2018 Field Seminars

 

2018 Field Seminars

Registration for the Mono Lake Committee's summer and fall 2018 Field Seminars will open on Thursday, February 1 at 9:00am for members only.

If you are not a Committee member, but you wish to register in February, you may join the Committee and sign up for the class of your choice.

You can also use the links at the right to navigate through the seminars by month, subject, duration, and instructor, if that's easier. Questions? Call (760) 647-6595 and ask for Elin, Nora, or Andrew. You can also email us if that's easier.

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Mono Basin Winter Photography
January 26–28 • Joe Decker
$275 per person / $250 for members

Mono Lake by Moonlight
March 2–4 • Joe Decker
$275 per person / $250 for members

Birding Mono Basin Hotspots
June 1 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

Mono Basin creeks and canyons are hidden jewels for breeding and migrating songbirds in a region where high desert habitat dominates. This half-day birding trip will explore lush riparian areas that are hotspots for bird activity. Expect to see warblers, sapsuckers, pewees, buntings, sparrows, towhees, vireos, and if you're lucky, an American Dipper or Townsend's Solitaire. Nora Livingston is the Mono Lake Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She has spent a decade birding the basin and is an expert on Mono Basin birding locations. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Breeding Birds of the Mono Basin
June 2 • Nora Livingston
$95 per person / $85 for members

Late spring and early summer are the best time to find breeding birds in the Mono Basin—they are singing from the tops of every tree and shrub to declare their territory to rivals and protect their mates. This one-day seminar will visit the hotspots in the Mono Basin to learn about the many breeding birds that raise their families here. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Twilight Birding & Owling
June 3 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$60 per person / $50 for members

Evening in the Mono Basin is spectacular—clouds light up with vivid color, fading light turns the landscape an inky blue, and unique wildlife emerges. Spend the twilight hours with a naturalist while the sun sets. We will look for songbirds as the light fades, search for twilight specialists like Wilson's Snipe and Common Nighthawk, scan the trees for owls, and scour the back roads for poorwills. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

The Art of Wildflower Macrophotography
July 8–10 • David Gubernick
$275 per person / $250 for members

Learn to take creative and beautiful close-up images, further develop your artistic vision, and enhance your photographic skills in the supportive learning environment of this workshop for beginning to advanced amateur photographers. The weekend will emphasize the artistry of macrophotography and the technical means to render such images; this is not a course in botanical identification. David Gubernick is an internationally and nationally published and award-winning nature photographer and workshop leader. Limited to 8 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

South Shore Kayak
June 9 • Stuart Wilkinson & Committee staff
$122 per person / $112 for members

Early summer reveals snow-capped mountains towering over a glassy Mono Lake—a great time to kayak! Join Stuart Wilkinson and a Mono Lake Committee staff member for a guided naturalist expedition that will cover a wide variety of topics relating to this unusual Great Basin lake, including geology, ecology, history, and politics. Expect to see underwater tufa towers, birds, brine shrimp, and lake-bottom springs. Some kayak experience is helpful, but not necessary; kayaks and safety equipment are provided. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Natural History of Mono Basin Woodpeckers
June 12–14 • Steve Shunk
$182 per person / $167 for members

Join North American woodpecker specialist Steve Shunk for this dynamic overview of Mono Basin woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are one of the most specialized bird families in the world, and at least nine species of woodpeckers occur regularly in the Mono Basin, making the forests around Mono Lake a perfect stage for observing these amazing forest carpenters. Steve has studied the ecology of western forests for the last 16 years and recently completed the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America. This field seminar will complement the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, taking place June 15–17. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mining the Past through Binoculars
June 24 • Nora Livingston
$95 per person / $85 for members

The Mono Basin is rich with Native American, mining, logging, and ranching history. This one-day field seminar will spend the morning visiting different historic locations in the basin while learning both about the stories behind them and also the critters that inhabit them now. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She is also the Secretary of the Mono Basin Historical Society and the daughter of an historian. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Natural History Ramble
June 27 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

At the edge of the Great Basin high desert and the steep eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, the Mono Basin has beautiful and diverse habitats, as well as ample opportunities to observe wildlife, wildflowers, and wild views. Hike with a naturalist guide on this half-day seminar and learn to identify local plants, birds, mammals, clouds, rocks—you name it! Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Birding Between the Breweries
June 28 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$135 per person / $125 for members

Mono County is notable for spectacular scenery, great birding, and a growing collection of high-elevation breweries. Combine your love for birds and brews on this relaxing afternoon trip, which will introduce you to some great birding at a few local hotspots as well as great beer at hotspots of another kind. Bring your binoculars, proof of age, and thirst for birds (beginners and experts welcome). We will provide a ten-person van and sober birding guide(s). One beverage per person per brewery is included in the tour fee; participants may purchase additional beverages and food. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Miwok-Paiute Basketry
June 29–July 1 • Lucy Parker & Ursula Jones
with special guest Julia Parker
$265 per person / $250 for members
$80 materials fee

During this seminar, participants will prepare materials and create a small Miwok-Paiute basket. This seminar is designed for weavers of all levels and participants are encouraged (but not required) to camp with the group at a peaceful private campsite near Lundy Canyon. Lucy Parker is a descendent of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadika'a, and Kayasha Pomo peoples, who learned traditional handiwork from her mother, master basket weaver Julia Parker. Ursula Jones, Lucy's daughter and Julia's granddaughter, is carrying the tradition forward. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Wildflower Waltz
July 6 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

Working on your wildflower identification? This will be the perfect year to practice as the flowers will be out in abundance, taking advantage of plentiful runoff from this wet winter. On this half-day seminar we will scour meadows and canyons for the plethora of blooms that grace the trails. We will focus on identification and natural history of the flowers we see. Great for photographers and budding botanists. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Birding Between the Breweries
July 12 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$135 per person / $125 for members

Mono County is notable for spectacular scenery, great birding, and a growing collection of high-elevation breweries. Combine your love for birds and brews on this relaxing afternoon trip, which will introduce you to some great birding at a few local hotspots as well as great beer at hotspots of another kind. Bring your binoculars, proof of age, and thirst for birds (beginners and experts welcome). We will provide a ten-person van and sober birding guide(s). One beverage per person per brewery is included in the tour fee; participants may purchase additional beverages and food. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin & Bodie Photography
July 13–15 • David Gubernick
$300 per person / $275 for members

Join this warm and supportive field seminar to enhance your photo-taking abilities in the uniquely beautiful Mono Basin and at the world-renowned Bodie State Historic Park. Field trips and classroom sessions will combine to cover a multitude of photographic topics. Plus, the group will visit Bodie for private after-hours evening access. David Gubernick is an internationally and nationally published and award-winning nature photographer and workshop leader. His exhibition prints can be seen at Gallery Sur in Carmel and the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Natural History: Aquatic & Terrestrial Habitats
July 13–15 • David Wimpfheimer
$190 per person / $175 for members

The Mono Basin is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the continent; this field seminar will be an overview of the varied habitats that are found here. We will enjoy the rich diversity of mammals, butterflies, wildflowers, trees, and other plants as we explore the Mono Basin, and a major focus of this seminar will be the identification and ecology of birds that breed here. A guided canoeing exploration of Mono’s south shore is included in this class. David Wimpfheimer has been an educator and interpreter for over 20 years, focusing on birds and California’s natural history. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mining the Past through Binoculars
July 19 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

The Mono Basin is rich with Native American, mining, logging, and ranching history. This half-day field seminar will spend the morning visiting different historic locations in the basin while learning both about the stories behind them and also the critters that inhabit them now. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She is also the Secretary of the Mono Basin Historical Society and the daughter of an historian. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

En Plein Air at Mono Lake: Beginning Oil Painting
July 20–22 • Penny Otwell
$192 per person / $177 for members

Painting outdoors allows an instant connection with landscape, and the textural possibilities and complete-coverage quality of oil paint allow students to portray their own unique feelings in their work. This field seminar is designed to be an introduction to the sometimes-intimidating subject of oil painting for students who may or may not have experience painting but who want to learn oil painting outdoors. Instructor Penny Otwell has painted in oil in the Sierra Nevada for over 20 years, and her distinctive style has evolved as a self-taught painter. Her work has been influenced by the work of Chiura Obata, Maynard Dixon, Edgar Payne, and Wayne Thiebaud. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Butterflies of the Mono Basin & Sierra Nevada
July 21–22 • Kristie Nelson
$172 per person / $157 for members

Join local naturalist Kristie Nelson for an exploration of butterflies of the Mono Basin and Sierra Nevada high country. With a range of habitats and plant species on which butterflies depend, this region is an excellent place to get acquainted with these bright splashes of living color. In fact, the Tioga Pass region is known to be one of the most productive and species-diverse regions for butterflies in the United States. Kristie Nelson is a year-round resident of the Mono Basin. She has had a passionate love for birds and the outdoors since she was a tiny child. As a lifelong serious birder, discovering the world of butterflies of the local area has been life-changing for her. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Natural History Ramble
July 25 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

At the edge of the Great Basin high desert and the steep eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, the Mono Basin has beautiful and diverse habitats, as well as ample opportunities to observe wildlife, wildflowers, and wild views. Hike with a naturalist guide on this half-day seminar and learn to identify local plants, birds, mammals, clouds, rocks—you name it! Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Wildflower Waltz
July 26 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

Working on your wildflower identification? This will be the perfect year to practice as the flowers will be out in abundance, taking advantage of plentiful runoff from this wet winter. On this half-day seminar we will scour meadows and canyons for the plethora of blooms that grace the trails. We will focus on identification and natural history of the flowers we see. Great for photographers and budding botanists. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Birding the White Mountains
July 27 • Nora Livingston
$95 per person / $85 for members

The gradient from the Owens Valley up to the White Mountains provides a great swath of diverse habitat, from desert oasis up to high-elevation pinyon-juniper woodland. On a day of birding like this, one could easily see over 100 species in eight hours. This one-day field seminar will search high and low for a great variety of species and end the day tallying up the list at the Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She holds the Mono County Big Day record after seeing 153 species on July 26, 2011. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Mammals
July 27–29 • John Harris
$182 per person / $167 for members

This class will cover the diversity of mammals found in the Mono Basin, from desert sand dunes to forests and alpine meadows of the high Sierra. More mammals occur here than in many states, and the group will try to see as many as possible by live-trapping and field observation. Participants will look for tracks and learn to identify skulls, focusing on identification and adaptations to Mono’s varied environments. John Harris is a recently retired Mills College biology professor whose interest in Mono’s mammals began in 1975 while studying chipmunks as an undergraduate. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

High Country Plants & Habitats:
How are they coping with climate change?

August 3–5 • Ann Howald
$182 per person / $167 for members

This class will explore the mosaic of habitats found in the Eastern Sierra high country—flower-filled meadows fed by meandering streams, sagebrush-covered slopes, lodgepole pine forests, subalpine lakes bordered by willows, and flowery rock gardens. A special focus will be the ways high elevation plants and animals of the Mono Basin are affected by climate change, now and in the future. Ann Howald is a retired consulting botanist who has taught popular Committee field seminars for over a decade. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Landscape Photography, Milky Way &
Perseid Meteor Dark Sky Astrophotography

August 10–12 • Jeff Sullivan
$275 per person / $250 for members

Summer is Milky Way season for photographers in the Eastern Sierra, with wildflowers blooming, snow lingering on Sierra Nevada peaks catching morning alpenglow, and afternoon cumulus cloud formations for potential sunset color, typically yielding to clear skies for night photography. Accomplished local photographer Jeff Sullivan will teach you some of his favorite techniques and show you some of his favorite spots for landscape and night photography in the Mono Basin. Jeff is a landscape photography and astrophotography workshop instructor, and author of the guidebook Photographing California Vol. 2 – South. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mining the Past through Binoculars
August 15 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

The Mono Basin is rich with Native American, mining, logging, and ranching history. This half-day field seminar will spend the morning visiting different historic locations in the basin while learning both about the stories behind them and also the critters that inhabit them now. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She is also the Secretary of the Mono Basin Historical Society and the daughter of an historian. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Falling for the Migration: Bridgeport Valley & Mono Basin
August 16–17 • Dave Shuford
$172 per person / $157 for members

The east slope of the Sierra Nevada is a major migration route for birds traveling from northern nesting areas to warm southern habitats. As a result, late summer is the time of year to see fall migrants and early arriving wintering birds in the Mono Basin and Bridgeport Valley. Dave Shuford has been a staff biologist at Point Blue Conservation Science for over 30 years. He has conducted numerous surveys and research projects in the Mono Basin and beyond and is well acquainted with where to find birds in the Eastern Sierra. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Falling for the Migration: Crowley, Mammoth, Mono
August 18–19 • Dave Shuford
$172 per person / $157 for members

The east slope of the Sierra Nevada is a major migration route for birds traveling from northern nesting areas to warm southern habitats. As a result, late summer is the time of year to see fall migrants and early arriving wintering birds in the Crowley, Mammoth, and Mono Basin areas. Dave Shuford has been a staff biologist at Point Blue Conservation Science for over 30 years. He has conducted numerous surveys and research projects in the Mono Basin and beyond and is well acquainted with where to find birds in the Eastern Sierra. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Miwok-Paiute Basketry
August 24–26 • Lucy Parker & Ursula Jones
with special guest Julia Parker
$265 per person / $250 for members
$80 materials fee

During this seminar, participants will prepare materials and create a small Miwok-Paiute basket. This seminar is designed for weavers of all levels and participants are encouraged (but not required) to camp with the group at a peaceful private campsite near Lundy Canyon. Lucy Parker is a descendent of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadika'a, and Kayasha Pomo peoples, who learned traditional handiwork from her mother, master basket weaver Julia Parker. Ursula Jones, Lucy's daughter and Julia's granddaughter, is carrying the tradition forward. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Natural History Ramble
August 30 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

At the edge of the Great Basin high desert and the steep eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, the Mono Basin has beautiful and diverse habitats, as well as ample opportunities to observe wildlife, wildflowers, and wild views. Hike with a naturalist guide on this half-day seminar and learn to identify local plants, birds, mammals, clouds, rocks—you name it! Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Volcanism at Mono Lake
August 31 • Nora Livingston
$95 per person / $85 for members

Mono Lake sits in a bowl formed by ancient volcanic sediments and recent volcanic eruptions. This one-day seminar will visit several volcanic formations around the lake while addressing the overall picture of volcanism in the Mono Basin and its role in shaping the landscape we see today. Nora Livingston is the Committee’s Lead Naturalist Guide. She has been learning about the volcanism of the Mono Basin since she was 16 years old. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

A Long Journey: Shorebird Migration
September 7 • Nora Livingston
$95 per person / $85 for members

As birds fly south for winter, the common questions include “Where exactly are they going? Where are they coming from? How long does it take them to get there? How do they know where to go?” This seminar strives to answer those questions during a fun time in the field observing these lightweight travelers as they fuel up along their migration. We will focus on waterbirds and shorebirds, but there will be plenty of landbird migrants as well. Nora Livingston is the Committee’s Lead Naturalist Guide. She spent nine years migrating to and from the Mono Basin along with the birds, until she finally became a resident in 2016. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Living on the Edge:
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in the Mono Basin

September 8–9 • John Wehausen
$182 per person / $167 for members

This field seminar will involve discussions of the fascinating biology of the federally endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, their relationship with other mammals (including mountain lions and humans), and their conservation in the field. Past participants saw bighorn 15 out of the last 16 years—while there is a very good chance of seeing bighorn sheep during this seminar, there is no guarantee. John Wehausen has been studying the Sierra Nevada bighorn and working for their conservation since 1974. Please be aware that this seminar involves very strenuous hiking at the 10,000-foot elevation and above.
Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Tree Identification
September 14 • Nora Livingston
$95 per person / $85 for members

This one-day seminar will delve into the diversity of trees in the Mono Basin and their identifying traits. We will examine, observe, and even smell the trees to help ingrain the knowledge into our senses. Nora Livingston is the Committee’s Lead Naturalist Guide. She was lucky to study dendrology (the study of trees) in the Appalachian Mountains where there are well over 100 tree species in a small geographic area. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierra
September 15–16 • Malcolm North
$172 per person / $157 for members

We live in a pyrogenic landscape, where most forests are born and shaped by fire. Fires are inevitable in much of the western United States, but many modern fires burn differently than what forests evolved with. This seminar will visit several recent fires in the Mono Basin, show fire effects on forest ecosystems, and discuss the good, bad, and ugly of current fire management and policy. Malcolm North is a research scientist in the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station and a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. He has studied Sierra Nevada forests for more than 20 years, authored or co-authored over 150 papers, and worked extensively with forest managers to apply research findings. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mining the Past through Binoculars
September 21 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

The Mono Basin is rich with Native American, mining, logging, and ranching history. This half-day field seminar will spend the morning visiting different historic locations in the basin while learning both about the stories behind them and also the critters that inhabit them now. Nora Livingston is the Committee’s Lead Naturalist Guide. She is also the Secretary of the Mono Basin Historical Society and the daughter of an historian. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Geology of the Mono Basin
September 21–23 • Greg Stock
$182 per person / $167 for members

From volcanic craters to glacial moraines, earthquake faults to tufa towers, the Mono Basin displays some of the most unique, spectacular, and accessible geology anywhere in the world. This seminar, consisting mostly of field visits to the premier sites, will present the geologic stories of the Mono Basin in understandable fashion. Greg Stock is the first ever Yosemite National Park geologist. He has authored and co-authored over 50 papers and abstracts on Sierra Nevada geology and is co-author of the book Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fall Color Foray
October 3 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

Every fall, quaking aspen trees famously paint the landscape with golden hues as their leaves change. This half-day seminar will hit the hotspots of colorful groves during peak season. We will enjoy glittering golden, ruby, and emerald forests while learning about aspen ecology. Great for photographers. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fall Color Foray
October 11 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

Every fall, quaking aspen trees famously paint the landscape with golden hues as their leaves change. This half-day seminar will hit the hotspots of colorful groves during peak season. We will enjoy glittering golden, ruby, and emerald forests while learning about aspen ecology. Great for photographers. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Fall Photography
October 12–14 • Robb Hirsch
$275 per person / $250 for members

Autumn in the Mono Basin is one of the greatest photographic experiences in the country—spectacular foliage and skies combine with exceptional light, presenting ample subject matter. Join accomplished photographer and workshop leader Robb Hirsch to explore shoreline locations at sunrise and sunset, fall color in nearby canyons, and grand overviews of the Mono Basin. Photographers of all levels are welcome; a fully adjustable camera of any size or format is suggested. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Arborglyphs & Aspen Natural History
October 13–14 • Richard Potashin & Nancy Hadlock
$197 per person / $182 for members

A century of sheep grazing brought Basque sheepherders into the Mono Basin’s aspen-bordered meadows, and they left numerous carvings—arborglyphs—on the aspens. Join the instructors for an enchanting journey into the aspen groves to explore this historic art form and to learn about the wildlife, insects, and birds that are drawn to the groves. Richard Potashin has been discovering and documenting aspen carvings for many years. Nancy Hadlock has been a naturalist, interpreter, and educator for the National Park Service and US Forest Service for over 30 years.
Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fall Color Foray
October 15 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$75 per person / $65 for members

Every fall, quaking aspen trees famously paint the landscape with golden hues as their leaves change. This half-day seminar will hit the hotspots of colorful groves during peak season. We will enjoy glittering golden, ruby, and emerald forests while learning about aspen ecology. Great for photographers. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

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Questions? Call (760) 647-6595 and ask for Elin, Nora, or Andrew. You can also email us if that's easier.

____________________________________________________________________

 
 
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