Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture


John Pearse

Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory
University of California, Santa Cruz

The Health of the Ocean's Intertidal: Than, Now, and in the Future

The intertidal region along the world's shorelines acts as a dynamic interface between land, air, and sea. Particles in the air fall onto the land and sea to be washed into the intertidal from both directions, and other materials of terrestrial and marine origins mix in the intertidal to become airborne in bursts of spray. The intertidal is most of all a zone of changes in space and time, and on many scales. Sites only a few meters or even centimeters apart differ dramatically in continually varying physical challenges from wave force or stagnation, sudden peaks or drops in temperature, and rain or desiccation. And both subtle and abrupt changes occur over time scales ranging from minute-to-minute variations to slow shifts over centuries and millennia. People are seizing an ever-increasing role in shaping the intertidal region, including the animals and plants found there. In turn, changes seen in the intertidal can serve people as a "miner's canary" of the health of the ocean. My talk will explore changes seen in the rocky intertidal of central California during the 20th century, and how they are being better understood and followed as we progress into the 21st.

About John Pearse

Dr. John Pearse is an institution in the Monterey Bay region. As one of the leading invertebrate zoologists and ecologists for several decades in his position at U.C.S.C., John has set a standard. He is best known for his work in the rocky intertidal, especially for his long-term survey approach and for including grade school students in his studies, something that was noted and supported by the California Sea Grant College Program and now is also supported by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He also has taught subtidal ecology courses and has influenced many students. His work on the reproduction of echinoderms is well respected. Even though John is retired from UCSC, he continues to be active, both at his research activities and at being involved in public issues relating to the Sanctuary and its remarkable marine resources.

History of Ricketts Memorial Award and Past Recipients

URL:    Reviewed: July 26, 2017
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

Privacy Statement | Site Disclaimer | User Survey
National Marine Sanctuaries | National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |