Fisherman's Wharf Monterey
events

6th Annual Whalefest Monterey to be held on January 23 & 24, 2016 at Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, California

NEW!  SUNDAY'S ACTIVITIES WILL BE HELD AT THE WHARF AND ALONG THE ADJACENT CAUSEWAY. THE SYMPOSIUM (BOTH DAYS) WILL BE HELD IN THE ADJACENT MUSEUM OF MONTEREY.

Note: Symposium Schedule and Speakers and Music Schedule Posted Below

New! Enjoy a very special weekend Whalefest Monterey room rate for only $129.95 (subject to availability). See below.

The Whale Watching Capital of the World™

January 2016 (Monterey, CA) –The Monterey Fisherman's Wharf Association will sponsor and hold the 6th ANNUAL WHALEFEST MONTEREY at and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, California, The Whale Watching Capital of the World™ on Saturday, January 23rd and Sunday, January 24th, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The event will be held rain or shine and if there is inclement weather, the music and booths will be inside the giant pavillion tent on the Custom House Plaza. Sunday's activities will be held on the Wharf and along the adjacent causeway. The Symposium will take place inside the adjacent Museum of Monterey (MOM) at 5 Custom House Plaza in Monterey.

This free fun and educational, interactive family event for all ages celebrates the migration of the gray whales! The event also benefits many local and national marine organizations that inspire, educate, explore and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Among the highlights will be a symposium with lectures and documentaries related to ocean and marine life conservation, musical performances, and many educational displays by participating organizations. Thousands of attendees are expected again this year that range from local families and school children who want to learn more about our maritime environment to visitors from near and far who want to explore the annual whale migration.

Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans who continue to feast on a “krill and anchovy buffet” in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout the year, this Whale Watching Capital of the World offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoise, 6 species of pinnipeds and 1 species of fissiped (sea otter).

Weather permitting, whale watching tours, fishing, sailing and glass bottom boats (for a fee) will be operating from the Wharf, and Wharf restaurants will be serving lunch and dinner. Wharf shops will also be featuring marine-themed merchandise. The Monterey Bay Chapter, American Cetaecean Society's annual Fundraising Trip on Princess Monterey Whale Watching will take place on Sunday, January 24th at 8:00 a.m.

The two-day event will feature a wide array of fun and informative activities including:

  • A 60-foot model whale – Humphrey the Humpback Whale (attendees can climb inside) provided by MAOS, will be on site in front of the Custom House both days to honor the migration of his friends, the gray whales.
  • There will be squid dissection by scientists from the Hopkins Marine station and interactive displays from the Pacific Shark Research Center.
  • Learn more about the Whale Entanglement Team (WET)℠ by Marine Life Studies that help rescue the increasing number of entangled whales.
  • Gyoataku, the Japanese art of stenciling fish, will be a fun activity for kids from Noon to 4:00 pm both days in front of Abalonetti Bar & Grill as well as scrimshaw-making with soap. (Sunday only)
  • MY Museum will bring Wheelie Mobilee with lots of interactive activities for kids.
  • There will also be the very popular Abalone Races coordinated by the Moss Landing Marine Labs with abalone donated by the Monterey Abalone Company. The Abalone Races will be held 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m near the Wharfside Restaurant, Sunday only.
  • On the California Dock, the Shoreline Operations Fire Boat will be on hand.
  • The 29’ Response Boat from the The U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey will be on display on the Causeway next to the Custom House Plaza. Their popular animatronic Coastie the Safety Boat, a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 64 Monterey, will roam and talk with attendees.
  • Seafloor Science ROV Day Camp will have underwater robotic kits to build and drive, Boe Bots to program, plus other ocean tech equipment to tinker with.
  • There will also be photo ops with costumed animals roaming the Wharf area including a whale, leatherback turtle and the Bag Monster.
  • Monterey Bay Fisheries Historian Tim Thomas will conduct hour-long historic Whalefest Walking Tours at 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Big Sur Charter School's Coastal Stewardship Program will be hosting a mini-science lab about the advantage of blubber in marine malls.
  • Marine Life Studies Take it to the Streets is partnering with Save Our Shores and Surfrider for the Whalefest Community Cleanup (beach and streets). Meet 11 am on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at the Marine Life Studies Booth.

Plus many other interactive displays and activities on both days!

The event will feature an array of great live music including the Monterey High Jazz Band, Kuumbwa High School HoPortnor Jazz Band, The Thom Cuneo Jazz Band, Jonah and the Whale Watchers, Nick Fettis & His "Orca" stra, Bill Minor & Richard Rosen, and Michael Brautovich. Click here for the Music Schedule.

There will be Whalefest Monterey commemorative t-shirts and with a $15 donation to MAOS, attendees can receive a free t-shirt. Special Whalefest Monterey aprons will also be available for sale.    

Subject to availability, the adjacent beautiful Portola Hotel & Spa is offering a very special room rate of only $129 per night. Click here to book:

https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=65712&Chain=18268&template=GCF&shell=GCF&start=availresults&arrive=1/23/2016&depart=1/25/2016&adult=1&child=0&promo=WHALEFEST

Currently, the participating marine conservation and otherorganizations that will provide information, demonstrations and activities include:

American Cetacean Society

California Coastal Commission

Camp SEA Lab

Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers

Clean Oceans Project

Coastal Stewardship Program/Big Sur Charter School

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Hopkins Marine Station

Marine Life Studies

Marine Mammal Center

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science (MAOS)

Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD)

MY Museum

Moss Landing Marine Labs

Oceana Pacific

Otter Project

Pacific Grove Museum

Pacific Shark Research Center

San Francisco Bar Pilots

Save the Whales

Save Our Shores

Seafloor Science and Remotely Operated Vehicle (SS-ROV) Day Camp

Student Oceanography Club

Surfrider Foundation

U.S. Coast Guard & Coast Guard Auxiliary

Whale Entanglement Team (WET)℠

Ventana Wildlife Society

Whalefest Monterey once again has lined up world-renowned marine scientists, researchers, authors and historians to speak at a two-day Symposium on January 23 and 24, 2016  at the Museum of Monterey, Stanton Center, 5 Custom House Plaza, next to Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

This year’s presentations focus on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its wildlife; climate change, weather and water anomalies and their affects on marine life; whale entanglements and rescues; and local marine history.

On Saturday, Paul Michel, Superintendent of MBNMS, will provide an overview of the abundant marine life in Monterey Bay; while leatherback turtle researcher Scott Benson will discuss biology and ecology of leatherback turtles including information specific to the endangered western Pacific population that utilizes US west coast waters as a foraging region. UC Santa Cruz distinguished professor Dan Costa will share his research experience with elephant seals.

Cannery Row Foundation founder and John Steinbeck expert Michael  Hemp explores the fate of the Western Flyer research ship that took “Doc” Ricketts and John Steinbeck on a well documented research trip to the Sea of Cortez 70 years ago, and local fisheries historian Tim Thomas will entertain with tales of whales, sardines and canneries in old Monterey.

Scientist, researcher and New York Times bestselling author of “Blue Mind”, Wallace J.Nichols, will be on hand to share his insights on the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under or simply near water. He’ll also sign copies of his book, available at the event.

After an introductory presentation by Geoff Shester from Oceana Pacific about the current state of whale protection, Sunday’s program focuses on climate change and recent meteorological and oceanographic events and their affect on marine life in general and whales in particular. Meteorologist Jim Vanderzwaan will discuss El Nino;  Marine Biologist Steve Webster, one of the founders of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, will talk about the effects of climate change on whales; while marine ecologist Steve Lonhart explores warm water abnormalities recently observed in Monterey Bay and beyond. Rounding out the program are presentations by the Northern California Whale Entanglement Team, including founder Peggy Stap of Marine Life Studies, who’ll share their experiences and insights into rescuing injured whales on the high seas. WET will also be part of a multiagency panel describing the rescue of a Minke whale in Monterey Harbor. Other panelists include representatives of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey; Monterey Harbor, Fire, and Police Departments.

Whalefest Monterey celebrates the migration of the gray whales, and benefits the many local and national marine organizations that build awareness about the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) – they educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect it. The free event for all ages will feature many fun interactive exhibits and activities from marine non-profits and other organizations.

Media sponsors of the 6th Annual Whalefest Monterey include KSBW 8 & Central Coast ABC, KRML Radio 102.1 FM and Monterey Waves.

For more information, call 831-238-0777.

About the Symposium:

There will also be a 2-day Symposium as part of Whalefest Monterey and some of our presenters (subject to change) and their presentation titles/synopses include:

Scott Benson

"Leatherback turtles in the California Current: Why leatherbacks cross the Pacific"
The presentation will discuss biology and ecology of leatherback turtles including information specific to the endangered western Pacific population that utilizes US west coast waters as a foraging region. The presentation will also include the current status of the population, challenges to recovery and actions that citizens might take to enhance recovery prospects.

Bob Carr

“Interactions with the Ship Masters and the Efforts we make to Avoid Whale Strikes.”

Bob will discuss his role as a ship’s pilot in San Francisco.  How and where the pilot gets on the ship, what he does once he is aboard and the steps and tools used in safely navigating a vessel to the dock.  Whales cross the path of vessels within the pilotage waters and he will discuss the efforts his group does for avoidance and to alert other pilots and boat operators to the whale’s presence.

Dan Costa

“From the Beach to the Sea: The Secret Life of Elephant Seals.”

Michael Hemp

"The Saga of the Western Flyer”

Michael Hemp became historical consultant to the new owner of the Western Flyer, marine geologist John Gregg­­­­. That purchase in early 2015 rescued the Monterey purse-seiner, from near destruction, chartered by John Steinbeck to Mexico’s Gulf of California in 1940 with marine biologist, Ed Ricketts. Made world-famous in John Steinbeck’s “Log From The Sea of Cortez” the world-famous fishing vessel is now under restoration at Port Townsend, Washington.

Scott Kathey

"Respect and protect marine wildlife - viewing techniques, approach guidelines, and resource protection laws."

What are the best ways to approach marine wildlife to avoid disturbance and how does repeated casual disturbance of marine mammals and birds hurt them?  What does the law actually say (and not say) about marine wildlife disturbance within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary?  What is MBNMS doing to prevent and reduce wildlife disturbance and how can the public help?

Steve Lonhart

“Warm water anomalies and a changing seascape”

Elevated ocean temperatures in 2014-15 along the eastern Pacific have resulted in a number of seemingly anomalous events.  Normal, however, is a relative term and the appearance of warm-temperate and sub-tropical species in central California should not be surprising given the persistence and spatial extent of the elevated temperatures (commonly referred to as ‘the blob’).  Steve Lonhart will discuss several examples of these ‘anomalous’ sightings, range extensions, and population-level responses that have been documented in the nearshore waters in and around Monterey Bay.

Wallace J. Nichols

“Blue Mind: A ground breaking conversation” surroundingBlue Mind,” a New York Times Best Seller by author Wallace J. Nichols, on the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under or simply near water. Combining cutting edge research with compelling personal stories, Dr. Nichols shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success.Blue Mind” not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water --‐ it provides a paradigm shifting ‘blueprint’ for a better life. Note: Wallace J. Nichols will do a book signing after his presentation. Blue Mind books will be available with the event with 50% of book sales going to support Marine Life Studies' education programs and their Whale Rescue Research Vessel for the Whale Entanglement Team.

Paul Michel

“Monterey Bay - The Big Blue Buffet”

Animals from across the Pacific travel thousands of miles to Monterey Bay every year to feast upon the bounty that is produced annually off the central coast of California. The combination of deep ocean upwelling, currents, light, temperate climate, and the protection afforded by layers of state and federal protection, result in a feeding frenzy not seen but in just a few places on earth.

Geoffrey Shester

“Saving the Whales…Again”

Decades ago, the international environmental campaign to “Save the Whales” helped spur the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act and an international moratorium on commercial whaling.  As a result of these efforts many whale populations are recovering; however, human activities continue to threaten whales even right here in our local ocean waters.  Oceana’s California Campaign Director, Geoff Shester, will discuss how conservation organizations are working with fishermen, wildlife managers, and other groups to address these threats, and ways you can get involved to make California’s oceans an even safer place for whales.

Tim Thomas

"Thar She Blows: There’s Oil in Them Thar Sardines"

The Monterey/California sardine fishery was the largest fishery of a single fish in the history of the United States! Yet, it was never a popular fish to eat. There was a time, at the turn of the 20th century, when people ate sardines almost every day. But the sardines they were eating, came from the North Atlantic, New York State, Maine and from France. When WWI started in 1914, it cut off that fishery and a new source for sardines was needed.

Monterey sardines were introduced to the world at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Expedition. Grocery stores all over the United States bought all they could get their hands on, and the price for Monterey sardines went up and up. With the end of WWI in 1919, the fisheries in the North Atlantic reopened, and the price of Monterey sardines dropped to the point where the Monterey canneries were losing money with every sardine canned. But these canners had learned early on, the Monterey sardine was large and full of oil, and new resource was born.

Jim Vanderzwaan

“El Nino”

There has been a lot of talk about El Nino this year, but there is also some confusion how it might impact the winter in California. Changes in ocean temperatures can have an effect on global climate and local weather, as well as the behavior of sea life, land animals and people. He will explain what some of these changes could mean this winter and further into the years ahead.

Steve Webster

“Climate Change - How Will It Affect Whales?”

Steve will be speaking about dwarf Minke whales in Australia, as well as climate change, what we know about it and what we should be doing now to assure a livable Planet for our grandchildren. And theirs.

Whale Entanglement Team

“Rescuing Whales, One at a Time”

Peggy Stap, one of the founders of the Whale Entanglement Team for Northern California will recount how the team evolved over nearly a decade, and how raised awareness has resulted in a fast rise in the number of entanglement reports and whale rescues. She describes vividly the process of disentangling whales off the California Coast with footage of real life rescues.

WET will also be part of a multiagency panel describing the rescue of a Minke whale in Monterey Harbor. Other panelists include representatives of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey; Monterey Harbor, Fire, and Police Departments. They all will illustrate the incredible interagency cooperation that was needed to save this whale.

Speaker Biographies

Scott Benson

Scott Benson is the lead investigator of the leatherback turtle ecology program and coordinates studies of the distribution, abundance, movement patterns, foraging ecology, and health of endangered western Pacific leatherback turtles along the U.S. West Coast and throughout the Pacific. His research integrates bio-telemetry, aerial surveys, vessel-based sampling, and satellite remote sensing to enhance understanding of how oceanographic processes influence the occurrence and behavior of this species, and to aid U.S. and international conservation and recovery efforts. Since 1986, he has been involved in ecological research and conservation of marine vertebrates in the Pacific Ocean, including integrated studies of marine mammals and seabirds along the U.S. West Coast. He is stationed at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Bob Carr

Bob Carr is a ship’s pilot with the San Francisco Bar Pilots.  He is California state and federally licensed as a pilot upon the waters of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bays.  As one of 60 pilots, he is responsible for the safe navigation of vessels across the San Francisco Bar, under the Golden Gate Bridge and through the bays until the vessel reaches one of nine ports within the bay area.  Bob graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York and immediately began 20 years of life at sea on ocean going tankers.  He was master of oil tankers for five years before becoming a pilot.  Bob is also a member of the San Francisco Harbor Safety Committee as a pilot’s representative.

Dan Costa

Daniel Costa Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  His research focuses on the ecology and physiology of marine mammals and seabirds, taking him to every continent and almost every habitat from the Galapagos to Antarctica. He has worked with a broad range of animals including turtles, penguins’ albatross, seals, sea lions, sirenians, whales and dolphins and has published over 400 scientific papers. His current work is aimed at recording the movement and distribution patterns of marine mammals and seabirds in an effort to understand their habitat needs. He is an internationally recognized authority on tracking of marine mammals and birds and as such is a member of a number of international science steering committees including the Integrated Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics program, The Census of Marine Life, Southern Ocean GLOBEC, CLIOTOP and the Southern Ocean Observing System.

Michael Hemp

Michael Hemp created the non-profit Cannery Row Foundation in 1983 and has been President of its Board of Directors since 2008. Presently, he is Director of Marketing, Communications & Special Events of the Cannery Row Company and owner of the History Company. He is the researcher and author of “CANNERY ROW, The History of John Steinbeck’s Old Ocean View Avenue”; member of the editorial Board of the "Steinbeck Review" and member of the Advisory Board of the Martha Heasley Cox Steinbeck Studies Center at San Jose State University. Most recently, he became historical consultant to the new owner of the Western Flyer, marine geologist John Gregg­­­­. That purchase in early 2015 rescued the Monterey purse-seiner, from near destruction, chartered by John Steinbeck to Mexico’s Gulf of California in 1940 with marine biologist, Ed Ricketts. Made world-famous in John Steinbeck’s “Log From The Sea of Cortez” the world-famous fishing vessel is now under restoration at Port Townsend, Washington. With Cannery Row studies incomplete without knowledge of the role of the Western Flyer in the legacies of Ed Ricketts and John Steinbeck, Michael Hemp has spent a career in attempting to make the Western Flyer a centerpiece of Monterey history.

Scott Kathey

As Federal Regulatory & Enforcement Coordinator of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Scott Kathey interprets and develops federal regulations; investigates sanctuary regulatory violations, coastal incidents, and citizen complaints; and coordinates enforcement activities between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to protect sanctuary resources. He also serves as the sanctuary's emergency response coordinator for issues such as vessel groundings and spills.  He is a certified NOAA divemaster, small boat operator, and aircrew member.

He has worked for the National Marine Sanctuary Program since 1992. He worked for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Proposed Northwest Straits National Marine Sanctuary Programs in Washington State prior to joining the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary staff in 1994.

Steve Lonhart

Dr. Lonhart has worked as a marine ecologist for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary since 2002. Although he has several interests in marine ecology, his scientific research has focused on invasion biology, kelp forest ecology, and marine invertebrate natural history, with an emphasis on marine gastropods. As the senior scientist for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Steve is responsible for maintaining SIMoN's research and monitoring programs and implementing SIMoN's scientific goals to integrate existing monitoring programs within the sanctuary; supporting research and monitoring programs that address important resource management issues; and disseminating information to resource managers, researchers, educators, and the general public. He is also involved in several research and monitoring projects, including studies on the effectiveness of state marine protected areas, the ecological effects of invasive species, and the impact of sea star wasting syndrome on subtidal benthic communities in central CA.
Paul Michel

Paul Michel is a nationally-recognized leader in wetlands, coast, and ocean management and protection. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing comprehensive natural resource management and protection plans and managing marine protected areas. He was named Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in April 2007. He is responsible for all of the science, education, and resource protection programs involved with managing and protecting the nation’s second largest marine sanctuary at over 6,000 square miles.  He is also Executive Co-Producer of YourSanctuaryTV, a local access cable and internet television show featuring national marine sanctuaries.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Michel worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he served in various capacities in Washington, D.C., including a White House assignment in the Office of Management and Budget. He led EPA’s efforts to restore and protect wetlands in southern California and  directed coastal and wetlands protection programs across California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, as well as bi-national environmental programs with Mexico.

Wallace “J.” Nichols

Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols is a scientist, wild water advocate, movement-maker, and New York Times best selling author of Blue Mind who works to inspire a deeper connection with nature. He is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution, SEEtheWILD, Grupo Tortuguero, Blue Marbles Project and LiVBLUE. He resides on California’s SlowCoast with his wife, two daughters and a pod of dogs, cats, chickens and wildlife.

Geoff Shester

Dr. Geoff Shester, California Campaign Director for Oceana, is an interdisciplinary marine scientist and conservation advocate currently working to protect west coast forage fish, reduce fisheries bycatch, and protect ocean habitats. He served as Oceana’s expedition leader for undersea explorations off Monterey Bay using a remote operated vehicle, and co-authored proposals that ultimately led to over one million square miles of ocean habitats permanently protected from bottom trawl fishing.  He recently participated in a working group convened by the State of California to tackle the issue of whale entanglements in the Dungeness crab fishery and helped advocate for an emergency closure of the Pacific sardine fishery in light of a population crash in 2015. For the last six years, he has served as the primary “Conservation” representative on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Peggy Stap

Peggy Stap, Executive Director of Marine Life Studies, started her whale research with the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation (HWRF). This inspired her to start Marine Life Studies, a nonprofit organization specializing in research, education and conservation, and dedicated to teaching and inspiring children and the public to protect marine wildlife through education and real-life experiences on the water.

In 2006, the Whale Entanglement Team (WET)℠ was convened and the accomplishments of Marine Life Studies include: the initial team assembly, 877-SOS-WHALE phone number, printed response cards, printed marine mammal guides, a complete tool cache for Monterey Bay, additional tools for San Francisco, a response boat, a trailer, Wet on Wheels, that can carry all equipment including a roll-up hypalon boat with motor, the Research Scientist Program, designed to teach the skills required to be a marine researcher, which includes a training program for new volunteers of WET as well as holding refresher trainings for existing members of WET, and in 2015 acquired their new Whale Rescue Research Vessel, fully equipped for rapid whale rescue response located in Moss Landing, center of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas, fourth-generation native of the Monterey area, is a fisheries historian who has researched the fisheries of Monterey Bay for over twenty-five years.  He has researched, written and lectured extensively on Monterey’s fishing communities and has published three books about local fishing history. He was the Historian/Curator for the Monterey Maritime Museum for 16 years. He is also the historical consultant for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has worked and developed programs for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks. Recently, he was featured on the PBS/BBC program, Big Blue Live and conducts monthly “Wharf Walks” about the fascinating history of the Monterey Bay on the first Saturday of each month at Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

Jim Vanderzwaan

Jim Vanderzwaan  has been in broadcasting since 1975 and meteorology since 1980.Flight training spurred his interest and he was able to combine these interests into a career in Broadcast Meteorology. A long time member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, he holds their Broadcast Seal of Approval. Retiring from KSBW TV  after 32 years as lead forecaster, he still keeps up on daily weather and changes to the climate.

Steve Webster

Steven Webster retired in 2004 as Senior Marine Biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He taught invertebrate zoology at San Jose State University until 1978 when he and three friends began brainstorming the idea of a public aquarium on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA. He has been involved with the aquarium since its conception, first as Project Coordinator and then as Director of Education and Senior Marine Biologist. He continues to volunteer as an interpretive guide at the aquarium, and teaches Monterey Bay natural history classes for staff and volunteers.

He has served on the board of trustees for the York School, the Sea Studios Foundation, and the Friends of Hopkins Marine Station. He served on and is past Chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Steve Ellzey (M.C.)

Stephen Ellzey spent the last 35 years in the fields of Media and Marketing doing everything from copy writing to Executive Production. He has worked for newspapers, in radio, for PBS and for CBS. He co-founded AMP Community Television in 1996, and served as Board Chair until 2010 when he joined the staff to launch the first ever Curated Community Television Station. Mr. Ellzey has won regional, national and international awards for his ocean conservation documentary productions, along with regional awards for radio and television scripting and production.

Whalefest Monterey 2016 Symposium Schedule

Saturday, January 23, 2016

10:30 – 11:00

Introduction with MC Steve Ellzey, Executive Producer, NMS “Your Sanctuary TV”

Documentary: “Breathe”

Monterey Bay's evolution over 4 million years told through the eyes of a Free Diver.

11:00 – 11:45

Michael Hemp, The History Company  and Cannery Row Foundation

"The Saga of the Western Flyer"

Made world-famous in John Steinbeck’s “Log from the Sea of Cortez”

Michael Hemp created the non-profit Cannery Row Foundation in 1983 and has been President of its Board of Directors since 2008. Presently, he is Director of Marketing, Communications & Special Events of the Cannery Row Company and owner of the History Company.

12:00 – 12:45

Tim Thomas, Local Fisheries Historian

"Thar She Blows: There’s Oil in Them Thar Sardines"

Tim Thomas is a fisheries historian who has researched the fisheries of Monterey Bay for over twenty-five years.  He has researched, written and lectured extensively on Monterey’s fishing communities. Recently, he was featured on the PBS/BBC program, Big Blue Live and conducts monthly “Wharf Walks” about the fascinating history of the Monterey Bay on the first Saturday of each month at Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

1:00 – 1:45 (Book signing afterwards until 3 pm)

Wallace J. Nichols
Blue Mind - A Ground Breaking Conversation: 
Scientist, researcher and New York Times bestselling author of Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols will share his insights on the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under or simply near water. Followed by book signing until 3 pm. (Books available for purchase.) He is a scientist, wild water advocate, and movement-maker. He is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution, SEEtheWILD, Grupo Tortuguero, Blue Marbles Project and LiVBLUE.

Wallace J. Nichols will be available for book signing. Blue Mind books will be available at the event with 50% of book sales will support Marine Life Studies' education programs and their Whale Rescue Research Vessel for the Whale Entanglement Team.

2:00 – 2:15

Paul Michel, Superintendent, MBNMS

“Monterey Bay - The Big Blue Buffet”

An Overview of the abundance of wildlife in Monterey Bay.

Paul Michel is a nationally-recognized leader in wetlands, coast, and ocean management and protection. As Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in April, he is responsible for all of the science, education, and resource protection programs involved with managing and protecting the nation’s second largest marine sanctuary at over 6,000 square miles.

2:30 – 3:15

Dan Costa, Distinguished Professor, UC Santa Cruz

“Elephant Seals”

Daniel Costa Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  His research focuses on the ecology and physiology of marine mammals and seabirds from the Galapagos to Antarctica. He is a member of a number of international science steering committees including the Integrated Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics program, The Census of Marine Life, Southern Ocean GLOBEC, CLIOTOP and the Southern Ocean Observing System.

3:30 – 5:00

Scott Benson, NOAA, Lead investigator of the leatherback turtle ecology program

"Leatherback Turtles in the California Current: Why Leatherbacks Cross the Pacific"

Scott Benson is the lead investigator of the leatherback turtle ecology program and coordinates studies of the distribution, abundance, movement patterns, foraging ecology, and health of endangered western Pacific leatherback turtles along the U.S. West Coast and throughout the Pacific. He is stationed at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

10:30 – 11:00

Introduction with MC Steve Ellzey, Executive Producer, NMS “Your Sanctuary TV”

Documentary: “Breathe”

Monterey Bay's evolution over 4 million years told through the eyes of a Free Diver.

11:00 – 11:45

Geoff Chester, California Campaign Director, Oceana

“Saving the Whales…Again”

How conservation organizations are working with fishermen, wildlife managers, and other groups to address threats to whales, and ways you can get involved to make California’s oceans an even safer place for whales.

Dr. Geoff Shester is an interdisciplinary marine scientist and conservation advocate currently working to protect west coast forage fish, reduce fisheries bycatch, and protect ocean habitats. For the last six years, he has served as the primary “Conservation” representative on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

12:00 – 12:30

Jim Vanderzwaan, Lead Meteorologist (ret.), KSBW TV

“El Nino”

Jim Vanderzwaan has been in broadcasting since 1975 and meteorology since 1980.Flight training spurred his interest and he was able to combine these interests into a career in Broadcast Meteorology. A long time member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, he holds their Broadcast Seal of Approval. Retiring from KSBW TV  after 32 years as lead forecaster, he still keeps up on daily weather and changes to the climate.

12:40 – 1:10

Steve Lonhart, Senior Scientist, NOAA/MBNM Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN)

“Warm Water Anomalies and a Changing Seascape”

Dr. Lonhart has worked as a marine ecologist for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary since 2002. His scientific research has focused on invasion biology, kelp forest ecology, and marine invertebrate natural history, with an emphasis on marine gastropods. He is the senior scientist for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) where he is responsible for maintaining its research and monitoring programs and implementing its scientific goals.

1:20 – 2:00

Steve Webster, Senior Marine Biologist (ret.) Monterey Bay Aquarium

“Climate Change - How Will It Affect Whales?”

Steven Webster retired in 2004 as Senior Marine Biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He has been involved with the aquarium since its conception, first as Project Coordinator and then as Director of Education and Senior Marine Biologist. He served on and is past Chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

2:15 – 2:45

Scott Kathey, Federal Regulatory & Enforcement Coordinator, MBNMS

"Respect and Protect Marine Wildlife - Viewing Techniques, Approach Guidelines, and Resource Protection Laws."

Scott Kathey interprets and develops federal regulations; investigates sanctuary regulatory violations, coastal incidents, and citizen complaints; and coordinates enforcement activities between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to protect sanctuary resources. He also serves as the sanctuary's emergency response coordinator for issues such as vessel groundings and spills.

3:00 – 3:45

Peggy Stap, Executive Director, Marine Life Studies and Co-Founder Whale Entanglement Team

"Rescuing Whales, One at a Time" - An overview of recent activities by the Northern California Whale Entanglement Team and recount how the team evolved over nearly a decade.

Peggy Stap co-founded the Whale Entanglement Team (WET) in 2006. Her efforts include team assembly, 877-SOS-WHALE phone number, providing a response boat, a complete tool cache and a trailer that can carry all the equipment. Marine Life Studies’ Research Scientist Program includes a training program for new volunteers of WET as well as holding refresher trainings for existing members of WET.

4:15 – 5:00

Panel  Discussion

“Rescue of a Minke Whale in Monterey Harbor: An Example of Interagency Cooperation”

Panelists include representatives of the Whale Entanglement Team (WET), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey Harbor (Harbor Patrol), United States Coast Guard, Monterey Fire Department and others.

5:15 – 6:00

Bob Carr, San Francisco Bar Pilots

“Interactions with the Ship Masters and the Efforts we make to Avoid Whale Strikes.”

Bob Carr joined the SF Bar Pilots in 2011 as a trainee and 2013 as a full time pilot.  Prior to becoming a pilot in San Francisco Bay, he worked for Chevron for 21 years with the last 5 years as a master on their tankers.




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