• Zoom Video Conference

Ever spot a mushroom and think "friend or foe"? Curious about the state of beavers and whether they could hold the key to mitigating the effects of climate change? Worried that successive years of wildfire have imperiled our local amphibians?

Join us for another installment of our highly engaging Science Seminar Series featuring one speaker each month, March through May, 2022.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for one or all three events.


Saturday, March 12, 10:00–11:00 a.m.

  • Christian Schwarz: First Dive Into the World of Fungi Mushroom enthusiast and research associate Christian Schwarz will take us on a guided tour of this vast branch of the Tree of Life, highlighting the breathtaking range of scale, ecologies, and morphologies of these mysterious organisms.

Tuesday, April 12, 10:00–11:00 a.m.

  • Dr. Emily Fairfax: How Beavers Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Chance — Dr. Fairfax will share her research finding that beavers are both irrigation managers and firefighters. She will explain how the presence of beavers in riparian habitats benefit other riparian organisms.

Saturday, May 14, 10:00–11:00 a.m.

  • Julianne Bradbury: Impacts of Fire on Reptiles and Amphibians in Sonoma County — How are amphibians and reptiles, known collectively as herpetofauna, impacted by fire? Some species may be particularly vulnerable to negative impacts from fire due to their relatively low dispersal abilities compared with other groups of animals. In order to effectively plan prescribed burns and prioritize mitigation for potential wildfires, ecologists and land managers must understand the responses of local flora and fauna to fire. In this presentation, we will learn from biologist Julianne Bradbury, about her pre- and post-fire research surveying herpetofauna at Pepperwood (only there?). Plywood coverboards arranged in grassland and mixed oak-conifer forest habitats adjacent to seasonal ponds were surveyed for two years prior to and two years following the 2017 Tubb’s wildfire event at Pepperwood Preserve in Sonoma County, CA. Join us to learn about Julianne’s findings, and how this research can help better inform land stewardship practices to support a healthy population of reptiles and amphibians living with wildfire.


Christian Schwarz Christian Schwarz is a mushroom enthusiast and taxonomist and citizen science advocate from Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He studied at UCSC, and now spends his time photographing, teaching about, and making scientific collections of macrofungi. He is coauthor of "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast", and is slowly building a mycoflora for Santa Cruz County. He also writes a blog called Notes of a Mycophile.

Dr. Emily Fairfax is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management at California State University Channel Islands. Her current research focuses on the ecohydrology of riparian areas, particularly those that have been impacted by beaver damming. She uses a combination of remote sensing, modeling, and field work to understand how beaver damming changes these landscapes and on what timescales those changes operate. More about Dr. Fairfax: https://emilyfairfaxscience.com/

Julianne Bradbury has served as the Resource Ecologist at Audubon Canyon Ranch's Modini Preserve since 2017. She is also a lecturer in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning at Sonoma State University, where she completed both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in the biology. Her previous experience has included: research, stewardship, and environmental education volunteer work with the Pepperwood Preserve and Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation; a fellowship with the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Parks Service, and Mountains Restoration Trust; and the development of the Hatchery Education Program with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Click here to purchase tickets for one or all three events.