Keystone Datasets are collections of long-term Point Blue data archives (in some cases spanning over 50 years!). They give a rich and meticulous picture of the past and present from which we can better plan for an uncertain future. The process by which these data treasure troves are collected — one observation at a time through rigorous field science and inspirational internships — represents our commitment to being diligent and collaborative scientists and teachers. Point Blue has a rich abundance of long-term monitoring efforts, with four representing our Keystone Datasets.
Point Blue’s Keystone Datasets include: Palomarin Field Station, Farallon Islands, San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh, and ACCESS Oceans.
Palomarin Field Station (est. 1966)
One of the world’s premier facilities for training field biologists in avian ecology, our Palomarin Field Station, located in Point Reyes National Seashore, has welcomed more than 700 interns from 23 countries since 1966. Palomarin data—including information on songbirds, habitat, weather, and the impact of environmental change—have been the basis for 100+ peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Today this includes the longest running mist-netting and landbird-banding monitoring effort West of the Mississippi and third in the continent, and a songbird nest-monitoring and territory-mapping program that spans four decades.
Farallon Islands (est. 1968)
In partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, our biologists have continuously lived and worked on the Farallon Islands since 1968, collecting data on seabirds, seals, white sharks, and other animals. These datasets—used in more than 160 scientific papers—support conservation of globally significant wildlife populations, with a focus on climate change impacts. Upwards of 1,000 interns from more than 15 countries have trained with our scientists in this special place!
San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh (est. 1996)
Our scientists have collected data on tidal marsh birds throughout the San Francisco Estuary since 1996. These datasets guide habitat restorations to support thriving bayland ecosystems. They also help us understand how the Estuary will respond to changes such as sea- level rise, informing conservation plans that benefit birds and Bay Area communities in a changing world.
ACCESS Oceans (est. 2004)
The Applied California Current Ecosystems Studies (ACCESS) keystone dataset is stewarded by Point Blue in partnership with the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries along with nine other integral partners. We have collected data on sea life and ocean variables since 2004. Our datasets inform resource managers and other partners about wildlife responses to changes in ocean conditions and human threats in order to mobilize public support for marine conservation.