Marine Ecology

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer positions are available to assists with field and lab research on projects being conducted throughout the year:

  • Health of wetland communities. The West Coast center for wetland health was recently established at BML by EPA. We are using pollutant bioavailability, biochemical stress markers, field surveys and remote sensing to develop indicators of the health of wetland communities along the West Coast.
  • Phenotypic plasticity. Surprisingly few ecologists have tried to understand why organisms within a population look different and the community consequences of these differences, given that phenotypic plasticity is so prevalent in natural communities. The importance of phenotypic plasticity in the context of a community in which multiple predators (seastar, crab, snail) may induce defenses of a foundation species of prey (mussel) is being determined.
  • Tracking larval dispersal trajectories. Natural elemental tags are being developed for invertebrates (barnacle, native oyster, shore crab) and fishes (cabezon, mudsucker) to answer a central question in marine ecology: how far do larvae disperse?
  • Rapid analysis of plankton samples to determine larval transport patterns. A revolutionary molecular technique is being developed and field-tested to identify and quantify species in plankton samples to overcome a longstanding barrier to studying plankton communities. This technique is being used to determine larval migration patterns for 14 species of crustaceans in the vicinity of Bodega Bay.

For more information contact Steven Morgan, (707) 875-1920

Forms for volunteers