37° 41.8′ N, 122° 59.9′ W
The Farallon Islands, seven rocky islands comprising the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, are the breeding grounds for more than one-quarter of all California seabirds and home to populations of seals and sea lions. The largest seabird colony south of Alaska, this critical habitat provides protection for 12 different species, numbering more than 200,000 individuals. As a small part of their ongoing studies, Point Blue Conservation Science researchers stationed on Southeast Farallon take daily temperature and salinity samples and return the salinity samples to Scripps once a month for analysis. Because of their location 26 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, where they catch the full force of winter storms and the strong summer northwesters, data collection can be interrupted from time to time. The sampling site at the boat landing on the southeast side of the island is steep and rocky, so measurements are representative of the oceanic waters around the islands.