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Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center turns 25

Thursday, November 7th, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

Since 1994 the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center has been connecting students from Los Angeles to the source of their water. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

“Where does your water come from?” This question has been asked to thousands of students visiting the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC) from Los Angeles over the past 25 years. At the beginning of their week-long stay in the Mono Basin, some students are unsure.

By the end of the week, there is no question. They have played in high Sierra snow, traveled to the northern extent of the Los Angeles Aqueduct at Lee Vining Creek, pulled invasive plants along Mono Lake’s tributary streams, and pondered the total ecological destruction narrowly escaped at Mono Lake. Through these experiences, they learn where their water comes from, about themselves as (more…)

16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour to celebrate women in Mono Basin history

Sunday, August 18th, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

(Click to enlarge.)

Too often phenomenal women can be lost in the history books, but not in the Mono Basin.

The 16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush event, hosted by the Mono Basin Historical Society, is celebrating amazing women who had a hand in shaping the Mono Basin between 1900 and 1950. Over the two-day event, attendees will hear stories about Paiute women who “became known for their exceedingly fine, visually stunning, and complex polychrome baskets,” as well as fearless first female guides and ranchers. (more…)

Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day with local students

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was established in 1993 to connect people who live in important migratory bird wetland habitats from across the globe. It is a celebration of these various ecosystems, the birds that inhabit them, and the people who are trying to help save these wetlands.

Lee Vining Elementary School students birding at the County Park boardwalk for World Migratory Bird Day. Photo by Rose Nelson.

This spring the Mono Lake Committee partnered with students from our local Lee Vining Elementary School to celebrate WMBD and discuss this year’s theme:  Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution. The goal of WMBD 2019 is to (more…)

2019 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship recipients

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

Since 2008, the Mono Lake Committee has supported local students by awarding two $1,000 scholarships to Mono County high school seniors. This year we asked applicants to get close to the shoreline of Mono Lake without distractions and jot down what they saw, heard, smelled, and felt around them. Then to reflect on the question: Why do places like Mono Lake matter?

The answers were quite moving from all applicants, but two essays rose to the top. We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients—Orion Ellis from Mammoth High School and Sophia McKee from Lee Vining High School.

Rose Nelson with scholarship recipients Orion Ellis and Sophia McKee. Photos by Rose Nelson.

(more…)

Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center team visits the big city

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

Santiago and I will be saying “adios” to the snowy Mono Basin as we travel south to Los Angeles next week.

Next week Rose and Santiago will be leaving the snowy Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center to visit OEC groups and students in Los Angeles. Photo by Santiago M. Escruceria.

For two weeks we will be connecting with with community organizations and school groups in Southern California that visit the Mono Basin in the Outdoor Education Center (OEC) season, which is May through November.

During our visits to the groups we will (more…)

Virtual tours connect remote students to Mono Lake

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 by Rose, Education Director

The Mono Lake story is part of the fourth grade curriculum for many students across the United States. Students read about the natural and cultural history of the Mono Basin, including information on brine shrimp, alkali flies, and water diversions.

Fourth grade students at Montalvin Manor K-8 in San Pedro, California tune into a South Tufa tour at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Beth Levine.

Ideally, every concept of curriculum should be reinforced by a field trip, but our remote lake can be difficult to access by everyone, at least physically. To bring Mono Lake to more students the Mono Lake Committee has been able to give two “virtual tours” in the past year. Students connect with Committee staff at South Tufa using a video-chat program and are actually able to see brine shrimp, birds, tufa towers, and the beautiful lake itself. Students ask questions and engage with staff in real time.

We are happy to be able to share the Mono Lake story further than before! If you have any questions or are interested in a virtual tour, please contact me by email or at (760) 647-6595.

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