December 29th, 2018 by Geoff, Executive DirectorcloseAuthor: Geoff, Executive DirectorName: Geoffrey McQuilkin Title: Executive Director About: Geoff's goals for the Committee are: ensuring Mono Lake's continuing protection, restoring Mono Lake's tributary streams, developing a permanent education program, and ensuring that the strong tradition of scientific research at Mono Lake continues. A graduate of Harvard in the history of science, Geoff has worked for the Committee since 1992 and was an intern and volunteer before that. He's happy to live close to the lake with his wife Sarah and their daughters Caelen, Ellery, and Cassia.See All Posts by Geoffrey (151) Contact Geoffrey
Photo courtesy of John Dittli.
The Mono Lake Committee celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. What started out as a handful of shaggy biologists has grown into the organization we are today—you, me, every single member, together.
Together we’ve been advocating for the Mono Lake ecosystem for more than half of the years that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power has been exporting water from the Mono Basin.
Together we’ve engaged in a full slate of restoration, protection, education, and science projects—building on the victories of the past and laying the foundation for a sustainable furture for Mono Lake.
We are only able to continue this work thanks to donations from each and every one of the Mono Lake Committee’s 16,000 members. I hope you will consider making a year-end donation to keep this work going strong. Making a donation is quick and easy—click below or give us a call at (760) 647-6595. Thank you!
December 27th, 2018 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 (330) Contact Elin
Poconip ice fog shrouds Mono Lake, with just a sliver of sun illuminating the base of Black Point. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.
There’s still space in Mono Lake by Moonlight (January 18–20, 2019) and Winter Starry Skies Over Mono Lake (February 1–3, 2019). Accomplished photographer Joe Decker leads both seminars, bringing his extensive Mono Lake and Arctic experience to bear to ensure excellent photographic opportunities for participants.
December 25th, 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 (190) Contact Arya
Wishing you joy, peace, and plenty of snow this holiday season…
…from us here at Mono Lake to you, wherever you are.
December 23rd, 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 (35) Contact Nora
With the winter solstice behind us, winter has officially begun and the days are getting longer! Join us here at Mono Lake for the Winter Ecology field seminaron February 9, 2019 for a guided trip into the mysteries of the winter season.
We’ve had a few winter storms already and we are hoping for lots more! Winter is a unique time to visit the Mono Basin—it’s a time for quiet solitude and reflection, for exploring curiosities on a smaller scale than during the bustle of summer.
Snow blankets Lee Vining canyon. Photo by Nora Livingston.
One question I hear people ask a lot is “what do animals and birds do to survive in the winter when snow covers the ground or it is so cold that we humans need to add several extra layers to stay warm enough?” … more »
December 22nd, 2018 by Rose, Education Program ManagercloseAuthor: Rose, Education Program ManagerName: Rose Nelson Title: Education Program Manager About: After graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2012, Rose worked as a botany research assistant at UC Berkeley, a Research Assistant for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife monitoring riparian plant species on rivers throughout California, and as a California State Parks interpreter. In 2017 she was here at Mono Lake as an Outdoor Education Instructor, and has now returned to oversee the Committee's education programs.See All Posts by Rose (2) Contact Rose
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.
December 21st, 2018 by Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorcloseAuthor: Andrew, Digital Engagement CoordinatorName: Andrew Youssef Title: Digital Engagement Coordinator About: A graduate of Vanderbilt University and a native of Atlanta, Georgia, Andrew came to the Sierra to volunteer in Tuolumne Meadows in 2014. He fell in love with the area and began working at the Committee as a Mono
Lake Intern. Today he combines his passions for education and the environment by working in all of the Committee's program areas on everything from organizing the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua and Field Seminar programs to creating social media and video content to editing the
Mono Lake Newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing at Lee Vining Creek, paddling on Mono Lake, hiking in the High Sierra, and skiing wherever there is snow.See All Posts by Andrew (63) Contact Andrew
Update 12/22: A government shutdown is in effect.
Funding for about 25% of the federal government will expire tonight at midnight EST. If a stop-gap spending bill is not passed today, a partial government shutdown will begin and affect a large amount of public land in our area including the Inyo National Forest, Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, Yosemite National Park, and Bureau of Land Management lands. We have compiled the best current information we can gather. … more »
December 21st, 2018 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 (44) Contact Jessica
As the Office Director for the Mono Lake Committee, I spend my summer days scheduling canoe and South Tufa tours, Information Center & Bookstore shifts, special school group visits, Outdoor Education Center programs, invasive species removal events, stream and lake monitoring, and bird walks at County Park.
Apply now to join our dedicated staff working in one of the most beautiful places in the West. Photo by Arya Harp.
However, none of these things can actually happen without the dedicated seasonal staff that arrives in … more »
December 20th, 2018 by Robbie, Restoration Field TechniciancloseAuthor: Robbie, Restoration Field TechnicianName: Robert Di Paolo Title: Restoration Field Technician About: Robbie grew up in San Francisco and received his BS in Environmental Science from Humboldt State University. He first heard about Mono Lake in an environmental policy class, became a Mono Lake Intern in the summer of 2014, and hasn't left since! He is now responsible for monitoring Mono Lake's tributary streams, measuring the level of Mono Lake, coordinating annual aerial Eared Grebe surveys, leading the invasive plant removal program, and assisting with any additional restoration programs in the Mono Basin. In his free time you might find him fishing, hiking, skiing, or playing board games.See All Posts by Robert (42) Contact Robert
The Mono Lake Committee is excited to announce our eighth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Los Angeles! We will be featuring a series of short, inspiring, and engaging films that showcase amazing people, beautiful places, and unique perspectives.
There will be two opportunities to catch our films: … more »
December 19th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagercloseAuthor: Lily, Information Center & Bookstore ManagerName: Lily Pastel Title: Information Center & Bookstore Manager About: Lily was drawn to the Mono Basin by the beauty of the area as well as the Mono Lake Committee’s worthy cause, and now she can’t leave! She began as a Mono Lake Intern in 2014, fresh out of college. Since then she has held a handful of positions and has settled into her role as Information Center & Bookstore Manager. Lily loves reading, hiking, unicorns, and lipstick. Her summers are full of exploring the Eastern Sierra, ordering new and exciting books, and making sure that visitors leave the Information Center & Bookstore with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for Mono Lake.See All Posts by Lily (76) Contact Lily
The holiday season is here, and we hope you’ll stop in to explore the Information Center & Bookstore and ask us all of your Mono Lake questions as you travel along Highway 395.
Please keep in mind that the bookstore will be closed on Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24), Christmas Day (Tuesday, December 25), and New Year’s Day (Tuesday, January 1) so that our staff can enjoy the holidays with their families and friends.
We hope to see you during your winter journeys to the Mono Basin. Happy holidays!
December 16th, 2018 by Anna, Philanthropy DirectorcloseAuthor: Anna, Philanthropy DirectorName: Anna Christensen Title: Philanthropy Director About: Anna's packed résumé includes former Committee Membership Coordinator (1999–2000), Director of Development for Indiana State University Foundation, Chief Development Officer for the Geological Society of America Foundation, and Director of Marketing and External Relations for the Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota. She is happy to be back working at the Committee as Philanthropy Director.See All Posts by Anna (2) Contact Anna
If these acronyms don’t look like a jumble of alphabet soup, then this post is for you! We have recently had several members call with questions about making donations directly from an IRA to support the Mono Lake Committee. Here is a little more information if this is something that interests you.
The charitable IRA rollover, or qualified charitable distribution (QCD), is a special provision allowing particular donors of age 70½ or older to exclude from taxable income—and count toward their required minimum distribution (RMD)—certain transfers of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) assets that are made directly to public charities, including the Mono Lake Committee.
Since it was first made available in the tax year 2006, many donors have used this option to support charities of their choice with tax-wise gifts ranging from $100 to $100,000.
If you would like more information about making a gift to the Mono Lake Committee from your IRA, please email me or give me a call at (760) 647-6595 x112.