On Sunday, January 28, 28 Branson students and four Branson teachers (Kathy Soave, Peter Zdrojewski, Heather Duncan, Henri de Marcellus) spent a beautiful afternoon gathering valuable rocky intertidal data to add to the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary database. Highlights of the day included lovely weather and sightings of 10 sea stars -- making a comeback from Sea Star Wasting Syndrome!
Students become citizen scientists
through their work with the Sustainable Seas Monitoring program. Read a summary by Andrew Cunningham in Branson's online student newspaper The Blazer:
In 2002, Kathy Soave introduced the Branson community to Sustainable Seas, an offshoot of the Greater Farallones Sanctuary which compiles baseline data on intertidal life for a national database. For the past 14 years, Ms. Soave and her students have made monitoring trips every year to the same area on the Bolinas coastline, compiling data on water temperature, species abundance, and distribution. Earlier this last month, I had the opportunity to go on a Sustainable Seas monitoring and witness just how special a resource Bolinas’ tide pools are. ...
- Field Work
The Sustainable Seas monitoring group met at 4:20 pm to embark on the first official monitoring of the year! The event drew 39 participants, the largest group ever, out to the beautiful Duxbury Reef in Bolinas for some data collection and fun. Armed with headlamps, students and teachers kept their eyes peeled for sea stars, an organism whose population has greatly declined in recent years due to Sea Star Wasting Disease. Unfortunately, no sea stars were found, even outside of the data collection site. However, a new sunburst anemone was found growing among the rocks as well as many baby whelks from this past spring’s whelk orgy! Those who braved the chill October winds were rewarded with a stunning sunset, which faded into a somber orange sky with a crescent moon, illuminating the Farallon Islands in the distance.