August 24th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet. Contact Nora if you would like to set up a custom guided field trip, or if you have questions about the Chautauqua.See All Posts by Nora (12) Contact Nora
Have you ever seen a flock of shorebirds dancing in air over a glassy reflective lake? It’s a must-see, even if you aren’t a birder. The birds swirl around each other with seemingly no leader but they’re always in sync, making tight turns and flashing their white bellies in unison. Their whir of wings is calming, a near-silent chorus of feathers.
Wilson’s Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
Late August is the best time to be in the Mono Basin to see large numbers of shorebirds like sandpipers, curlews, and plovers. We’ve designed a few guided trips to get out and scour the shores … more »
August 23rd, 2016 by Jessica, Office DirectorcloseAuthor: Jessica, Office DirectorName: Jessica Horn Title: Office Director About: Jess began working at the Mono Lake Committee in 2010, oversaw the bookstore for several years, and returned to the Mono Lake Committee in late 2014 as Office Director after working at a local resort and starting her own business. Jess creates the complicated office and bookstore schedule, oversees the intern and volunteer programs, and keeps the office functioning smoothly. If you have questions about job opportunities at the Mono Lake Committee, would like to volunteer at Mono Lake, or need any general information about the Mono Lake Committee, contact Jess.See All Posts by Jessica (38) Contact Jessica
While its claim to fame is “only one hill,” the Tioga Pass Run is one hefty task.
Fall colors along the road during the Tioga Pass Run. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
Over 12.4 miles, runners and walkers ascend 3,164 feet from Lee Vining to the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park. Along the way, Mt. Dana stands proudly over Lee Vining Canyon, holding what’s left of last winter’s snowpack in its couloirs. The meadows of Lee Vining Canyon are turning … more »
August 21st, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet. Contact Nora if you would like to set up a custom guided field trip, or if you have questions about the Chautauqua.See All Posts by Nora (12) Contact Nora
Yes, I know, it’s only August, and the canyons are still glittering green with quaking aspen trees. But if you are thinking about visiting in the fall, now is the time to start planning your trip!
The wide open views and hillsides covered in aspen make the Conway Summit area a great place to enjoy autumn. Photo taken on October 21, 2010 by Bartshe Miller.
The colors usually start to change in mid-September and peak around mid-October. By November, the leaves are usually on the ground and snow has arrived. Different areas peak at different times, so let us do the scouting! The Mono Lake Guided Trip program has five trips scheduled in October to take visitors to the hottest spots for fall colors during the peak. … more »
August 19th, 2016 by Adam, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Adam, Mono Lake InternName: Adam Dalton Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Adam is a recent Grinnell College graduate (Economics and Chinese Studies) from Mason City, Iowa. He is happy to be back in the Mono Basin for a second summer internship before heading to the University of Utah in the fall to pursue a Master’s degree in Community and Metropolitan Planning with a focus on environmental planning. Outside of work he can be found running, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and playing electric guitar.See All Posts by Adam (3) Contact Adam
“My unorthodox journey to the Eastern Sierra and first two weeks of work at the Mono Lake Committee have been life-changing experiences (especially for someone who had never lived on his own or seen the American West before)….” —me, two years ago
Gabby, Grace, Adam and Connor hear about the LA Aqueduct from Geoff during intern training. Photo by Erv Nichols.
Over two years ago the Mono Lake Committee took a chance and hired me, despite my intended economics major, failure to travel west of Omaha, Nebraska, and previous work experience consisting solely of foodservice-based work study at Grinnell College and technology replacement duties for Mason City, Iowa’s community school district. As you can see in my previous Mono-logue post, I was absolutely blown away by my initial experiences in the Mono Basin.
A lot has changed in my life since I first interned at the Mono Lake Committee two years ago; I’ve graduated from … more »
August 17th, 2016 by Lisa, Outdoor Education InstructorcloseAuthor: Lisa, Outdoor Education InstructorName: Lisa Godenick Title: Outdoor Education Instructor About: Lisa loves interacting with people of all ages in an outdoor setting. This past spring she graduated with her Master’s in Public Health with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Health from the University of Nevada, Reno. A former Yosemite dweller, Lisa honed her love for the Sierra through backpacking, hiking, and climbing in Yosemite during her weekends. She enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, playing the ukulele and singing along, and cooking nutritious food. Lisa is always ready for an adventure and is excited to be one of the outdoor educators at Mono Lake for the season!See All Posts by Lisa (1) Contact Lisa
The full moon begins to show its subtle beauty as I sit atop Sagehen Mountain looking towards the White Mountains. We are here with Pacoima Beautiful, the first environmental justice non-profit in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
This was the first moonrise some of the Pacoima Beautiful students had ever seen. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.
There are ten students and four leaders, and we are all huddled together beneath the stars in awe of the moonrise; nothing separates us from the Milky Way. The air feels cool, but not cold, despite the wind. After contemplation, the students embark on a solo walk back to the vehicles. This is a chance for everyone in the group to meditate and practice presence, something difficult to come by in our modern world. … more »
August 14th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Grace, Mono Lake InternName: Grace Aleman Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Grace Aleman graduated this past spring from UCLA with a Bachelor's degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and has recently taken to rock climbing. As a Los Angeles native, Grace is thrilled to be spending her second summer at the north end of the watershed: Mono Lake!See All Posts by Grace (7) Contact Grace
Much of Yosemite National Park’s most iconic landforms, such as the granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley and the rounded domes of Tuolumne Meadows, were shaped by glaciers. These glaciers were ubiquitous to the Sierra Nevada landscape for millions of years. More recently, however, we’re starting to see these glaciers vanish due to climate change.
A photograph of the Lyell Glacier taken in 1883 by Israel Russel contrasts sharply with the extent of the glacier in 2013. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
Join us this Wednesday, August 17 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to learn more about the fate of Sierra Nevada glaciers. Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock will discuss the Sierra Nevada glacial history and how modern-day climate change is affecting these glaciers.
August 11th, 2016 by Matt, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Matt, Mono Lake InternName: Matt Rice Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Originally from the beach town of San Clemente, Matt is back for a second summer as a Mono Lake Intern at the Mono Lake Committee. A graduate of the University of La Verne where he studied environmental biology, Matt is an avid reader---his favorite books include The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Most of the time, Matt can be found hiking around the Mono Basin and Yosemite National Park, sampling the local cuisine around town, and fishing.See All Posts by Matt (3) Contact Matt
Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about Mono Lake from the water? Why not join one of our famous canoe tours? Canoe tours have been an exciting part of the Mono Lake Committee since the beginning. One of our founders, David Gaines, used to take visitors out in his canoe in order to show off the wonders of Mono Lake up close and it is a tradition that is still very popular to this day.
Join our seasoned guides as we wind our way through … more »
August 10th, 2016 by Andrew, Canoe CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Andrew, Canoe CoordinatorName: Andrew Youssef Title: Canoe Coordinator About: Originally from outside Atlanta, Georgia, Andrew attended Vanderbilt University to study psychology. After graduating, he taught middle-school science in Glendale, Arizona where he enjoyed working with youth and sharing his passion for the sciences. While living out West, Andrew also developed a love for the wilderness and the outdoors after visiting and exploring many iconic National Parks. During summer 2014, Andrew volunteered in the Interpretation Division of Yosemite National Park, working at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, and also gave many different naturalist programs for visitors of all ages. After a winter as a Committee Project Specialist, Andrew is leading the Committee's canoe program this summer. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, and birding.See All Posts by Andrew (16) Contact Andrew
It’s not often you get the chance to win a pair of round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines or a Yosemite getaway while supporting Mono Lake at the same time, but during the Mono Lake Committee’s Free Drawing fundraiser, you can!
Andrew and Lily selecting tickets for the 2015 Free Drawing. Photo by Elin Ljung.
This year, we are offering more than two dozen amazing prizes including fun-filled vacations and relaxing retreats in the Mono Basin, San Francisco, Mammoth Lakes, Benton Hot Springs, and more. Since 2016 marks the National Park Service’s centennial, we are also offering an adventure in the Channel Islands and stays in Yosemite, Death Valley, and Kings Canyon National Parks. You will also have the chance to win ski passes, rafting trips, outdoor gear, and much more. Be sure to check out the full prize listto see … more »
August 10th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Sandra, Birding InternName: Sandra Noll Title: Birding Intern About: Sandra Noll and her partner Erv Nichols travel extensively as volunteers for nature. The retired couple exchanges their skills as naturalists, photographers, and interpretive guides for an RV hook-up or lodging at a wide variety of National and State Parks, Fish & Wildlife Service Refuges, Audubon Centers, and now the Mono Lake Committee for a third summer. Whether from an information desk, viewing deck, or lecture hall, leading bird walks, night hikes, or canoe excursions, their passion connects people with our nation's special landscapes and wildlife.See All Posts by Sandra (20) Contact Sandra
The presence of wildfires has made me think about the seemingly contradictory aspects of destruction and rebirth a lot this summer.
The Marina Fire’s smoldering aftermath on the west side of Highway 395 evidences stark contrast to the unaffected trees, grasses and shrubs east of the highway. All photos by Sandra Noll.
June’s Marina Fire came uncomfortably close to Mono Lake Committee headquarters in Lee Vining. It was the nearest I have personally been to wildfire and, while awed and inspired by the response of firefighters from multiple agencies and the impressive accuracy of helicopter and aircraft pilots dropping water and fire retardant in turbulent winds and updrafts, I was also fearful with a dramatic new awareness of fire’s destructive capacity. This fire’s aftermath, still quite visible from … more »
August 9th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagercloseAuthor: Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagerName: Lily Pastel Title: Information Center & Bookstore Manager About: Lily stocks the store with educational, handmade, local, and ecologically friendly merchandise and keeps operations functioning efficiently. She graduated from Humboldt State University in May 2014, where she majored in Environmental Science. Contact Lily with questions or feedback about the items we carry, if you would like to place an order for Mono Lake Committee merchandise, if you have questions about an existing order, if you have questions about or need assistance with our online store, or if you are a vendor or artisan who would like us to carry your work.See All Posts by Lily (31) Contact Lily
Painter and California native Erika Perloff will be showing her art in the Mono Lake Committee gallery starting August 13.
Moonrise, Mono Lake by Erika Perloff will be on display at the Mono Lake Committee Gallery starting August 13.
Erika grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was inspired to paint by the beautiful landscapes and the bustling art scene of the city. Throughout her life, she has developed a knowledge and love of nature through her work as park ranger, naturalist, and outdoor educator. Erika’s artwork demonstrates her understanding of the landscapes she paints while showing … more »