Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 by Meghan, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Meghan, Mono Lake InternName: Meghan Cihasky Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Originally from Chippewa Falls, WI, Meghan moved to Monterey, CA to seek new adventures. She quickly became enthralled with the Sierra after a few backpacking trips spent among spectacular trees, alpine lakes, and peaks. She attended the University of Minnesota at Duluth to pursue Environmental Science, then spent a semester abroad in New Zealand, traveling and studying the diverse culture and environment. Now, she is looking forward to spending her summer in the Mono Basin, trail running, backpacking and sharing her passion for the outdoors.See All Posts by Meghan (1) Contact Meghan
Looking for a fun and easy way to give back to this place we all know and love so much? Come join us this Saturday, August 17 from 8:30am to 12:30pm for the 11th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup! We will spend our morning picking up any and all trash that has accumulated around Lee Vining Creek.
If you are free this Saturday, get your family and friends together and meet us outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining. From there we will carpool to the DWP diversion site on Lee Vining Creek. Make sure to bring sturdy footwear, a water bottle, and sun protection. Our goal this year is to use as little single-use plastic as possible for the cleanup, so if you have your own gloves and buckets for trash, bring them along! We’ll provide work gloves where necessary as well as (more…)
Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 by Jessica, Office DirectorcloseAuthor: Jessica, Office DirectorName: Jessica Schneider Title: Office Director About: Jess began working at the Mono Lake Committee in 2010, oversaw the bookstore for several years, and returned to the Mono Lake Committee in late 2014 as Office Director after working at a local resort and starting her own business. Jess creates the complicated office and bookstore schedule, oversees the intern and volunteer programs, and keeps the office functioning smoothly. She lives on a small ranch north of Mono Lake, with horses, cows, goats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, and a cat.See All Posts by Jessica (45) Contact Jessica
The Mono Basin teems with visitors during summer months, and their experiences here are greatly enhanced when they meet one of the 70-plus Mono Lake Volunteers also out and about during the summer.
Volunteers learn about Mono Lake’s simple but productive food chain at South Tufa. Photo by Erv Nichols.
Volunteers introduce Mono Lake’s natural history to visitors by roving the high-use areas around the lake, leading patio talks at the Scenic Area Visitor Center, and helping with invasive species removal events. Volunteers also help with office tasks—such as putting together mailings—here at the Mono Lake Committee offices.
Not sure if you’re ready to teach visitors about Mono Lake? That’s okay! We have a great training for (more…)
Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 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 (192) Contact Arya
Sunday, December 9th, 2018 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 (38) Contact Nora
Each winter, tens of thousands of people get together all over the Western Hemisphere and count birds in what is possibly the largest community-science project in the world. The Christmas Bird Count, or CBC, has been going on for 118 years—the 2018–2019 season is the 119th CBC!
Rough-legged Hawks are typically only in Mono County during the winter months, and they blend right in with the patchy snow. Photo by Nora Livingston.
Last year, people tallied over 56 million individual birds during the count window. These counts help show trends in bird populations (more…)
Thursday, September 27th, 2018 by Maureen, Membership AssistantcloseAuthor: Maureen, Membership AssistantName: Maureen McGlinchy Title: Membership Assistant About: Originally from New Jersey, Maureen first moved to the Sierra Nevada in 2002 as a seasonal biologist in Yosemite. Ten years later, she and her family were fortunate enough to land in Lee Vining. She has a background in forest ecology and she's always excited to broaden her understanding of the natural and man-made processes at work in the Mono Basin. You can find Maureen out trail-running with Garnet the dog, trying to keep up with
her speedy daughters on June Mountain, or relaxing with friends somewhere next to water.See All Posts by Maureen (2) Contact Maureen
There are so many ways to help Mono Lake! Recently a member from Minnesota used his particular passion to donate time and resources to Mono Lake.
Dr. Charles Gessert is a lifelong stamp collector and has been a Mono Lake Committee member since 1985. To build his stamp collection, Charles would buy entire collections at auctions. But this led to excess stamps, so a few years ago he started donating the stamps he didn’t need to local charities to (more…)
Saturday, September 15th, 2018 by Nigel, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Nigel, Birding InternName: Nigel Bates Title: Birding Intern About: Nigel loves birds, mountains, and environmental challenges, so he is thrilled to be spending the summer learning all about the Mono Basin and leading weekly bird walks. Nigel graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, where he researched old-growth forest carbon cycles and led nature programs for local elementary schools. After graduating, he postponed the leap to full adulthood for a few months by hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. Having thoroughly explored the east, he is excited to work and play in the shadow of mountains twice as tall.See All Posts by Nigel (6) Contact Nigel
Last Sunday, September 9, athletes from near and far joined us in the Eastern Sierra for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run.
Runners make their way up the Tioga Road just past the midpoint of the race. Photo by Dick Erb.
Starting outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, the grueling but beautiful 12.4-mile course follows the Tioga Road up Lee Vining Canyon to the eastern gate of Yosemite National Park, topping out at 9,943 feet above sea level. A total of 148 runners and walkers completed the race this year, a new record!
This year’s overall winner, finishing in a time of 1:40:16, was (more…)
Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by Janet, Volunteer CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Janet, Volunteer CoordinatorName: Janet Carle Title: Volunteer Coordinator About: Janet has coordinated the Mono Lake Volunteer Program since its inception in 2003. As one of the first two State Park Rangers at Mono Lake (along with her husband Dave), Janet has passed her wealth of interpretive experience and knowledge of the Mono Basin to over 80 Mono Lake Volunteers, who help enrich people's visit to this important place. Contact Janet if you are interested in volunteering at Mono Lake---volunteer training takes place in early June for the summer season.See All Posts by Janet (4) Contact Janet
“Once upon a time, in a little mountain town on the edge of a big blue lake, a small group of people wanted to do something. They noticed that winter snows were less deep, and summer days were drier and hotter with forest fire smoke in the air. The group wanted to protect their beautiful lake, which depended on the snow to stay healthy.
“So the group decided to build a beautiful pavilion with a roof of solar panels, based on an idea from a town across the sea, to showcase how it is possible to have clean energy. It was a wonderful plan, but there was no money or knowledge to build something so grand.”
This is the beginning of the story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion that was dedicated on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Hess Park in Lee Vining.
Lee Vining’s Pioneer Solar Pavilion is a community-built gathering space that provides shade, electricity, wi-fi, shelter from wind, and information about local pioneer families. Photo by Elin Ljung.
Sunday, August 26th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Anna, Mono Lake InternName: Anna Boyes Title: Mono Lake Intern About: After a childhood filled with whitewater rafting, backpacking, camping, and hiking in the Utah desert, Anna left Salt Lake City to pursue her undergraduate degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Before attending Whitman, she spent a year as an au pair in Italy, worked at an outdoor education camp in Michigan, and worked on permaculture farms in South America. She enjoys good bread, alpine lakes, cross-country
skiing, and the smell of trees.See All Posts by Anna (5) Contact Anna
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, volunteer Joy Costello has found home in the Mono Basin. She moved to Bridgeport in 2013 and discovered Mono Lake soon after: “Mono Lake was one of the coolest things. I knew I wanted to be around it more and learn more about it.”
Joy helping remove invasive white sweet clover in the Mono Basin at a restoration event. Photo by Nigel Bates.
One of her favorite early memories of the lake is when she saw a nest of Great Horned Owls on a canoe tour. She enjoys watching all the animals at the lake, especially the California Gulls eating the alkali flies. As a lover of animals and the environment, becoming a Mono Lake Volunteer was a natural next step for Joy. (more…)
Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 by Nigel, Birding InterncloseAuthor: Nigel, Birding InternName: Nigel Bates Title: Birding Intern About: Nigel loves birds, mountains, and environmental challenges, so he is thrilled to be spending the summer learning all about the Mono Basin and leading weekly bird walks. Nigel graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, where he researched old-growth forest carbon cycles and led nature programs for local elementary schools. After graduating, he postponed the leap to full adulthood for a few months by hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. Having thoroughly explored the east, he is excited to work and play in the shadow of mountains twice as tall.See All Posts by Nigel (6) Contact Nigel
This summer, Mono Lake Committee staff, volunteers, and guest naturalists made substantial progress toward removing invasive white sweet clover (Melilotus albus) from the Old Marina area. This annual project is a crucial piece of the Committee’s mission to restore native habitats throughout the Mono Basin.
Volunteers Joy and Maddog add to the growing pile of pulled sweet clover. Photo by Nigel Bates.
Sweet clover can quickly overtake an ecosystem if it is not held in check, so our yearly invasive removal events are critical to maintaining the biodiversity of the area. Over the course of two mornings, we removed 199.75 pounds of sweet clover! This marked one of our most efficient summers ever, with each participant pulling an average of 17 pounds. Thanks to all of our volunteers for their hard work and good spirits.
As we pulled sweet clover, we were treated to informal lectures by our guest naturalists (more…)
Monday, August 20th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Anna, Mono Lake InternName: Anna Boyes Title: Mono Lake Intern About: After a childhood filled with whitewater rafting, backpacking, camping, and hiking in the Utah desert, Anna left Salt Lake City to pursue her undergraduate degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Before attending Whitman, she spent a year as an au pair in Italy, worked at an outdoor education camp in Michigan, and worked on permaculture farms in South America. She enjoys good bread, alpine lakes, cross-country
skiing, and the smell of trees.See All Posts by Anna (5) Contact Anna
Although new to the Mono Lake Volunteer program, April Sall is no stranger to environmental advocacy. Originally from the California desert, she worked as a biologist for the National Park Service in Joshua Tree National Park before moving to the Eastern Sierra two years ago.
April enjoys spending time outside with her dog. Photo courtesy of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership.
She is currently the director of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership; a non-profit that works to preserve and protect the Bodie Hills. Her main objective right now is to secure permanent protection for the area that is currently undesignated BLM land and Wilderness Study Areas. April manages and (more…)