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2015 Field Seminars
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2015 Field Seminars

Registration for the Mono Lake Committee's 2015 Field Seminars is open.

You may register either by calling the Mono Lake Committee at (760) 647-6595 or by clicking the "register" button near the seminar(s) of your choice to sign up online.

Questions? Call (760) 647-6595 or email Communications Coordinator Elin Ljung.

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Mono Basin & Bodie Photographyregister now
July 31–August 2 • David Gubernick
$300 per person / $275 for members

limited to 12 participants
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 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.

Introduction to High Country Plants & Habitatsregister now
July 31–August 2 • Ann Howald
$165 per person / $150 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. Sight identification of common trees, shrubs, and wildflowers will be emphasized, as well as the many ways that plants, birds, insects, and other wildlife interact in high country habitats. Ann Howald is a retired consulting botanist who has taught popular Committee field seminars for over ten years.

Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
August 14–16 • Greg Stock
$165 per person / $150 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 in understandable fashion the geologic stories of the Mono Basin. Greg Stock is the first ever Yosemite National Park geologist. He has authored or co-authored over 50 papers and abstracts on Sierra Nevada geology, and is co-author of the book Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park.

Birding the Migration: Mono Basin & Bridgeport Valleyregister now
August 20–21 • Dave Shuford
$190 per person / $175 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. If the water level of Bridgeport Reservoir is high enough, this seminar will include a half-day of birding by boat. 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.

Loosen Up with Watercolorregister now
August 21–23 • Penny Otwell
$175 per person / $160 for members
limited to 12 participants

With larger brushes and brilliant transparent watercolor, learn to express your vision of the remarkable landscape of the Mono Basin through this field seminar. Painting exercises focusing on design and color will form the basis of this class for beginners to intermediate painters while working both indoors and outdoors. Instructor Penny Otwell paints professionally in the Sierra Nevada, and her distinctive syle 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.

Birding the Migration: Mono Basin & Long Valleyregister now
August 22–23 • Dave Shuford
$155 per person / $140 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 Long 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.

Miwok-Paiute Basketryregister now
August 28–30 • Lucy & Julia Parker
$190 per person / $175 for members
$80 materials fee
limited to 12 participants

optional primitive campsite near Lundy Canyon (no pets)
During this seminar, participants will prepare materials and create a small Miwok-Paiute burden basket—used for gathering pinenuts, acorns, and berries. This seminar is designed for weavers of all levels and participants are encouraged (but not required) to camp with the group at the peaceful private campsite. Lucy Parker is a descendent of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadika'a, and Kayasha Pomo peoples. She learned traditional handiwork from her mother Julia, a master basket weaver who has dedicated her life to learning and teaching basketry.

Creating the Illuminated Field Journalregister now
September 4–6 • Hannah Hinchman
$175 per person / $160 for members
limited to 12 participants

A field journal is an ideal vehicle to record moments of discovery about the natural world, as well as a quiet way of simply being present outdoors. In this workshop, artist/writer Hannah Hinchman will guide you in exploring the variety of nearby habitats, opening windows to nature's many secrets and learning to personalize these experiences through journal entries, both drawn and written. Hannah is the author of three books about field journals, and has been teaching field journal workshops all over the US for over 20 years.

Visions of the Past: Bodie & Auroraregister now
September 12–13 • Terri Geissinger
$155 per person / $140 for members

In the Bodie Hills lie ghost towns full of stories of pioneer families, prospectors, muleskinners, heroes, and gunslingers. This guided tour will visit the town and the cemetery of Bodie, once the second-largest city in California, with tours of the Standard Stamp Mill and the Bodie Jail. Next, a journey that hasn't changed much since the historic mining days will end up at Aurora, once a bustling town of 8,000 souls in the 1860s. Your leader Terri Geissinger is a Bodie State Historic Park interpreter and guide, with a talent for making history come alive.

Mono Basin Moonlight Photographyregister now
September 25–27 • David Gubernick
$275 per person / $250 for members
limited to 10 participants

Nighttime photography opens up a new world of photographic possibilities, both compelling and challenging. Through guided practice sessions, field trips in the Mono Basin and upper reaches of the Eastern Sierra, coaching in the field, and review of images, you will learn to create nighttime images with visual impact. 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.

Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
October 2–4 • Greg Stock
$165 per person / $150 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 in understandable fashion the geologic stories of the Mono Basin. Greg Stock is the first ever Yosemite National Park geologist. He has authored or co-authored over 50 papers and abstracts on Sierra Nevada geology, and is co-author of the book Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park.

Mono Basin Fall Photographyregister now
October 9–11 • Robb Hirsch
limited to 12 participants
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 for photographers in both color and black-and-white. Join veteran workshop leader Robb Hirsch to explore varied 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.

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ALREADY FINISHED:

Visions of the Past: First Discoveries
June 6–7 • Terri Geissinger
$155 per person / $140 for members

The Mono Basin is filled with monuments to a bustling past—take a journey back in time and discover its fascinating history. The past will spring to life as you hear stories of the discoverers, the prospectors, and the families who settled here and made the Mono Basin their home. Visit Dogtown, Monoville, Bodie (with a special visit to the Bodie Bluff!), Mono Mills, stagecoach routes, railroads, and gold mines. Terri Geissinger is a Bodie State Historic Park interpreter and guide with a contagious love of history.

South Shore Kayak
June 13 • Stuart Wilkinson
$105 per person / $95 for members
limited to 12 participants

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, such as 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.

Woodpeckers of the Mono Basin
June 16–18 • Steve Shunk
$165 per person / $150 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.

Music & Ecology in the Mono Basin (canceled)
June 26–28 • Cole & Priscilla Hawkins
$180 per person / $165 for members

This nature and music adventure in the Mono Basin will connect the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada and Mono Lake with the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven and Jean Sibelius. The seminar will include dinner catered by Linda Dore at the Hawkins' home on the north shore of Mono Lake. Priscilla Hawkins received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan, holds a California Teaching Credential and has taught cello and chamber music for 40 years. Cole Hawkins earned a Master's in Biology at Fresno State and a PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M.

Mono Basin Natural History: Aquatic & Terrestrial Habitats (canceled)
July 10–12 • David Wimpfheimer
$245 per person / $230 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 kayaking exploration of Mono's south shore is included in this class.
David Wimpfheimer has been educating and interpreting birds and California's natural history for over 20 years.

Insects & Plants: An Ecological Marriage for the Ages
July 17–19 • Richard Potashin &
Nancy Hadlock
$165 per person / $150 for members

Explore the complex, intimate relationships and attractions between insects and plants, including the threats to this essential relationship and how cultures, artists, and poets have interpreted this "marriage for the ages." Richard Potashin is a longtime Eastern Sierra resident who, in a previous life as a landscape gardener, developed a passion for native flora. Nancy Hadlock has been a naturalist, interpreter, and educator for the National Park Service and US Forest Service for over 30 years.

Los Angeles Aqueduct Tour
July 18 • Greg Reis
$105 per person / $95 for members

The Mono Basin extension of the Los Angeles Aqueduct began transporting water 350 miles south to the City of LA in 1941. Visit all the major aqueduct facilities in the Mono Basin and learn about the aqueduct's effects on Mono Lake, its tributary streams, the Upper Owens River, and land management in the area. The group will discuss the history of water diversions, the effort to save Mono Lake, and the future of habitat restoration. Greg Reis is the Committee's Information & Restoration Specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in Mono Basin hydrology and restoration.

Mono Basin Streams: Flow, Fish, Forest, & Fowl
July 19 • Greg Reis
$75 per person / $65 for members

The new stream restoration agreement reached with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will begin changing the Mono Basin's streams for better in the next few years. Join the Committee's Information & Restoration Specialist Greg Reis for a tour of Lee Vining and Rush creeks to see and discuss evolving restoration philosophies, the process of reaching the stream restoration agreement, and what the expected results are for flows, fish, trees, birds, mammals, and Mono Lake.

Mono Basin Mammals for Kids
July 25 • John Harris
$90 per person / $80 for members

This class is designed for kids ages 6 to 12 and their adult companions (a parent or guardian must register as well, and accompany kids taking this seminar) who are curious about the mammals found in the Mono Basin, from desert sand dunes to the forests and alpine meadows of the high Sierra. Through live-trapping and field observation of tracks, scat, burrowing, and the animals themselves, this seminar will introduce participants to the diversity of mammals found in Mono Basin, with an emphasis on kid-friendly instruction. John Harris is a Professor of Biology at Mills College whose interest in Mono's mammals began in 1975 while studying chipmunks as an undergraduate.

 
 
Seminar Information

Registration Information

Instructors

Evaluation Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Past Seminar Offerings

The Mono Lake Committee offers a summer field seminar series and one winter seminar annually. Seminars offer the chance for participants to delve beyond a basic understanding of the Mono Basin's natural history in a hands-on way.
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The Mono Lake Committee works with field leaders who have received high ratings from past seminar participants.
people in meadow
We emphasize a spirit of learning and cameraderie in a magnificent outdoor setting for a reasonable cost. Proceeds from Mono Lake Committee Field Seminars benefit research and education in the Mono Basin.
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Questions? Call (760) 647-6595 or email Communications Coordinator Elin Ljung.

 

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© 2015 mono lake committee
The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.