Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 by Ellen, Membership CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Ellen, Membership CoordinatorName: Ellen King Title: Membership Coordinator About: Ellen is responsible for updating and maintaining the Committee's 16,000-person membership database—a task this former librarian relishes! Before coming to work for the Committee, Ellen was a member herself, so she's well-suited to answering members' questions about their accounts. She lives with her husband Duncan in Mono City on the bluff overlooking Mill Creek and Mono Lake.See All Posts by Ellen (7) Contact Ellen
Last November the 20-year-old carpet in the Mono Lake Committee ice house office building was replaced with low-VOC, durable carpet squares, thanks to the generosity and practical sense of Board Chair Sally Gaines. You can read more about it on page 26 in the 2016 Winter & Spring Mono Lake Newsletter.
The re-carpeted, re-painted gallery with a new show from local artist Ann Piersall. Photo by Elin Ljung.
The carpet in the office and gallery in our main building was also 20 years old, but not quite as worn, so at first we had no plans to replace it. But, as often happens, the contrast between the new and the old made us realize that it was time to do so. Fortunately, (more…)
Thursday, April 7th, 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 (28) Contact Lily
Each year the Andrea Lawrence Award is presented to organizations and individuals who demonstrate passionate engagement with community and the land. This year the award will be presented to Dan & Leslie Dawson to commemorate their influential work as Director and Education Coordinator at the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve.
Andrea Lawrence takes a break from skiing to drink from a stream. Photo courtesy of the Lawrence family.
Please join us for dinner, conversation, keynote remarks from Dr. John Melack, Faculty Advisor of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, and the presentation of the Andrea Lawrence Award at the 2016 Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner. The event will take place at Parallax Restaurant at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on Friday, May 13 at 5:30pm. You can reserve your seat online or by giving us a call at (760) 647-6595. We hope to see you there!
Friday, April 1st, 2016 by Geoff, Executive DirectorcloseAuthor: Geoff, Executive DirectorName: Geoffrey McQuilkin Title: Executive Director About: Geoff's goals for the Committee are: Ensuring Mono Lake's continuing protection, restoring Mono Lake's tributary streams, developing a permanent education program, and assuring that the strong tradition of scientific research at Mono Lake continues. A graduate of Harvard in the history of science, Geoff has worked for the Committee since 1992 and was an intern and volunteer before that. He's happy to live close to the lake with his wife Sarah and their daughters Caelen, Ellery, and Cassia.See All Posts by Geoffrey (132) Contact Geoffrey
This morning Mono Lake Committee staff met with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) personnel to conduct the official annual April 1 reading of the lake level together. The consensus: Mono Lake stands at 6378.11 feet above sea level.
Mono Lake is now just 13 inches above the ecologically precipitous 6377-foot elevation at which the nesting islands become landbridged, lake salinity hits new highs, air quality problems worsen, and stream delta habitat conditions degrade.
DWP’s Steve Rich and Robbie Di Paolo from the Mono Lake Committee read the lake level gauge together this morning. Photo by Bartshe Miller.
With those concerns in mind, the State Water Board rules are more nuanced this year for determining whether or not DWP can export water to Los Angeles. Not only does the lake have to be above 6377 feet for today’s measurement, it also has to be forecast to stay above 6377 every day of the coming year. (more…)
Tuesday, March 22nd, 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 (5) Contact Nora
We are excited to share our new Guided Trips program—a new way to visit the Mono Basin and the Eastern Sierra with an experienced guide to get the most out of this incredible place and fall in love with the region like we have, while also supporting Mono Lake.
Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston (third from left) leads a group of birders at the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.
Our new program has over 45 day-trips scheduled from May to October, ranging in focus from birds to volcanoes and everything in between. Walk with us and learn to identify wildflowers, butterflies, birds, and mammals. Transport your mind into the past while we visit historical Paiute, mining, and logging sites. Slip into the lake in a canoe as the full moon rises—serenity is waiting.
Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Degenhardt Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (150) Contact Arya
It is often said that hope is not a strategy. At the Mono Lake Committee we take that to heart. Hope plays an important role, but it’s not a strategy. Balancing hope for a “big winter” with a dedication to tracking the sometimes-sobering realities of what the weather patterns are actually delivering is a challenge—especially after four drought years and in the flurry of excitement about and promise of the current El Niño.
Don’t get me wrong, Committee staff are the first to rejoice in any snowfall that comes our way. On any given day you might find Bartshe skiing up Tioga Pass at lunch; Jess finding new lines off of June Mountain; Robbie, Lily, Andrew, and Nora laying fresh tracks by moonlight; Lisa out checking on trout while walking Tucker; Elin telemarking with friends; or Geoff with his not-yet-two-year-old on her first set of skis. (more…)
Saturday, February 27th, 2016 by Geoff, Executive DirectorcloseAuthor: Geoff, Executive DirectorName: Geoffrey McQuilkin Title: Executive Director About: Geoff's goals for the Committee are: Ensuring Mono Lake's continuing protection, restoring Mono Lake's tributary streams, developing a permanent education program, and assuring that the strong tradition of scientific research at Mono Lake continues. A graduate of Harvard in the history of science, Geoff has worked for the Committee since 1992 and was an intern and volunteer before that. He's happy to live close to the lake with his wife Sarah and their daughters Caelen, Ellery, and Cassia.See All Posts by Geoffrey (132) Contact Geoffrey
As the winter of 2015–16 unfolds in the Mono Basin, those of us lucky enough to live here are enjoying tracking every storm and taking the measure of El Niño’s effects. After years of drought, many Mono Lake issues are critically affected by the size of this winter’s snowpack.
But we can’t wait until the final snowflake has fallen to plan for 2016. This is especially true for the protection of the California Gulls that nest on Negit Island and surrounding islets, because the magnitude of the winter will directly determine how safe the nesting ground is this year.
Nesting gulls were safe from coyotes in 2015 but Committee wildlife camera observations confirmed that coyotes are active in the landbridge area. Photo from a Mono Lake Committee wildlife camera.
California’s four-year drought has lowered Mono Lake more than five feet, causing the re-emergence of a substantial portion of the landbridge that connected the north shore to the gull nesting grounds in (more…)
Wednesday, February 24th, 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 (37) Contact Jessica
The Mono Lake Volunteer program had a great 2015 season, with over 60 volunteers, the cooperation of a number of Mono Basin partners, and a generous grant from CalParks, all helping to make this long-standing program a successful one.
The 2015 volunteers celebrate the end of a successful season. Photo courtesy of Janet Carle.
After such a great year, we are getting ready for the 2016 volunteer season! We are now recruiting volunteers for this (more…)
Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by Terry, Membership AssistantcloseAuthor: Terry, Membership AssistantName: Terry McLaughlin Title: Membership Assistant About: Terry worked as one of the Committee's Outdoor Education Instructors during the summer of 2012, fulfilling her passion for being outdoors and connecting others to the natural world. She has taught outside (and taught others how to teach outside) for nearly 30 years near Lake Superior, in Washington state, and on both sides of the Sierra Nevada. Terry is an indispensable part of the Mono Lake Committee, serving as interim Office Manager, interim Bookstore Manager, and now Membership Assistant.See All Posts by Terry (9) Contact Terry
Like many of you, I’ve been a member of the Mono Lake Committee for years. The importance of the work the Committee does and the efficiency and effectiveness of how they use my donations have kept me on board through tough times as well as times of abundance.
But the paperwork associated with membership quickly became a hassle for me. I could never keep track of when my membership came due, had I sent my check last month, when does my membership expire? I started to realize that when I got that paper mail I was getting annoyed.
Monday, February 15th, 2016 by Robbie, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Robbie, Project SpecialistName: Robert Di Paolo Title: Project Specialist 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 (30) Contact Robert
The Thousand Year Journey is showing in the 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of @jedidiahjenkins.
“The routine is the enemy of time; it makes it fly by.”
—Jedidiah Jenkins, The Thousand Year Journey
Step out of the routine and join us for the 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los AngelesMarch 10 & 12. You will be transported around the world and everywhere you look will bring a new and different perspective. We will take you skiing, skateboarding, biking, kayaking, surfing, slacklining, and freerunning, to wild places that otherwise go undiscovered. Each film is (more…)
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 by Andrew, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Andrew, Project SpecialistName: Andrew Youssef Title: Project Specialist 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. Andrew is thrilled to be working at the Mono Lake Committee, which combines his passions for education and the environment. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, and birding.See All Posts by Andrew (14) Contact Andrew
We are excited to announce the Mono Lake Committee’s fifth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles this spring. The festival features inspiring films on outdoor adventure, environmental activism, natural wonders, and more. This year we are expanding the festival to a second date and venue!
All proceeds from the event go toward the Committee’s Outdoor Education Center programs,which bring youth from Los Angeles to the Mono Basin to learn about where their water comes from and allows them to experience this magical place.
We hope you plan to join us this year to see these inspiring films and support outdoor education programs at Mono Lake! We look forward to reconnecting with Committee members and friends of the Los Angeles area who help make our work here possible and we’ll continue to post festival updates here on the Mono-logue. Stay tuned for information about tickets, which will be on sale soon!