Kristin Sesser

Avian Ecologist

As an 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.