March 28, 2022

When I got the call that I’d gotten the PRNSA / NPS Science Communication internship, I was sitting in my tiny Brooklyn first floor apartment, where I couldn’t even change in my room without drawing all the blinds just so passersby couldn’t see in. Cut to a month later, and I had moved to the opposite of that: a house for park staff and researchers with sweeping views of Tomales Bay. Here, it didn’t matter that the windows didn't have blinds, because our only neighbors were the deer, bobcats, harbor seals, dozens of bird species, and, or so I was told, an occasional mountain lion. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to work on my recently released podcast episodes on the endangered black abalone
Six Months Playing David Attenborough
(As an American, Half Chinese Woman)
Since that big move nearly six months ago, I have learned so much about this park and the many species that live here. Working with a wide range of park biologists, federal agency coordinators, tribal liaisons and consultants, and PRNSA staff, has made it clear that the best way to serve the diverse wildlife in Point Reyes is to include and amplify diverse voices. The more sources of wisdom that we can use to guide us, the more holistically we can understand the ecosystems surrounding us.

To that end... it seemed only fitting that this podcast project, which was guided by discussions with many women scientists and changemakers, is being released at the end of Women’s History Month.
As just a few examples of the women I was lucky enough to work with: so much of what I learned about black abalone science and recovery from Indigenous and Western perspectives came from long, fruitful conversations with Susan Wang and Hillary Renick, profiled below, and MaryHelen Sherman. I also got to shadow scientists like Sarah Codde, Marjorie Cox, and my roommate Ellen Murphy as they monitored elephant seal weanlings. And finally, I was generously mentored each week by science communication specialists Jessica Weinberg McClosky and Maritte O’Gallagher

I am so grateful to all those who have advised, mentored, and connected me to the beauty of Point Reyes National Seashore. These six months have been absolutely magical, and I will carry the precious memories from my time here forward for the rest of my life, and hopefully the rest of a long career in science and science communication.
Best Wishes,
Theodora Mautz
Science Communication Intern
A History of Black Abalone in California: From Abundance to Scarcity
Black abalone are a species of marine snail. Until recently, they were an iconic presence in California's intertidal ecosystems. In this first episode of a two-part Natural Laboratory podcast series on black abalone, Theodora Mautz dives into the science and history of black abalone from multiple perspectives, and explains how they went from one of the most ubiquitous intertidal species in the state to federally endangered in just a few years.
Recovering Black Abalone: Their Roles in Intertidal Ecosystems and in Ours
After Withering Syndrome devastated black abalone populations in Southern California, an interdisciplinary team teamed up to figure out how to save them. Theodora Mautz speaks with a handful of experts on strategies, lessons learned, and next steps for black abalone recovery. In this second episode of a two-part Natural Laboratory podcast series on black abalone, join us as we learn about what happened next to this resilient species, and why we should care.
Inspiring Scientists & Changemakers!
Jessica Weinberg McClosky is a science communications specialist with the San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network. She has a BA in Psychobiology from Arcadia University, and previous experience working in the fields of environmental education and conservation biology. These days, you’ll often find her sharing science stories through a new StoryMap or a new issue of the San Francisco Bay Area Nature & Science Monthly Newsletter/Blog. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys nature photography and exploring new hiking trails with her family.
Hillary Renick, is Tribal Liaison Officer for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and is Pomo/Paiute. Hillary received her B.A. in Anthropology from American University in Washington, DC; studied Public Health at George Washington University; M.S. in Cultural Resource Management on Yakama Indian Treaty Fishing and Significance of Place; J.D. from the University of the Oregon School of Law; LL.M. from the University of Arkansas School of Law Indigenous Food Initiative writing about subsistence and traditional foods protections.
Susan Wang is a fishery biologist with NOAA Fisheries. In her role as the black abalone recovery coordinator, Susan collaborates with many amazing partners throughout the coast to monitor, protect, and restore this endangered marine snail. This includes getting out into the field to participate in rocky intertidal surveys! Susan enjoys working on different aspects of endangered species conservation, as well as the opportunity to mentor student interns. Susan received her B.S in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her M.S. from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.
Sarah Codde is the marine ecologist at Point Reyes National Seashore. Her work focuses on monitoring the harbor seal and elephant seal populations at Point Reyes and managing the volunteers that help with the seal monitoring programs. She also spends some of her work time contributing to the Point Reyes National Seashore social media accounts and doing eelgrass monitoring in Drakes Estero. Sarah started out as an intern at the Seashore about 14 years ago and worked her way up to the marine ecologist position.
Work at PRNSA!
Environmental Education Intern

The Intern will work with PRNSA’s Education Team to create outdoor opportunities for underserved communities in the Bay Area. Young career professionals, the BIPOC community, and the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate is interested in the outdoors, education, non-profits, and has strong feelings for environmental justice/social justice, and outdoor recreation.

Biological Science Technician

The Technician will assist with a wide variety of tasks, including: invasive plant removal; mapping of invasive and rare plants; field oversight of volunteer and paid crews; and monitoring of dune and other restoration projects and rare plant populations. This position will be supervised by Point Reyes National Seashore Association while working with Point Reyes National Seashore’s Biologists.

Marine & Estuarine Grant Opportunities
Each year, approximately 100 independent research projects are conducted within the boundaries of Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay. While these areas provide a natural laboratory for ecological and other scientific research, many of these projects also provide key information for the conservation and informed management of
natural and cultural resources. Applications due May 2, 2022. There are two grant competitions this year:

  1. The Neubacher Fund for Marine Science at Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) accepts requests of up to $5,000 for marine research conducted in the immediate vicinity of PRNS and Tomales Bay (Between Bolinas and Tomales Point and up to ~5 km from shore). Studies that strive to understand longterm changes and patterns in marine and estuarine ecosystems are encouraged. We anticipate awarding two grants in 2022.
  2. The Tomales Bay Watershed Council Science Fund will provide up to $5,000 for proposals that addresses or advances one of the Watershed Council’s top 4 science priorities which are (1) Understanding human use patterns in Tomales Bay, (2) Sea level rise mitigation, planning and management, (3) Understanding coho salmon habitat use in Tomales Bay, and (4) Long-term monitoring of eelgrass habitats. We will award 1-2grants in 2022.
Community Events
April Full Moon Member Hike
Saturday, April 16, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

PRNSA's April hike will go at a leisurely pace along the Tomales Point Trail. We'll enjoy all that Spring at the Seashore has to offer: wildflowers, new growth, birdsong, and more!

Lagunitas Creek Restoration Day
Saturday, April 2, 10:00am - 2:00pm

Come help the Watershed Stewards Program's Lagunitas Creek Restoration Day to restore habitat for salmon by planting native big leaf maple, white alder, and juncus plugs!

Discussing Thin Places
Friday, April 15, 11:00am

Authors Kerri ní Dochartaigh and Catherine Raven will lead a conversation at this Virtual Event Hosted by Point Reyes Books on Thin Places, Kerri's memoir of growing up in Derry during the Troubles and the solace provided by the natural world. Ticket sales benefit PRNSA's Youth In Parks program.

Full Day Kayak & Hike on Tomales Bay
Saturday, April 9, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Enjoy Tomales Bay by land and sea during this recently added, full day hike and kayak adventure with our partners at Blue Waters Kayaking!

Field Institute Classes
Sat, Mar 26, 10:30am - 1:30pm

A Forest Bathing walk is a guided slow meander intended to allow for a deep and meaningful connection with the natural world.

Sat, Apr 2, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Learn to capture images of the iconic California Coast using watercolor in this 3-hour immersive lesson.

Sat, Apr 9, 9:00am - 1:00pm

On this Chimney Rock hike, enjoy spring wildflowers on the outer bluffs of Point Reyes and elephant seals on the beaches.

Sat, Apr 9, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Enjoy Tomales Bay by land and sea during this full day hike and kayak adventure with Blue Waters Kayaking!

Sun, Apr 10, 8:30am - 2:30pm

Learn what the birds are saying through this experiential workshop that will activate all of your senses.

Sun, Apr 10, 9:00am - 4:00pm

This eight mile hike takes us to a dramatic meeting of land and estuary. Join us for a full day of natural history exploration!

Sat, Apr 16, 9:00am - 1:30pm

Over a year ago the Woodward Fire burned almost 5,000 acres in Point Reyes. Come learn about fire recovery and ecology!

Sun, Apr 17, 10:30am - 1:30pm

A Forest Bathing walk is a guided slow meander intended to allow for a deep and meaningful connection with the natural world.

Sat, Apr 23, 9:00am - 3:00pm

A workshop in the wild for creating new writing, tuning the senses to the natural world, and asking insightful questions.

Sat, Apr 23, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Power with Poles! Learn strategies to improve confidence and performance on the trail. Then, practice new skills on an easy nature hike.

Sun, Apr 24, 10:30am - 2:30pm

Explore the butterflies of Muddy Hollow from swallowtails to checkerspots and blues! Observe their behaviors and identify host plants.

Fri, Apr 29, 8:30am - 4:00pm

What a time to enjoy birds in a variety of habitats as nesting birds return and wintering birds linger! Learn to ID by sight and sound.

We partner with the National Park Service to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Point Reyes National Seashore for present and future generations.
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310