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Refreshing ‘Ologists: History, water, and the surprising persistence of the Devils Hole pupfish

Saturday, July 13th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, July 17 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists. Kevin Brown, environmental historian and Mono Lake Committee staff, will discuss the Devils Hole pupfish and water law. Please register here if you can attend this free event!

Devils Hole pupfish. Photo courtesy of Olin Feuerbacher, US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Kevin Brown at Devils Hole, a disjunct segment of Death Valley National Park. Photo courtesy of Kevin Brown.

The Devils Hole pupfish is one of the rarest species in the world, confined to just a single natural habitat in southern Nevada’s Amargosa Desert. Amidst a biodiversity crisis that some are calling the “sixth extinction,” it is worth exploring how is it that the pupfish survived the twentieth century when some of its close neighbors have not. This talk explores the ways that water law has both threatened and protected the pupfish from the 1910s to the present.

Kevin C. Brown is a historian of the environment and the US West. He is completing a book manuscript tentatively titled, Persistence: The Devils Hole Pupfish and Surviving Modern America. He wrote an environmental history of the Devils Hole pupfish for the National Park Service and later worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his doctorate in history at Carnegie Mellon University.

Devils Hole, as seen through the fencing at the viewing platform. Devils Hole is the smallest vertebrate habitat in the world. Photo by Kevin Brown.

Refreshing ‘Ologists: A new detection of the threatened Sierra Nevada red fox

Sunday, July 7th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Join us on Wednesday, July 10 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this summer’s first Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Brian Hatfield, California Department of Fish & Wildlife researcher, will be here to discuss recent detection of the Sierra Nevada red fox in California. Please register here if you can attend this free event!

A Sierra Nevada red fox detected by remote camera in Mono Creek. Photo courtesy of Brian Hatfield.

The Sierra Nevada red fox (SNRF) is a subspecies of red fox native to the high-elevation regions of California and Oregon. Until recently (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Mono Basin fisheries project with Ross Taylor

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, September 26 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation.

Scientists electrofishing in the Mono Gate One Return Ditch. Photo courtesy of Ross Taylor.

Ross Taylor, State Water Board-appointed Lead Fisheries Scientist, will be here to discuss fisheries monitoring and development of flow recommendations for Mono Basin streams. If you can join us, register here for this free program! (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems with Connie Millar

Sunday, September 9th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, September 12 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Connie Millar, US Forest Service Senior Research Ecologist, will be here to discuss the effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems. If you can join us, register here for this free program!

A pika near Virginia Lakes. Connie will be discussing her research on pikas, which are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures. Photo courtesy of Ken Hickman.

Connie will provide an overview of her research into the responses of mountain ecosystems—in particular, pines and pikas—to changing climates. With information on how species responded to (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Insects & conservation with Kristie Nelson

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, September 5 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Kristie Nelson, Lead Scientist for Point Blue Conservation Science, will be here to discuss insects and their ability to conserve the planet.

A wasp and a Sierra Blue butterfly pollinating. Photo courtesy of Kristie Nelson.

Insects comprise over 80% of Earth’s organisms, yet relatively few people pay attention to them, and declining populations or localized extinctions risk not being noticed. For example (more…)

Refreshing’ Ologists: Mono Basin glaciers with Jace Shuler

Saturday, August 18th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, August 22 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Jace Shuler will be presenting his findings from his undergraduate research project on glaciers in the Mono Basin.

Changes in the Kuna glacier (left) and the Koip glacier (right) between 1985 (top) and 2014 (bottom). Photos courtesy of Jace Shuler.

Jace will discuss the status of the four glaciers in the Mono Basin—Conness, Dana, Kuna, and Koip glaciers. He has been using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and aerial photos to examine how the surface area of the glaciers has changed since 1951, as well as working on how we can use the same tools to forecast the glaciers’ future. It’s important to educate both the public and policymakers about the effects of climate change on the Mono Basin, and Jace’s work contributes to that effort.

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County with Mary Meyerpeter

Saturday, August 11th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, August 15 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation.

Mary Meyerpeter (right) taking measurements from a bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse in the Bodie Hills before its relocation to Parker Meadow. Photo courtesy of Dan Hottle, USFWS.

USGS biological science technician Mary Meyerpeter will be here to discuss her research on the bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse around Mono County. As part of a multi-agency project, Mary and other researchers are translocating the Sage-Grouse from the Bodie Hills to leks (breeding areas) in Parker Meadow.

The bi-state Greater Sage-Grouse are a genetically distinct (more…)

Schedule for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists at the Mono Lake Committee

Friday, August 10th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Refreshments with Refreshing’ Ologists is a summer lecture series with scientists presenting their current work in the region.

Join us for Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists on Wednesdays at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Photo by Arya Harp.

• August 15Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County: Population Rescue through Brood Translocation Techniques with US Geological Survey Biological Science Technician Mary Meyerpeter
• August 22: Tracking Glaciers of the Mono Basin with researcher Jace Shuler
• September 5Bugging Out: How Looking at Butterflies & Insects Will Help Conserve the Planet with biologist Kristie Nelson
• September 12Effects of Climate Change on Mountain Ecosystems: Science & Spin with US Forest Service Senior Research Ecologist Connie Millar
• September 26: Mono Basin Fisheries Project with State Water Board-appointed Lead Fisheries Scientist Ross Taylor (more…)

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentations return: Mike Prather to speak on August 8

Friday, August 3rd, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us for this summer’s first Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation, next Wednesday, August 8 at 4:00pm at the Mono Lake Committee. Come hear longtime local conservationist Mike Prather speak about the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl that are once again returning to Owens Lake each spring and fall.

Wetlands and islands dotting Owens Lake, which is now a designated site of international importance for the hundreds of thousands of birds that arrive during spring and fall migration. Photo courtesy of Ray Ramirez.

Owens Lake dried up after being tapped by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power in 1913, and has suffered from severe dust issues ever since. DWP released (more…)

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Water law plus geology with Craig Jones

Sunday, October 8th, 2017 by Mono Lake Committee Staff

This post was written by Molly Casey, 2017 Mono Lake Intern.

This Wednesday, October 11 at 4:00pm is our last Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation of the year. Join us in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to hear from Craig Jones, a geologist at the University of Colorado, about the relationship between water law and geology at Mono Lake and how both have had significant effects on how the lake has evolved over time.

Geologist Craig Jones will talk about how the Sierra Nevada west of Mono Lake affect the climate in the Mono Basin. Photo by Ava Stavros.

Years ago, to acquire water exports from the Mono Basin, Los Angeles used California water laws that first emerged in the goldfields of the western Sierra. These laws allowed for (more…)

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