California Naturalist Program Regional Rendezvous
Learn more about Point Reyes National Seashore in ways the casual visitor cannot, exploring in areas less traveled and alongside some of the California's most knowledgeable naturalists. The upcoming CalNat Course with Point Reyes National Seashore Association is open for registration. Saturdays 9:00am to 5:00pm from September 22-October 20th.
Some interesting ways biologists are tapping into what we know about animal behavior to solve modern day conservation problems. Read about it here in Scientific American.
"Thoth was an ancient Egyptian deity with the head of an ibis, and part of his job was to maintain the universe. In the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument region, we have ibises, specifically White-Faced Ibises (Plegadis chihi), and even though they probably don't maintain the universe, they do a good job of maintaining their little corners of the world." Click here for the latest article from CalNat Tuleyome instructor Mary K. "Mare" Hanson - Naturalist in the Red Bluff Daily News. Follow Mary's FB pageorblog for her stellar natural history observations and photos!
Congratulations to the graduates of Catalina Island Conservancy's first California Naturalist course! The spring course looked to create highly trained guides, volunteers, docents and most importantly, stewards, to spread the word of not only how special Catalina Island is, but how important all islands are. Capstone projects included a children's book on the island fox, a library catalog enhancement for their Nature Center, and more. Welcome CA Naturalists!
Effie Yeaw Nature Center has just announced dates for their fall course! Claim your spot at one of our most popular courses, which starts September 17. The course will prepare you to be an advocate for California's natural wonders, with an emphasis on the greater Sacramento area. Located on the edge of a 100 acre nature preserve along the American River, a short hike from the classroom and you'll discover what it means to be a naturalist. Learn more and find the link to register here.
Water movement patterns create microhabitats in creeks. The presence of riffles, pools, or cascades determine which types of aquatic invertebrates can populate a stream reach, according to new research by UC Santa Barbara. Read about it here.
Roseville residents, register by August 7 for the Valley Foothill Watershed Collaborative course and save $25! The 40 hour course combines a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of Placer County and the Foothills, focusing on the American River Basin Watershed. Register here: https://bit.ly/2mcln2I.
The Living with Fire May 2018 symposium presentations are available on the California Fire Science Consortium YouTube channel. Developed for anybody interested in the intersection of human communities and fire, the symposium brought together dozens of experts in fire ecology and management, community planning, fire safety and preparedness, and global change- many are UC colleagues andCalNat partner organizations.
A take on the importance of studying natural history, featured in our Mount Diablo State Park/ Lindsay Wildlife Experience course's required reading, argues, "'A naturalist is the person who is inexhaustibly fascinated by biological diversity and who does not view organisms merely as models, or vehicles for theory, but rather as the thing itself that excites our admiration and our desire for knowledge, understanding, and preservation,' writes David Schmidley. That is who I am. And I'm sure I'm not alone. But natural history will dwindle -- and humanity will suffer accordingly -- unless society prioritizes natural history research and education, and we who feel this way share our passion with others." Read the article here.
For those of us looking to support those affected by fire in California, Maryam Kia-Keating, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at UC Santa Barbara and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, says, "...recovery takes time and has many phases. It can be different for different people who experienced the same disaster, and it is important not to judge one person's experiences and reactions by another's." Read more here.
UC Santa Barbara and Aquarium of the Pacific launched a new citizen science program, Spotting Giant Sea Bass, to improve understanding and stewardship of the endangered giant sea bass, the largest bony coastal fish in California. They're an apex predator in kelp forests and likely help shape how the ecosystem functions. The program will provide marine biologists with increased and better data on the fish, which will help answer critical research questions. Citizen scientists upload images of the fish to the program's website. Each individual giant sea bass has a unique spot pattern. Researchers confirm a match to an existing individual in their database or it may be a new addition. More here.
Congratulations to our partner, Tuleyome, for receiving a grant from the Sacramento Zoo Conservation Fund to support projects in their TWO #CalNat courses next year! Early bird pricing is available through September 1st. Learn more about their course at http://calnat.ucanr.edu/Take_a_class/Tuleyome/
What's going on when manzanitas (Arctostaphylos sp) and Pacificmadrone (Arbutusmenziesii) peel their beautiful smooth red bark into cinnamon-like curls? Trees and shrubs with smooth bark lack a thick woody bark layer, so they need to employ alternative protective strategies. By self-exfoliating a thin layer, they shed insects, moss, lichen, and other organisms. Additionally, the red bark is very tannic and bitter, which most species find unpalatable.
New peer-reviewed research from UC Berkeley and The Greater Good Science Center indicates that the awe we feel in nature can dramatically reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers tracked psychological and physiological changes in war veterans and at-risk teens from underserved communities during white-water rafting trips and undergraduate students that kept a nature journal. Read about it, and links to the original studies here.
Registration is now open for Cuesta College's California Naturalist course. The college is offering the course for the first time this fall, Sept. 21 - Nov. 9, on Fridays from 9am-3pm. Each Friday starts on campus with a classroom presentation, followed by a field trip. It's ideal for adults who want to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of California's natural history in a structured 8-week program. It's a great resume-builder for people seeking jobs in environmental fields. And it's a fun and enjoyable way to see many unique areas in San Luis Obispo County. More details at our course site.
The recent 2017 CEEIN Memorandum of Understanding included UC Agriculture & Natural Resources as a new signatory. More information about CEEIN and its members and partners can be found at http://www.ceein.org.
Congrats to the newest #CalNat graduates from the Sagehen Creek Field Station! This week was jammed packed full of the latest research from UC Berkeley and UC Davis, covering local and Sierra geology, cutting edge forestry practices, creek entomology, conifer practice and a whole lot more. Students pledged to take their newfound knowledge back to their communities and give back through their capstone projects. The cherry on top was helping other experts from iNaturalist.org, Audubon California, and more during the fourth annual Sagehen Bioblitz. In just one morning, #CalNat grads and participants of the blitz collected almost 700 observations, helping to document the field station's biodiversity. Highlights of the observations included a new juniper species and horsetail species (Equisetum hymenale) for the basin. Even with scientists collecting data at Sagehen for 68 years, there's always something new to find - keep exploring, naturalists!
Sea star wasting disease, a marine pandemic that wiped out many West Coast sea stars, provided researchers at UC Merced with a natural experiment in evolutionary survival. They found considerable changes to the sea star genomes following the pandemic by comparing the genomes of those alive just before the pandemic with survivors. Read about it here.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is calling on LA County K-12 students to submit images of wildlife and nature — both in L.A. and all over the world. From now until Sept. 30, submit images for a chance to win prizes. The contest will complement the upcoming Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opening at the museum on August 19.
Some great news to get you through the week: California beats its goals for cutting greenhouse gases a full four years before the target year of 2020! The California Air Resources Board reports the 2016 carbon emissions were 13 percent below the peak level recorded in 2004, while the state's economy grew by 26 percent.
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. PLT activities use the environment to engage learners – both outside and indoors. Several California Naturalist partners have integrated PLT activities and PLT educator certification into their CalNat course. Here CalNat Inland Empire course participants with Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District explore food webs and how to conduct this hands-onPLT activity with others.
#CalNat had the pleasure of participating in Nudibranch Camp this last weekend, a University and Jepson Herbaria - UC Berkeley workshop with California Academy of Sciences Citizen Science program co-directors Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young. We had a great time and learned so much! All 28 species we found are documented in the "Intertidal Biodiversity Project at Pillar Point" on iNaturalist.org. The next time you go tidepooling, you can download an iNat guide on "California Sea Slugs - Nudibranchs and opisthobranchs" here. Check out Jepson's remaining 2018 workshops here.
You'll never look at a leaf the same... Travel Deep Inside a Leaf - Annotated Version | California Academy of Sciences