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Chapter Event - San Diego



"Extinction: Only Sixty Vaquita Remaining!
What Are We Doing About It?"

An evening with Samantha Young

The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world, found only in the upper Gulf of California, with a population of about 60 individuals. It is threatened by accidental entanglement in gillnets set for shrimp and the endangered totoaba fish. The San Diego Zoo Global “Ridge to Reef Initiative” partners with NGOs and research institutions to understand and engage local communities in vaquita conservation and promote sustainable, long-term coexistence with wildlife. This is still the beginning of what is shaping up to be an exciting collaboration between a variety of scientists and local teachers, students, and those who make a living from fishing, and there is hope for the future of the vaquita and Baja’s treasures.

Samantha Young serves San Diego Zoo Global as the Brown Endowed Research Coordinator in Conservation Education. In this role, Samantha works on community-based conservation programs, developing and implementing collaborative field programs based on socio-ecological research and diverse approaches that benefit people, wildlife, and habitats. Through her work, she seeks to build capacity for locally managed, sustainable conservation.

Samantha also assists with programs in our Conservation Education Lab, including the Advanced Inquiry Program. Samantha conducts fieldwork in the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico, where a porpoise known as the vaquita is on the verge of extinction due to by-catch, and in the dry forest of Peru where a unique population of Andean bears is threatened by human development. She partners with local organizations to reduce human impacts on ecosystems, while considering the livelihoods of people. This includes research into human interaction with the environment to inform environmental education and teacher training, sustainable livelihood initiatives, improved cooking methods, and including local people in conservation research and leadership. Samantha earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, and her master’s degree in Biology from San Diego State University, where she studied the evolution of baleen whales.

Date: Tuesday, February 21

Time: 6:00 pm Social Hour, 6:45 pm Dinner, followed by dessert and presentation

Location: Best Western Seven Seas, 411 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108

Reservation Notes:

RSVP by mailing a check made payable to ‘San Diego Explorers Club’ to:
Bruce Haggerty, 5745 Menorca Drive, San Diego 92124

Price: $35 for dinner and presentation ($20 for Students)
*Checks must be received by February 14, 2017

Please also indicate your meal choice:
Chicken Cordon Bleu, Grilled Salmon or Vegetarian

For more information or questions please email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Call Bruce in the evening at 760-445-8989.

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste