Upcoming Events

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







Stinson Beach Clean Up With Branson High School

Sunday, March 23, 2014, 10 am to noon

With the recent storms the ocean has deposited a ton of debris on all of Marin’s beaches… tree trunks, wood beams, pier pilings, mounts of seaweed and plastic of all sorts (bottles, styrofoam, shotgun shells, etc.) So now is a good time for a cleanup.

Surfrider will supply disposable gloves, trash bags and with luck will obtain beverage coupons from the Parkside Cafe.




American Cetacean Society


  Thursday March 20th

Time: 5:30-8pm

Location: Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco, CA

Cost: $10.00

 Stephen Palumbi�The Extreme Life of the Sea�

Awaiting presentation/bio write up



Tuesday April 29th

Time:  7pm

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

$5 Donation goes toward Student Research Grants


Pamela S. TurnerEveryone knows bottlenose dolphins are smart. But why are they smart?�

The answer to that question can’t be found in a concrete tank. If you want to know why dolphins are smart, you must ask: What is happening in the dolphins’ natural environment? Why does a dolphin need to be smart?

 Please join us for a presentation by science writer Pamela Turner, author of the new book THE DOLPHINS OF SHARK BAY. Shark Bay, Western Australia is the most important bottlenose dolphin study site in the world, and Pamela will bring us the story of Georgetown University professor Janet Mann and the Shark Bay Dolphin Project. Research in Shark Bay has resulted in one stunning discovery after another, such as fiendishly sophisticated alliances among male dolphins and astonishing innovations in feeding techniques by female dolphins, including beaching, shell-shaking, and tool use. This special event that is sure to inspire future scientists as well as dolphin-lovers of all ages.

 Copies of THE DOLPHINS OF SHARK BAY, a book for ages ten and up, will be for sale at the event. Pamela Turner lives in Oakland and is the author of eight books, including PROWLING THE SEAS: EXPLORING THE HIDDEN WORLD OF OCEAN PREDATORS, THE FROG SCIENTIST, and PROJECT SEAHORSE. Visit her at www.pamelasturner.com.”


Pamela S. Turner is the author of Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog, Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes, Life on Earth�and Beyond: An Astrobiologist�s Quest, Prowling the Seas: The Hidden Lives of Ocean Predators, A Life in the Wild: George Schaller�s Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts, The Frog Scientist, and Project Seahorse. She has received a Golden Kite for Nonfiction and Golden Kite Honor Award for picture book text from the Society of Children�s Book Writers and Illustrators, the American Association for the Advancement of Science�s Science Writing Prize, the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award, the Flora Steiglitz Straus Nonfiction Award, the Cybils Nonfiction Award, and American Library Association Notable Book recognition.  She lives in Oakland, California and volunteers as a wildlife rehabilitator with the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital. 

  Tuesday May 20th:

Time:  7pm

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

$5 Suggested Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

 David Helvarg:�� �The Golden Shore � California�s Love Affair with the Sea�

 The Golden Shore has been named one of the ’10 Best Literary Travel Books of 2013′ by Booklist, the magazine of the American Library Association. 

The Pacific Ocean significantly defined California�s storied history, from the San Francisco Bay to Monterrey to San Diego. Helvarg will discuss how Californians have related to the Pacific over time through commerce, national defense, energy and exploration. Helvarg will trace California�s progress from a late maritime frontier where people exploited and polluted the ocean to a world leader in coastal protection, marine science, innovation and wildlife restoration, and will discuss how � or if � the modern California model for living well by the sea can be exported around the world. In addition to being an award-winning author, Helvarg is the founder of the ocean conservation group Blue Frontier.

 David Helvarg is an author and Executive Director of Blue Frontier Campaign (www.bluefront.org).

David has written: Bue Frontier, The War Against the Greens, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, Rescue Warriors, Saved by the Sea, and The Golden

Shore – California’s Love Affair with the Sea.

In addition to his books, David is editor of the Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide, organizer of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards and Blue Vision Summits for ocean activists. He is the winner of Coastal Living Magazine�s 2005 Leadership Award and the 2007 Herman Melville Literary Award. Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America, covered a range of issues from military science to the AIDS epidemic, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award winning journalist, he has produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, and others. His print work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, LA Times, Smithsonian, Popular Science, Sierra, and Parade. He�s done radio work for Marketplace, AP radio, and Pacifica. He has led workshops for journalists in Poland, Turkey, Tunisia, Slovakia and Washington DC. David is a licensed Private Investigator, body-surfer and scuba diver.

 Tuesday June 24th

Time:  7pm

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

$5   Donation goes toward Student Research Grants

 Laura Duffy   “Physical-Biological Interactions of Harbor Porpoise Habitat in San Francisco Bay”

 Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are a small cetacean that inhabit multiple areas along the Pacific Coast. Historically, population studies have primarily been based on aerial surveys and post-mortem data. Golden Gate Cetacean Research began observing these animals up close in San Francisco Bay in 2008, studying their behavior and identifying individuals. Laura is the first graduate student to work with the nonprofit organization, and will investigate how porpoises use chemical and physical aspects of their surroundings in relation to tide flux in San Francisco Bay Estuary. The goal of her study is to produce a fine-scale habitat model, to make biological predictions based on field observations and physical patterns. Laura recognizes wildlife populations as important environmental indicators of ecosystem history, mechanics, and health. She does not only want to protect these populations, but really strives to scientifically comprehend why it is important to do so. Her research will help improve knowledge on environmental state of the Bay, its ecological significance to surrounding areas, and add scientific significance to pre-existing public conservation awareness.


Laura Duffy is a San Francisco State University Masters Student in the Marine Conservation Lab at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. She is working with Golden Gate Cetacean Research to complete her Masters Thesis on Harbor Porpoises in San Francisco Bay. A love of the outdoors and staying active has always made Laura an enthusiast of Natural Science. She was raised between two areas of New Jersey: a small, but highly populated, barrier island, and a fast-developing rural area of the Pinelands. From a young age, she recognized both the good and bad affects human populations can have on their environment. In both her education and career goals, she takes a respectful conservation initiative to explore the world. Laura received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston in 2009. During her senior year and post-graduation, she became very active in wildlife conservation, completing two internships and numerous volunteer projects, including a NOAA Bottlenose Dolphin Abundance and Distribution Study. She worked as a Fisheries Observer in Alaska for a year before moving to California in 2011 and applying to graduate school. Laura is extending her education to learn better data collection and analysis methods; she hopes to establish a career as a Field Biologist and work for a non-profit or government organization in the future.

 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.