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May 2016

Native plants vs. climate change

A hotter, drier climate is coming to California. Are our native plants prepared? To find out, UC Merced professor Jason Sexton and colleagues grew native monkey flowers outside of their naturally occurring patches as well as beyond their geographic ranges. What these wildflowers did to cope with the new conditions shows how other native plants could respond to future conditions.  Read more >>

Seal breath advances health study

Marine mammals exhale as much carbon monoxide several-packs-a-day smokers. In people, high levels of CO can be fatal. But among warm-blooded swimmers like elephant seals and dolphins, circulating levels of this gas might protect tissues from damage during long dives. The findings could help researchers develop carbon monoxide-based therapies for humans. Read more >>

SNARL Lectures

All talks are held at the Page Center, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Center, 1016 Mt. Morrison Rd., Mammoth Lakes starting at 7 p.m sharp. Plenty of seating should be available. Reserve grounds are not open to the public for walks. Please respect our no pets rule and keep your dog at home.

May 3 Oceans to mountains: what I've done and how I got here
Meet the new director of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves, Carol Blanchette, and gain insights into her career, training, and scientific interests. 

May 10 Understanding earthquake and volcanic hazards in Mono County
Cynthia Pridmore, engineering geologist, California Geological Survey, and Margaret Mangan, scientist in charge, California Volcanic Observatory, USGS.

May 17 Personal drones: How they work and why their use is up in the air
Paul Page, volunteer, Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve

May 31 "Talking Stone: rock art of the Cerro Cosos" film and discussion
Alan Garfinkel, archeologist and director, California Rock Art Foundation

Sedgwick Reserve Events

All events are held at Sedgwick Reserve, 3566 Brinkerhoff Rd., Santa Ynez, CA.

May 14 Public hike  8:30 a.m.
A range of hikes takes visitors to Sedgwick Reserve's 6,000 acres of unique geological and ecological wonders. Afterward, hikers can picnic and play bocce. Instead of hiking, visitors are also welcome to set up an art easel at the pond or bird watch around the Field Station. The gates will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. RSVP requested.

May 27 Lecture   
Native and invasive insects/pathogens on oaks
Oaks are an iconic part of California's landscapes. But their existence is being threatened by non-native or invasive pests and pathogens. The oak enemies list now includes goldspotted oak borer, polyphagous shot hole borer, and foamy bark canker. Learn how native insects and the aftereffects of drought are affecting these invaders, plus management and prevention techniques, from Kim Corella, forest pest specialist for CAL FIRE.


The extinction crisis
Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center
The Desert Sun

Foxes that endure despite a lack of genetic diversity
Santa Cruz Island Reserve
New York Times

Many rewards at "the Knoll"
Scripps Coastal Reserve
San Diego Reader

Bird's eye view: science from the sky 
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve
Bay Area Monitor

What is ocean acidification and why is it worse at night?
Bodega Marine Reserve
Pacific pond turtle

Turtle trek

A native Western pond turtle strolls through the NRS's San Joaquin Marsh Reserve. A California species of special concern, the Western pond turtle has been on the wane due to development of its wetland habitats, road mortality, competition from exotic pet turtles released into the wild, and the abundance of mesopredators such as cats and raccoons in urban environments. Image credit: Peter Bowler

Fruit fly source

The James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve is the source of fruit flies used in genetics research around the world. Scientists visit the reserve periodically to collect Drosophila pseudoobscura and several other fruit fly species to renew laboratory stocks with wild-type flies.

NRS@Cal Day 

On Cal Day this April 16, the UC Berkeley NRS came together to show off the research and teaching done at their six reserves to the more than 3000 people who visited Valley Life Sciences. The chance to pet the stuffed black bear cub pulled in both young and old; many stayed to chat with reserve managers like Jeff Brown of Sagehen Creek Field Station. Major thanks to the faculty, students, and staff who helped spread the word about the NRS. Photo courtesy George Roderick.

McLaughlin Reserve events

May 8 CNPS Sanhedrin Chapter botany field trip
Carpool meeting sites for this California Native Plant Society field trip hike will be near the chapter's main base. Discuss with the field trip coordinator when you sign up for the hike, then email reserve director Cathy Koehler for where to meet on the reserve.

Photo credit: McLaughlin Reserve

White Mountain Research Center lectures

Lectures are held Thursdays at 7 pm at the Owens Valley Station, White Mountain Research Center, 3000 E. Line St., Bishop CA 93514, t760-873-4344. For directions see the WMRC Travel page or Google Maps.

May 6 The steamy story of Lake Crowley's columns
Noah Randolph-Flagg, PhD candidate, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, UC Berkeley. 

Photo credit: Justin Scullen from Google Maps

Intro to Birding

May 28 8:30-11 a.m. Learn to find and identify birds at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory near Mammoth Lakes. Bill and Sherry Taylor will lead participants on an easy 1.5 mile walk through the riparian and sagebrush habitat on the reserve. Pre-registration required; $15 suggested donation to support reserve K-12 field trips. Contact Carole Lester, 805-893-5655. 

Ephemeral fairy

A fairy shrimp at Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve carries within its translucent body the origins of the next generation. Plentiful spring rains have sparked a frenzy of reproduction and flowering at the pools.
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