President Napolitano visits the elephant seals
UC President Janet Napolitano got up close and personal last weekend with a colony of northern elephant seals and the scientists who study these marine mammals at the UC Natural Reserve System’s Año Nuevo Island Reserve.
In the midst of a storm serving up whitecaps and showers, the president and her guests met on the beach with UC researchers who have studied the seals for decades. Thousands of northern elephant seals gather at Año Nuevo Island Reserve each year to give birth, battle for mating rights and breed.
Led by Professor Daniel P. Costa of UC Santa Cruz, scientists have worked to understand the animals’ transoceanic migration routes, adaptations for dives nearly a mile deep and unique foraging strategies. Their work has pioneered the use of marine mammals as oceanographic sensors, shed light on the limits of mammalian physiology and lifted the veil over the movements of marine species from albatrosses to tuna.
For more details about the president’s visit, including photos, visit the UC Natural Reserve website.