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Two Species, Two Coasts

Tuesday, July 18, 2023, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Join Scott and Theresa Mercer to learn about their whale research program on the West Coast!



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  • Cost: Free
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This event is handicap accessible

**Watch a recording of this presentation on YouTube here!

Join Theresa and Scott Mercer to learn about their whale research program on the West Coast, specifically focused on the migration of gray whales and the 38% plunge in the gray whale population. They will also discuss the extremely endangered North Atlantic right whale and efforts to protect this species from extinction. A comparison of feeding strategies of large species of baleen whales, including blue, finback, and humpback whales, will be shared as well.

About the Presenters

Theresa Mercer is a retired educator of 34 years spent instructing high school and junior high school biology, life science and physics in New York. She maintains research project data tables, and does much education with the public on the bluffs of California and at community events. She also constructs PowerPoint presentations and posters for marine mammal and environmental conferences.

Scott Mercer began studying marine mammals in 1974, with a lengthy investigation of the feeding ecology of the Southern sea otter in Monterey Bay. Upon returning to his native Northern New England, he founded New England Whale Watch, Inc. in 1978. Using his trips as a public education and research platform, Scott was a Major Contributor to the North Atlantic Humpback, North Atlantic Finback, and North Atlantic Right Whale Catalogs of Identified Individuals. He is co-author of The Great Whale Book published in 1982 with colleagues at The University of New Hampshire, where Scott taught a marine mammal class for fourteen years. He also taught science classes for Southern Maine Community College and a shipboard graduate level class for Wheelock College in Boston. Recently, Scott was interviewed by National Marine Fisheries for a documentary on the history of whale watching in New England. He is cofounder of a cetacean and seabird research station on Brier Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. He flew aerial surveys for the New England Aquarium and led trips for Seafarers Expeditions. In 2014, Scott and his wife Theresa (Tree) began the Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study, doing most of their field work from the Point Arena Lighthouse Peninsula. Since 2014, they have investigated the biodiversity of marine mammals on the Sonoma and Mendocino Coasts, including a daily census of the north and south migrations of gray whales. They present their findings at major conferences.

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