Manus Donahue's picture

Marine Habitat Tracking by Satellites and Underwater Acoustic Devices

John Ryan, Senior Research Specialist, MBARI, will highlight recent examples of tracking the movements of whale sharks, and ocean sunfish, migrating through tropical and temperate waters of the eastern Pacific; and tracking the presence of blue, and fin whales, residing within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, during part of their long distance migrations.

Understanding how marine animals use the highly complex and dynamic seascape is challenging.  To hear them more clearly from within the ocean, and to see them more clearly from above the ocean, MBARI uses passive acoustic sensing in the ocean, and space-borne visual technologies in outer space, that enable both accurate tracking of tagged animals and high-resolution observations of the environments they inhabit.  The hope is that with these new tools, researchers will be able to better predict what lies in the future for ocean ecosystems.  

The marine “soundscape” is a continuously changing mosaic of sounds that originate from living organisms (communication and foraging), natural processes (breaking waves, wind, rain), and human activities (shipping, construction, and resource extraction). Listening to sound in the sea is a rich exploration of the marine environment, which includes some of the ways in which human activities may influence marine life.

This fascinating presentation will highlight recent methods for tracking habitat use of the largest fish and mammals in the ocean, right here in Monterey!   Link to MBARI Acoustic Device

John grew up somewhat nomadic but since 1998 has been settled in Santa Cruz, where he and his wife have gratefully raised two sons.  John received a BS in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, and a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island before moving to the west coast eighteen years ago for a “2-year postdoc.”

Katie Spitz will give us her passion and joy about the flowers and shrubs that surround the Reserve, and some surprising facts to remember them by; in “An Outsider’s View of Point Lobos Flora."   Point Lobos is more than just a sticky monkey flower or a pretty face, and she will show us insightful ways to share its unique and fragile beauty with visitors from around the world. 

Administrative's picture

Mission Statements


To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Docent volunteers serve as a visible representative of California State Parks at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve promoting the California State Parks mission.  These four simple words -- preserve, protect, educate and interpret -- sum up the docent experience. 


Our mission is to protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks.

Docent Log-in

Docent led walks

  • Tue, 03/28/2017 - 11:30am
    Information Station
    Gregg Margossian
  • Tue, 03/28/2017 - 1:30pm
    Information Station
    Tama Olver
  • Sat, 04/01/2017 - 1:00pm
    Bird Island Parking Area
    Nelson Balcar


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School Walks

To schedule a school field trip please contact Melissa Gobell, School Coordinator at:  (831) 625-1470

Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteers needed to be interpretive guides for visitors.  Interested?  For training schedule contact:  Melissa Gobell, Docent Coordinator  (831) 625-1470