Science Sunday - I Spy in the Sky: Drones Give a New Perspective for Marine Mammal Science

When researchers step onto Año Nuevo Island, they are welcomed by a deafening symphony: sea lions barking, elephant seals roaring, gulls cawing, and cormorants grunting. An individual researcher is most likely outnumbered by animals 10,000:1. To understand what is happening on the island, scientists need to count each animal—a nearly impossible task. Luckily, help has arrived in the form of an authorized research drone which has taken aerial photos of island life over the past four years. The research team has worked to measure and count animals in the drone photos by developing a citizen science platform,

Please join Roxanne Beltran and Sarah Wood to learn about this project, see their preliminary results, and find out how you can get involved.


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. 

  • Lectures are one hour long and take place at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at 1:30 PM.
  • Doors open to the lecture hall at 1:00 PM.
  • Lecture passes are available at the admissions counter at 12:30 PM.
  • Seating is limited and first-come, first-served. No late seating.

Lectures include time for a few questions at the end. Science Sunday is free with admission, and always free for members. Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Free admission for Seymour Center members and UC Santa Cruz undergraduates with valid student ID.

Sunday, February 16 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Seymour Marine Discovery Center 100 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Target Audience

Young Adult, Seniors, Students






Santa Cruz



Free with admission

Seymour Marine Discovery Center


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