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Who is Rick Starr


Rick Starr is a Marine Scientist for California Sea Grant Extension Program for Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. His work includes research, education, and outreach.

In the past 20 years, Rick has studied the biology and ecology of marine species that are harvested as fishery resources. As a Marine Advisor, Rick's job is to help find research based solutions to coastal problems. This involves a wide variety of research and extension work, including developing educational materials, advising groups on ways to find creative solutions to coastal issues, forging partnerships with schools and organizations, participating in community committees and workshops, and conducting research. Here we are highlighting some of Rick's work.

What Research Does Rick Do?

Rick is currently working on four primary projects. He is updating his book that describes the status of fisheries and species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), helping create an ocean science camp for children, called S.E.A. Lab Monterey Bay, providing technical advice to help governmental agencies, environmental organizations, and resource users coordinate coastal resource management plans; and he is conducting research on the distribution, abundance, and movements of marine fishes to help promote the wise use, conservation, and management of valuable fishery resources.

Rick's recent publications (listed below) describe the status of fisheries in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; the movements of sonically tagged fishes; the uses of hydroacoustic equipment and submersibles to estimate fish density on a rocky bank, and hydroacoustic techniques to survey squid resources; and geographic information systems in fishery management.

He is also an Adjunct Professor with the California State University at Monterey Bay. His field experience includes:

  • Principal Investigator, Co-PI, or chief scientist on 20 research cruises
  • 1000 hours of scuba diving
  • 64 submersible dives, 6 as a pilot
  • 4 ROV (remotely operated vehicles) cruises


Rick earned a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia in 1973. He then continued his education at Oregon State University, where he received a M.S. degree in physical geography in 1976.


In addition to his professional work, Rick is an avid kayaker. He has run difficult rivers in many parts of the world, and was the captain of the US Surf Kayak Team that won the 1999 world championships in Brazil.Rick is currently ranked second in the world in the sport of surf kayaking.

Selected Recent Publications

Greene, H.G., M.M. Yoklavich, V.M. O'Connell, R.M. Starr, W.W. Wakefield, C.K. Brylinsky, J.J. Bizzarro, and G.M. Cailliet. 2000. Mapping and Classification of Deep Seafloor Habitats. ICES paper CM 2000/T:08. 11 pp.

Starr, R.M., J.N. Heine, and K.A. Johnson. 2000. In situ techniques for tagging and tracking rockfishes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, August, 2000.

Voegeli. F.A. and R.M. Starr. 2000. Automated monitoring of fish movements and data telemetry from acoustic tags. Proceedings 15th International Symposium on Biotelemetry, Juneau, Alaska.

Stanbury, K.B. and R.M. Starr. 1999. Applications of geographic information systems (GIS) to habitat assessment and marine resource management. Oceanologica Acta, Vol. 22, No. 6.

Murray, S., R. Ambrose, J. Bohnsack, L. Botsford, M. Carr, G. Davis, P. Dayton, D. Gotshall, D. Gunderson, M. Hixon, J. Lubchenco, M. Mangel, A. McCall, D. McArdle, J. Ogden, C. Pomeroy, J. Roughgarden, R. Starr, M. Tegner, and M. Yoklavich. 1999. No-take Reserves: Sustaining Fishery Populations and Marine Ecosystems. Journal American Fisheries Society, Vol. 24 (11): 11-25.

Starr, R.M. and R.E. Thorne. 1998. Acoustic assessment of squid stocks. pp. 181-198 in: P.G. Rodhouse, E.G. Dawe, and R.K. O'Dor (eds.): Squid recruitment dynamics: the genus Illex as a model, the commercial Illex species and influences on variability. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 376. Rome, Italy.

Starr, R.M. 1998. Design principles for rockfish reserves on the U.S. West Coast. pp. 50-63 in: Yoklavich, M. (ed.) Marine harvest refugia for west coast rockfish: a workshop. NOAA, NMFS Tech. Memo. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-255. 159 pp.

Starr, R.M., K.A. Johnson, N. Laman, and G.M. Cailliet. 1998. Fishery resources of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. California Sea Grant College System Publication No. T-042, 101 pp.

Starr, R.M.and K.A. Johnson. 1998. Goal oriented marine reserves: A zoogeographic approach. pp. 262-272 in: O.T. Magoon, H. Converse, B. Baird, and M. Miller-Henson, eds. California and the world ocean Ô97. Taking a look at CaliforniaÕs ocean resources: an agenda for the future. American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, Virginia.

Yoklavich, M., R. Starr, J. Steger, H.G. Greene, F. Schwing, C. Malzone. 1997. Mapping benthic habitats and ocean currents in the vicinity of Central California's Big Creek Ecological Reserve. NOAA, NMFS Tech. Memo. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-245. 52 pp.

Starr, R.M. and D.S. Fox. 1997. Can fishery catch data supplement research cruise data? A geographical comparison of research and commercial catch data. pp. 190-197 in: D.A. Hancock, D.C. Smith, A. Grant, J.B. Beumer (eds.): Developing and Sustaining World Fisheries Resources, The State of Science and Management: Proceedings Second World Fisheries Congress, CSIRO, Australia.

Fox, D.S. and R.M. Starr. 1996. Comparison of commercial fishery and research catch data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Vol 53(12): 2681-2694.

Starr, R.M., D.S. Fox, M.A. Hixon, B.N. Tissot, G.E. Johnson, and W.H. Barss. 1996. Comparison of submersible-survey and hydroacoustic-survey estimates of fish density on a rocky bank. Fishery Bulletin. 94:113-123.

Rick Starr Contact Information

Photo of Dr Richard M. Starr
Dr Richard M. Starr
Specialty: Marine ecology, fisheries, coastal resources
Sea Grant Extension Program, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
8272 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
Phone: (831) 771-4442
Fax: (831) 632-4403
Email: starr@mlml.calstate.edu