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Sea Otter Savvy

Sea Otter Science And Community Outreach

Sea Otter Disturbance Research

research gena morro

In order to investigate the effect of marine recreation and other human activities on sea otters, as well monitor changes in disturbance levels as our outreach measures unfold, Sea Otter Savvy has implemented a research program in collaboration with scientists and students from the Southern Sea Otter Research Alliance. Our method of data collection will include a randomized approach in which sea otter behavior and activity, and the number, type, and proximity of a range of factors that may trigger behavior change, are recorded and contrasted between sites of predicted high and lower levels of disturbance.

Current Research

Heather Barrett

Heather Barrett

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

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Rakel Hanson

Rakel Hanson

Ragnheiður "Rakel" Dawn Hanson is an Icelandic master’s student who completed her MSc in Global Wildlife Health and Conservations through the University of Bristol, UK in 2019. She focused her final report on topics on human-wildlife interactions, writing about the sea otter tourism industry and sea otter value orientations among stakeholders in the Montrey Bay area. Her goals are to continue research on human-wildlife interactions as well as explore wildlife filmmaking. Read Rakel's complete thesis here.
Sarah Espinosa

Sarah Espinosa

University of California Santa Cruz

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Current Research Study SitesSOS site maps 2019


Past Research

Deborah Benham

Deborah Benham

Deborah’s background started out with graduate studies in ecotourism, wildlife conservation, environmental education and the people/nature interface, focusing her masters (MSc) work on the issue of sea otter disturbance by recreational activities in the Monterey Bay area.

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Jim Curland

Jim Curland

Jim Curland has been involved in sea otter research and conservation and other marine conservation issues from 1990 through 2015

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Are you interested in helping further this important research?

volunteers hannahJoin the Sea Otter Savvy Citizen Science Team! Volunteers and interns are responsible for collecting the majority of our data on the relationship between sea otter activity and marine recreation at our “Disturbance Hot Spots”. Volunteers with partnering agencies and organizations (Friends of the Sea Otter, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, UC Santa Cruz, Caly Poly San Luis Obispo) team up to monitor how sea otters respond to the presence of an array of potential sources of disturbance, and share information about sea otters and respectful sea otter viewing with the public.  Participate in the important research that provides the foundation for the work we do: join our citizen science team!

Sea Otter Savvy is an official Research Affiliate of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories