pen and ink drawings of ecological relationships and patterns
Otters in the kelp beds
Another piece inspired by my time as an Artist in Residence at Elkhorn Slough! Out in the Monterey Bay, otters feed on a wide variety of organisms, helping to keep the kelp beds healthy and the ecosystem in balance. This piece includes a favorite otter food - Pacific Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) - as well as the endangered Black Abalone (Haliotis cracherodii), Northern Kelp Crab (Pugettia producta), Blue Rockfish (Sebastes mystinus), California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher), and Bat Star (Aserina miniata). All of these creatures (and many, many more!) share the beds of undulating Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) that line the edges of the Monterey Bay.
Otters and Eelgrass
This design is inspired by my time as an Artist in Residence at Elkhorn Slough in March 2018. I had the great pleasure of observing Southern Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) in the wild. I was able to spend time with researchers and scientists learning about the incredibly important role that otters play in both the Monterey Bay ecosystem and the Elkhorn Slough ecosystem.
In this piece, the focus is on the role of otters in the health of the eelgrass beds of Elkhorn Slough. Otters eat crabs, which reduces crab predation of sea slugs. Slugs feed on algae, which improves the health of the eelgrass beds. Eelgrass provides habitat for a variety of other organisms, including bat rays and English sole.