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New Naturalist Program!

Love whales? Want an interesting and fun volunteer opportunity?

Become a SF Bay ACS Chapter Naturalist!

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Our March 2nd, 2017 Naturalist class is now taking signups. Our classes fill very quickly so be sure to sign up right away!

To sign up for please email Lynette R. Koftinow: acs.sfbay@gmail.com  

SF Bay ACS Chapter 2016 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 in 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.

See further information on our Naturalist page tab under Research and Education

Our first class will begin Thursday March 2nd! This will be a 6 week course 6:00-9:00 pm. Thursdays: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6

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

Link to map:

https://www.google.com/maps/search/Sports+Basement+Presidio/@37.802867,-122.459192,15z?hl=en

Featured post

Dr. James Sumich: Gray Whales

Dr. James Sumich: “Gray Whales” 
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
7:00 -9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA


Jim will discuss the past and current distributions, migrations, and genetics of gray whales, and some likely future scenarios for this species in the in the context of our changing climate. Jim’s book “E. robustus: The Biology and Human History of Gray Whales” will be available for purchase and signing at the talk. Continue reading

Photo identification: The History of One of The Most Important Methods of Cetacean Study

At the end of last month NOAA released a publication of over 1,000 pacific-coast bottlenose dolphin pictures. The Catalogue [https://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/TM/SWFSC/NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-566.pdf] is made up of close-ups of the dorsal fin, each one showing a unique scar and notch pattern with an identification code next to each fin. The scarring and notch pattern on the dorsal fin is used to identify individuals when they are seen again because they are persistent over time. A similar method is used to identify individuals of all species of cetacean. The underside of humpback whale flukes have distinctive black and white markings to varying degrees that persist over time, right whales have specific callosity patterns on their rostrum which can be photographed from above, and beaked whale can even have distinctive cookie cutter shark scars along their bodies which they obtain when they dive into deep water.

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The Current Conservation Status of The Gray Whale

With migrations of gray whales peaking in mid-January along the Bay Area coastline, now is a good time to have a bit more in depth of a look at the gray whale. This organism’s conservation classification is not straight forward, even though their geographical range is relatively small, as there are different stocks positioned in different geographical locations with different population numbers. 

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David McGuire: Marine Protected Areas

David McGuire, Founder of Shark Stewards: Marine Protected Areas
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
7:00 -9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA

Do Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Sanctuaries Save Sharks?white-sharks

A look at protection measures in California and beyond and the effectiveness of MPAs and Sanctuaries on shark conservation. As Co- Chair of the Golden Gate Marine Protected Area Collaboration, Shark Stewards is a committed partner in the state’s marine protection. As part of a statewide network, their mission is to help communicate the importance of Marine Protected Areas along the San Francisco and Marin shorelines and assist fishermen to comply with the regulations under the California Marine Life Protection Act. Continue reading

Claire Simeone: Understanding the Role of Sinus Parasites in Cetaceans Stranded Along the California Coast

Claire Simeone SF Bay Area ACS Grantee:
“Understanding the Role of Sinus Parasites in Cetaceans Stranded Along the California Coast”
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA

ivancic-et-al-2014Cetaceans strand for a variety of reasons, including infectious disease, trauma, intoxication and parasitism. Small cetaceans commonly have parasites that inhabit the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. Worms can inhabit the sinuses, as well as the ear canal and middle ear. These parasites have occasionally been found damaging the nerves and brain of animals, causing disruption of equilibrium or acoustic abilities. However, it is unknown whether these parasites are commonly encountered without causing neurologic issues. Computed tomography (CT) scans assist researchers by providing important baseline data on the effects of these parasites on the animal’s health. The Marine Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences are working together to better understand the role parasites play in strandings, in order to help us better manage live cetacean strandings in the future. Research Objective: determine the role sinus parasites play in stranded cetaceans in central California, by combining data from gross necropsy, histopathology, and advanced imaging. Continue reading

Kip Evans: Mission Blue Sylvia Earle Alliance

Kip Evans: Mission Blue Sylvia Earle Alliance
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA

whale-shark-verticle-feeding-kip-evans_mg_1393Mission Blue is an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEA) to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots—special places that are vital to the health of the ocean, the blue heart of our planet. From the seamounts of the high seas to the shallow sunlit reefs, Mission Blue seeks to bring about a significant increase in ocean protection from less than four percent today to 20% by the year 2020.weddell-seal-ckipevans

 

 

 

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Maren Anderson: View Into Vocalizations

Maren Anderson: 2017 Research Grantee
“View Into Vocalizations”
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA

image001Wintering humpback whales can be found in the coastal waters off of the Hawaiian Island Chain where they remain from January through April for their breeding season. This population expends a great deal of energy in activities which includes competing for mates, mating, calving, and feeding / raising their offspring prior to the first migration back north. During our next field season, we plan to focus on studying mother and calf humpback groups (which may include escorts). We will expand upon our past research and will investigate social interactions between
mothers and calves/escorts, profile underwater behaviors (including the spatial behavior known as laterality), and investigate age and sex class activity budgets. We will also examine calls known as social sounds and their biological significance, and identify any behavioral and acoustic vulnerabilities based on the breeding season behaviors, and assess how this affects ship strike potential. We plan to continue the R&D we began in 2015 with the new tagging technology that furthered our research goals. We propose to use non-invasive suction-cup tags to tag mother and calf pairs in order to gain better understanding of their underwater behaviors and vocalizations. Very few first year Hawaiian humpback whale calves have been tagged and no mother calf pair tag results are have been published. We successfully obtained these data in 2015 using both conventional tags and a new tag we self-designed. In conjunction with our underwater videography research techniques and our past datasets, the data from additional field work and tagging will allow us to work to develop the first underwater behavioral ethogram for Hawaiian humpback whales. Continue reading

Bay Area Updates From The 2016 International Cetacean Conference

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The American Cetacean Society hosted their 15th international cetacean conference in Monterey last month. The conference included a host of well-known names and a ton of interesting current research. I want to share with you some of the topics that relate to the bay area as well as some of the interesting advances in the field of cetacean science.

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