Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

Collaborative Accomplishments: 1999-2018

I often describe Point Blue as having 3 names: first name “science,” middle name “partnership” and last name “family!”  Following is a list of just some of our many collaborative accomplishments since 1999 that demonstrate these essential qualitiesAnd in case you missed it, please read a personal note from me about my upcoming transition here. –Ellie Cohen, June 25, 2018

  • Established Point Blue as an internationally recognized leader and driver for climate-smart, multi-benefit conservation.
  • Grew Point Blue’s budget from $2.5 million with 30 staff in 1999 to almost $14 million with 180+ staff in 2018.
  • Secured a strong financial foundation with outright ownership of our 20,000 square foot Petaluma headquarters, ownership of our new 12-person Rich Stallcup Intern House in Petaluma, and a board-designated reserve fund of $3 million.
  • Co-developed climate-smart conservation principles and catalyzed their adoption by most of our agency, NGO and government partners.
  • Secured recognition of Point Blue as an official Observer Organization on climate change by the United Nations global climate body (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
  • Brought on the award-winning STRAW program to Point Blue and established our innovative Rangeland Watershed Initiative partner biologist program.
  • Leveraged almost $100 million in agricultural land conservation investments on roughly 2 million acres of forests, meadows, rangelands and croplands, for water, birds, other wildlife, carbon sequestration and people.
  • Engaged over 1000 ranchers and farmers, dozens of public agencies (including the Natural Resources Conservation Service and US Forest Service), land trusts and other NGOs, as well as over 50,000 students and teachers.
  • Helped more than 70 city, county, regional, state, and federal agencies across 95% of the urbanized coast of California to plan for climate change through the Our Coast Our Future online planning tool.
  • Played a leadership science role in securing the world’s largest Marine Protected Area at the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
  • Engaged scores of partners and over 1,200 volunteers across 12 countries across the Americas to advance climate-smart conservation for migratory shorebirds and coastal communities.
  • Played leadership science role in securing the protection of over 800,000 acres of post-fire Sierra forest for birds and other wildlife.
  • Supported the protection and restoration of populations of seabirds, whales, shorebirds, land birds and their habitats in the West, the California Current, along the Pacific Coast of the Americas, and Antarctica.
  • Contributed an average of 15 peer-reviewed scientific publications per year, in a growing number of high impact journals, to advance conservation science and application.
  • Established Point Blue as an informatics powerhouse, now managing over 1 billion ecological observations from across the Western Hemisphere and producing cutting-edge, practical web-based tools to advance climate-smart conservation from Alaska to Chile and Antarctica.
  • Expanded our renowned conservation science training programs, with a total of 1900 interns graduated and more than 100 graduate students who’ve helped to unlock our vast stores of ecological data.
  • Maintained and grew Point Blue’s uniquely valuable long-term bird and ecosystem data sets to understand ecological patterns and inform conservation management (total years as of 2018):
    • Palomarin Field Station, Point Reyes National Seashore (52 years)
    • Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge (50 years)
    • Coastal Snowy Plovers (40 years)
    • Ross Island, Antarctica (35 years)
    • SF Bay Tidal Marshes (22 years)
    • Sierra Nevada (22 years)
    • Vandenberg Air Force Base (19 years)
    • Gulf of Farallones (14 years), and,
    • TomKat Ranch Field Station (8 years).
  • Launched and grew the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership in California with our partners at The Nature Conservancy and Audubon California.
  • Expanded Point Blue’s active leadership in major conservation partnerships regionally, nationally and internationally including the Bird Habitat Joint Ventures, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Migratory Shorebird Project, Sierra Meadow Partnership, National Marine Sanctuary Science Advisory Committees, CA and National Adaptation Forums, NWF’s Climate-Smart Conservation Team, and the Bay Area Ecosystem Climate Change Consortium, to name just a few.
  • Cultivated and managed an outstanding Board of Directors and staff leadership team.
  • Supported the development of an acclaimed group of scientists who are leaders in their fields, in high performance teaming and in high performance partnering.
  • Professionalized and enhanced the experience of being an employee at Point Blue including implementing a matching 401K retirement plan and paid family leave.