The Science of Sustainability

Farallon Islands

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Established as a national wildlife refuge 100 years ago, the Farallon Islands are centered in one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. While off limits to the public, a handful of scientists study this unique habitat, a breeding ground for marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of birds.

Various Voyages of Sea Turtles

Various Voyages of Sea Turtles

Strange creatures have been visiting the Sanctuary waters this fall.

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The Season of the Gray Whale

The Season of the Gray Whale

One of the more remarkable migrations among marine animals occurs each year right outside the Golden Gate.

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Sharktober Continues in November

Sharktober Continues in November

To sharks, it's still Sharktober. Weather permitting, we will continue our expeditions through SF Bay Whale Watching over the next few weekends looking for turtles and sharks.

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Sanctuary for Whales, Sanctuary for Sharks

Sanctuary for Whales, Sanctuary for Sharks

Yesterday I led another expedition out into the Gulf of the Farallones on the Outer Limits with Captain Jimmy. Primarily billed as whale watching, these trips are really about the entire ecosystem, and when I’m aboard, we talk shark, because sharks are what I love, study, advocate and protect through my non-profit Sea Stewards.

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Into the Deep with Elephant Seals

Into the Deep with Elephant Seals

Thousands of northern elephant seals — some weighing up to 4,500 pounds — make an annual migration to breed each winter at Año Nuevo State Reserve, on the San Mateo County coast. Marine biologists are using high-tech tools to explore the secrets of these amazing creatures, which can hold their breath for an hour and dive a mile below the surface.

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When A Sanctuary Is No Longer A Sanctuary

When A Sanctuary Is No Longer A Sanctuary

All is not well in our national marine sanctuaries. This summer and fall there have been at least six ship strikes on whales in the Gulf of the Farallones, the Monterey Bay and near the Channel Island National Marine Sanctuaries.

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Science on the SPOT: Life on the Farallones

Science on the SPOT: Life on the Farallones

The Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco are a vital home to many birds and marine mammals. QUEST visits the Farallones and sees what life is like for scientists working in this forbidding and inhospitable world.

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The Great White Shark Song: Live at the Farallones!

The Great White Shark Song: Live at the Farallones!

To celebrate autumn's return of the great white sharks to the Farallon Islands and the opening of the new Farallones exhibit at Cal Academy, KQED QUEST presents "The Great White Shark Song: Live at the Farallones!" by Andy Brandy Casagrande IV.

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Web Extra: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight Slideshow

Web Extra: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight Slideshow

Check out behind-the-scenes photos from Science on the SPOT's "Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight" story.

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Science on the SPOT: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

Science on the SPOT: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

The Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine sanctuaries cover more than 9,500 square miles of ocean habitat. Patrolling such an immense area by boat would take days, but now sanctuary managers are taking to the air in a rugged de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter bush plane to get a bird's eye view.

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The Great White Shark: Meet the Man in the Gray Suit

The Great White Shark: Meet the Man in the Gray Suit

Worldwide sharks are now threatened due to extreme overfishing to satisfy the shark fin trade. QUEST ventures to The Farallon Islands and discovers that the creature of our imaginations may not be the monster we think it is. See why scientists are now tracking the movements of great white sharks in hopes of protecting them.

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The Farallon Islands – "California's Galapagos"

The Farallon Islands – "California's Galapagos"

Lying 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the Farallon Islands sit amid one of the most productive marine food webs on the planet and host the largest seabird breeding colony in the continental United States. QUEST ventures out for a rare visit to learn what life is like on the islands and meet the scientists who call this incredibly wild place home.

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Producer's Notes: The Farallon Islands—"California's Galapagos"

Producer's Notes: The Farallon Islands—"California's Galapagos"

Lying 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the jagged silhouette of the Farallon Islands disrupts the clean line of the horizon. This foreboding knot of rocks sits amid one of the most
productive marine food webs on the planet and hosts the largest seabird breeding colony in the continental United States. QUEST ventures out for a rare visit to learn what life is like on the islands and meet the scientists who call this incredibly wild place home.

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Journey to the Farallones

Journey to the Farallones

They've been called "California's Galapagos." Nearly 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge lie the Farallon Islands. This year marks their 100th anniversary as a national wildlife refuge. While the islands are off limits to tourists, reporter Lauren Sommer caught a ride with marine researchers to learn about how changes are affecting life there.

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Web Extra: Farallon Islands History Timeline

Web Extra: Farallon Islands History Timeline

The Farallon Islands, precariously perched just a few miles from the edge of the North American continental shelf, are home to an incredible array of wildlife, from tiny Auklets to Great White Sharks, The islands have played a surprising role in the cultural, economic, and technological development of the city of San Francisco. This timeline outlines the landmark events between Sir Francis Drake's landing in 1579 and the present day.

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Web Extra: Visit to the Farallon Islands – Audio Slideshow

Web Extra: Visit to the Farallon Islands – Audio Slideshow

Get a behind-the-scenes look of QUEST's trip to the Farallones and find out what's it's like to live on these rocky, remote islands – for both the birds and the scientists who study them.

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Exploring the Farallon Islands

Exploring the Farallon Islands

Established as a national wildlife refuge 100 years ago, the Farallon Islands are centered in one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. While off limits to the public, a handful of scientists study this unique habitat, a breeding ground for marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of birds. Explore the sights and history of the largest island for yourself with this interactive map.

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The Farallones Caught on Camera

The Farallones Caught on Camera

A new webcam on the Farallon Islands helps scientists– and the public– monitor wildlife.

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Underwater Wilderness: Creating Marine Protected Areas

Underwater Wilderness: Creating Marine Protected Areas

California waters are some of the richest in the world. But declines in fish species have led state leaders to begin creating large protected areas, or "no fishing zones," similar to wilderness areas on land. Although controversial with some fishing groups, the zones may help bring back fish, birds and marine mammals currently on the brink.

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One Fish, Two Fish: The Science of Protecting Sea Life

One Fish, Two Fish: The Science of Protecting Sea Life

This fall, fishing was banned or sharply limited in 18 percent of California's ocean waters from Half Moon Bay to Santa Barbara under a landmark state plan. But that was only the first part. Now, scientists need to see how fast sea life recovers. QUEST finds out: how do you count the fish in the sea?

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