Join us this summer as we dive into opportunities to learn about research taking place in the Mono Basin. We have kicked off our Refreshing ‘Ologists lecture series for the season—these free talks happen on select Wednesdays at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore gallery. Presentations last about one hour and include light refreshments.
These lectures offer an opportunity to learn about topics that are of interest to you. You do not have to be a scientist to attend. Rather, a passion for conservation and an appetite for some snacks will suffice.
Refreshing ‘Ologists lecture series
Date: Select Wednesdays at 4:00pm
Location: Mono Lake Committee gallery
Reservations recommended: Reserve your seat here.
Light refreshments will be served.
Wednesday, July 12: Spotted Sandpipers with Jessica Schaeffer and Tessa Patton
Jessica and Tessa will describe the nesting behaviors of Spotted sandpipers along Mono Lake’s tributary streams. They will highlight parental behaviors and the ways that this year’s heavy runoff impacted these bank-nesting birds. Reserve your seat here.
Wednesday, July 26: Greater Sage-grouse with Nicole Lindenauer
Nicole, whose team I worked on last year, will give an update on the status of the Bi-state Greater Sage-grouse—a bird that has been struggling to grow in population size and gain federal protections due to lobbying from the mineral extraction, energy and development, and ranching industries. Nicole is focused on understanding the Bodie Hills and Parker Meadows populations of this sagebrush-loving and obligate bird. Reserve your seat here.
Wednesday, August 9: Avalanches with Sue Burak
Sue will give some perspective on the reason for last winter’s intense snowstorms, poconip ice fog, and avalanche activity. Come learn about the atmospheric and oceanic conditions that led to such a record-breaking winter this year. Reserve your seat here.
Wednesday, August 23: Pinyon Jays with Ned Bohman
Ned will discuss the status and ecological importance of Pinyon Jays, which have lost 85% of their population in the last 50 years. As you walk around the Mono Basin, you may find them in the pinyon-juniper woodlands surrounding the lake, as well as occasionally visiting lower elevation springs for water or sagebrush habitat for caching. Learn about how you can participate in a citizen science project to monitor their population. Reserve your seat here.
Wednesday, September 6: Phalaropes with Ryan Carle and Kiki Tarr
Ryan and Kiki will follow on the heels of the recent Phalarope Festival to discuss the status of Mono Lake’s phalaropes. After tagging phalaropes in Canada, they followed the birds back to the Mono Basin to continue building a better understanding of their conservation needs. Bring questions about how these birds are tied to Great Salt Lake in Utah and Laguna Mar Chiquita in Argentina! As you come in, stop to admire the new phalarope murals at the entrance to our bookstore. Reserve your seat here..
Wednesday, September 20: White-crowned sparrows with Jessica Malisch
Jessica will be talking about the hardy White-crowned Sparrow. This small bird breeds in the rugged high-elevation areas of the Sierra Nevada. Learn about her research, which takes place just east of Yosemite National Park. Reserve your seat here.
As someone who has worked for nine field seasons monitoring wildlife and building an understanding of ecology, I am thrilled to connect the public with incredible scientists to gain a greater understanding of the complex and beautiful ecosystems that surround us. I hope that the next time you look upon Mono Lake, you will see not only the lake itself but also all the life that extends from its shores, up into the foothills, and finally to the tallest mountain peaks.
Top photo by Elin Ljung.