From our blogs

Meet the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge!

by Ross Nichols

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge with cooperation from partners at Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue). The following was written by a Point Blue biologist and chronicles perspectives and experiences from working on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge.

As the Northern Elephant seal breeding season is winding down and coming to an end, the Point Blue Winter season crew enters a mode of reflection, of seals, life, and the island. Most of the locations and structures on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, and more specifically on the South Farallon Islands, have names, many of which haven’t changed since the 1800’s, and has allowed for an incredible etymological hunt revealing some hidden history of the island. Here are ten of some of my favorite locations on the island, and a bit of the history behind them.

Get To Know Your Aquifer

Hundreds of feet underground lies a massive and mysterious natural resource that we depend on greatly — but barely ever think about.

Learn about aquifers and understand California’s groundwater management system through Stanford University's Water In The West series.

Teen Environmental Art Show 2016

Teen Environmental Art Show at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Artwork will be on display from October to December, 2016.

Open for students entering grades 7-12 in fall 2016 to submit their artwork for display!

All artwork should be submitted in one of the following categories:
1. Bay Area wildlife or plant life
2. Bay Area ecological conservation
3. Global ecological conservation.

All entry forms are due September 1, 2016. Entry forms and art show rules can be found at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/don_edwards_san_francisco_bay/

Environmental Outreach Associate

Update on Aug 25, 2016: This position is now filled. Thank you for your interest.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Environmental Outreach Associate position is located at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center in Alviso, CA. The Environmental Education Center provides free programs to schools and the public, while teaching about the local wildlife, conservation, and how to help the environment. The Living Wetlands program is designed to teach about wetlands and the properties of wetlands including watersheds and water conservation. We need a highly motivated individual who has an interest in education and visitor services and will assist in educating, planning, and developing the Living Wetlands program.

The Environmental Outreach Associate will be a part-time employee for the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS), a non-profit friends group to the Refuge. The primary mission of SFBWS is to promote public awareness and appreciation of the San Francisco Bay and its natural history, and to conserve and preserve the remaining Bay lands as essential wildlife habitat. Living Wetlands is a program of the City of San Jose Environmental Services Department.

Environmental Education Associate

Update on Aug 25, 2016: This position is now filled. Thank you for your interest.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Environmental Education Associate position is located at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center in Alviso, CA. The Environmental Education Center provides free programs to schools and the public, while teaching about the local wildlife, conservation, and how to help the environment. The Living Wetlands program is designed to teach about wetlands and the properties of wetlands including watersheds and water conservation. We need a highly motivated individual who has an interest in education and visitor services and will assist in educating, planning, and developing the Living Wetlands program.

The Environmental Education Associate will be a part-time employee for the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society (SFBWS), a non-profit friends group to the Refuge. The primary mission of SFBWS is to promote public awareness and appreciation of the San Francisco Bay and its natural history, and to conserve and preserve the remaining Bay lands as essential wildlife habitat. Living Wetlands is a program of the City of San Jose Environmental Services Department.

The Amazing Refuge Race • August 20, 2016

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and REI Outdoor School present The Amazing Refuge Race.

2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont • August 20, 2016 • 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Armed with GPS units, you and your team will “race” against other teams by attempting to complete required challenges on the refuge first. Teams will be given a set of coordinates where they must try to locate using a GPS unit. Once at that location, teams must work together to complete a challenge. When that task is completed, teams will receive the next set of coordinates. Those who complete all challenges and arrive at the finish first wins!

Intrigued? Log on to http://www.fws.gov/refuge/don_edwards_san_francisco_bay or call Carmen at 510-792-0222 ext. 476 for additional information and rules. Don’t have a GPS unit? Borrow one of ours!

Registration is required! You may register up to 5 people for your team. A minimum of 2 people per team. The refuge may place individuals on teams containing fewer than 5 people to ensure maximum participation. Registration deadline is August 17. Go to amazingrefugerace.eventbrite.com or call 510-792-0222 ext. 476 to register. There is no cost to enter.

Conversations on the Trail

by Ceal Craig

In January I represented the Society at a Moving Friends Forward conference held in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in rural West Virginia just west of Washington D.C.

Did you know that the Society was the second Friends group in the United States when it was formed in 1987?

Miles of Algae and a Multitude of Hazards

Dead whale from an algal bloom. Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dead whale from an algal bloom. Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Les Neuhaus writes in today's New York Times Science section:

In May, a 33-square-mile algal bloom crept over Lake Okeechobee, the vast headwaters of the Everglades. The mess in Florida is only the latest in a string of algal blooms that some experts believe are increasing in frequency and in severity. An immense plume of blue-green algae last September covered a 636-mile stretch of the Ohio River. A month earlier, the city of Toledo, Ohio, warned more than 400,000 residents to avoid drinking tap water after toxic algae spread over an intake in Lake Erie. The vast algal bloom in the Pacific last year was also fed in part by El Niño, the mass of warm water that forms periodically off the West Coast. But longer-term climate change may also be playing a role, some experts say.

Drawbridge, California: A Hand-Me-Down History

by Ceal Craig

We are developing a new Drawbridge publication to replace the one we commissioned from O.L. “Monty” Dewey in 1989.

The iconic structures at Drawbridge continue to remind us of what life was like a hundred years ago in our wetlands.

The new publication will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the South Bay’s habitat restoration and impacts of sea level rise.

To update the publication we would love to speak with someone who once lived there, whose relatives lived there, or have information.

Sixteen-Year-Old Wins Best of Show in 2016 California Junior Duckstamp Contest, Then Takes National Award Competing With 27,000 Young Artists

By Pam Bierce, USFWS

“It was April Fool’s Day, so naturally my reaction was disbelief at first,” says 16-year-old Stacy Shen, describing her initial reaction to winning Best of Show in the California Junior Duck Stamp Art and Conservation Contest.

Shen’s color pencil drawing of a pair of Ross’s geese was one of over 5,000 entries in the 2016 contest held earlier this spring at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.

“It’s great knowing that I get to pursue my passion while raising awareness and funds for waterfowl and habitat conservation,” says Stacy Shen, 2016 national Junior Duck Stamp winning artist.

However, winning in California was only the beginning for the Fremont, California, native. Shen’s artwork also was selected by a panel of judges to appear on the 2016-17 Federal Junior Duck Stamp, placing first among over 27,000 national entries.

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