Lighthouse Lecture Series - Scott Mercer

Lighthouse Lecture Series - Scott Mercer



Scott Mercer presents "Two Species, Two Coasts" on Saturday, October 19th at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person.

This presentation will examine two species of large baleen whales, each threatened by climate change and decreasing populations. The population of the North Atlantic right whale is a dangerously susceptible 360. The species never recovered from relentless whaling that began in the 17th Century and continued into the 20th Century.

Gray whales have suffered and rebounded from severe population declines over the past 4-5 centuries. The effects of climate change on their feeding abilities may be an obstacle too formidable to overcome. Lastly, we will discuss the newest research on the continuing ecosystem effects of the decline in kelp and the explosion in urchin population.

Scott began studying marine mammals in 1974 in Monterey Bay with an extended study of the feeding ecology of sea otters. After relocating to his native New England, in 1978 Scott founded New England Whale Watch, Inc. as an opportunity to offer first hand ocean life education to the public, and for him to collect data on the whales being observed. Scott was recently interviewed, for his role as a pioneer in Atlantic Coast whale watching, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of a history of the whale watching industry in New England.
Scott was cofounder of the Brier Island Ocean Study, a research station in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has led offshore and overnight excursions to the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, in the Caribbean, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada. In 1982 Scott coauthored The Great Whale Book, for 14 years he taught a marine mammal class for the University of New Hampshire’s Continuing Education, as well as science classes for the Southern Maine Community College. 

In 2014, Scott with his wife Tree Mercer founded the Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study to document the occurrence, diversity, and behavior of marine mammals along the coast from Northern Sonoma County to Southern Mendocino County. They present their data and findings at many local and international conferences. In 2021, the Mercers were featured in an extensive article in the Los Angeles Times about the Unusual Mortality Event of gray whales. In 2022 they were included in a documentary film about gray whale research created by the UC Berkeley Department of Graduate Journalism.

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Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day

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Tower Tour (in addition to site visit fee)

4 and over



877-725-4448, ext. 1 or

707-882-2809, ext. 1



45500 Lighthouse Road

P. O. Box 11

Point Arena, CA 95468