For the past three years, I worked as a field technician for the Tinker lab at UCSC tracking sea otters in Elkhorn Slough. In September 2016, the field portion of the three-year study ended, which means that there is plenty of data to analyze!
For my masters thesis, I will be focusing on sea otter salt marsh habitat use. Current research has shown that sea otter ecosystem effects on tidal marsh help prevent bank erosion and promote the growth of pickleweed (Salicornia virginica). Because of this, I will be looking specifically at how sea otters use the salt marsh/tidal creeks. The purpose of this research will be to inform management (restoration and creation) of tidal marsh in Elkhorn Slough.