Estes & Tinker Lab at the Santa Cruz Field Station

A cooperative unit of University of California, Santa Cruz and United States Geological Survey


Sophia Lyon
Biological Science Technician
U.S. Geological Survey


My enthusiasm with otters and curiosity of their quirks drives me to keep a watchful eye on these squirmy creatures. I am currently working as a USGS Biological Technician on the Predator Diversity project. On this project I collect reliable data on what, where, when, and how both tagged and untagged otters are foraging along the Monterey Peninsula, ranging from the Monterey Harbor to Carmel Beach. Initially, while earning my B.S. in Biological Sciences at Santa Clara University, I began studying sea otters as an intern with the Monterey Bay Aquarium working in the Elkhorn Slough. I assisted with captures, both shore-spotting and data recording on surgical implantation for the Predator Diversity project. Soon after graduation, I shifted to my current role as a field researcher five days a week tracking the new study otters. I am passionate about learning more about the health and diversity of the California kelp forest ecosystem with daily observation and by asking many questions to the leads around me.


B.S. Biology 
Santa Clara University 2016





Contact Us: USGS Santa Cruz Field Station - 100 Shaffer Road - Center for Ocean Health - Room 251 - Santa Cruz, CA 95060 - 831 459-2357 -