Our History

HistoryIn 1976, Frank Gress and associates Rodney Jackson and William Noble, incorporated a non-profit environmental research and education organization known as the Bodega Bay Institute of Environmental Education (BBIEE). The goal of the organization was to foster understanding of ecological processes and mans’ role in effecting environmental change. The organization work toward this goal by providing a variety of environmental education programs and conducting original environmental investigations focusing on human impacts to rare and endangered wildlife.

BBIEE had an innovative approach to environmental education. The organization conducted multi-day natural history field courses and seminars throughout California for interested individual and organizations. They promoted lecture series, conferences and symposia on the pressing environmental concerns of the day. They led campaigns organized to promote the protection, conservation and restoration of California’s coastal environment. All of these efforts took place during the early stages of the environmental movement in America.

BBIEE conducted wildlife research around the world and included studies on the status and conservation of the snow leopard in the Himalayas, status of the Asian elephant in India and numerous studies concerning the conservation, population status and protection of the California brown pelican.

In 1982, BBIEE changed its name to the California Institute of Environmental Studies (CIES) to avoid confusion that was occurring with a different nonprofit with a similar name. Today, CIES is recognized as a leader in seabird research, restoration, monitoring and education.