William Keener

Bay Area native William Keener, formerly the director of the Marine Mammal Center, works as an environmental lawyer and is cofounder of Golden Gate Cetacean Research, ggcetacean.org.Golden Gate Cetacean Research is a nonprofit organization led by a team of marine mammal researchers: William Keener, Isidore Szczepaniak, Jonathan Stern, and Marc Webber. Collaborators include the California Academy of Sciences, the Marine Mammal Center, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, Romberg Tiburon Center, Okeanis, and the Oceanic Society.
harbor porpoise

Porpoises are Back in San Francisco Bay After Decades Away, and the Best Place to See Them is From the Golden Gate Bridge


When William Keener got a report of a harbor porpoise inside San Francisco Bay in 2008, he knew this was big news: They had been absent since World War II. Now, Keener’s group of researchers has turned the Golden Gate Bridge into a world-class wildlife observatory where anyone can see porpoises in action. Why have they returned? Did Bay cleanup efforts make the difference? While we can’t know for sure, we can celebrate this rare case of a large mammal reintroducing itself into its former habitat.

On Mount Diablo


Here, the sedimentary rocksof the town where I was raisedlift up, the layers of ancient seabed exposed in ridges running left to right, time turned on its side– Eocene, Miocene, Pliocene. At this height, the twilight rises, a tidal shadow … Read more