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October 2019

California Heartbeat Initiative

Water dictates what can live where in California and everywhere else. But global warming will radically alter those patterns the future. The NRS's California Heartbeat Initiative uses drones and remote sensing technology to monitor water availability in state ecosystems. The project is pioneering ways to track environmental water across large swaths of the landscape by studying in NRS reserves ranging from arid deserts to rainy forests. Watch the video >>

"Supermoms" birth a majority of elephant seals

Among elephant seals, being big and experienced pays major dividends in the game of life. According to a new study, a tiny percentage of female elephant seals are responsible for producing most of the pups born at the Año Nuevo rookery. Conducted over a span of 50 years at Año Nuevo Island Reserve and State Park, the research reveals the outsize influence a few females have on the population of this species. Read more >>

March to the Marsh

Students from San Diego's Mission Bay High School marched to the NRS's Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve September 20 as part of the Global Climate Walkout. Dubbed the "March to the Marsh," the walkout attracted about 500 demonstrators. Joining the students were teachers, unions, local residents, reserve supporters, and local politicians. Demonstrators gathered on landfill adjacent to the reserve while speakers discussed the importance of wetlands for absorbing tidal surges and other impacts of climate change. Participants joined hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in more than 150 countries to raise awareness of the threats posed by global warming. Image: Craig Chaddock

NRS, UC faculty mentors fuel marine science career

In her last semester at UC Merced, Lauren Schiebelhut decided to take a course on evolution. That fateful decision helped launch this first-generation college student on a path to a promising career in marine biology. Since then, she's studied rocky intertidal areas up and down California, examined the impact of sea star wasting disease on species genetics, earned her doctorate, and is now aiming for a faculty position at a research university. She credits support from UC faculty and the chance to do field research at places like NRS reserves. Read more >>
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Celebrating the Nature of CA

Oct. 25, 5–8 p.m.
Valley Life Sciences
UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley's kickoff event for the 2019 Bay Area Science Festival will showcase none other than the NRS. Celebrating the Nature of California will feature talks, exhibits, and behind the scenes tours of campus natural history museums. See how drones are being used to study ecosystems as part of the NRS's California Heartbeat Initiative. NRS reserves such as Blue Oak Ranch and Point Reyes Field Station will field tables. And Peggy Fiedler, NRS Executive Director, will discuss the future of California's natural spaces with David Ackerly, Dean of UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources, and Ana Alvarez, Deputy General Manager of the East Bay Regional Parks District.  Learn more >>

Bear bulletins

The white trunks of aspen at the NRS's Valentine Camp in Mammoth Lakes are often scarred by deep, parallel gouges many feet off the ground. The responsible parties? Black bears. As cubs, Ursus americanus dodge danger by scampering up the nearest tree. Their climbing skills stand them in good stead come spring, when aspens produce the tight clusters of female flowers called catkins. Resembling fuzzy caterpillars, aspen catkins are catnip to hungry bears. With claws up to four inches long, it's no surprise bears will scratch aspen bark on the way to score floral treats. Bears may also bite or scratch trees to advertise their presence to ursine neighbors.

Autumn arts at Valentine Camp

This autumn, the NRS's Valentine Camp is offering artists the chance to be inspired by one of the most gorgeous spots in Mammoth Lakes. All classes meet at the entrance gate to the reserve at 2380 Old Mammoth Rd., Mammoth Lakes. Register in advance online, by emailing Carole Lester, or by calling 760-914-3722.

Oct. 6, 8 to 11 a.m.
Joel Rathje will show students how to tune into natural cycles and capture some of nature's most exciting moments using any camera. The class will review camera operation before going exploring. $40

Journaling—The art of naming
Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Naming and walking are two of the most primal things we do. Spend the day with instructor Kyle Oslund experiencing one of the most pristine places in the Sierra Nevada. $60


Acorn woodpeckers in five acts
Hastings Natural History Reservation
Bay Nature

Tiny number of elephant seal "supermoms" produce most pups
Año Nuevo Island Reserve
National Geographic.com

Elephant seal biology may reveal new medical uses for carbon monoxide
Año Nuevo Island Reserve

Select few elephant seal mothers produce majority of population
Año Nuevo Island Reserve

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