November 2015 Update
SeaDoc has a regional focus on the Salish Sea, so it might seem strange that Kirsten and I were giving talks in South Africa last month. But when you remember that seabirds, and all wildlife for that matter, don't pay attention to international boundaries, it's easy to see why international collaboration is important.
Joe Gaydos
Chief Scientist and Regional Director
Seabirds are sentinels of ocean health
Photo by Paul Mannix via Flickr
In late October, SeaDoc's Joe Gaydos and Kirsten Gilardi traveled to South Africa to speak at the 2nd World Seabird Conference. (Pictured: two African penguins, Spheniscus demersus, on a beach near Capetown.) Most seabirds inhabit multiple countries, so a global approach to data collection and species conservation is critical.
Kirsten, Joe, and Marcy Uhart, another wildlife veterinarian at the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, organized a session on seabird population health for this international meeting.
Joe presented on seabird declines in the Salish Sea, focusing on the interactions between disease, ecosystem factors, and anthropogenic stressors.
Kirsten discussed SeaDoc's work in California where fisherman have led efforts to reduce the impacts of derelict fishing gear on seabirds off the California coast.
Marcy lectured on best practices for reducing the spread of disease between seabirds.
Kyra Mills-Parker, another Wildlife Health Center scientist, highlighted the successes of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network in rehabilitating seabirds harmed by oil spills.
Scientists sharing information with other scientists and managers is a key component of conservation. Seabirds are excellent indicators of ocean health and unfortunately, a recent paper (Paleczny, et al., 2015), showed that worldwide seabird populations have declined by nearly 70% over the last 60 years. Unfortunately the more widely-ranging the species, the worse their populations have fared. This is another example of why international collaboration is so important.
View the conference abstract book
Nominate a scientist whose work has made a difference
2014 science prize
We are now accepting nominations for SeaDoc's Salish Sea Science Prize, which will be awarded at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in April 2016 in Vancouver, Canada.
This award recognizes a scientist or group of scientists whose work has profoundly improved management or policy related to the health of marine wildlife and the Salish Sea.
Past winners have included Ken Balcomb for his work on southern resident killer whale population dynamics, John Elliott for demonstrating the negative impact of dioxins and furans in wildlife, which helped to alter the pulp bleaching process to stop release of these dangerous chemicals in the Salish Sea, and the Northwest Straits Foundation (shown above) for their science demonstrating the population-level impact of derelict fishing gear and the economic benefits of its removal, which ultimately helped policymakers continue to fund the removal of these nets.
The nomination deadline is December 18, 2015. Get all the details, plus more information on past winners, in our Call for Nominations PDF.
Download the Call for Nominations
New grant to SeaDoc will increase recovery of lost crab gear in California
crab gear recovery
The California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project, run by SeaDoc's Kirsten Gilardi and Jennifer Renzullo, recently received a $170,000 grant from NOAA as part of NOAA's annual Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant competition. The funds will be used to expand work with commercial Dungeness crab fishermen to recover tons of lost fishing gear. Left in the water, the gear not only catches and kills crabs, but also entangles diving birds and marine mammals, including whales.
A major goal of this phase of the program is to expand a gear buyback program to additional California ports, with the ultimate goal that the project becomes a financially self-sustaining operation run by the crab fishermen themselves.
Help spread the word about new fish in the Salish Sea
fourhorn poacher by joseph r. tomelleri
By now you've received your postcard and email version of our Fall 2015 Wildlife Post, covering the publication of Ted Pietsch and Jay Orr's list of Fishes of the Salish Sea, with amazing illustrations by Joseph Tomelleri.
That's the fourhorn poacher pictured above. Cool fish, right?
We hope you had a chance to check out the full manuscript with all its great information and images.
Do you have friends who share your interest in the fish and wildlife of the Salish Sea? If so, please encourage them to sign up for our postcards and email updates. It's free to sign up, and we love sharing our science with as many people as possible!
The signup form is at
Sign up here
Kirsten Gilardi honored by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
kirsten gilardi
Last month, SeaDoc's executive director, Dr. Kirsten Gilardi, received the extremely prestigious Emil Dolensek Award from the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
The award is given "for exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife."
Visit our website to see some of the amazing work Kirsten has done in the world of wildlife conservation, including helping found the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, shaping the vision of the SeaDoc Society, co-directing the Gorilla Doctors program in Africa, and co-leading the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at UC Davis.
See Kirsten's accomplishments
Thanks to outgoing board members
In October we said goodbye to four outgoing SeaDoc board members, Tom Cowan, Gary Davis, State Senator Kevin Ranker, and Lisa Newland. We're deeply indebted to each of them for their many years of volunteer service. Lisa Newland served on the board for 8 years. Gary Davis joined the board in 2001. And Tom Cowan and Kevin Ranker participated in the very first meeting in 2000 when scientists and policy makers came together to set out SeaDoc's initial research agenda, and have served on the board since then. Additionally, Tom and Gary both served as board chairs.
We want to express our thanks to each of our outgoing board members for their many years of leadership. SeaDoc is stronger because of their contributions!
Meg Chadsey joins SeaDoc's Science Advisors
We're pleased to announce that Meg Chadsey of Washington Sea Grant and NOAA has just joined SeaDoc's Science Advisors. Science Advisors provide direction and oversight for all of our scientific endeavors, helping us determine the areas of greatest scientific need and identify projects that will answer the important questions about designing a healthy Salish Sea.
Meg Chadsey is Washington Sea Grant's Ocean Acidification Specialist and Liaison to NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. She works closely with scientists to bring cutting edge information about the causes and impacts of ocean acidification (the other consequence of human's use of fossil fuels) to the public in a form they can both understand and use to develop solutions—a dream job that makes her "as happy as a bivalve in a 350ppm CO2 world."
For more on Meg Chadsey, read the inspiring story of how she got involved in ocean acidification, and the impact she's had on Washington State's response to the issue.
Meg Chadsey's story
Leslie Dierauf speaks on what you can do about climate change
Veterinarian and retired Regional Director of the United States Geological Service Dr. Leslie Dierauf will speak on practical solutions to the problem of climate change.
Leslie will help you understand how climate change will impact the Pacific Northwest and give you resources and solutions for combating climate skepticism. Tools for taking positive action on climate change will be provided!
Join us at 7pm on Tuesday, November 10 at the Emmanuel Parish Hall in Eastsound. There will be coffee, tea, and snacks. As always, the event is free thanks to our generous sponsors.
This year's lecture series is produced by SeaDoc and YMCA Camp Orkila, sponsored by Tom & Nate Averna of Deer Harbor Charters, Barbara Brown, West Sound Marina, Dean & Audrey Stupke, Martha Wyckoff in honor of Lee Rolfe, and the WWW Foundation (Bryce and Sue Rhodes), and co-sponsed by Barbara Bentley and Glenn Prestwich.
SeaDoc in the news
No surprise, people loved the fantastic fish illustrations in Ted Pietsch and Jay Orr's Fishes of the Salish Sea. The piece got wide coverage, from the Vancouver Sun to The Stranger.
See the coverage
Upcoming events
Leslie spoke a few years ago about the "Hot Water" we're getting into with climate change. Now the former USGS scientist will tell us what actions we can take to change the climate for the better. Emmanuel Parish Hall, Eastsound. Free.
Gene Helfman on sharks
Tuesday, December 8. Free dinner at 6:00, talk at 7pm
Shark expert Gene Helfman will speak on "25 Things You Didn't Know About Sharks" for our annual family night at YMCA Camp Orkila. Dinner (yes, it's free) starting at 6:00. Larry Norman Lodge, Camp Orkila. Free.
Veterinarian Martin Haulena of the Vancouver Aquarium will talk about marine mammal strandings in the Salish Sea. Location TBA. Free.
Serge Dedina: Surfing the Border
WEDNESDAY, February 24, 7pm
Ocean advocate Serge Dedina speaks on his efforts to protect coastal habitats on both sides of the US/Mexican border. Please note that this talk does not follow our usual "second Tuesday" routine! Emmanuel Parish Hall, Eastsound. Free.
Eleni Petrou of the University of Washington will speak on the relationship between Pacific herring and human communities in a talk entitled, "Chasing the Silver Sea of Fish." Emmanuel Parish Hall, Eastsound. Free.
The next Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference is April 13-16 in Vancouver BC. Details are here.
About SeaDoc
The SeaDoc Society uses science to find solutions to the problems facing marine ecosystems. Our work focuses on the Salish Sea, one of the most ecologically productive inland seas in the world. The Salish Sea extends from Olympia, Washington to Campbell River, BC., and is home to over 8 million people.
We are a program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, a center of excellence at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
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