Samantha Cope – Masters Student, Marine Science


I am a current Masters student in Marine Science at SFSU. My previous research has been based on using geographic information systems (GIS) to investigate habitat changes in wetland environments and West Indian manatee populations in Florida. Recently relocated to the SF Bay Area, I’m looking forward to applying my experience to marine habitats by looking at the spatial components of anthropogenic threats to local marine mammal populations.



Laura Duffy – Masters Student

2cf822dA love of the outdoors and staying active has made me an enthusiast of Natural Science. I am currently a Masters Candidate at SFSU conducting research with the non-profit organization, Golden Gate Cetacean Research. I will be taking an inquisitive approach to the ecologically distinct community of San Francisco Bay, studying how the biota are affected by the biogeochemical aspects of their environment. I recognize wildlife populations as equally important to observe the evolutionary history of a region as they are to understand the present mechanics of food webs and ecosystem health. I do not only want to protect these populations, but really strive to scientifically comprehend why it is important to do so.


Jane Rudebusch – Masters Student, Marine Science

Jane_RudebuschI am interested in the ecology and conservation biology of marine mammals. Specifically, I am interested in the conservation of the southern sea otter and issues pertaining to the recovery and management of this endangered species. My masters project will evaluate tidal estuarine systems in and around San Francisco Bay as sites for potential sea otter recolonization. We know from historical records that sea otters were once abundant in SF Bay, and from current research we know that the return of otters could have reciprocal benefits for both ecology of SF Bay and for sea otter population recovery. But SF Bay has also changed dramatically from when sea otters were last there, so the goal of my project is to answer some of the questions surrounding the presence of sea otters in this area and if it is even feasible in the 21st century. When I’m not tracking down sea otters in Monterey Bay, I help with marine mammal stranding response and necropsy, and also enjoy wildlife photography, hiking in Point Reyes, and swimming.