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Steven L. Swartz , Mary Lou Jones, and Mike Bursk conducted the first systematic studies of gray whales in Laguna San Ignacio from 1977-1982.
In subsequent years other scientists that came to the lagoon included Bruce Mate and Jim Harvey who conducted early radio-tagging research, Jim Sumich and his students researched gray whale calf growth and energetic, and Marilyn Dahlheim conducted the first bioacoustics research.
Little research was conducted between 1986 and 1995.
Dr. Jorge UrbĂˇn R., his colleagues and students resumed abundance surveys for gray whales in 1996.
Beginning in 2002, Swartz and UrbĂˇn collaborated to rescue and archive historic photographic identification data for gray whales, and developed the first Photo-ID Database for the Baja California lagoons. They began developing the “ecosystem science program concept” in 2005, and in 2006 proposed additional scientific investigations on other marine species and aspects of the lagoon ecosystem to complement research and monitoring of gray whales.
In 2007 they joined forces with Pro-Peninsula, to bring a social-economic component to the science program.
In 2009 Pro-Peninsula merged The Ocean Foundation of Washington D.C. and the Laguna San Ignacio ecosystem science program became part of the Foundation’s family of conservation programs in Baja California.
The winter of 2012 marked the sixth year of the “ecosystem science” program at Laguna San Ignacio.
To learn more about the Laguna San Ignacio ecosystem and efforts to conserve and manage this unique marine ecosystem, visit the websites listed below: