Kristin Sesser

Senior Avian Ecologist

As an Senior Avian Ecologist at Point Blue, my work is focused on creating and enhancing waterbird habitat in the agricultural landscape of California’s Central Valley. I lead the Wildlife-friendly Working Lands Initiative of the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership where Point Blue works alongside our incredible partners at Audubon California and The Nature Conservancy.

I started my work with Point Blue in conjunction with my M.S. thesis at Humboldt State University, examining space use and habitat selection of Long-billed Curlews using satellite telemetry in California’s Central Valley. In 2011 I joined Point Blue as staff to help conduct studies evaluating waterbird response to post-harvest rice management in the Sacramento Valley. I am thrilled to be part of an effort that is making a real difference for shorebirds and rice growers.

I grew up birding in Sonoma County and after realizing a person could study wildlife as a career, I received my B.S. from UC Davis in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology in 2002. I worked on various wildlife studies throughout the western U.S. and Alaska, including studies on salmonids, fishers, bears, owls and arctic-nesting birds. Alaska was where my interest in shorebirds was first piqued by their elaborate breeding displays and remarkable long-distance migrations. Before moving back to California for graduate school, I worked as a GIS Specialist for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pennsylvania mapping stream and upland habitat within Powdermill Nature Reserve, and helping at the bird banding station every chance I got.

I am based out of Woodland but can be found surveying birds in the rice fields or riparian areas of the Sacramento Valley or throughout the Delta. When not at work, I am introducing our toddler to hiking, camping, backpacking, and paddling throughout beautiful California.