About This Blog
Cabrillo National Monument protects a unique and diverse landscape thriving with life. Follow our science teams into the field and discover the stories of our park’s natural resources and beyond.
Surviving in the Desert
March 22, 2019
Muad’Dib is a fictional animal from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Its description most closely resembles a kangaroo rat or possibly a pocket mouse. While we aren’t exactly the barren lands of the desert planet in Dune, the plants and animals at Cabrillo National Monument need to have specialized traits to survive the harsh drought and desert-like conditions here. Check some of these cool critters out in this edition of Field Notes.
A Look Back at 2018
December 19, 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to look back on some of the cool things that happened in and around the park this year and extend a special thank you to all of our community partners that made it happen. Check it out!
Species Spotlight: Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii)
November 23, 2018
In November 2018, after the park was closed and night had just fallen, Law Enforcement Ranger Bonnie Phillips came upon an unfamiliar creature on the sidewalk near the Visitor Center – the Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii). Let’s learn more about this camouflaged nightjar.
Naturally Speaking: To Protect and Serve These Lands
November 23, 2018
On Saturday, November 17, we kicked off the 2018-2019 season of Naturally Speaking Science Education Lectures with Law Enforcement Ranger Bonnie Phillips. Bonnie spoke about the history and importance of Law Enforcement in the National Park Service. Read on to find out more!
Our Own Celebrity Spider
November 23, 2018
Researcher Jason E. Bond from Auburn University recently renamed, described, and classified over 30 species of trapdoor spiders, one of them being right here at Cabrillo National Monument. Read on to learn more about this interesting group of arachnids and their fun new names!
Give Wildlife a Break
November 15, 2018
One of our partners, the Climate Science Alliance, recently teamed up with local ecologists and climatologists to assess how climate change is impacting San Diego ecosystems and its wildlife. Based on this assessment, here are 10 things you can do to give wildlife a break. At Cabrillo National Monument, we hope you strive to help wildlife each and every day.
Slick Rocks, Steady Feet: How to Safely Explore the Tidepools
October 22, 2018
Intertidal season is just around the corner here at Cabrillo National Monument, and we want to make sure you stay safe out there! Here are some tips for safely enjoying the tidepools.
Naturally Speaking: Science Education Series 2018 - 2019
October 17, 2018
Naturally Speaking is a Science Seminar Series that explores the natural themes of Cabrillo National Monument. This year, the series will include topics from a Cabrillo National Monument Law Enforcement Ranger, Botanists, Ecologists, and much more. The concept behind the lecture series is to reach beyond our comfort zones and enhance the way people interact with public lands.
The EcoLogik Project: EcoLogik Workshops 2018 - 2019
October 17, 2018
With the help of our project partners, San Diego Public Library and Cabrillo National Monument Foundation, we are excited to reach new audiences with the EcoLogik Project and extend the role of Cabrillo National Monument as a STEM leader in our community with EcoLogik Workshops 2018 - 2019. In accordance with this mission, we are offering four specialty workshops throughout the year to teach our nature + technology curriculum. We hope you can join us!
A Crash Course in Conservation Science
October 14, 2018
Extirpated species are those that are native to a certain area, but no longer found there. Quite a few animals, both on land and in the intertidal, have been extirpated from Cabrillo National Monument, but some may question why we can’t just bring them back. Find out the answer here!
10 Things You Can Do To Stop Invasive Species
August 31, 2018
“We love to see thriving flora and fauna, so long as they are in their native habitats and do not harm the environment in the process. Ongoing efforts are being made by the National Park Service and its partners to ensure the preservation of our parks for years to come. However, this requires cooperation from visitors and your support to help prevent the spread of invasive species.”
The San Diego Urban Ant Project: Part 3
August 16, 2018
Teachers from High Tech North County recently conducted an ant survey at the park as part of a training for the San Diego Urban Ant Project. Check out what they found!
Naturally Speaking: Of Islands and Reptiles
July 20, 2018
On Thursday, July 19, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members and volunteers had the opportunity to hear from SDSU researcher and professional rattlesnake-wrangler Roman Nava as part of our ongoing Naturally Speaking Lecture Series. Read on to learn more about his research and the life of the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Naturally Speaking: Am I Bugging You?
July 05, 2018
On Thursday, June 21, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members and volunteers had the opportunity to hear from volunteer naturalist Patricia Simpson as part of our ongoing Naturally Speaking Lecture Series. Read on to learn more about some of the park’s smallest residents!
Bringing Science to the People
May 17, 2018
The latest volunteer-led program at Cabrillo National Monument – the Science Explorer’s Club – has recently expanded! More volunteers will be out and about more often… make sure to stop by and say hi!
Peregrines on Point – Four new healthy chicks for Cabrillo’s resident Peregrine couple!
May 17, 2018
Starting in late February, volunteers and natural resources staff at Cabrillo National Monument have kept tabs on our remarkable aerialists through visual observation and telescopic photography. Renowned for their speed and hunting skill, Peregrines are the fastest animal in the world, capable of reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour or more when diving down on unsuspecting prey.
Naturally Speaking: Peregrine Falcons – Masters of the Air
March 28, 2018
As part of our ongoing Naturally Speaking Lecture Series, speaker and licensed falconer Charles Gailband delighted guests with a talk about Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) on March 22. He even brought some falcon ambassadors for guests to meet! Read on for more information about these incredible masters of the air.
The San Diego Urban Ant Project
February 14, 2018
Students across High Tech High campuses (Kindergarten through eleventh grade) are working hard as citizen scientists in a project aimed at mapping the presence of the invasive Argentine Ant, responsible for the decline and absence of native ants when present.
Drawing Connections- Cabrillo National Monument
February 08, 2018
In the Rocky Intertidal Zone at Cabrillo National Monument, one of the most extreme ecosystems on earth, plants and animals are tested every day. From the crashing waves on the shore at high tide to the intense wind and sun when the water recedes, this is an environment characterized by stress. If anything is to survive such a barrage of natural pressures, preparation is essential. Find out how in our newest video!
Let’s Get Crabby
January 30, 2018
With the arrival of the Spring Tidal phase occurring during park hours more visitors are able to explore the intertidal bench here at Cabrillo National Monument during our low tide events. Among the many creatures one can observe are the Crustaceans. Two that have been recently seen recently are the Common Rock Crab (Cancer antennarius) and the Globose Kelp Crab (Taliepus nuttalli). Learn more about these crusty critters in this edition of Cabrillo Field Notes.
Introducing the Science Explorer’s Club
January 13, 2018
With the help of amazing volunteers, the Science Education team is excited to unveil their new program for park visitors, the Science Explorer’s Club. Read on to find out how you can become part of the Club!
Preserving and Protecting the Rocky Intertidal
January 13, 2018
The Natural Resources team just wrapped up their fall/winter tidepool monitoring season! Read on to find out why and how we monitor this precious resource.
Life on the Rocks Part 2: Point Loma’s Preserved Past
December 20, 2017
As a part of our Naturally Speaking Science Education Lecture series, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members recently had the opportunity to learn all about the geologic history of the Point Loma Peninsula from SDSU Geologist Dr. Stephen Schellenberg. He spoke about the formation of the peninsula, its rise out of the sea, and the fossilized remains left behind. Join us as we explore some of those fossils!
Naturally Speaking: Nature’s Tiny Fighter Jets
December 07, 2017
On Thursday November 30th, the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation kicked off its “Naturally Speaking” science education lecture series with volunteer naturalist and resident bat expert Don Endicott. Read on to find out more about these amazing creatures of the night!
Science by the Sea- Summer/Fall 2017
November 20, 2017
Check out the Summer/Fall 2017 news and upcoming events from the National Park Service’s Mediterranean Coast Network – Cabrillo NM, Santa Monica Mountains NRA, and Channel Islands NP.
The Spiders of Fall
November 13, 2017
This time of year is accented by the hues of orange and red on the leaves, the dip in temperature, and the dramatic sunsets. Here at Cabrillo National Monument, we also see other distinct signs of the fall season.
Plant Party at the Point
November 03, 2017
Cabrillo National Monument was recently awarded a community grant from the American Society of Landscape Architects to upgrade the native plant landscaping around the Visitors Center Complex. Check out the progress our vegetation teams have made on this extensive undertaking to improve the ecological landscape.
Protecting natural resources when natural disasters happen
October 23, 2017
While the firefighters are out protecting structures and people, this special group of people continue to protect our natural parks. Take a look into the life of a READ or a wildfire Resource Advisor as they help maintain our beautiful outdoor spaces during the threats of wildfires.
Park after Dark: Moonwalk
October 19, 2017
Earlier this month, park guests had the unique opportunity to enjoy the Harvest moon as it rose over Cabrillo. Take a look at what they learned at the Park after dark.
Cabrillo’s Green Thumb
October 18, 2017
Did you know Cabrillo National Monument has a greenhouse? We do! We use it to grow many of our hundreds of native plant species to be used for restoration efforts.
It’s Heating Up: Fire Ecology
September 21, 2017
The Northwestern United States has endured significant wildfire disturbance this past season. Find out more about the role of wildfire in our park ecosystems.
On the Horizon
September 15, 2017
We are committed to inspiring our community, both locally and globally, to come along side us to preserve and protect America’s beautiful spaces. As we look to the next year of programing, we hope you that you will join us in your National Parks.
NOAA Quantifies Microplastics on National Park Beaches
August 31, 2017
New study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports low amounts of microplastics on Cabrillo National Monument coastline. See the results here!
The “other” echolocator: The desert (Crawford’s grey) shrew!
August 04, 2017
Echolocation. We know that bats and marine mammals like dolphins and whales use it. Did you know that there is another mammal that lives at Cabrillo that also echolocates?
Park After Dark: Great Mysteries Uncovered
July 28, 2017
When the sun goes down a whole new suite of animals emerges. Check out some of our recent nighttime visitors and how we know they are here
Park After Dark
July 28, 2017
At Cabrillo National Monument, we have tons of wildlife spanning across the coastal sagescrub. Birds, insects, and lizards are seen on a daily basis as you journey the designated trails. However, some of our animals are nocturnal or can be a bit shy to the limelight. So how do we precisely know what animals live and visit within the boundary of the park once the sun goes down?
The Wild West Coast
July 12, 2017
Last month our resources team was fortunate enough to take a field trip to one of our sister sites, Olympic National Park. Check out what they found!
Science by the Sea – June 2017
July 11, 2017
Check out the March 2017 news and upcoming events from the National Park Service’s Mediterranean Coast Network – Cabrillo NM, Santa Monica Mountains NRA, and Channel Islands NP.
Cabrillo’s Most Wanted
June 26, 2017
With heavy winter rains, Cabrillo experienced a beautiful spring bloom. However, with the flowers also came an onslaught of invasive species. Luckily, Cabrillo has weed warriors to help in the fight against plants that do not belong in the park.
That Which is Bright and Splendid
June 24, 2017
Strolling through the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument, you might happen up on a small, brightly colored sea slug. These Hopkins Rose nudibranchs are a delight for visitors of all ages. Friend of Cabrillo and conservation photographer, Michael Ready, recently captured their beauty and splendor in this edition of Cabrillo Field Notes.
2017 International Urban Wildlife Conference
June 12, 2017
This past week our park biologists participated in the 2017 International Urban Wildlife Conference. Check out what they learned and some of the findings they presented.
Tools of the Trade- Vegetation Monitoring
June 07, 2017
From the coastal intertidal, herpetology and bird surveys, to the plant communities within the boundaries of CABR. Terrestrial vegetation monitoring takes place each Spring here at Cabrillo National Monument. Check out the tools you will see our biologists using in the field.
What's in a name? That which we call a Hopkin’s Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
June 06, 2017
Marine biologists have a particularly imaginative track record when it comes to naming. Experts have touted their tautonyms, noted their knightly naming virtues, and wondered at the many magical monikers for marine molluscs. Here, we will explore a few of the more extraordinary scientific names for marine species and take a look at how those names were first assigned and why.
Introducing our MOSAICS in Science Intern
June 04, 2017
The Mosaics in Science (MIS) Diversity Internship Program provides college students and recent graduates that are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career fields with on-the-ground, natural resource science-based, work experience in the National Park System. We are happy to host a Mosaics intern at Cabrillo for the summer! Join us as we welcome our newest team member.
Tracking Transmissions: What the Beeps Tell Us
May 30, 2017
Follow one of Cabrillo’s visiting researchers as he uses radio telemetry to understand more about one of the park’s most interesting individuals.
Local Students Assist in Invasive Species Removal
May 21, 2017
Cabrillo National Monument is once again proud to partner with the students of High Tech High Media Arts- this time to remove invasive seaweeds from the Cabrillo tidepools. In accordance with the ongoing mission of the National Park Service, this project seeks to develop and nurture lifelong connections between young people and their National Parks through meaningful education experiences.
A Visit to the Greenhouse
May 21, 2017
From the Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral to the Maritime Succulent Scrub, the native species of Cabrillo National Monument’s unique plant communities support a high biodiversity of organisms within the Park. However, managing these threatened resources is an ongoing struggle between invasive species and the survival of existing species. At this park we are fortunate to upkeep a substantial stock of native plants through our thriving greenhouse program.
Last updated: November 4, 2016