Tsunami Enlivens Graduation Day for Volunteer Naturalists

Long-time volunteer naturalist and Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve board member Linda Ciotti coordinates our annual volunteer training class. Here’s her report on the 2011 class.

FFMR volunteers in training

Volunteers in training enjoy a warm day on the docks in Pillar Point Harbor. Photo by Julie Walters.

Please welcome FFMR’s Class of 2011 to the ranks of our Volunteer Naturalists:

Allison Adams, Clay Beatty, India Bolding, Juliet Bolding, Beth Carlson, Diann Chethik, Kim Evans, Greta Hanley, Dave Karlin, Bill Kennedy, Karen Madsen, Dianne Mahan, Jill Morris, Sana Noble, Ron Olson, David Vasquez

These sixteen people successfully completed the 2011 Volunteer Naturalist Training class by attending 40 hours of classroom and field study, in addition to spending time on the reef with mentors that was individually scheduled.

In 2010 we had to extend the 8-week course by one week due to a tsunami warning on the coast. On March 12th this year, we actually had a tsunami hit the coast, so the training class’s morning outing on the reef with a group of third graders was canceled. The graduation party, a potluck lunch hosted at the home of Tom and Linda Ciotti, was held, though! The day was gorgeous and it gave everyone an opportunity to socialize and get to know one another a little better.

Besides the tsunami warning, here are a few highlights from this year’s class:

The outing on Jan 22 to the floating docks at Pillar Pt. Harbor produced a wonderful array of critters to observe:  barnacles actively feeding; a nice assortment of tunicates, sponges and bryozoans; even several hermisenda nudibranchs lounging on algae attached to a rope.

We welcomed a new instructor this year, Joseph Centoni, who provided an educational and entertaining presentation on algae.  Who knew algae could be so interesting!

During the special Tidepool Day outing on Feb 15 we observed a resident red octopus in the southern portion of the intertidal which was discovered by India Bolding.

SPECIAL THANKS to our instructors:  Ellen Gartside, Bob Breen, Tom Niesen, Joseph Centoni, Sabbie Hopkins, and Denise Greig from the Marine Mammal Center.

BIG THANKS also to Ranger Sarah Lenz, Tom Ciotti, and Susan Evans for all of their help in making this year’s class a success.

AND THANKS TO MENTORS Jennifer Brey, Anne-Ly Crump Garay, Carol Davies, Susan Evans, Kelly Huber, Clive Jones, Sandi Meyer, Scott Snow, Linda Theroff, Jack Vidosh and Julie Walters.

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