Thursday, December 14th, 2017 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 (23) Contact Nora
Whether you are a seasoned birder or new to the delightful joy of watching birds, you can help gather data for the Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest citizen science data sets in the world! Every December and January, thousands of bird enthusiasts across the world count individual birds in specific areas to get a general idea of the population shifts throughout the years.
An Audubon’s Warbler in winter plumage. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.
The three local counts are coming up this weekend and next week:
Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California’s Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (297) Contact Elin
Today for #GivingTuesday, we are fundraising for Eared Grebe surveys at Mono Lake! We had a blast broadcasting live and talking about the Eared Grebe research down at the lake this afternoon. In case you missed it live (skip to 9:00 for the start of the interviews):
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 by Robbie, Restoration Field TechniciancloseAuthor: Robbie, Restoration Field TechnicianName: Robert Di Paolo Title: Restoration Field Technician About: A 2012 graduate from Humboldt State University with a degree in Environmental Science, Robbie loves hiking, camping, and bike touring, all of which are great Eastern Sierra activities. He also likes to play music, primarily guitar and singing, but also flute and alto saxophone. If you're interested in volunteering with the Committee's restoration program or are interested in our social media efforts, contact Robbie.See All Posts by Robert (39) Contact Robert
More than 90% of all Eared Grebes in North America stop at either Mono Lake or Great Salt Lake to feed on brine shrimp before continuing their migration to wintering grounds in the southern United States and Mexico. Each year more than a million Eared Grebes depend on Mono Lake’s abundant supply of brine shrimp in order to successfully complete their southbound migration.
Aerial surveys are conducted each fall to estimate the peak population of Eared Grebes stopping at Mono Lake during their migration. Photo by Jess Horn.
Efforts to quantify the number of Eared Grebes at Mono Lake started in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1996 that a reliable methodology was developed. By flying over the lake in mid-October (when grebes were assumed to be at peak abundance) and using aerial photography, researchers were able to more accurately estimate numbers. Dr. Sean Boyd, a Research Scientist with Environment & Climate Change Canada, has coordinated grebe surveys at Mono Lake since 1996, which have provided invaluable data for understanding the Eared Grebe fall migration through Mono Lake as well as the overall health of the species in North America. Recognizing the value of this research, and our ability to help by being the local, on-the-ground coordinator of flights and volunteer photographers, the Mono Lake Committee began assisting Dr. Boyd with the Eared Grebe surveys in 2008. (more…)
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California’s Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (297) Contact Elin
This coming winter we are pleased to offer three field seminars to take advantage of this very special season—one winter ecology and two winter photography seminars!
Poconip ice fog shrouds Mono Lake, with just a sliver of sun illuminating the base of Black Point. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.
Friday, October 13th, 2017 by Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorName: Andrew Youssef Title: Digital Engagement Coordinator About: Andrew works to connect to Mono Lake Committee supporters and members digitally through video content and social media. Some know him as "the voice of Mono Lake," from his narration of the South Tufa self-guided tour on the Mono Lake mobile website. He also helps organize the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, the Committee's Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the Field Seminar program. Andrew first visited Mono Lake at the height of the California drought and now is thrilled to see the lake on the rise. On his days off, you'll find him outside relaxing by Lee Vining Creek, hiking in the High Sierra, or skiing wherever there is snow.See All Posts by Andrew (41) Contact Andrew
So far in 2017, Mono Lake has risen an astounding 4.5 vertical feet before leveling off in the past month. About 3 feet of that total lake rise occurred from mid-May to mid-August. Watch below for a quick 20-second timelapse showing the incredible lake rise this summer, or scroll down and see the full two-and-half-minute timelapse video.
Monday, September 25th, 2017 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 (56) Contact Lily
We hope you’ll take a break from your fall color viewing and join us for a book signing with California author, artist, and naturalist Obi Kaufmann on Sunday, October 1 at the Mono Lake Committee.
Obi will be presenting and signing his new book, The California Field Atlas, which is a striking volume full of watercolor maps and illustrations of California’s spectacular geography and wildlife, with fascinating information about this amazing and diverse state. Come in and pick up a signed copy of the book for yourself or a friend, chat with the author, and enjoy refreshments from 3:00–5:00pm. We hope to see you there!
Map of the ecological regions of California from The California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufman.
Friday, September 15th, 2017 by Jenny, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Jenny, Birding InternName: Jennifer Rieke Title: Birding Intern About: Jenny was first introduced to the wonders of the Mono Basin on a field program through UC Santa Cruz in the spring of 2014. Since then, she hasn't been able to stay away for long. She has worked in Yosemite for the past two summers, spending her days off rambling around the high mountain peaks and finding the best spots to swim in the river. Since graduating, Jenny has been working as an educator at various organizations, including a bird observatory in Minnesota, a wildlife refuge in Florida, and as a volunteer Park Ranger in Tuolumne Meadows. She is excited to spend the summer amongst Sage Thrashers, Penstemon newberryi, and tufa towers—and to share the magic of Mono Lake with others.See All Posts by Jennifer (3) Contact Jennifer
As the summer season comes to a close, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on my time at Mono Lake, and the incredible birds I’ve seen along the way.
California Gull perched on tufa. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
My summer internship began with the sixteenth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, an event that brings birders together to enhance appreciation and understanding of the Mono Basin’s incredible bird life. The event includes a variety of field trips, workshops, and presentations with renowned bird guides, naturalists, and artists. This year we had (more…)
Sunday, September 10th, 2017 by Molly, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Molly, Mono Lake InternName: Molly Casey Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Molly just graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. She loves exploring new places and enjoying nature. Last year she spent time kayaking in southern Alaska for a field course and studied abroad in New Zealand where her favorite thing to do was go backpacking on the weekends. She is excited to work for the Mono Lake Committee and adventure around this area!See All Posts by Molly (11) Contact Molly
Join us on Wednesday, September 13 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. UC Davis researcher Mary Clapp will be here to discuss her ongoing research on the impacts of introduced trout on the native bird community in the high-elevation lake basins of the Sierra Nevada. Her work focuses on the connection between water and land by using acoustic recorders to remotely capture lakeside activity by birds and bats.
Researcher Mary Clapp is studying high-elevation lakes like this one to see if trout introduction is affecting the bird communities. Photo by Nora Livingston.
Introduced trout prey on native aquatic insects like mayflies and stoneflies, thus depleting the abundance and diversity of those insects in fish-containing lakes. These insects have a winged adult life-stage, at which point they become available to terrestrial predators (birds and bats) as a valuable food source.
Mary is testing the hypothesis that trout are therefore in competition with birds for this insect food, and that as a result, bird activity is greater at fishless lakes where aquatic insect emergences remain abundant. She will discuss a few different approaches to analyzing acoustic data, the benefits and limits of the technology, and how it compares with traditional survey methods. Her talk is entitled “Investigating the Impacts of Introduced Trout on the Native Bird at High-Elevation Lakes.”
If you’re interested, join us in the gallery at 4:00pm on Wednesday for this free presentation and free snacks!
Thursday, August 31st, 2017 by Julissa, Canoe CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Julissa, Canoe CoordinatorName: Julissa Rosales Title: Canoe Coordinator About: Julissa graduated from Pacific University in Oregon with a degree in Environmental Studies. Born and raised on the Central Coast of California, she has developed a deep passion for the environmental non-profit community and has been involved with programs such as AmeriCorps and Audubon California. Her favorite forms of water are rain, streams, wetlands, and lakes. Her hobbies include crochet crafts, dancing, listening to music, birding, and yoga.See All Posts by Julissa (5) Contact Julissa
Even if you have been on a Mono Lake Committee canoe tour or a guided walking tour before, being on Mono Lake this year is unlike any other year prior.
Experience Mono Lake by canoe this holiday weekend—tours are offered at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
Mono Lake has risen over three feet so far this year—come and experience the clarity and beauty of the waters off of South Tufa with visibility up to six feet deep. As you canoe on one of the oldest lakes on the continent you’ll be surrounded by views of the youngest mountain range in North America (the Mono Craters), the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, and majestic islands created by volcanic activity. We also share the importance of how (more…)
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 by Molly, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Molly, Mono Lake InternName: Molly Casey Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Molly just graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. She loves exploring new places and enjoying nature. Last year she spent time kayaking in southern Alaska for a field course and studied abroad in New Zealand where her favorite thing to do was go backpacking on the weekends. She is excited to work for the Mono Lake Committee and adventure around this area!See All Posts by Molly (11) Contact Molly
Our refreshing ‘ologist for this week is researching techniques in parks to be used for monitoring and managing aquatic wildlife. Join us this Wednesday, August 23 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to hear about how scientist Colleen Kamoroff uses eDNA in water samples to learn more about an area and the species that occupy it.
A frog in the aquatic habitat Colleen is working to study and manage. Photo courtesy of Colleen Kamoroff.
DNA obtained from filtered water samples is often referred to as aquatic environmental DNA or eDNA. eDNA is a promising tool for monitoring (more…)