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Citizen Monitoring in the Marine Reserves Network

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Date: June 27, 2007
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Marine biologist Christy Pattengill-Semmens, with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), will be the July speaker for the “From Shore to Sea Lecture” series. Her presentation will highlight the value of citizen monitoring in understanding fish and invertebrate populations around the Channel Islands.

Each year REEF volunteer divers join Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) staff to conduct fish and invertebrate surveys inside and outside the marine reserves network. REEF was founded in 1990 out of growing concern about the health of the marine environment and the desire to provide the SCUBA diving community with a way to contribute to the understanding and protection of marine populations. Participants in the Volunteer Survey Project (VSP) not only learn about the environment they are diving in, but also collect valuable data used by scientists, resource managers, and the general public.

Christy Pattengill-Semmens, PhD, is Director of Science with REEF. Semmens conducted her dissertation research on fish assemblages at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico before joining REEF’s staff in 1998. Her main responsibilities are to coordinate with research and management communities on the use of the VSP data, oversee expansions of the project, and coordinate REEF’s data management team. Semmens has published articles in numerous academic journals and serves on the CINMS Research Advisory Board. 

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in an effort to further the understanding of research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters.The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2007, at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum at 113 Harbor Way in Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday, July 11, 2007, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Brown pelican on nest

The Channel Islands are home to the largest breeding colonies of seabirds in southern California.