management approaches. Their goal is to conserve the integrity of the marine ecosystem to help ensure healthy populations of marine top predators and sustainable uses for humans.
  • Sarah G. Allen, Ph.D.: National Park Service Pacific West Region’s Ocean and Coastal Resources Program Lead at the Point Reyes National Seashore Point Reyes Station with expertise in marine ecology, marine birds and mammals.
  • Dr. Lance Morgan, Ph.D.: President Marine Conservation Institute and a marine biologist .Lance has worked on protecting the ocean for nearly 2 decades. He is the past Chairman of the Cordell Bank Sanctuary Advisory Council and participated in California’s effort to design the first and only statewide system of marine protected areas. He led efforts to identify Marine Priority Conservation Areas from Baja California to the Bering Sea for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. He currently is Chairman of the Board for the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and holds a research faculty appointment at Bodega Marine Laboratory.
  • Karina J. Nielsen, Ph.D.Director of the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies and Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University. Her research focuses on how climate change, ocean conditions, human activities and conservation efforts influence the diversity and ecological functioning of coastal ecosystems. She is actively engaged in scientific advising related to policy in California as co-chair of the Ocean Protection Council’s Science Advisory Team, and is a member of the Governing Council for the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System.
  • Ellen M. Hines, Ph.D.: Professor SFSU of Geography & Environment and Associate Director of Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, SFSU. Her research addresses population and community ecology of threatened and endangered marine mammals and seabirds as related to local conservation efforts and regional scale coastal and marine management science. The emphasis is on the evolution of consistent standards of field methodology and monitoring techniques, spatially explicit habitat and distribution modeling and on the creation of educational materials that can be applied to community-based conservation planning.
  • Bruce Riordan: Program Director for the Climate Readiness Institute. The CRI brings together academic experts from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Stanford and UC Davis with climate practitioners from Bay Area government agencies, non-profits and the private sector. The CRI conducts research projects and facilitates workshops on important climate adaptation and GHG reduction topics for the region. Previously, Mr. Riordan served as the Climate Strategist for the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee, where he led the Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project, funded by the Kresge Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and the JPC regional agencies. Mr.Riordan is also the Co-Founder of the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for ClimateAdaptation (ARCCA) a network of climate leaders from San Diego, L.A., the Bay Area, Sacramento, and the Sierra Nevada.

Please continue to check our website for more updates.


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March 22: The Birdman of the Farallones Islands meets The Bird Lady of Alcatraz

Tuesday March 22nd:

Time:  7pm

Location: Drew School, Theater/Auditorium   2901 California St., SF

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

The Birdman of the Farallones Islands meets The Bird Lady of Alcatraz

pete bayliss 1

Join ACS for a virtual journey across the Pacific and San Francisco Bay with the birds of the sea. Gulf of the Farallons naturalist, photographer and sea bird expert Peter Winch takes us along on his recent NOAA research voyage.

Tori Seher, the National Park Service’s Alcatraz Island biologist, will discuss how the former penitentiary is providing a vital and growing seabird nesting site. tori s1It’s one of the best places to get a close up of the once endangered Snowy Egrets, the birds whose flowing elegant plumes were once a high fashion statement. It lead to the species near extinction in the late 1800’s and fueled the establishment of the Audubon Society and one of the first conservation movements. Continue reading

April 26th: “The Diving Physiology and Capabilities of Breath-Hold Divers”

Tuesday April 26th:

Time:  7pm

Location: Bay Model Visitor Center   2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

 Birgitte McDonald: “The Diving Physiology and Capabilities of Breath-Hold Divers”

The diving physiology and capabilities of breath-hold divers are crucial to their role in the ecosystem and their ability to exploit prey resources. During forced submersion, severe bradycardia (heart rate reduced to below resting) results in isolation of muscle and peripheral organs from blood flow, therby conserving blood oxygen for the heart and brain. However, withbriggitte
the development of bio-loggers, studies on trained and freely diving animals indicate that this dive response’ is variable and often moderate. I will present my research investigating the dive response and oxygen management strategies in wild California sea lions and captive harbor porpoises using bio-loggers that measured blood oxygen, heart rate, and dive behavior during natural dives. I will discuss how sea lions and porpoises are able to optimize the amount of oxygen they take on a dive,
and how the management of the oxygen differs depending on dive duration. Continue reading

May 24th: Sonic Sea

Tuesday May 24th:

Time:  7pm

Location: Drew School   2901 California St., SF

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

The 60-minute film tells the story of how sound in the ocean (often coming from naval sonar and from commercial ships) is impacting whales and other marine life. Whales depend on sound to mate, to find food, to raise their young, and to defend themselves from predators. Increasing ocean noise is threatening these daily tasks of survival. The ocean has quite literally been transformed by human-made sound in the last century–and the film shows us how. Sonic-Sea-5 copy

The film features oceans protection luminaries including Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau; experts on ocean noise (such as Chris Clark of Cornell, Leila Hatch
of NOAA, and Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research); and the performer and activist Sting, who speaks as a musician to the importance of sound. The film is co-produced by NRDC and Imaginary Forces, in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Diamond Docs.  It was written by Mark Monroe (“The Cove,” “Racing Extinction”) and has a haunting score, by Grammy award-winning film composer Heitor Pereira (“Minions,” “It’s Complicated”), and a powerful soundtrack representing both ocean noise and the sounds of the sea.

In the darkness of the sea, whales depend on sound to mate, find food, migrate, raise their young, and defend against predators. Over the last century, however, human activity has transformed the ocean’s delicate acoustic habitat, challenging the ability of whales and other marine life to prosper, and ultimately to survive. SONIC SEA offers solutions and hope for a quieter ocean, and underscores that the ocean’s destiny is inextricably bound with our own. The film is narrated by Rachel McAdams and features the musician Sting, in addition to the renowned ocean experts Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Paul Spong, Dr. Christopher Clark, and Jean-Michel Cousteau. 

June 29th: Peter White: “Mysteries of the Farallon Islands Revealed”

Wednesday: June 29th

Time:  7pm

Location: Pacifica Library, Pacifica

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research GrantsPeter White scenic photo

Murder. Ship wrecks. A plane crash. A war over eggs. Great White Sharks and hundreds of species on land, sea and air. Join ACS for presentation by Peter White, author of The Farallon Islands: Sentinels of the Golden Gate, long considered the seminal book on the islands’ history. America’s love affair with the great white
shark has brought  the treacherous fog-covered Farallons into the cultural forefront once again.

Continue reading

July 27th: Sex on the Breach: A summer sizzler peeks into the reproductive practices of the oceans whales

Wednesday: July 27th

Time:  7pm

Location: Pacifica Library, Pacifica 

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

The giants of the ocean employ a surprisingly “different strokes” approach to sex. Some Marybull whales battle for their mates; some beguile with song and caress. Others may just get lucky – literally. And, where group sex is involved, “timing is everything” may apply. Size matters among certain species, but is almost irrelevant in others.

Between the sexes, mating can be consensual, when females urge males to outcompete each other in heat runs; or otherwise, where some males’ uniquely prehensile anatomy can overcome the coyest females’ evasive movements. Regardless of style — whether to battle, bully or beguile — it all enables these lusty Leviathans to pass on their genes and ensure new whale generations. Mary2

Parental Guidance Advised: The topic, and some graphic images, dictate that parents use appropriate judgment.


Continue reading

August 31st: Behind the Bark: Saving Seals and Sea Lions in California

Wednesday: August 31st

Time:  7pm

Location: Pacifica Library, Pacifica

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

The Marine Mammal Center is the World’s largest marine mammal hospital, responsible for rescuing an average of 600-800 sick and injured seals and sea lions each year from over 600 miles of California coast.  With 40 years of experience, the Center has been able to give over 20,000 marine mammals a second chance at life with the support of the community for financial support and over 1,000 trained volunteers that conduct rescues, feedings, basic Seal Adam Ratnermedical procedures and education work.  In addition to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine mammals, the Center learns from every animal that is

rescued and collaborates with 40-60 organizations a year to further research on marine mammal and ocean health.  The veterinary work and research is shared widely to over 100,000 visitors to the hospital each year with the goal of inspiring ocean conservation. Adam will share the latest stories of the marine mammals found along the California coast, including the record number of California sea lions found sick along the
California coast in the past 2 years.

Continue reading

“Blimps and Whales”

Bethany Argisle & Neil Osborn’s book, “Blimps & Whales,” is a beautifully illustrated story of love and cooperation between two great beings, a blimp and a whale. This charming story recaps how the children of San Francisco inspired and celebrated World Whale Day, including messages about the health of our oceans and the need to protect whales and their migration routes.

Bethany has been an advocate since the early 1970’s, inspiring young people to notice, to listen, and to protect the sea and its inhabitants through theatre, music and appearances.

You can purchase her book through the iTunes app store or on Season’s Studios’ website HERE.