Happy Holidays from the 2015-16 Farallon Winter Crew
December 29, 2015
All is well out here on the Farallon Islands. We have been spending a lot of our time dodging rain drops and trying not to get blown off this rock. As mentioned in the previous blog we’ve been experiencing large swells out here and they have continued to impress. We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce this year’s team.
|Rainbow coming out of Indian Head Rock on West End Island. December 2015|
Ryan Berger – Lead Winter Farallon Biologist:
The longer Ryan performs this work the more questions arise about the marine environment. Just when he thinks he has started to figure out certain aspects of this ecosystem he is humbled by the way it continues to throw him for a loop. This is the value of long term datasets and even after 6 years of studying marine mammals on the Farallones there is still so much to learn. Ryan is excited to begin working with this year’s crew and can’t wait for the surprises that will unfold this season. This year has the potential to be the biggest El Nino event since the 1997-98 season and after experiencing prolonged drought on the Farallones new challenges should arise over the next few months.
|Ryan on the island helping with FWS facilities operations.|
|Taylor on the National Marine Sanctuaries R/V Fulmar during an ACCESS cruise.|
Cassie Bednar – Winter Farallon Research Assistant 2016:
Cassie is from the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology and recently received her M.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University. She spent two seasons working for Point Blue Conservation Science observing seabird breeding and foraging behavior along the north central coast of CA and on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA. When she is not working she enjoys backpacking, photography, crafting and weightlifting. She is looking forward to living and working on SEFI this coming winter season and to expand her experience working with marine mammals.
|Cassie conducting field research along the California coast.|
Ross was born and raised near Monterey Bay in California. He graduated from UC, Santa Cruz, where he studied Marine Biology with a focus in marine mammals. He worked as a research assistant with the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Lab,
under Dr. Colleen Reichmuth, from 2012-2015, where he worked with various pinniped species. He enjoys the outdoors, and loves to go backpacking, mountain biking, and kayaking whenever he can. Some of his favorite pastimes are SCUBA diving and listening to podcasts. Ross strives to expand his knowledge about marine carnivores and the marine environment, and is excited about the upcoming 2015-2016 winter field season with SEFI.
|Ross doing some scope work at the Lighthouse.|
|Scarlett collecting tag resight data on the resident elephant seals.|
|Farallon Winter 2015-16 Christmas dinner.|