Every year, humpback whales make their annual trek from tropical calving grounds to feed in the cold, nutrient-rich waters off the coast of California. Historically, they arrived to feast in June just as the Dungeness crab fishery was closing and gear was being pulled in for the season. But in 2012, they arrived a few weeks earlier than normal. In 2014, they were a month early. By 2015, the humpbacks arrived in April, a full two months earlier than the norm.
Ellen Hines of San Francisco State University has been elected to the Society for Conservation Biology’s Board of Governors as Officer for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. Dr. Hines has been a longtime SCB volunteer and most recently acted as a representative in the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee and was formerly the Marine Section president. A member since 1994, she is excited to openly represent and contribute the important priorities and goals of EID within conservation at the Board of Governors level.
Last year, researches working with SF State’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center installed an array of instruments to track underwater parameters. John Largier, a UC Davis professor of oceanography, says he expects clear trends and patterns indicative of warming and acidifying waters to become apparent in the data in about a decade. With nations making painfully slow progress in reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases, Largier thinks local efforts to boost the resiliency of the Bay ecosystem could be especially powerful.
Impact of the San Francisco Bay Plume in the California north central coast. Principle Investigator: Piero Mazzini, San Francisco State University
As water from San Francisco Bay moves out into the ocean, it brings with it nutrients—as well as pollution. This project proposes to build a detailed model to better understand the dynamics of this water flow, providing key information for policy makers and resource managers.
Six years ago, if you had poked your head under the water off the California coast, you might have seen vibrant populations of ochre and sunflower sea stars. Since then, those sea stars have melted away.
Read the Special to S.F. Examiner by EOS Center researcher Dr. Sarah Cohen HERE.
Last year, local marine researchers working with SF State’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center installed an array of instruments at a research site near Tiburon, in Marin County, to track underwater parameters including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen levels, and carbon dioxide concentrations. John Largier, a UC Davis professor of oceanography who is helping operate the system, says he expects clear trends and patterns indicative of warming and acidifying waters to become apparent in the data within about a decade.
From the crest of Bullet Hill in China Camp State Park, an historic remnant of marsh is stunningly on view. An ancient, sinuous water channel winds through the pickleweed, straightening as it nears the open water. A flock of egrets rises, then settles again nearby to hunt and feed. This is one of the most-studied wetlands in the San Francisco Bay Area; as part of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), the site has more than a decade’s worth of annual vegetation sampling and water-quality data available.
On March 19, in a closed to the public session, the mayor and City Council of Richmond California voted to accept a proposal from SunCal, a major southern California developer, to build an upscale housing tract on the last isolated and undeveloped headland on San Francisco Bay, that is also home waters for its healthiest marine grasses.
Read the OpEd in Bay Nature.
Climate change is often talked about in terms of averages — like the goal set by the Paris Agreement to limit the Earth’s temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. What such numbers fail to convey is that climate change will not only increase the world’s average temperature, it will also intensify extreme heat waves that even now are harming people and wildlife, according to a recent review paper by San Francisco State University Professor of Biology Jonathon Stillman.
The Estuary & Ocean Science Center talks (EOS talks) are a communication stage for our graduate students to share their passion for protecting the estuary and the ocean. Our early career research scientists give a 5 minute talk in front of a panel of community members who will act as judges. The top three students receive monetary awards. They also share their talks with the general public during our Discovery Day open house.