/ November Science Sunday

November Science Sunday

November 21, 2021
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Environment vs. Ecology:

Decoding the Decline of a Kelp Forest Ecosystem in Northern California

This is an online webinar presented by:

Meredith McPherson, Ph.D.

Department of Ocean Sciences, UC Santa Cruz

Bull kelp forests experienced unprecedented losses along 220 miles of coastline in Northern California beginning in 2014 after the onset of a large marine heatwave and the local extinction of sunflower sea stars. These losses have had devastating consequences to the region’s communities, economies, and fisheries. Similar to the nature versus nurture debate in psychology, it can be equally challenging to tease apart environmental and ecological drivers (also known as “top down versus bottom up”) in ecosystem dynamics.


Using a suite of diver and satellite-derived data, join Meredith as she describes historical patterns of kelp canopy coverage in Northern California, decodes how and why this event occurred, and provides perspective on the future of these iconic marine ecosystems.


General Public: $10/household suggested donation

General Public Preregistration

Members and Volunteers: Free through the members portal

Member and Volunteer Preregistration

*Please register at least one hour prior to event start time. Registration closes at 12:30 PM PST on Sunday, November 21, 2021.

About Science Sunday

Science Sunday is for everyone interested in the world around them. Join us on the third Sunday of every month (except December) for a public lecture from a marine scientist, who presents current research and topics in an entertaining and easy-to-understand format, with up-to-date photos, video, and discussion.


  • Time: 1:30 PM; lectures are one hour long and include time for a few questions at the end.
  • Location: Online; webinar preregistration is required.
  • Recommended for ages 10 and older.