I currently work for the California Academy of Sciences coordinating their citizen science programs, working with the public to answer large-scale questions about California biodiversity. Before this, I was working with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, running a long-term coastal monitoring program. I also spent six years as an environmental educator at an outdoor school in the Santa Cruz mountains.

My training is in intertidal invertebrates but I also have a great fondness for algae and birds.

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kestrel's favorite taxa

Diatoms - Photo (c) pali_nalu, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC) CC
Diatoms Info
Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons (e.g. Fragilaria), fans (e.g. Meridion), zigzags (e.g. Tabellaria), or stars (e.g. Asterionella). Diatoms are producers within the food chain. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule.... (From Wikipedia)
Octopuses, Squid and Relatives - Photo (c) Felipe Ortega, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA) CC
Octopuses, Squid and Relatives Info
A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda (Greek plural κεφαλόποδα (kephalópoda); "head-feet"). These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles (muscular hydrostats) modified from the primitive molluscan foot. Fishermen sometimes call them inkfish, referring to their common ability to squirt ink. The study of cephalopods is a branch of malacology known as teuthology. (From Wikipedia)
Nudibranchs - Photo (c) Nazir Erwan Amin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA) CC
Nudibranchs Info
A nudibranch /ˈnjuːdɨbræŋk/ is a member of Nudibranchia, a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. There are more than 3,000 described species of nudibranchs. (From Wikipedia)
Sandpipers and Allies - Photo (c) Vitaliy Khustochka, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC) CC
Sandpipers and Allies Info
Sandpipers are a large family, Scolopacidae, of waders or shorebirds. They include many species called sandpipers, as well as those called by names such as curlew and snipe. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. (From Wikipedia)
California Mussel - Photo (c) kqedquest, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC) CC
California Mussel Info
The California mussel, Mytilus californianus, is a large edible mussel, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mytilidae. (From Wikipedia)
kestrel

aka Alison Young