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2016 Field Seminars
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2016 Field Seminars

Registration for the Mono Lake Committee's 2016 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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Miwok-Paiute Basketryregister now
August 26–28
Lucy Parker, Julia Parker, & Ursula Jones
$265 per person / $250 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 near Lundy Canyon. Lucy Parker is a descendent of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadikaa, 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. Ursula, Lucy’s daughter and Julia’s granddaughter, is carrying the tradition forward
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Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
September 9–11 • 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.

Living on the Edge:
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep in the Mono Basin
register now
September 10–11 • John Wehausen
$165 per person / $150 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.

Visions of the Past: Bodie & Auroraregister now
September 10–11 • Terri Geissinger
$155 per person / $140 for members

In the Bodie Hills are 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.

Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
September 30–October 2 • 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 8–9
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 11–13 • Robb Hirsch
$275 per person / $250 for members
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 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.

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Visions of the Past: First Discoveries
June 4–5 • 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 11
Stuart Wilkinson & Committee staff
$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.

The Natural History of Mono Basin Woodpeckers
June 14–16 • 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.

Miwok-Paiute Basketry
June 24–26
Lucy Parker, Julia Parker, & Ursula Jones
$265 per person / $250 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 near Lundy Canyon. Lucy Parker is a descendent of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadikaa, 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. Ursula, Lucy’s daughter and Julia’s granddaughter, is carrying the tradition forward.

Music & Ecology in the Mono Basin
June 24–26 • 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
July 8–10 • David Wimpfheimer
$190 per person / $175 for members
limited to 12 participants

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.

Loosen Up with Watercolor
July 8–10 • 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 beginner 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.

Mono Basin Moonlight Photography
July 15–17 • 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.

Insects & Plants for Kids
July 16
Richard Potashin & Nancy Hadlock
$165 per person / $150 for members

open to participants between the ages of 9 and 14
children must be accompanied by at least one adult

Have you ever wondered why there are so many insects around flowers? How do they use each other for protection and food, and how do they and support all life, including you? Early summer in the Eastern Sierra is a fascinating time to discover what’s in bloom and who is buzzing around. 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.

Mono Basin & Bodie Photography
July 22–24 • 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 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.

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

July 29–31 • 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. A special focus this year 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 ten years.

Los Angeles Aqueduct Tour
August 13 • Bartshe Miller
$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. Bartshé Miller is the Committee’s Education Director with 24 years of experience working in the Mono Basin.

Birding the Migration: Mono Basin & Bridgeport Valley
August 18–19 • 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 Bridgeport Valley. Dave Shuford has been a staff biologist at Point Blue 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 Valley
August 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, 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 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.

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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.
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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© 2016 mono lake committee
The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.