View and download the full Event Descriptions.

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

 

116 SEA OTTERS AT ELKHORN SLOUGH
Date/Time: Friday, 9/28/18, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Workshop leader: Ron Eby
Venue: Council Chambers

Ron will share his research on sea otters and thoughts on how to succeed as a citizen scientist. His observations
of sea otters led to a three-year project to tag and implant radio transmitters in 26 otters in Elkhorn Slough in
order to document the behavior of individual animals. Ron will discuss the results of this study that began to
describe for the first time how southern sea otters utilize an estuarine environment. Ron also designed and
installed remote solar powered cameras to monitor otters and share via the Internet. Workshop participants will
look in on the Elkhorn Slough sea otters through this live “Otter Cam”.

 

118 FROM FALCONS TO CONDORS: TWO SPECIES PULLED FROM THE BRINK OF TOXIN-
MEDIATED EXTINCTIONS
Date/Time: Friday, 9/28/18, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. 
Presenter: Zeka Glucs
Venue: Council Chambers

Avian predators and scavengers are vulnerable to toxic effects from many anthropogenic contaminants that
enter the food chain. Eggshell thinning driven by exposure to the pesticide DDT caused drastic avian population
declines in the mid 20th century, perhaps most famously in the Peregrine Falcon populations of North America.
We will examine the success of the Peregrine Falcon recovery effort from the 1970s-1990s, and discuss
differences and similarities with the current conservation challenge of California Condor recovery in a lead-contaminated landscape. What can we learn and how can we maximize our success in the face of future wildlife toxicology crises?

 

120 KEYNOTE FEATURE THINKING LIKE A NATURALIST: RECLAIMING THE ART OF
NATURAL HISTORY by JOHN MUIR LAWS
Date/Time: Friday, 9/28/18, 7:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: Festival pass or $15 lecture ticket
Venue: Council Chambers

Did you know that your powers of observation and curiosity are not static traits but skills that
you can develop and enhance? How can you get more out of every nature ramble? Developments
in neuropsychology have opened doors in our understanding of the brain and cognition and how
you can train yourself to see more and to be more curious about what you discover. Naturalist
and illustrator John Muir Laws will demonstrate simple and fun techniques you can incorporate
into your own recreational nature study, classroom, or family outings. You will learn an
adaptable three-step approach that will dramatically increase your memory and observational
skills, focus and heighten your curiosity, help you think more creatively, and give you a
framework for exploring mysteries in nature.

Learn more about our 2018 Keynote Speakers.

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

 

143 WHAT FLIGHT PERFORMANCE CAN TEACH US ABOUT ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, AND
BEHAVIOR
Date/Time: Saturday, 9/29/18, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. 
Presenter: Paolo Segre
Venue: Council Chambers

The ability to fly has allowed birds to diversify, radiate, and become one of the most successful taxa of
vertebrates on earth. In many ways, birds are defined by their ability to fly – hummingbirds hover to drink
nectar from flowers, frigate birds spend months in the air, and many rail species have lost their flight after
arriving on predator-free islands. In this talk we will take a look at how technological innovations have made
the detailed study of avian flight possible. We will examine how the study of wing movements may have
broken a 150 year-old impasse in the debate over the evolution of avian flight, and we will look at how form
influences function in the maneuvering performance of tropical hummingbird species, helping them find food,
defend territories and escape predators.

144 KEYNOTE FEATURE SEABIRDS: THEIR BEAUTY, THEIR AMAZINGNESS, THEIR

PLIGHT

Date/Time: Saturday, 9/29/18, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
Cost: Festival Pass or $15 lecture ticket
Presenter: Jonathan Franzen
Venue: Council Chambers

The world of seabirds encompasses two-thirds of our planet but is mostly invisible to us. Until recently,
invisibility was an advantage for seabirds, a cloak of protection. But now, as invasive species and commercial
fishing threaten their existence, they need people to protect them. In his presentation, Jonathan Franzen will
discuss the beauty and value of Californian seabirds, the threats that seabirds face elsewhere in the world, and
the people who are doing inspiring work to save them.

Learn more about our 2018 Keynote Speakers.

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