• Zoom Video Conference

Curious about the increased sightings of bears in the North Bay? Wondering what it would be like to make your living inside another organism? Ever get confused by all the names for daisy-like wildflowers? You'll find answers to these questions and more at our science seminars, beginning in March and running through June. CLICK HERE to register for one or all.

March 16: Bouverie in Bloom

Presented by: Jennifer Potts, resource ecologist at ACR's Bouverie Preserve.

Discover Bouverie Preserve’s spring blooms and sharpen your plant ID skills. Learn how fire and grazing is helping to promote the native plants that grow at Bouverie Preserve.

Jennifer Potts is a Resource Ecologist at the Bouverie Preserve and leads the preserve’s habitat protection and restoration projects, including oak woodland restoration, vernal pool monitoring and wildlife camera trapping. Jennifer is also field assistant for the ACR’s Living with Lions. She has a background ranging from fire ecology to farm work, and earned her master’s degree from UC Berkeley in environmental science, policy and management. Prior to joining ACR, Jennifer worked around the country with the Nature Conservancy, California State Parks and Arizona Department of Fish & Game.

April 20: Being with Bears

Presented by: Meghan Walla-Murphy, naturalist, educator and scientist, North Bay Bear Collaborative.

“Being with Bears” will focus on Meghan Walla-Murphy’s work with the North Bay Bear Collaborative. She will outline the goals, research methods and findings of their research as well as share how to help bears thrive in the North Bay and how humans can live among bears safely.

Meghan Walla-Murphy has had a varied career from developing and co-directing an outdoor education non-profit to being a columnist and author of two books to her current work on bear conservation and research. She had dedicated her life to the understanding and conservation of nature. Meghan believes that people best receive information through a sensory experience that engages all the human senses; activating the multitude of ways human brains assimilate information. In her work, Meghan integrates sound scientific practice and data collection with citizen monitoring and environmental outreach. Through this model a relationship of reciprocity is created; one where the environment benefits from human interaction and humans benefit from the lessons nature has to offer through direct experience. Currently, she is collaborating with several conservation groups such as the Wildlands Network, the Staying Connected Initiative, LandPaths, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, ACR, and other NGO’s to initiate citizen science monitoring programs to protect wilderness linkages for both humanity and wildlife.

May 18: The Weird and Wonderful World of Parasites

Presented by: Gwen Heistand, resident biologist and preserve manager at ACR's Martin Griffin Preserve.

What if you had to make your living inside another organism? Better yet – if you had to move between two or three organisms, in different taxonomic groups with different immune systems, to complete your life cycle? What if you were able to alter the behavior or genetics of other organisms to make them more likely to be eaten or to take care of your offspring or to change their personality? Parasites demonstrate the complexity of ecological interactions and just how much we don’t know and how much our view is determined by how we choose to label things. Gwen will be introducing the fascinating world of parasites in the context of intimate interspecific relationships.

Gwen Heistand, Martin Griffin Preserve Resident Biologist and Manager, has lived and worked on the same thousand acres since 2002. She teaches classes in all aspects of natural history – from parasites and slime molds to bird song and mammal tracks. Her love of marine biology, especially wee things that live in water, propelled her out of the business world and back to graduate school. Gwen’s heart has expanded to embrace our terrestrial neighbors as well including a severe crush on spiders (the subject of most of her childhood nightmares). Gwen has a master’s degree in environmental science & management / applied ecology from UC Santa Barbara. Her graduate work focused on cumulative impact assessment in coastal wetland watersheds. Gwen is the recipient of the 2017 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

June 15: Climate Change Panel Discussion with six members of the ACR science staff

Panelists: Fire Forward director Sasha Berleman, resident biologists and preserve managers Michelle Cooper and Gwen Heistand, resource ecologists Henry Inman and Jennifer Potts, and director of conservation science Nils Warnock.

Sasha Berleman, Ph.D., Sasha is director of ACR’s Fire Forward program, working to lead a change in the way we live with fire in the Bay Area. She, with her team, plans and organizes cooperative controlled burns and leads community efforts around fire management. Sasha served as an invited cadre member for the development and validation of the CA State Certified Burn Boss curriculum. She earned her doctorate in wildland fire science from University of California at Berkeley focusing on prescribed fire use for restoration of ecosystem health. Sasha is a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) coach and leader and a wildland firefighter with Fire Effects Monitoring, Squad Boss, Crew Boss, Firing Boss, and Incident Commander qualifications. She was a member of the 2017 and 2018 Redding Interagency Hotshot Crew and still details with them every summer. Sasha is a board member of American Wildfire Experience, Bay Area Prescribed Fire Council, and Central Coast Prescribed Fire Council.

Michelle Cooper, Modini Preserve Resident Biologist & Manager brings to ACR over a dozen years of experience supporting research, managing natural resources, monitoring plant and animal communities, and supervising field crews, volunteers and staff for the University of California Bodega Marine Reserve and Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT). She completed a bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in biology from Sonoma State University (SSU). The focus of Michelle’s work at SSU was on the role hikers and bikers play as dispersal mechanisms of phytophthora ramorum, the organism that causes Sudden Oak Death.

Henry Inman, Resource Ecologist at Martin Griffin Preserve, joined ACR in January 2019. Henry earned their bachelor’s degree in physical geography from UC Santa Barbara. They began their journey as a habitat restorationist and botanist in Hawai’i with the University of Hawai’i in Hilo and Kure Atoll Wildlife Sanctuary. They returned to the Bay Area, where they were raised in foggy Pacifica, to work with the National Park Service in Golden Gate National Recreational Area and Point Reyes National Seashore, gaining expertise in locally invasive plants as a technician with the Invasive Species Early Detection and Rapid Response program.

Nils Warnock, Ph.D., ACR’s Director of Conservation Science, began his tenure in August 2018 and brings to ACR his 30+ years of experience pertaining to the ecology and conservation of Pacific Flyway birds, especially shorebirds. He has done extensive research in California (especially Marin County and San Francisco Bay) as well as throughout the Pacific and East Asian-Australasian flyways. From 2010-2018, Nils served as the executive director of Audubon Alaska and a vice president of the National Audubon Society. His career began in West Marin at Point Blue, where he was the co-director of the Wetlands Division from 2000-2008. Nils received his doctorate in ecology from the University of California at Davis and San Diego State University and is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society.

COST: $15 per talk ($60 for the 4-part series). Register before February 12 and pay only $10 per talk!