Shaffer at Camp Ocean Pines

Jane Stevens at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA - Meet albatross researcher Scott Shaffer at Camp Ocean Pines this weekend! Get up close and personal with this guy, who's traveled to some of the most remote islands on the globe to study sea birds and mammals, take a look at his photos and hear his stories about putting satellite tags on albatross and red-footed boobies in the middle of storms and high winds. He'll bring some amazing things for show-and-tell -- the wing of an albatross, the skull and bill, a chick bolus.

scott shaffer thumbnailScott completed a Ph.D. in 2000 while working in the UCSC laboratory of Dr. Daniel P. Costa. His main research focuses on the physiological ecology, foraging behavior, and functional morphology of seabirds, especially albatrosses, petrels, boobies, and gulls. Much of this work has occurred on sub-Antarctic islands in the Indian Ocean and New Zealand as well as islands in the Northwest Hawaiian Island chain and in Mexico.

Scott has been involved in or has conducted research on Beluga whales, fur seals, Antarctic seals, California sea lions, and a variety of other bird species including penguins, auks, ravens, and shorebirds. As part of the TOPP program, his focuses on the foraging ecology and distribution of seabirds. His tagging work was featured in a recent online interactive tracking map for a National Geographic Magazine story on albatross.   

Camp Ocean Pines's terrific lecture series is held during January and February, and provides a unique opportunity for people to meet some of TOPP's scientists in person. Lectures are held on Friday nights in Cambria and on Saturday nights at the Avila Beach Marine Institute. As Camp Ocean Pines executive director Chris Cameron notes, "at $5.00 per person, these lectures are cheaper than a movie, and much better for your mind!"

Scott's presentation this weekend will be followed by Bill Gilly on Humboldt squid (Feb. 1-3), and George Shillinger on leatherback turtles (Feb. 8-10). Bill Gilly will be leading a special squid dissection on Saturday, Feb. 2, as part of a weekend teachers in-service program. Check out the Camp Ocean Pines site for more information. It's sure to be fun -- these squid can grow as large as 8 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds. The squid that Bill will be providing will be a bit smaller -- around 30 pounds.