Los Farallones

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

2019-20 SEFI Winter Crew Introductions

Garrett is the winter biologist for the Farallon Program, the emphasis of which is to monitor the breeding colony of Northern Elephant Seals. The continuation of our long term data set is not only useful for documenting the species rebound from near extinction in the early 20th century and the recolonization of the Farallon Islands in the early 1970s, but also to study the effects of climate change on marine mammal breeding dynamics. Due to their migratory behavior, the health and productivity of Northern Elephant Seals are excellent indicators of large scale marine ecosystem stability and abundance.

He graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Geology but has since applied himself to wildlife ecology and conservation. Garrett 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 then transitioned to the Farallones where he interned for the 2016 and 2017 fall seasons, and supervised the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 winter seasons.

When he’s not on the Farallones, he lives in Portland, Oregon and works with UC Berkeley’s Black Rail Project in the Sierra Foothills and NexGen Energy Systems Inc. installing solar power systems for remote field stations.


Danielle received her B.S in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from Ohio University. Her college internship brought her to Kodiak as an environmental education volunteer and after graduation she made the permanent move to Alaska. In 2017, she worked in the Arctic Petroleum Reserve on a Yellow Billed Loon disturbance study to understand how nesting loons will be effected by future drilling in the preserve. The past two summers she was the Salmon Camp director for the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge’s long running environmental education camp. Over the years, she has volunteered with the refuge on avian monitoring projects, spraying invasive Orange Hawkweed and assisting on cabin maintenance. Living in Alaska has inspired Danielle to live a subsistence life style and focus her career to monitor populations of game species to ensure harvest is sustainable. She would like to balance her career with biological research and education and outreach. She is excited to explore the Southeast Farallon Island and study the Elephant Seal population this winter!

Abby received her B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University. While still in school, she discovered a passion for marine conservation and, though far from any coastline, she sought out as many marine opportunities as possible. Upon graduation, she gained more experience working in multiple rehabilitation and aquarium facilities which provided her with the basics of husbandry, rehabilitation, and tank maintenance for a variety of species. Over the past three years, she has devoted her time to sea turtle conservation projects located in Florida, Texas, Costa Rica, and Australia but now, she is excited to expand her knowledge base by working with Elephant seals and all of the biodiversity that can be found on the Farallon Islands.

Alix got her B.A in Environmental Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2014. For the past three years she has worked with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program collecting population demographic data on Hawaiian Monk Seals. She is delighted to work with Point Blue; to continue learning marine conservation techniques and expand her knowledge of marine mammal research. Alix enjoys remote field work and is looking forward to experiencing the unique biodiversity of the Farallones.

Paul graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Botany this past May. He has worked as a research assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for two summers, studying bee diversity and pollination biology in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Despite studying botany and pollination biology while in school, he also participated in HSU’s Marine Mammal Education and Research Program where he hiked beaches in Northern California looking for stranded marine mammals, performed necropsies, and surveyed Steller sea lion and gray whale populations off the coast of Oregon. In his final two years of school, he helped study and characterize an emerging colony of Northern elephant seals in the King Range National Conservation Area on a stretch of coastline known as California’s “Lost Coast.” In his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar, carving spoons, painting, and rock climbing. He can’t wait to get out to the Farallones this winter and broaden his experience with elephant seals and other wildlife.