Naturally Speaking - North American Rocky Intertidal Zones

Naturally Speaking – North American Rocky Intertidal Zones

The Rocky Intertidal (tidepool) ecosystem is a dynamic place of constant change. In order to understand it, researchers from the National Park Service and partner-organizations have been studying the Rocky Intertidal for decades. This health check-up on the ecosystem informs conservationists and land managers about how the area is doing, how human-induced impacts might be affecting the species that live there, and how we can better preserve and protect it for generations to come. Join marine ecologist Stephen Whitaker as he discusses the results of a collaborative study performed by three universities, four national parks, and the MARINe consortium, and leave with some action-items on how you can help the National Park Service conserve this special place!

Stephen Whitaker is a Marine Ecologist for the U.S. National Park Service at Channel Islands National Park (CINP). He has been studying coastal ecosystems in southern California for over twenty years. In his current position, Stephen is responsible for monitoring the shoreline habitats at the islands including rocky intertidal reefs and sand beaches. Stephen also logs dozens of dives annually monitoring the kelp forests at CINP. For his master’s thesis at California State University, Fullerton, he investigated factors affecting restoration success for the intertidal rockweed alga, Silvetia compressa. In 2018, Stephen returned to graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree at University of California, Santa Barbara investigating the patterns and long-term trends in the abundance and distribution of foundational species on rocky shores. Concurrently while working and schooling, he is collaborating with colleagues across multiple institutions on a largescale project to restore rockweeds across California.


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