Upcoming Events

Chapter meeting the second Wednesday of the month.  7:00pm at the Wipeout Bar and Grill, Bon Aire Shopping Center, Greenbrae.









American Cetacean Society


 Tuesday July 29th

Time:  7pm

Location: Location: Saylor�s Restaurant (upstairs room)   2009 Bridgeway, Sausalito

$5   Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

 Angela Szesciorka

“The Role of Dive and Foraging Behaviors in Ship Strikes”

 Like foraging marine animals, humans rely disproportionately on productive coastal areas created by upwelling. Particularly sensitive cetaceans are vulnerable to anthropogenic inputs when they converge with human activities. These inputs range from contaminants and toxins to entanglement in marine debris and noise, which affects communication, causes hearing loss and displacement, and even causes mass stranding. The most direct interaction between humans and whales occurs when a ship physically strikes a whale. Off the west coast of the United States, blue, fin, humpback, and gray whale deaths are linked to ship strikes annually. In 2007 after four blue whale deaths were attributed to ship strikes, conservation groups began pushing for greater protection. Researchers analyzed the overlap between whale habitat and ship traffic, prompting an amendment to the major shipping lanes off San Francisco and Santa Barbara in June. Despite initial measures, ship strikes continue, and many questions remain about the behavior of whales in shipping lanes, how behaviors increase the risk of ship strikes, and how ships affect behavior. From August to October we tagged 12 whales in the major shipping lanes off San Francisco with time-depth-GPS tags. By pairing geospatial locations of whales and ships with behavior, we can assess close encounters and determine if the presence of ships directly affects behavior. And by examining whale dive parameters (dive type, descent and ascent speed, dive duration, dive depth, and surface time) with respect to whale group composition and size, age class, sex, prey layer, ship presence, and time of day, we can characterize whale dive and foraging behaviors in and around shipping lanes to understand which factors put them most at risk of potentially fatal ship strikes.


Chasing her dream of being a National Geographic correspondent, Angela moved to California  after earning her bachelor�s degree in Journalism from Duquesne University to pursue a master�s in marine science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Along the way she has worked for coastal engineering, media, nonprofit, personal finance, and academic organizations. A relentless learner, her time is filled with finding ways to work with marine animals, whether through tide pooling escapades or volunteering. At the California Academy of Sciences, Angela catalogued gastropods from the Cordell Bank Expedition. She spent one summer at a zoo preparing animal diets, scooping poop, and avoiding getting chewed on by goats. Hoping to get up-close-and-personal with marine life, she became a stranding rescue volunteer for The Marine Mammal Center where she responded to strandings, assessed the health of marine mammals, and transported them to Sausalito for medical assistance and release. As a Beach COMBERS volunteer, she surveys Monterey Bay beaches for beach cast marine birds and mammals.Angela�s master�s thesis will examine humpback whale dive and foraging behavior in and around the San Francisco shipping lanes. Her research interests include marine mammal foraging ecology, kinematics and physiology, habitat utilization, anthropogenic impacts, and conservation. Angela works as an aerial observer for NOAA and a biological monitor for Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.Angela is a certified passive acoustic technician. She has helicopter underwater egress training survival training, state and federal boating training, is scuba certified, and a wildlife rehabilitator with the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. She writes for �The Drop-In to Moss Landing Marine Labs� blog and her personal blog �Many Lobsters�.

 Tuesday August 26th

Time:  7pm

Location: Saylor�s Restaurant (upstairs room)   2009 Bridgeway, Sausalito

$5   Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

 Todd Steiner

Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica: An Underwater Serengetti

Jacques Cousteau called Cocos Island �the most beautiful in the world.�  Located about halfway between Costa Rica and Ecuador�s Galapagos Islands, it is the only island in the eastern Pacific Ocean supporting tropical rainforest.

What I found underwater, though, was much more impressive.  �Megafauna� � large-bodied species � congregate around the island. Its relative isolation, ocean countercurrents, wind patterns, and underwater seamounts combine to create an ecosystem that supports one of the most amazing displays of marine life on the planet. The sheer abundance of large animals underwater found at one place was unfathomable for me before I visited Cocos

I will share the beauty of Cocos through photography, what we are learning about the importance of Cocos Island for sea turtles and sharks, and what needs to be done to protect these species at Cocos and during their migrations to and from Cocos.  I will also describe our Cocos Island Citizen Scientist program that is involving divers in collecting data and assisting us on our research expeditions.


Todd Steiner, M.S., Executive Director, Turtle Island Restoration Network
Todd Steiner is the founder and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN), overseeing its four primary initiatives � SeaTurtles.org, SpawnUSA.org, and GotMercury.org. He holds a masters degree in Biology and currently leads research on sea turtles and sharks at Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica. Todd initially founded the Sea Turtle Restoration Project as part of Earth Island Institute in 1989. Prior to that, he worked as a wildlife biologist at Everglades National Park then was director of Earth Island�s Save the Dolphin project, which was responsible for bringing to public view the tuna industry�s impact on dolphins and other marine species and. He has more than 30 years experience protecting and restoring endangered species and habitats. Todd currently serves as a member of IUCN (World Conservation Union) Marine Turtle Specialist Group, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, NOAA-DFG Priority Action Coho Team Technical Working Group, and the Lagunitas Creek Technical Advisory Committee.