Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 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 (255) Contact Elin
This coming winter we are pleased to offer two winter photography field seminars for the first time! Winter at Mono Lake is a very special season, and both these seminars will combine the snowy, foggy, icy photographic conditions with the full and nearly-full moon lighting up the nighttime landscape.
Early morning light sifts through bands of poconip ice fog at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.
Tuesday, September 20th, 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 (19) Contact Andrew
Summer is certainly winding down at Mono Lake—our seasonal staff is beginning to migrate away, the temperatures are getting cooler, and there are already some hints of fall color in the mountains.
Free walking tours at South Tufa happen at 1:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays during the fall. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.
Friday, September 16th, 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 (11) Contact Grace
Last Sunday, September 11, 105 runners and 32 walkers made their way up the steep Tioga Pass, making this the largest Tioga Pass Run in the event’s 36-year history. The athletes started in front of the Mono Lake Committee in Lee Vining and finished at the entrance to Yosemite National Park, 12.4 miles and 3,165 feet of elevation later.
Athletes head up Tioga Pass last Sunday. Photo by Erv Nichols.
The first to cross the finish line for the second year in a row was Patrick Parsel of South Lake Tahoe with the time 1:27:18, two minutes faster than his time last year. For the third year in a row Jessica Francois, Lee Vining local and former Mono Lake Committee staff member, was the first female finisher with the time 1:44:19 (more…)
Thursday, September 15th, 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 (33) Contact Lily
The Mono Lake Committee will be shifting to our fall/winter hours of 9:00am–5:00pm daily starting Sunday, September 18. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.
Starting Sunday, September 18, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be reducing its hours for the fall and winter season. Our new hours will be 9:00am–5:00pm daily. We hope you’ll stop in for tips on fall color viewing and to do a little holiday shopping. See you in Lee Vining!
Wednesday, September 7th, 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 (21) Contact Sandra
Hard to fathom that season of guided bird walks has come to an end. Erv and I led our last County Park bird walk yesterday and State Park ranger Dave Marquart led his last on Sunday. It seems we just arrived to serve our third summer as Mono Lake Committee Birding Interns!
An adult Osprey perches atop a tufa tower near its nest . Photo by Sandra Noll.
It has been a great season of birds from “locals” and early spring migrants through the nesting season to, most recently, early fall migrants. These include large numbers of Eared Grebes and phalaropes beginning to stage on Mono Lake where they molt and gain weight for the final legs of their migrations to wintering areas further south. Mono Lake’s status as an internationally important bird area is especially apparent this time of year.
It has been a delight and privilege to introduce visitors from the US and around the world to this beautiful, bountiful place and the work of the Mono Lake Committee to protect, restore, and educate. And it is my pleasure to leave you with a few highlights!
Monday, September 5th, 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 (33) Contact Lily
It’s already September and as fall sneaks up, things begin to change around Lee Vining. For the Mono Lake Committee the end of summer means that the seasonal staff begin to depart and there are new hours in our Information Center & Bookstore.
Starting on Tuesday, September 6 the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open 8:00am–6:00pm every day. Photo by Erv Nichols.
Starting on Tuesday, September 6 the Information Center & Bookstore will be open 8:00am–6:00pm every day. We hope you’ll stop in during these last days of summer for information about Mono Lake, and get a jump start on your holiday shopping. This summer has been a whirlwind of activities and we are thrilled so many of you were able to experience Mono Lake with us!
Tuesday, 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…)
Sunday, 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 (13) 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…)
Thursday, 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…)
Wednesday, 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 (21) 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…)