Claire Nasr

Winter Farallon Biologist

As the winter season biologist for Point Blue Conservation Science on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge my role includes long-term population monitoring of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and cetaceans (whales and dolphins) that call the island and surrounding California Current home. Another special part of my role as the winter season biologist is to train, mentor, and supervise several research assistants and collaborate with other scientists investigating wildlife on the Farallones.I have been working in the field with marine mammals for the past ten years at various sites in the Pacific, including the Pribilof islands with northern fur seals, Ano Nuevo Island working with elephant seals and sea lions, and even worked as a winter volunteer researcher with Point Blue in 2013 on the Farallones. I am particularly fascinated with island ecosystems because of their limited available suitable habitat which sets up interesting interspecies relationships, and increases the sensitivity of those species to disturbance. Recent climatic shifts have increased the intensity and frequency of storm events, increasing erosion rate and rapidly diminishing suitable habitat for marine wildlife, the effects of which I hope to help better understand while working on the Southeast Farallon Island.I received my B.S. in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz, and my master’s degree from the Wildlife Department at Humboldt State University where I studied the spatial use of pinnipeds, seabirds, and humans to help inform management on the north coast of California (yep, you guessed it, on islands!). After graduating, I worked for the Bureau of Land Management working with the North Coast Seabird Protection Network investigating disturbance to marine wildlife. Through working as a biologist with the federal government, I became very interested in how science informed policy, and was selected to participate in the 2020 California Sea Grant State Graduate Fellowship Program. I worked as a Program Support Specialist with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary where I learned that listening and working with community members and stakeholders is just as important as contributing knowledge to science in order to inform management and conservation efforts in marine systems. I feel honored and motivated to contribute to historic long-term monitoring to better understand and conserve marine mammals and other wildlife that exist on the Farallones.When I’m not spending the winter months on the Southeast Farallon Island, you can find me tidepooling in Point Arena, baking sourdough in Santa Cruz, walking with my dog on the Sonoma coast bluff trails, exploring the Lost Coast Trail in Humboldt County, or making delicious food with family and friends on the north coast of California.