Los Farallones

Dispatches from Point Blue’s field station on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Happy Holidays – Team Eseal 8

By | December 26, 2017

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GARRETT DUNCAN: WINTER FARALLON PROGRAM BIOLOGIST

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Garrett Duncan graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Geology but has since applied himself to ecology and conservation. He participated in several avian research projects including a Cloud Forest Ecology Project in Colombia and a Grassland Songbird Productivity study in Montana. In 2016, he was a Summer Banding Intern at the Palomarin Field Station in the Point Reyes National Seashore and worked on the Farallon Islands in the 2016 and 2017 Fall seasons. Through these projects he learned, among many other skills, the value of bird productivity and survivorship monitoring as indicators of ecosystem health. He is excited to expand this concept to include the ‘Masters of Mammal Migration,’ the Northern Elephant Seal, whose health and productivity are excellent indicators of large scale marine ecosystem stability and abundance. He is thrilled to again work on the beautiful Farallon Islands, expand his scientific research repertoire, and continue to be part of the Point Blue Family.

TREVOR BARCLAY: 2017-18 WINTER FARALLON RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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Trevor received a B.A in Biology combined with Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz this past June. During his junior and senior years at UCSC he was involved in the Northern Elephant Seal research that is conducted annually at Año Nuevo State Park. Trevor is very interested in how cutting-edge technology will change the way that marine mammal research is conducted so for his senior thesis Trevor used an unmanned aerial system (quadcopter drone) to take photographs of northern elephant seals to test the limitations and potential benefits of this new technology. Trevor is very excited to get to continue working with Northern Elephant Seals and for the opportunity to live on Southeast Farallon Island.

PIERO BECKER: 2017-18 WINTER FARALLON RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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Piero received a B.S. in Marine Biology from University of Rhode Island and since then has plunged into the world of marine conservation, rehabilitation and research. He started out working on various sea turtle conservation projects at various locations around the world but soon realize his passion and dedication of preserving wildlife couldn’t end there. Working as a stranding technician at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation it allowed him to become familiar with rehabilitation techniques and medical practices working with the sea turtles, seals and cetaceans that find themselves in trouble while exploring New York’s waterways. Then last winter he assisted the Guafo Island Research Group studying the affects of hookworm disease on South American fur seals on Guafo Island, Chile. Guafo Island was a perfect introduction into living and working in a natural environmental laboratory now he hopes to do the same while working with Point Blue this winter studying the elephant seal population as well as all the other biodiversity that reside on the Farallones.

KATHRYN ROY: 2017-18 WINTER FARALLON RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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Kathryn graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology. After spending a summer travelling coastal Canada collecting seaweed, she moved into the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program where she worked as a fisheries observer, trainer and incidental take lead. Her current position with A.I.S. Inc. finds her managing various protected species monitoring projects along the US east coast. She has experience with monitoring whales and dolphins in offshore construction zones in New England, identifying shorebird species and nesting behaviour along restoration beaches in New Jersey, and tagging sea turtles off North Carolina. Kathryn loves to travel and is thrilled to spend the winter season immersed in the biodiversity of the Farallones.

APRIL SURGENT: 2017-18 WINTER FARALLON RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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In 2004, April received her BFA with Honours from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.  Since then, she has worked as an independent studio artist using the traditional craft of cameo engraved glass as her primary medium. Interested in marine ecology and conservation, she uses research and experiences of working in the field to inspire art aimed at cultivating public awareness about climate change and anthropogenic impact on the environment. In 2013, she worked at Palmer station as a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s, Antarctic Artist and Writers Program and in 2016 as a volunteer field biologist for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. She is excited to work with Point Blue for the hands-on experience and to learn more about applied conservation science and marine mammal research! Surgent lives and works on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

RYAN BERGER: FORMER WINTER FARALLON PROGRAM BIOLOGIST

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This is Ryan’s last season as the winter season Farallon Biologist and will remain with the team until the end of December. His next professional chapter will be with The Marine Mammal Center based in Sausalito, CA as their Northern Range Operations Manager. Ryan is grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this extremely special ecosystem and perhaps more importantly the people that it attracts. He thanks each and every person who has enriched his time on the island. Ryan wishes the current season and all future seasons the best of luck in collection of such meaningful data and in training the next generations of conservationists. The island will forever remain in a special place in his heart and he hopes to continue to collaborate with Point Blue on research projects in the future. Bon voyage and happy sailing to all!

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