Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association protecting our ocean wilderness through public stewardship
Winter 2010 Protecting Our Ocean Wilderness Through Public Stewardship    www.farallones.org Subscribe


On the Islands

Beach Watch Data Online

SF Ocean Film Festival

El Niño

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FMSA Events


Plankton & Pastry
Feb. 13 & March 13
Join sanctuary staff & net your own plankton for study in the Pier House Plankton Lab. Budding marine biologists will love this family-orientated adventure. Program is appropriate for curious kids age 4 and up. To sign up email Cory Hatch
Suggested donation: $15 per adult, $10 per child

February 18 Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting

Teachers! Looking for new ways to make science come alive in your classroom? Teacher Workshop Series '09-'10
Feb. 20 Saturday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Getting to the Bottom of Bay Area Food Webs: A Plethora of Plankton

Volunteer Opportunity in the Sanctuary!
The California Academy of Sciences and GFNMS are offering an eight-week Rocky Shore Naturalist Training Course. We will meet March 1-April 26 on Monday evenings from 6-8 PM. The course will cover rocky intertidal invertebrate natural history, marine biology, interpretive techniques and research methods. For more information or to sign up, contact Rebecca Johnson

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is currently accepting applications for the advisory council seats.
Applications can be downloaded here and are due by March 1

April 1 Marine Life Protection Act's North Central Coast MPA's goes into effect. Click here for more information. FMSA is involved in making the regulations more accessible to recreational boaters.

On the Islands

Shannon Lyday FMSA's Ecosystem Monitoring Manager has just returned from three weeks on the Southeast Farallon Islands where she was volunteering as a field biologist. Joining 4 other biologists, she participated in the Northern elephant seal and other winter research. Read about her adventures getting to the islands, witnessing life in an elephant seal rookery, counting migrating gray whales, surveying for burrowing owls, and visiting the West End. See Shannon's Oceanblog for all the details of her adventures.


Beach Watch Data Online

The public now has access to sixteen years of biological data from 41 Northern California beaches through the Beach Watch online query system. The online query system allows public access to data on live birds and marine mammals and dead vertebrates. Users can choose different filters and groupings to view the data; for example, the data can be queried for specific species, by individual beaches, or for a particular date range. The data are summarized and can also be displayed in graph form. Anyone can use this data. We ask for an email address to track usage and will never share or sell your information.



SF Ocean Film Festival

The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival returns February 3-7 to celebrate the sea with inspirational films that increase our appreciation of the oceans that surround us. Every year, SFOFF produces an acclaimed festival of ocean-themed films from all over the world that are largely unavailable to the general public.

Themes range from marine science and coastal cultures to sports and adventure. The films are intended not only to entertain, but more importantly, to educate and encourage active participation in ocean conservation. The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is well represented in this year’s program. Two full-length documentaries “Tragedies in the Mist” (Thunder Bay), “Lost on a Reef “ (Papahanaumokuakea) plus "The Whale that Ate Jaws" (filmed right here in our sanctuary!) will be shown. Several other films feature the Farallones sanctuary or regional marine protected areas.

Please see the SF Ocean Film Festival website for more information. Use these links for the schedule and tickets or to see the festival trailer.


NOAA Scientists Unraveling El Niño’s Mysteries

Like a stone tossed in a pond, El Niño’s appearance in the Pacific Ocean has ripple effects that extend around the world.

A natural phenomenon, El Niño (Spanish for “the little boy”) refers to occasional periods of sea surface temperature warming in the tropical Pacific that influence the world’s weather patterns.

El Niño is known for stirring up weather across the globe:

  • In the United States, West Coast residents generally experience more intense storms, while Atlantic and Gulf Coast residents see fewer hurricanes.
  • India, southeastern Africa, northern Brazil, and Australia can experience dramatically drier conditions. Shifts in patterns are even stronger in other parts of the world.

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