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2014 Field Seminars
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2014 Field Seminars

Registration for the Mono Lake Committee's 2014 Field Seminars is now open for Mono Lake Committee members only.

If you are not a Committee member, but you wish to register immediately, you may join the Committee and sign up for the class of your choice. Non-members will be able to register beginning Saturday, March 1, 2014.

To register, either call the Mono Lake Committee at (760) 647-6595 or click 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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Visions of the Past: First Discoveriesregister now
June 7–8 • 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 Kayakregister now
June 14 • 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.

Capturing the Mono Basin in Pastelregister now
June 27–29 • Ane Carla Rovetta
$175 per person / $160 for members
$40 materials fee
limited to 12 participants

The sparkling light and radiant skies of the Mono Basin are pure inspiration. Add a set of brilliant pastel chalks and your own unique imagination, and you have an incredible weekend of color exploration and art. Landscape painter Ane Carla Rovetta is known for her realistic depiction of our golden western lands. She will guide students through a value system she modeled after Ansel Adams' work that will help organize the overwhelming hues of the summer terrain. Each participant will go home with at least one small finished painting and several sketches, color studies, and value experiments that will fuel future artistic endeavors. Ane Carla can provide you with your own set of 72 pastel chalks; you must reserve your set when you sign up for the class.

Mono Basin & Bodie Photographyregister now
July 11–13 • 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.

Summer Birds of the Mono Basin (canceled)
July 11–13 • David Wimpfheimer
$165 per person / $150 for members

This field seminar will concentrate on the identification and ecology of birds that breed in the Mono Basin and others that migrate to Mono Lake during the summer. In sagebrush meadows and riparian and montane forests, the class will explore a number of sites—mixing short leisurely walks with periods of observation and natural history discussion. A major focus will be Mono Lake and other wetlands where phalaropes and other shorebirds feed. David Wimpfheimer has been educating and interpreting birds and California's natural history for over 20 years.

Los Angeles Aqueduct Tourregister now
July 19 • 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, Forests, & Fowlregister now
July 20 • 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 Mammalsregister now
July 25–27 • John Harris
$155 per person / $140 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, emphasizing identification and adaptations to Mono's varied environments. 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.

Introduction to High Country Plants & Habitatsregister now
August 1–3 • 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.

Mono Basin Moonlight Photographyregister now
August 8–10 • 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
August 15–17 • 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.

Loosen Up with Watercolorregister now
August 22–24 • 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 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.

Living on the Edge:
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in the Mono Basin
(canceled)
September 6–7 • John Wehausen
$180 per person / $165 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 14 out of the last 15 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.

Creating the Illuminated Field Journalregister now
September 12–14 • 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.

Birding the Migration: Mono Basin & Bridgeport Valleyregister now
September 18–19 • 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, autumn 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.

Birding the Migration: Mono Basin & Long Valleyregister now
September 20–21 • 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, autumn 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.

Visions of the Past: Bodie, Masonic, Auroraregister now
September 20–21 • Terri Geissinger
$155 per person / $140 for members

In the Bodie Hills lie three 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. Next, visit the rock cabins and foundations of Masonic, where 500 people resided in a beautiful canyon—mining gold with great hope and eventually producing considerable wealth. The last stop is 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.

Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
October 3–5 • 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.

Arborglyphs & Aspen Natural Historyregister now
October 4–5 • Richard Potashin &
Nancy Hadlock
$180 per person / $165 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.

Mono Basin Fall Photographyregister now
October 10–12 • Richard Knepp
$225 per person / $200 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 for photographers in both color and black-and-white. Join accomplished photographer Richard Knepp 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. This is the 20th year in a row of this popular seminar!

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Past Seminar Offerings

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NEW CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel three weeks prior to the seminar start date, we will refund your payment (less a $15 processing fee). No refunds can be issued for any reason if cancellation is within three weeks of field seminar date, but tuition can be applied to another seminar within one calendar year of your cancellation date. If you cancel within one week of the seminar start date, no credits can be issued for any reason.
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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.
aspen group
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.
fireweed

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

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© 2014 mono lake committee
The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.