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May 2018

New online tool maps reserve species records

NRS reserves have long supplied specimens of plants and animals to museums. But locating all of the specimens associated with a reserve has not been a trivial task. That problem has now gone the way of the dial telephone and the buggy whip thanks to a new tool created by the Berkeley Natural History Museums. The Reserve Mapper will not only pull up museum records and iNaturalist photos, but also plot where they were collected on a topographic map of the reserve. Read more >>

Sedgwick pond progress

Pacific tree frogs, western pond turtles, and other water-loving natives have much to celebrate at the NRS's Sedgwick Reserve. Last year, the reserve restored a pond at the south end of Lisque Mesa to benefit native amphibians. California toads favoring the changes laid eggs there at the end of March which have already hatched into tadpoles. Now efforts to restore the farm pond are underway. The plan is to deepen half of the one-acre pond to support native aquatic species while revitalizing the cattails where endangered tricolored blackbirds nest.

SNARL Spring Seminar Series

The NRS's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory kicks off its 2018 public lecture series this month. Talks are held Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m. at the reserve's Page Center, 1016 Mount Morrison Road, Mammoth Lakes. Tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. Seminars are geared to adult audiences. Talks are free. No dogs are allowed on the reserve. Read more >>

May 1
Exploring pristine seas: protecting the last wild places in our oceans 
Dr. Jennifer Caselle, Research Biologist, Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Cruz

May 8
Ethical concerns in conservation of biodiversity: examples from desert fishes and mountain lakes
Phil Pister, Executive Secretary, Desert Fishes Council

May 22
Big bears, big lizards, and little ground squirrels: the importance of comparative physiology in wildlife conservation and human medicine
Dr. Hank Harlow, Professor Emeritus, Department of Zoology & Physiology, University of Wyoming

May 29
Bear essential? The past, present, and potential future of grizzlies in California
Dr. Peter Alagona, Associate Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies, UC Santa Barbara

June 5
Back from the brink: bighorns, peregrines, and foxes in Yosemite National Park
Sarah Stock, Wildlife Ecologist, Yosemite National Park

UCSB NRS live!

Kate McCurdy of Sedgwick Reserve, Cris Sandoval of Coal Oil Point Reserve, and Andy Brooks of Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve will discuss the Natural Reserve System and what it’s like being a reserve director May 16, 10 to 11 a.m., on the "Voices of Santa Barbara" show broadcast on AM 1290 KZSB. To ask a question, call (805) 564-1290 during the show. You can can also listen in newspress.com by scrolling down on the right side to the KZSB icon.

bird silhouette

Sedgwick Walking Ecology

On May 12, visit the NRS's Sedgwick Reserve to attend lectures, take a hike, and explore this Santa Ynez Valley reserve. Your suggested donation of $20 per person supports the reserve's public education program. 3566 Brinkerhoff Rd., Santa Ynez. Learn more and register >>

Geoecology and serpentine soil plants
talk: 9 to 10 a.m.
hike: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nishanta "Nishi" Rajakarun, associate professor of biological sciences at Cal Poly, will discuss his research into plants growing on extreme substrates such as serpentinite, limestone, and mine tailings. He uses these hardy species as model organisms to explore the role of ecology in the evolution of plant species and plant communities. Then hike through a large stand of chaparral in the upper west of the reserve with docent Larry Ballard. The moderate to strenuous 2-mile route has a 600-foot elevation gain.  Register >>

Birds of spring 
8 to 11 a.m. (assemble by 7:45 a.m.)

Observe resident and migratory bird species on an easy walk around the field station and pond. Hike leader Tim Matthews will be identifying birds via their appearances as well as their vocalizations. Mathews is the scientific aide at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve.  Register >>

Geology of Sedgwick
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Prior to the Pleistocene, Sedgwick went from being a bay to well above sea level on a moderate-strenuous hike from the Blue Schist trailhead.  Hike leader Tom Ballinger will talk about the flora and fauna of the time while pointing out the fault zones, serpentinite, chert, and blue schist outcroppings of the Franciscan formation. The >4 mile route takes about 3.5 hours and has some steep sections with a total elevation gain of 520 feet.  Register >>


The mystery of the hummingbird's whistling tail
Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center
The Atlantic

A look at unconventional bird calls
Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center
Science Friday

Educating the next generation of environmentalists
Santa Barbara Independent

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