Network Innovation Grant

Connecting the Scientific Method to Conservation Action for Pacific Albatross

$10,000 awarded to University of California, Santa Cruz in

Dr. Myra Finkelstein of UC Santa Cruz, and Dr. Vickie Bakker of Montana State University are leading this collaborative project to research and develop consensus on updated population data and management status of two species of Pacific Albatross - the Blackfooted Albatross and the Laysan Albatross.  Results of this work will be compiled in a status assessment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) with the goal of providing current data to supplement existing management recommendations and protection levels for these endangered seabirds that have been heavily impacted by fisheries bycatch.  Drs. Finkelstein and Bakker have convened an expert advisory panel comprised of USFWS staff; staff of the National Marine Fisheries Service; interested NGO and government agency personnel; and other Switzer Fellows including Dr. Shaye Wolf, Climate Science Director at the Center for Biological Diversity; Noa Lincoln, PhD candidate at UC Davis; and Dr. Brad Keitt of Island Conservation.  Status assessments of this kind are produced under the Endangered Species Act and serve as the best available science for management decisions, especially concerning fisheries management decisions.  

Myra Finkelstein is Assistant Adjunct Professor in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology at UC Santa Cruz, with a long-standing research program in toxicological effects of pollutants on seabirds.  Vickie Bakker is Assistant Research Professor at Montana State University with expertise in applying quantitative methods of ecology for use by conservation practitioners.