Monday, November 4th, 2019 by Nora, Lead Naturalist GuidecloseAuthor: Nora, Lead Naturalist GuideName: Nora Livingston Title: Lead Naturalist Guide About: Nora is a passionate naturalist who got her interpretive start as a Mono Lake Intern in 2008 and went on to seven years of seasonal ornithologist work in the most beautiful corners of California and beyond. She has since led many popular birding field trips for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua. It is her utmost joy to share her love of birds and nature with anyone and everyone to help foster a deeper respect for this unique planet.See All Posts by Nora (39) Contact Nora
If you’ve been to Mono Lake in late July, you may have been lucky enough to have seen the elegant aerial ballet of a flock of Wilson’s Phalaropes.
Phalarope surveyors counted birds through binoculars in a clockwise transect around Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Ryan Carle.
This summer there were thousands of phalaropes along Mono Lake’s south shore, so visitors were fortunate to have the chance to witness these small shorebirds in magnificent flocks dancing above the reflective lake surface, turning on a dime, flashing their white bellies all at once before seeming to disappear in the dark mountain background when they turn their brown and gray backs in unison. This flocking behavior is a truly breathtaking sight to behold. It was a notable phalarope summer at Mono Lake in several other ways as well. (more…)
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 by Arya, Communications DirectorcloseAuthor: Arya, Communications DirectorName: Arya Harp Title: Communications Director About: Arya oversees the Committee's communications program, which includes the Mono Lake Newsletter and the Mono Lake Calendar. She loves her job because she gets to share the inspiring work of the Mono Lake Committee with members and visitors alike. Her favorite things to do in the Mono Basin include ice skating on nearby lakes, skiing the Mono Craters, and getting to smell the sagebrush when it rains.See All Posts by Arya (195) Contact Arya
Submitting images for consideration for the Mono Lake Calendar has never been easier, so if you have a beautiful shot, we’d love to see it! Now is the time—the deadline is next Thursday, October 31, 2019, and you can find submission information here.
Friday, October 11th, 2019 by Elin, Communications CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Elin, Communications CoordinatorName: Elin Ljung Title: Communications Coordinator About: Elin's job consists of some of her favorite things: finding typos, experimenting with layouts, and figuring out how best to communicate the Committee's work to the world. She also oversees the Field Seminar program. Elin grew up in on California's Central Coast dreaming of the two weeks each summer that her family would spend in the Eastern Sierra, and as soon as she graduated from St. Olaf College in 2005 she moved to Mono Lake full-time. She prefers to travel at high speed on either telemark skis or a mountain bike, or be completely still, immersed in a good book.See All Posts by Elin (343) Contact Elin
Travel to the Mono Basin in winter to experience the “forgotten” season on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. Winter here is quiet, majestic, and worth discovering with a guide on one of our winter field seminars.
Join us for a winter field seminar to experience the “forgotten” season in the Mono Basin. Photo by Arya Harp.
Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 by Joslyn, Project SpecialistcloseAuthor: Joslyn, Project SpecialistName: Joslyn Rogers Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Originally from San Diego, Joslyn first discovered Mono Lake while working in Yosemite Valley. Her love for the Mono Basin was further solidified after studying Mono Lake on a UC Santa Cruz field program. Joslyn finished her degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Today she works on a variety of education, outreach and fundraising projects for the Committee, and helps with coordinating events like the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and Free Drawing. In her free time she can be found rock climbing, birding, or running around the High Sierra.See All Posts by Joslyn (19) Contact Joslyn
Saturday, September 7th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Ellie, Mono Lake InternName: Ellie Neifeld Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Ellie grew up in Oakland, but spent most of her summers exploring the Sierra Nevada and falling in love with the Mono Basin at a young age. Her first rock climbing trip to Yosemite in 2011 kindled her passion for climbing, which has kept her returning to the Sierra year after year. She recently completed a degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College and is excited to immerse herself in the natural history of Mono Lake. When not geologizing or climbing, Ellie can be found lying on granite slabs, painting, and dancing.See All Posts by Ellie (13) Contact Ellie
Join us on Tuesday, September 10 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Connie Millar, Senior Scientist with the US Forest Service, will be here to discuss rock glaciers as under-explored hydrologic reservoirs and climate refugia. If you can join us for this free event, please register here. Please note: This talk is on a Tuesday!
Gibbs Rock Glacier and Kidney Lake, seen from Dana Plateau. This is an active, ice-embedded rock glacier, moving at a rate of about 0.5 meters per year, and producing a steady output of cold groundwater. Photo courtesy of Connie Millar.
Despite their ubiquity, rock glaciers are little-recognized land forms of the high Sierra Nevada and other Great Basin mountains. Long studied globally by glacial specialists, their unique properties as enduring sources of cold-water springs and lakes, and their related roles in providing habitat for (more…)
Saturday, August 31st, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Ellie, Mono Lake InternName: Ellie Neifeld Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Ellie grew up in Oakland, but spent most of her summers exploring the Sierra Nevada and falling in love with the Mono Basin at a young age. Her first rock climbing trip to Yosemite in 2011 kindled her passion for climbing, which has kept her returning to the Sierra year after year. She recently completed a degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College and is excited to immerse herself in the natural history of Mono Lake. When not geologizing or climbing, Ellie can be found lying on granite slabs, painting, and dancing.See All Posts by Ellie (13) Contact Ellie
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…)
Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: AnnaLisa, Mono Lake InternName: AnnaLisa Mayer Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Raised amid Barred Owl voices and whispering beech leaves in Vermont's Green Mountains, AnnaLisa first came to the Mono Basin in 2016. Falling in love with the expansiveness of the West, she has since spent nearly 200 days immersed in California and Arizona's diverse backcountry. A naturalist at heart, AnnaLisa studied Ecology and Environmental Humanities at Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, VT. When not poking around in the depths of tiny flowers, she can be found making things with her hands, chasing crescent moons, and playing fiddle for the clouds.See All Posts by AnnaLisa (4) Contact AnnaLisa
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…)
Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 by Krista, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Krista, Birding InternName: Krista Fanucchi Title: Birding Intern About: A Bay Area native, Krista began exploring the Sierra Nevada at an early age and eventually landed her first seasonal position in Yosemite in 2009. After obtaining her BS in Geography and a minor in GIS from Portland State University, she was fortunate enough to receive a handful of positions researching and banding songbirds and Raptors in Yosemite, Point Reyes National Seashore, and on a windy butte near Mt. Hood in Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys exploring, reading, and painting pictures of both every day and peculiar things.See All Posts by Krista (5) Contact Krista
Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 by Alison, Canoe CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Alison, Canoe CoordinatorName: Alison Kaplan Title: Canoe Coordinator About: Alison first moved to Yosemite in the summer of 2014, after which she almost quit college multiple times because she could hardly bear to leave the Sierra each fall. Since graduating with an English degree, she has worked a variety of seasonal jobs and spent her free time climbing. She joined the Committee as the Canoe Coordinator last summer and knew after the first canoe tour that it was the greatest summer job ever. She returned to her hometown for the winter to do restoration work for the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. She's excited to be back this summer, sharing her love of Mono Lake with visitors.See All Posts by Alison (7) Contact Alison
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…)
Monday, August 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Krista, Birding InternName: Krista Fanucchi Title: Birding Intern About: A Bay Area native, Krista began exploring the Sierra Nevada at an early age and eventually landed her first seasonal position in Yosemite in 2009. After obtaining her BS in Geography and a minor in GIS from Portland State University, she was fortunate enough to receive a handful of positions researching and banding songbirds and Raptors in Yosemite, Point Reyes National Seashore, and on a windy butte near Mt. Hood in Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys exploring, reading, and painting pictures of both every day and peculiar things.See All Posts by Krista (5) Contact Krista
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…)