Rubissow Okamoto ’81 Co-Writes Guide to San Francisco Bay

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto '81

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto ’81 is co-author (with Kathleen M. Wong) of the fascinating Natural History of San Francisco Bay (University of California Press), which also explores its human history and how each affects the other. While the bay is home to healthy eelgrass beds, young Dungeness crabs and sharks, and millions of waterbirds, it also is marked by oil tankers, laced with pollutants, and crowded with 46 cities.

Guide by Ariel Rubissow Okamoto '81

The guide explores a number of subjects relating to this unique body of water—including fish, birds and other wildlife, geography and geology, the history of human changes, ocean and climate cycles, endangered and invasive species, and the path from industrialization to environmental restoration.

More than 60 scientists, activists, and resource managers share their views and describe their work—tracing mercury through the aquatic ecosystem, finding ways to convert salt ponds back to tidal wetlands, anticipating the repercussions of climate change, and more. The book is full of evocative photographs and packed with stories, quotations, and facts. It also relates how San Francisco Bay sparked an environmental movement that reaches across the country.

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: