San Mateo County, California
Cave Creek Canyon and the Chiricahua's
Speaker: Bob Power
March 9, 2017
Cave Creek Canyon and the Chiricahua Mountains are famed for the presence of Elegant Trogon, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart, Mexican Chickadee and the beauty of the sky islands of southeastern Arizona. From our base at the charming Cave Creek Ranch, we'll explore the varied habitats surrounded by this enchanting mountain range. Let's join Bob for a 5-day tour in 1 hour more or less to seek all of the area's specialty birds at one of North America's premier birding destinations.
Bob Power taught Introduction to Birding at Palo Alto Adult School for seven years, has been a day-leader for the GGRO's HawkWatch program for the past 13 years, and was the lead field seminar leader for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society for 10 years, leading and co-leading both domestic and international birding eco-tours.
City Nature Challenge:
Documenting nature locally for science and to help the San Francisco Bay Area beat LA!
Speaker: Alison Young and Rebecca Johnson, co-leaders of California Academy of Sciences' Citizen Science program.
April 13, 2017
Started in 2016 for the first ever National Citizen Science Day, the City Nature Challenge was a bioBlitz-style competition between Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand our urban biodiversity. Over 20,000 observations were made by more than 1000 people in a one-week period, documenting approximately 1600 species in each location, including new records for each area. This April 14-18, the City Nature Challenge is going national, with cities around the country joining in the competition, and the plan is to take it international in 2018. The City Nature Challenge is an event anyone can take part in and is a fun and easy way to promote urban nature awareness and making contributions to research and management in your own community, while simultaneously adding to a global biodiversity database. This talk will familiarize you with iNaturalist and get you ready to help the San Francisco Bay Area win the 2017 City Nature Challenge! This program will be coupled with an iNat mini BioBlitz, Saturday, April 15 at Edgewood County Park - see field trips for more info.
Alison and Rebecca are both marine biologists and they co-lead the Citizen Science program at the California Academy of Sciences. The two of them engage volunteers—'citizen scientists'—in discovering, observing, and documenting biodiversity at various places around the Bay Area. From creating a complete current record of the plants on Mount Tamalpais, to monitoring species at local rocky intertidal sites along the Central California coast, to organizing bioBlitzes in San Francisco and San Mateo County parks and open spaces, Rebecca and Alison provide opportunities for California residents to connect to the outdoors and science as well as build invaluable knowledge of the region's biodiversity and understand how it is being impacted by climate change. In November 2016, Rebecca and Alison were named by Bay Nature Magazine as their 2017 Local Heroes for Environmental Education: "This award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has made significant contributions to public understanding and awareness of the natural history and ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area, through research, teaching, field trips, journalism, and/or other media."
Companion Field Trip, Saturday, April 15 - check SAS Field Trips
Alison Young and Rebecca Johnson
Citizen Science in Action
Birds in Trees -- Using evolution to understand bird taxonomy and relationships
Speaker: Rob Furrow
May 11, 2017
Who decides which species goes first in your field guide? Why are falcons next to woodpeckers, and not near hawks? We can use some basic principles from evolutionary biology to understand how the trees of species relationships (phylogenetic trees) are built. With this under our belt, we'll learn about the taxonomy of North American birds, and make note of some surprising connections.
Rob Furrow works as a biology educator, teaching freshman courses at Stanford University and students of all ages in the Intermediate Birding course at the Palo Alto Adult School. He is passionate about education, birding, and their intersection, and serves on the board of Sequoia Audubon Society.
Plovers in a Changing Environment
Speaker: Karine Tokatlian, Manager SFBBO Plover Program
June 8, 2017
Western snowy plovers in the south San Francisco Bay nest on former salt evaporation ponds, and since 2003, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory has monitored these cryptic, federally threatened shorebirds. Unfortunately their population continues to struggle in the South Bay with mounting predator pressure and habitat loss due to tidal marsh restoration. The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is investigating the method of using oyster shell habitat enhancement to maximize breeding success in the wake of their changing environment.
Karine Tokatlian manages the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory's Plover Program and oversees plover-related research and monitoring activities. Karine has a B.S. in Field and Wildlife Biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is currently working toward an M.S. in Environmental Studies at San Jose State University. She has nine years of professional experience monitoring protected breeding bird populations along the California coast, including the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern. As a California native, Karine has a profound respect for the conservation of coastal and bay ecosystems and is grateful for the opportunity to nurture her interests through the efforts of the Bird Observatory.
Snowy Plover nest
The programs for additional meetings will be posted when available. (Topics subject to change.)