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Free Conservation Lecture About Whales at Sequoia Park Zoo on December 13th

The Sequoia Park Zoo’s 13th annual Conservation Lecture Series continues on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 7:00 PM, hosted by the Conservation Advisory Committee and sponsored by the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation. Robyn Norman will discuss the unique behaviors of local whales in her talk entitled, “Cetaceans of the North Coast: a renewed effort for gray whale foraging research.” Lectures are hosted in-person at the Zoo and online through Zoom and Facebook live.

Eastern North Pacific Gray Whales make one the longest yearly migrations of any mammal, traveling over 16,000 kilometers round trip to the Arctic to feed on a diversity of invertebrates. By filtering water, sand, and sediment through their baleen, gray whales will consume thousands of these organisms every summer. However, a sub-group of this population chooses a different route, spending the summers feeding from Vancouver, Canada to our shared home in northern California. This Pacific Coast Feeding Group makes up less than 1% of the population, and they are seen in small numbers in northern California throughout the summer. While this group has been observed since the 1980s, we still have many unanswered questions about their presence in the area. Why are these whales in northern California? What are they eating? And what makes northern California special? Norman received a conservation grant from the Sequoia Park Zoo to begin answering some of these questions and will share her findings in this talk.

Robyn Norman is a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH). Along with her team of CPH undergraduate students, she has been studying the foraging ecology of gray whales in northern California for over two years. She also studied gray whales in Oregon while earning her undergraduate degree at Oregon State University.

The 2023-2024 Conservation Lecture Series will be held in-person and remotely through Zoom. The in-person lecture is located at the Sequoia Park Zoo’s Flamingo Room at 3414 W Street in Eureka, CA. In-person attendees can enter the Zoo through Gate C, located to the left of the main gate at the W Street crosswalk. Virtual attendees can watch on the Zoo’s Facebook page or on Zoom (where a free, registered Zoom account is required). The Zoom link will be available on the Zoo’s website at and through the Zoo’s social media channels.

The event begins with refreshments and a Zoo update slideshow at 6:45 PM. The lecture starts promptly at 7:00 PM. Attendees are encouraged to ask the speaker questions after the presentation.

What:              FREE Hybrid Conservation Lecture: Cetaceans of the North Coast: a renewed effort for gray whale foraging research

When:             Wednesday, December 13, 2023  Zoo information begins at 6:45 PM; Lecture at 7:00 PM

Where:            Sequoia Park Zoo, 3414 W Street, Eureka, CA or online via

Cost:                FREE

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 825 0471 9560

Passcode: 868429

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone:

+16699006833,,82504719560#,,,,*868429# US (San Jose)


Sequoia Park Zoo inspires conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect and passion for wildlife.