• Safari West

Join us at Safari West where ACR Director of Education Gwen Heistand will be the feautured "after dinner" speaker giving an engaging talk on spiders. Reservations required, see below for details.

What Makes Spiders So Amazing … or …Tales from a Recovered Arachnophobe

What if YOU could hear with your ankles, squeeze seven kinds of silk from millions of tiny spigots in your abdomen, ate your mate after sex – or conversely evolved amazing strategies to avoid becoming nuptial fodder, were able to shed your skin to get smaller, had to carry a hundred or so of your progeny around on your back after they were born, or were able to release a balloon from your hind end and sail 30,000 feet above the earth?

Gwen Heistand has been the resident Biologist at Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Martin Griffin Preserve on the edge of Bolinas Lagoon since 2002 and Director of Education since 2015. 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. Living and working on the same thousand acres for the last 14 years, 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.

To attend, call Safari West and make dinner reservations. When calling, let the staff know you are coming for the speaker that night (normally you have to have booked an overnight stay to have dinner and hear the speaker).  To contact Safari West, click here.