Kathleen Wong science writer



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book cover

Natural History of San Francisco Bay
with Ariel Rubissow-Okamoto
University of California Press, 2011

A guide to the human and environmental history of the state's largest estuary. Describes the physical processes that control bay weather and water, and what lives beneath its surface and along its shores. Recounts the story of human settlement and environmental degradation being reversed in a the present era of ecosystem restoration. Part of the venerable and trusted California Natural History Guide series.

A nominee for the
2012 Northern California Book Award
for General Nonfiction

What people are saying

Post-Carbon Radio, July 28, 2016
KWMR 90.5 FM, Point Reyes

Hot Tech/Cool Science with Julie Motz, June 28, 2012
KWMR 90.5 FM, Point Reyes

Jeff Schechtman show, January 25, 2012
KVON 1440 AM, Napa Valley

"The book explores fish and wildlife, climate cycles, endangered and invasive species, and how San Francisco Bay engendered a national environmental movement."
Marin Independent Journal, Jan. 1 2012

"Okamoto and Wong, two of the Bay Area's finest nature writers, have assembled a dense and hugely informative primer on San Francisco Bay."
San Jose Mercury News, Dec. 31 2011

"From 'Fieldwork: Netting Underwater Life': Upside down in a bucket of water, the Midshipman shows off a row of luminescent photophores, which resemble the gleaming brass buttons of its sailor's uniform namesake." We love a fish in a uniform!"
The Bay Reporter, Dec. 22 2011

"The emphasis here is on environmental impact and recent conservation developments -- I did not know that it's officially dangerous to eat more than one pound a month of fish from the bay! -- and the history of decades of restoration triumphs and setbacks is related sleekly and straightforwardly. Absorbing all the information in this illuminating primer helped me appreciate the seething loveliness and churning forces that make up the place I call home."
San Francisco Bay Guardian, December 2011

"...it is enlightening to read these stories in one compelling narrative, helped along by the authors' direct and readable journalistic approach, which includes field trips with plankton samplers, eelgrass planters, clapper rail counters, and more."
Bay Nature, Oct-Dec 2011

"Harold Gilliam, the dean of local environmental journalists and longtime chronicler of San Francisco Bay, is a hard act to follow. Ariel Rubissow Okamoto and Kathleen M. Wong have done an admirable job in Natural Hostory of San Francisco Bay..... They bring their literary chops and extensive networks of science contacts to a lively synthesis of the Bay's natural and human history."
Estuary News, October 2011