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Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sage-grouse conservation across the sagebrush sea

Saturday, August 31st, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, September 4 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Eric Tymstra, PhD candidate at UC Davis, will be here to discuss his research on the Greater Sage-grouse, their behavior, diet, and conservation. If you can join us for this free event, please register here.

A male Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) struts his stuff on the lek during the breeding season in an effort to attract a mate. Photo courtesy of Andrew Hallberg.

Conservation and restoration efforts aim to protect organisms and the areas that they use. Herbivores in particular face unique challenges when it comes to habitat use: many plants have high fiber content, low nutritional value, and defenses such as toxins. In response to toxic, low-quality food, many herbivores have evolved counter defenses, such as (more…)

Summer activities on the Mono Lake Committee bookstore patio

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

As the summer drifts steadily onward, seasonal staff are making the most of the long days and increased visitation to Lee Vining by offering activities and natural history interpretation on the patio outside of the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore.

Look for the table out in front of the Mono Lake Committee bookstore—we’re there with games, activities, and answers to your questions. Photo by AnnaLisa Mayer.

Stopping beneath a welcome shade tent, as the August sun beats down on the concrete inlay of Mono Lake, passersby can play family-friendly games such as Wildflower Bingo and Shrimp Toss, all the while learning about the story of the lake and the local ecology. If (more…)

Only one weekend left for free bird walks at County Park and Lundy Canyon

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

As I reflect on the weekly County Park and Lundy Canyon bird walks from this past season, it is difficult to distill all the feathered moments into a few short paragraphs that convey what a wonderful experience it all has been. Join us this weekend for the last free bird walks of the season!

Join us on Friday and Sunday to bird Mono Lake County Park and the State Natural Reserve boardwalk. Photo by Elin Ljung.

This season has quite literally “flown” by, and has left me in a daze from all the twisting phalarope murmurations and the seasonal changes in the local bird populations. I felt the peak of (more…)

Canoe with the osprey at Mono Lake this weekend

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

One of the perks of working as the Canoe Coordinator for the Mono Lake Committee is that I get to closely observe the nesting osprey at Mono Lake. Just like me, the osprey usually arrive at Mono Lake in late spring. Canoe tours don’t start until mid-June each summer, so for the first month I only observed the birds from the shore at South Tufa.

A canoe tour paddles past Pirate Ship Tufa on a calm morning. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Once canoe tours start, though, I have the unique opportunity to see these birds from the water. There are approximately 16 pairs of nesting osprey at Mono Lake, all of which nest on the tufa islands, and humans must stay at least 250 yards away from the nests at all times. The only exception to this rule is (more…)

Join us for birding & geology at Mono Lake this Labor Day weekend

Monday, August 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

This coming weekend we’re offering three one-day seminars for a full weekend of natural history at Mono Lake. Snap up the last few spaces in Birding the White Mountains on Friday, Volcanism of the Mono Basin on Saturday, and Shorebird Migration on Sunday!

Join Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston for three seminars over Labor Day weekend. Photo courtesy of Bob Yates.

Birding the White Mountains • August 30 • 1 space left!

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. During this popular field seminar we will (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: North America’s Rosy-finches and climate variability

Sunday, August 25th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday August 28 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Tim Brown, UC Santa Cruz PhD candidate, will be here to discuss Sierra Nevada Rosy-finches and climate vulnerability. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here.

Tim Brown holding a Sierra Nevada Rosy-finch. Photo courtesy of Tim Brown.

Mountaintop animals are among the most vulnerable species to climate change. If warming forces them upwards, they face an “escalator to extinction” as they reach the upper elevational limits of available habitat. Understanding mechanisms that (more…)

Updated schedule: Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists 2019

Monday, August 19th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us for the four remaining lectures in this summer’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists series, featuring scientists presenting their work in the region.

Join us for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists on Wednesdays at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Lectures happen at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore gallery. Presentations last about one hour and include light refreshments. If you can join us for these free events, please register here!

Join us for these scheduled talks: (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: From Mono Lake to Mar Chiquita—how are phalaropes faring in the 21st century?

Saturday, August 17th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, August 21 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Ryan Carle, conservation scientist, will be here to discuss cutting-edge research on phalaropes. If you can join us for this free talk, please register here!

A flock of phalaropes on Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Marie Read.

Phalaropes are tiny shorebirds that make impressive migrations between North and South America. Mono and other saline lakes—which are nearly universally threatened by climate change and water diversions—are critical migratory refueling stops (more…)

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists schedule for 2019

Friday, August 2nd, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us weekly this summer and fall for the Mono Lake Committee’s summer lecture series Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists.

Join us for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists on Wednesdays at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Photo by Arya Harp.

Talks occur at 4:00pm on Wednesdays in the Mono Lake Committee gallery (with the exception of September 10, which is a Tuesday). Scientists studying the Sierra and the Mono Basin will present their cutting-edge research for about an hour while the audience munches on snacks and sips beverages. Each presentation is followed by Q & A session. If you can attend, please register here for these free events!

August 7: Extent of the Last Glacial Maximum (Tioga) Glaciation in Yosemite and the Mono Basin with Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock

August 14: Dry Snow/Wet Snow Recipes for Unusual Avalanches: Avalanche Forecasting Challenges in a Changing Climate with hydrologist Sue Burak

August 21: From Mono Lake to Mar Chiquita: How Are Phalaropes Faring in the 21st Century? with scientist Ryan Carle 

August 28: To be announced

 September 4: From Chemistry to Community: Sage-Grouse Conservation Across the Sagebrush Sea with UC Davis PhD candidate Eric Tymstra

 September 10: (Note: This talk is on a Tuesday) Water From Rock: Rock Glaciers as Un(der)-Explored Hydrologic Resevoirs and Climate Refugia with US Forest Service Senior Scientist Connie Millar

Trail Chic: Lee Vining’s fashion icons emerge to support outdoor education

Monday, July 29th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Mono Lake Committee staff and other Lee Vining residents hit the astroturf runway on July 20 for the Eastern Sierra’s most anticipated event of the year—the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser.

This year’s group of runway walkers at the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser. Photo by Elin Ljung.

A fundraiser for the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center (OEC) Access Fund, the Trail Chic Fashion Show raised enough money this year to bring nine future OEC groups to the Mono Basin for five days of life-changing outdoor activities while learning about the source of their water. (more…)

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