Fellows in the News

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel, by Rachel Kippen: So it’s clear that you all like shearwaters. After detailing the sooty shearwater journey in a recent column, I received heartening and heartwarming stories from dozens of readers who identify with the enchanting anticipation of the sooty migration arrival every year (thank you for that outpouring of enthusiasm).

Fortunately, we’ve hardly skimmed the surface of the depths of shearwater lore. I’ve had the privilege of learning from Ryan Carle, science manager for the nonprofit Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, who happens to research and safeguard another miraculous shearwater species that wings its way to Monterey Bay; the pink-footed shearwater, with their distinguished pink feet, referred to lovingly hereafter as “pinkfoots”. Every year, pinkfoots breed in Chile from November through April, and migrate to the Northern hemisphere including California and Monterey Bay from June through September, traversing an average of about 14,000, and even up to 20,000 miles of ocean.

Oikonos, an international research nonprofit with an office in Santa Cruz, is focused primarily on the conservation of marine habitats, including seabirds, shorebirds, and their island breeding grounds. With a mission to “Study and protect imperiled ecosystems by engaging diverse communities through innovative scientific and artistic collaborations,” they are deeply embedded in community-based conservation in the Western U.S., Hawai’i, and Chile.

Carle tells me that “Much of our work on specific islands is conducted by locals from the islands.” The connections forged between humans through collaborative, international efforts to preserve migratory species sets Carle’s passion for conservation aflame. Crossing boundaries both imaginary and tangible, pinkfoots forge a pathway that today requires the cooperation of innumerate agencies, countries and legal jurisdictions. Their long-term success necessitates the consideration of equally numerous obstacles and the inclusion of diverse perspectives and possibilities.

Read more

Add comment

Log in to post comments

A vibrant community of environmental leaders