Shannon Lyday


Last Updated August 31, 2014

Shannon.E.Lyday'at' hawaii 'dot' gov



Shannon attended the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder, majoring in Environmental Science. During her undergraduate studies she worked at the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research conducting amino acid dating of fossils and interned with the Sierra Club working on wolf reintroduction issues. But it was a Tropical Marine Ecology class that sparked her interest in studying the marine environment. After CU Shannon moved to the Florida Keys to work as a Marine Conservation Intern with Reef Environmental Education Foundation, involving recreational divers in conducting fish surveys.

Before coming to HPU, Shannon worked for eight years at the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association (FMSA) in San Francisco, the non-profit partner of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Shannon managed Beach Watch, a long-term monitoring program that utilizes the expertise of over 100 citizen scientists to collect data on 41 beaches along the central California coast. Beach Watch documents the distribution and abundance of live and dead marine birds and mammals and the patterns of oil and tarball deposition.

Shannon also assisted with designing methodologies for at-sea surveys in the Sanctuary in partnership with PRBO Conservation Science. The ACCESS (Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies) cruises collect data to evaluate the trends in the distribution and abundance of seabirds and marine mammals relative to changes in ocean conditions. These cruises stimulated Shannon's interest in pursuing a graduate degree to investigate the associations of seabirds with biological and physical processes in the ocean.

Shannon's thesis analyzed seabird distribution and abundance data collected from vessel-based surveys in the California Current. She developed a multivariate index relating shearwater abundance and behavior, environmental data and commercial catches of forage fish, squid and large predatory fish species.

In addition to her thesis project, Shannon lead a study of marine debris ingestion in Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. In fall 2011, she was awarded a NOAA Nancy Foster Graduate Scholarship, which funded her thesis research. She also received a scholarship from the International Women's Fishing Association in 2011 and 2012.

After graduating in December 2013, Shannon was hired by the State of Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, as Programs and Operations Coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. 


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