Thursday, May 28th, 2020 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 (47) Contact Nora
On May 9, to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and eBird’s Global Big Day, my partner Kevin and I set out to see as many bird species as possible within a 5 miles radius (5MR) of the Mono Lake Committee office while contributing to the eBird Global Big Day citizen science project. Last year, I saw 76 species in my 5MR and my goal was to break 80 this year. Though the species count is a motivator, the birds are the prize! We had an amazing day. I have linked the eBird Checklists to each location I mention, so you can see what we were seeing and hearing.
A map of the 5MR. It includes many prime birding spots! Photo from Google Maps.
We started at 5:00am, hearing the pre-dawn crooning of American Robins and House Wrens. Then we drove up Lee Vining Canyon for the dawn chorus. I had been keeping track of the returning migrants diligently, but this week was bursting with new (more…)
Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 by Claire, Office ManagercloseAuthor: Claire, Office ManagerName: Claire Landowski Title: Office Manager About: Claire first found her way to the Mono Basin in 2008 during a geology field camp and, after countless return visits, finally managed to stay for good in 2019. She is still a geology enthusiast, constantly geeking out over the fantastic setting of the Mono Basin and the wider Eastern Sierra. Claire supervises the intern and volunteer programs, oversees the Mono Basin Field Station, and generally keeps the office functioning smoothly.See All Posts by Claire (1) Contact Claire
The Mono Lake Committee has made the difficult decision to not bring any of the summer seasonal staff we had hired to Lee Vining for 2020. Our whole team is disappointed to not be able to share the summer with what promised to be an incredible group of interns, but we all agree that it is the right decision for everyone involved.
The 2019 seasonal staff learning about Mono Lake’s ecology on the south shore last summer. Photo by Alison Kaplan.
Cancellation of the summer hiring does not mean that all summer programs are cancelled, but the uncertainty about when we might be able to offer tours and reopen the bookstore was a major reason for the decision.
Normally our intern training takes two full weeks at the beginning of June, and some of the summer staff arrive much earlier (more…)
Wednesday, December 25th, 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 (204) Contact Arya
Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season.
Photos courtesy of Rick Kattelmann, Robb Hirsch, David Carle, and Nora Livingston.
Monday, December 2nd, 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 (204) Contact Arya
It is snowing once again here at Mono Lake! When the snow comes we breathe a sigh of relief since every drop helps us reach a higher lake level and a healthier lake.
Thursday, November 28th, 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 (368) Contact Elin
Mono Lake on a bright fall day. Photo by Andrew Youssef.
On Thanksgiving Day, we are thankful for your faithful support shown in so many ways: visits to our Lee Vining headquarters, emails asking about our work, purchases in the bookstore, views of our website, phone calls from far away, Facebook and Twitter comments, Instagram photos, generous donations, and most of all—your love for Mono Lake. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.
Thursday, September 5th, 2019 by Chloe, Mono Lake InterncloseAuthor: Chloe, Mono Lake InternName: Chloe Isaacs Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Born and raised among the quiet forests and rocky shores of Connecticut, Chloe has always felt a deep connection to the natural world around her. This love of nature encouraged her to pursue an undergraduate Geology degree from Oberlin College, during which she spent a semester abroad in New Zealand learning about earth science and environmental policy. In her free time, Chloe can be found reading in a sunny spot by the window, geeking out about cool rocks, or sitting on a beach looking at the ocean with her camera by her side.See All Posts by Chloe (4) Contact Chloe
Nature and art go hand-in-hand here at the Mono Lake Committee and one of the best ways to make use of this is through a field seminar, which the Committee hosts throughout the year.
Field seminar participants capture the evening light and the rise of the moon at South Tufa. A reflection of the scene shimmers in the foreground of the photo. Photo courtesy of Jeff Sullivan.
In early August the Mono Basin Landscapes & Milky Way Photography field seminar took place, led by accomplished nature photographer Jeff Sullivan. It was timed to take advantage of the waxing crescent moon and allow for extraordinary astrophotography that highlighted both the shining moon and abundant stars that are visible throughout the Mono Basin.(more…)
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 by Caroline BottegacloseAuthor: Caroline BottegaName: Caroline Bottega Title: Mono Lake Intern About: Coming all the way from New Jersey, Caroline is fulfilling her dream of living where her love for the outdoors and Sierra Nevada began. She received her BS in Environmental Science/Restoration Ecology and Geology minor from Lafayette College. Upon graduating in May 2019, she left the next day to drive across the country to begin her position at Mono Lake. Caroline enjoys research and teaching others about the wonders of the natural world. She can often be found hiking or writing, and is looking forward to taking in everything the Sierra has to offer!See All Posts by Caroline (4) Contact Caroline
On a bright Sunday morning, perched atop an ancient glacial moraine in lower Lundy Canyon, I had the opportunity to see the Mono Lake landscape through a geologist’s eyes.
Guleed Ali points out glacial features in lower Lundy Canyon. Photo by Caroline Bottega.
Armed with topographic maps, Guleed Ali, Research Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore and friendly face around the field station, began to build the story of Mono Lake and its relationship to the glacier that once sculpted the canyon.(more…)
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 by Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore AssistantcloseAuthor: Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore AssistantName: Kevin Brown Title: Information Center & Bookstore Assistant About: Kevin lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Qatar before finding his way to California. He spent the last several years working on a book about how an endangered desert fish managed to survive a tumultuous twentieth century in Death Valley National Park. He is excited to spend the summer in the Eastern Sierra!See All Posts by Kevin (3) Contact Kevin
April 16, 1988 will never share a place of honor alongside key moments in the Mono Lake Committee’s history—such as the date of the California Supreme Court’s public trust ruling (February 17, 1983) or State Water Board Decision 1631 (September 28, 1994). Yet this early spring day 31 years ago represents an important, if little known moment: on that Saturday the Committee started keeping track of the weather.
The first monthly data sheet collected by the Mono Lake Committee in April 1988. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Recording a maximum temperature of 48°F, a minimum of 36°F, and no precipitation, this information formed the first set of observations submitted from the Lee Vining Station to the Cooperative Observer Program at the National Weather Service. (more…)
Friday, May 31st, 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 (46) Contact Jessica
The 2018 Mono Lake Committee staff; 2019 staff arrive today! Photo by Elin Ljung.
Incoming seasonal staff are like spring flows in the creeks, bringing excitement, growth, and renewal to the whole Mono Basin. Without them, our extensive education programs at the lake and in the Information Center & Bookstore would be nearly impossible, and their zest for all things Mono Lake reminds us why we are all here.
We have two staff returning this year. Ava Stavros is back for her third year as an Outdoor Education Instructor after a winter working at The Lift café, a new woman-owned business in June Lake. Alison Kaplan will once again be leading weekend tours as the Canoe Coordinator after working for the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County over the winter.
Information Center & Bookstore Assistant Kevin Brown has a wealth of retail experience in addition to experience as (more…)
Thursday, May 9th, 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 (47) Contact Nora
On Saturday, May 4, I participated in the eBird Global Big Day, which encourages birders around the world to contribute to citizen science efforts by birding and entering checklists into eBird on a single day.
Green-tailed Towhee singing from a pinyon pine. Photo by Nora Livingston.
I decided to use this Big Day as a chance to scout my local hotspots and catch up with migration. In the past two weeks, neotropical migrants have been moving north to their breeding grounds, so there have been new species arriving daily. As the (more…)