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2018 SF Bay ACS Chapter Naturalist Training Program

Love whales? Want an interesting and fun Volunteer opportunity?

Become a SF Bay ACS Chapter Naturalist!

Our March 1, 2018 Naturalist Training class is now taking signups. Our classes fill very quickly so be sure to sign up right away!

For further information & to sign up please email Lynette R Koftinow acs.sfbay@gmail.com   

SF Bay ACS Chapter 2018 Naturalist Training Program: Once trained, our naturalists will help other community members observe and interpret our local marine habitat. Naturalists will be able to represent SF Bay ACS on tours (both on land and water), in classroom visits, at festival exhibits, and at other events in the Bay Area.

Our naturalist program will give the community more opportunities to interact meaningfully with our local marine environment. It will help deepen our collective understanding of cetaceans. The program will strengthen our ability to include each other in creative conversation.

Through these efforts, SF Bay ACS Chapter gives the public access to local marine wildlife and to the people who work to understand and protect cetaceans. The result is community connections that enrich the lives of everyone involved.

The SF Bay ACS Naturalist Program will:

  • Give the typical student, working professional, retiree, or otherwise available person a chance to explore interpreting the natural world as a hobby, avocation, or vocation;
  • Increase education resources for teachers;
  • Increase education opportunities for classroom students;
  • Enrich the experiences of visitors to our local nature areas;
  • Create awareness and effect change in the community with respect to the needs of cetaceans and the effects of human actions upon them;
  • Bring the general population further into the dialog;
  • Support a learning culture with a conservation focus; and
  • Increase SF Bay ACS Chapter’s capacity to provide services to the community.

Our first class will begin Thursday March 1st! This will be a 6 week course 6:00-9:00 pm. Thursdays: March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5

Location: Sports Basement: Presidio: 610 Old Mason St., San Francisco

Link to map:


American Cetacean Society – San Francisco Bay Chapter protects whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their habitats through public education, research grants, and conservation actions.

Chapter activities include a monthly presentation series by noted marine biologists and ocean specialists, educational outreach tabling at science festivals, classes in bay area schools, 10 week ocean/cetacean curriculum class in bay area Citizen Schools, gives yearly student travel and research grants, and whale watching trips.

Jan. 30, 2018: Dr. Baldo B. Marinovic “Krill:  More Than Just food For Whales”

Tuesday, January 30th  at 7:00

Location: The Bay Model, Sausalito CA

Join ACS-SF Bay Chapter for a fascinating presentation by Dr. Baldo B. Marinovic.

“Krill:  More Than Just food For Whales”

Krill are found throughout the world’s oceans and are particular abundant in cool productive waters such as those found in polar seas.  Everyone knows that whales eat krill (actually not all do), but did you know that krill play a pivotal role in the oceanic ecosystem.

Here in California, baleen whales show up during the spring and summer months to gorge on seasonally dense krill aggregations but there is so much more to this story.  For instance krill are the main prey for seven of the most valuable commercially fished species (including salmon and squid).  This presentation will explore the natural history of krill within the Central California Coastal ecosystem in an attempt to highlight their importance with respect to the overall health of this ecosystem.

Dr. Baldo Marinovic, a research biologist at Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz studies zooplankton ecology and the dynamics of ocean food webs. MS Marine sciences UCSC, PhD Zoology University Western Australia.

Since 1997, he has been conducting surveys in Monterey Bay to understand what determines the distribution, abundance, and species composition of krill, tiny shrimp-like invertebrates that are a crucial link in the Bay’s food web.

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March 27, 2018: “Heirs to Our Oceans”

Tuesday,  March 27th at 7:00 pm

Location: The Bay Model, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito CA

Join ACS-SF Bay Chapter for a fascinating presentation 

Heirs To Our Oceans are youth leaders who are dedicated to inspire awareness, responsibility and action amongst youth worldwide to protect the waters of our Blue Planet for future generations.  They empower youth, supporting them in their education and engagement in tackling human impact on our planet.  They are active in the world making change and protecting our oceans through beach clean ups, speaking engagements, political action and more.  The Heirs make every effort to help adults understand that their daily actions affect the oceans and health of their children.

The Heirs work to encourage parents, educators and policy makers to teach youth starting in middle school about real-world problems so that they may develop essential problem-solving skills to prepare them for the world they will inherit.  The Heirs also advocate for children to spend more time in their natural environment — in water! — because one protects what one cares about.

Finally, Heirs foster hope, optimism and the continued processing of creative solutionsin solving the ocean crisis.  Heirs To Our Oceans is creating the next

generation of environmental leaders.   They are unstoppable because they have to be.


April 24, 2018: Scott Benson “Leatherback sea turtles in the California Current: Why leatherbacks cross the Pacific”

Tuesday, April 24th at 7:00 pm

Location: The Bay Model, Sausalito CA

Join ACS-SF Bay Chapter for a fascinating presentation by Scott Benson M.S.C.

With their immense size and peculiar appearance, leatherback turtles resemble species that inhabited Earth in the distant past. A swimming and diving machine, they are uniquely adapted for life at sea. This ancient mariner is the most widely distributed sea turtle, spanning tropical and subarctic waters worldwide. The endangered western Pacific leatherback turtle engages in the longest migration of any aquatic, air-breathing vertebrate. These turtles travel more than 7,000 miles annually between their western Pacific nesting beaches and their eastern Pacific foraging areas. The presentation will cover the biology and ecology of leatherback turtles, the current status of the population, challenges to recovery, and the actions we can take to help.

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May 22, 2018: ACS SF Bay Presents Grant Awardees Kaytlin Ingman & Samantha Jane Cope

Tuesday, May 22nd at 7:00 pm

Location: The Bay Model, Sausalito CA

ACS SF Bay Presents Grant Awardees Kaytlin Ingman & Samantha Jane Cope

“Evaluating the influence of vessel noise on the underwater soundscape of San Francisco Bay”

Vessel traffic and marine mammal habitat overlap in the heavily urbanized San Francisco Bay. This traffic potentially threatens marine mammals in a number of ways, namely vessel collisions and acoustic harm. With a recent influx of cetacean species in San Francisco Bay, assessing these threats is essential. By integrating underwater acoustic data with the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and marine radar vessel tracking technology, we can begin to understand how vessel traffic influences cetacean habitat and the degree to which species may be at risk.

Samantha Cope is pursuing her Master of Marine Science degree at San Francisco State University’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center in Tiburon, California. A student of Dr. Ellen Hines, Sam studies how vessels use San Francisco Bay across space and time and potential implications for marine mammal conservation. Sam received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

“Long Term Trends in Baleen Whale Observations Near the Farallon Islands”

Large baleen whales seasonally use the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary as a migration corridor and feeding ground during the productive upwelling season. Both basin scale climate patterns and local oceanographic conditions influence the timing and strength of local upwelling and nutrient quality. Modeling how these factors influence both the abundance and presence of humpback, blue, and gray whales can aid in the conservation of these protected species. We can also use these models to assess anthropogenic threats such as the increase in entanglements.

Kaytlin Ingman is currently a student of Ellen Hines pursuing a Masters of Marine Science degree at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center at the Romberg Tiburon Campus of San Francisco State University. Kaytlin studies how the abundance and presence of baleen whales is influenced by climate and local oceanography. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Washington State University.

June 26, 2018: ACS SF Bay Presents Daniella Dimitrova Russo

Tuesday, June 26th at 7:00 pm

Location: The Bay Model, Sausalito CA

Join ACS-SF Bay Chapter for an inspiring presentation by Daniella Dimitrova Russo


Daniella Dimitrova Russo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Think Beyond Plastic™, the innovation accelerator focused on the global plastic pollution crisis. Since 2009, Think Beyond Plastic has led the shift away from fossil fuel-based plastics towards bio-based, bio-benign materials from renewable sources and associated manufacturing, and innovative consumer and business products specifically designed to handle these new materials.

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July 24, 2018: ACS SF Bay Presents: Dr. Shawn Johnson, The Marine Mammal Center Director of Veterinary Science : “Not Just Seizing Sea Lions! How Domoic Acid is impacting Southern Sea Otters” 

Tuesday, July 24th at 7:00 pm

Location: The Bay Model, Sausalito CA

Join ACS-SF Bay Chapter for an inspiring presentation by Dr. Shawn Johnson – The Marine Mammal Center Director of Veterinary Science

“Not Just Seizing Sea Lions! How Domoic Acid is impacting Southern Sea Otters” 
Domoic acid is a biotoxin produced by harmful marine algae. It can cause acute seizures and long-term brain damage in a variety of marine mammals and humans. Hundreds of California sea lions showing signs from domoic acid toxicity are rescued each year by The Marine Mammal Center for treatment. In the near shore environment, sea otters feed on a variety of prey types such as crabs that can be accumulate high levels of the deadly toxin. The Center recently rescued and rehabilitated two adult sea otters exhibiting neurological signs attributed to domoic acid intoxication. These are the first otters known to be diagnosed and treated for this disease. This talk will detail the otter’s rescue, rehabilitation, and new post-release monitoring technology which will allow us to better understand the long term affects of domoic acid on individual sea otters and the population.

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Aug. 21, 2018: Alicia Amerson “My Address Like My Wings Travel With Me” 

Tuesday, August 21st at 7:00

Location: The Bay Model, Sausalito CA

Join ACS-SF Bay Chapter for a fascinating presentation by Alicia Amerson.


ACS presents Founder of Alimosphere, Alicia Amerson’s “My Address Like My Wings Travel With Me,” a discussion on drone stewardship to reduce wildlife disturbance. Drones are known to cause disturbance to wildlife. Our California coastline is home to a large biodiverse group of species from sea birds to pinnipeds. Some species of marine wildlife are adapting to the ever changing coastline and managing to survive alongside the increase of human activities in these wildspaces. Drones can be purchased easily and flown without a license. Currently, we don’t know the number of drones that are flown on the coast every day in California, but we do know it is increasing. Industry projections show that at least 7 Million drones will be in the sky by 2020. Human impacts (hiking, biking, kayaking, photography, and drones) are known to cause disturbance in sensitive areas for this wide range of species. In this talk, Amerson approaches drone stewardship through best available science and outreach to protect marine wildlife. Continue reading

2017 Research and Travel (SMM Conference) Grant Awards

We at ACS-SF Bay Chapter Thank all of you, our members and monthly presentation
audience, for your constant support of our organization. Your donations allow us to give
yearly research and travel grants to outstanding graduate students and young
researchers which aids them in their research. Those receiving Travel grants are aided in attending the Society of Marine Mammology and ACS National conferences to present
their research and network for their future work.

SF Bay ACS Logo Best1

2017 Research Grant Awardees