Where Are They Now? Featuring 1983 Palomarin Intern Sophie Webb
By Diana Humple
Where Are They Now?
Where do Palomarin interns go after they complete their internship with us? Our growing numbers of Palomarin alumni often continue on in the fields of conservation science and bird ecology, many becoming influential in their chosen field of study. Still others whose lives have gone in different directions have pursued paths of equal remark and fascination. To celebrate the diversity and successes of our former interns, volunteers, and staff, in the “Where Are They Now?” series we share stories of individual alumni, then and now.
Sophie Webb (1983)
Earlier this month, Sophie Webb – Palomarin alumnus, Point Blue Conservation Science research associate, and wildlife artist and illustrator extraordinaire – was the recipient of the 2014 Linnaean Society of New York’s highest award, the Eisenmann Medal. This award is given for excellence in ornithology and to recognize the recipient’s efforts in encouraging amateur ornithologists, and we all congratulate Sophie on this well-deserved honor!
Sophie first came to Palomarin in 1983 when she began a “fall gridding” internship with Point Blue Conservation Science (then PRBO), surveying and mapping the autumn songbirds – including our color-banded resident study species – using the local coastal scrub habitat. She subsequently worked with us on Southeast Farallon Island and on the Antarctic Project. She also sketched and painted for years out of our headquarters and cabin at Galloway Canyon, and later
from a small studio (now Tom Gardali’s office!) at the Palomarin Field Station, where a number of plates for the Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America (co-authored
by Steve Howell) were completed. She currently lives and has an art studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in Felton, CA.
Throughout her career, Sophie has worked extensively both as a biologist and as an artist, illustrator, and writer. As a biologist, her work has especially taken her onto the ocean as a researcher and naturalist. As an illustrator and writer, her other published books include the Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast (with Sarah Allen and Joe Mortenson), and a series of children’s books chronicling her experiences as a scientist, including My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal.
Check out her webpage, sophiewebb.com, for a chance to view some of her beautiful artwork, and to read her blog about the Farallones, which includes a number of her recent sketches such as the Evening Grosbeaks pictured here.
– Diana Humple, Palomarin Field Station project leader