Harbor porpoises

Image by: William Keener/Golden Gate Cetacean Research

Reservations: Members: Free, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

Jonathan Stern, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology at SFSU

Something that has been missing from San Francisco Bay since World War II appears to be making a comeback: Harbor porpoises are showing up in growing numbers, and researchers are trying to understand why they're returning. After the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, the bay's water quality began to improve. But it took time for the food web to come back. San Francisco State University whale researcher Jonathan Stern thinks that perhaps porpoises had to rediscover the bay. This talk will touch on the historical use of San Francisco Bay by harbor porpoises, the reasons they left, and speculate on why they're coming back. The ecological implications of the return of this predator to the Bay will also be discussed. In addition, we will discuss the dolphins and whales found off the San Francisco coastline.

Jonathan Stern has studied minke whales since 1980, and is currently a Co-Principal Investigator at Golden Gate Cetacean Research, studying harbor porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, and minke whales in local waters of the San Francisco Bay. He has also studied gray whales, killer whales, fin whales, humpback whales, and pilot whales. Dr. Stern was the first volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center when it opened in 1975.

Share This

Lectures, Classes, and Excursions

Grab your headphones and your imagination while you listen to top scientists talk about their astronomical research on our iTunes podcast channel. The Academy's Benjamin Dean lecture series hosts the world's leading experts in astronomy, astrophysics, and more.

Pop some popcorn and enjoy a videotaped lecture from some of the top scientists in the world. Academy lectures offer thought provoking discussions on topics such as biology, ecology, sustainability, natural history, biodiversity, and evolution.

Garage Hours: 7 am – 7 pm, except Thursdays, 7 am – 11 pm