The Research Learning Centers (RLC) were established in 2001 as part of the National Park Service’s Natural Resource Challenge Program. The Southern California Resource Learning Center (SCRLC) was established in 2002 and supports the Mediterranean Coast Network (MEDN) which consists of Cabrillo National Monument, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and Channel Islands National Park. Read on to find out the amazing work our SCRLC is doing for these parks.
January 23, 2020Posted by: Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Apprentice Violeta Anghel
Dixon Lanier Merritt wrote a great limerick regarding our fine feathered friend in 1910:
"Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican."
In this field note we discuss the Brown Pelican, the uses of its gular pouch, its diet, description, and, finally, its range.
If you’ve ever met Cabrillo National Monument scientist Samantha Wynns, then you know that she is a super geek for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). She’s so into STEM, in fact, that she’s been nationally recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Read on to hear how Sam’s AAAS year-long Ambassadorship is supporting scientists, students, and the mission of the National Park Service.
The Sonoran bumblebee (Bombus sonorous) is a native bee here in San Diego. With its bright yellow fur, it can be easily spotted during the fall season as it builds its nests and gathers food for the colony.
As the season changes into fall, the next series of plants out at Cabrillo National Monument are triggered to begin their blomming cycle. One such plant is the Hybrid Desertboom (Baccharis sarothroides x pilularis), one of the fall blooming plants within the Coastal Sage Scrub.
October 01, 2019Posted by: Conservation and Environmental Steward Apprentice Felix Asadi-Denham
Meet Summer, an albino California Kingsnake and one of our ambassador snakes here at Cabrillo. In this field note, we’ll be observing the differences between albinism and leucism in organisms, specifically snakes and other reptiles.
For most, the end of summer means the conclusion of beach days and ice cream breaks. For Cabrillo National Monument, the changing season means another successful STEM summer camp for girls in the books. Read on to learn about this year’s incredible campers!
Cabrillo National Monument is at it again – they’re bringing the parks to the people with an outreach initiative that represented at San Diego Comic-Con! But how do the National Parks fit into one of the world’s largest popular arts festival? Read on to find out!
As we move into the summer months and the drought deciduous plants of spring begin to go dormant, the summer blooms arrive to add their splash of color to Cabrillo National Monument. Clustered Tarweed (Deinandra fasciculate), California Flattop Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), and Tall Stephanomeria (Stepanomeria virgate ssp. Pleurocarpa) are currently in bloom at our park.
Cabrillo National Monument is home to six different snake species – one of these species, the San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer annectens), is an oft-misidentified and harmless backyard reptile that keeps our ecosystems healthy. Read on to learn more about this slithering species, and why it’s important to break for snakes!
The Coastal Bushmallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus) has just started blooming at Cabrillo National Monument. This shrub from the Coastal Sage Scrub plant community is loved by bees and visitors to the park. The lovely light pink blooms are dotted along the stems of this late spring bloomer.
With the growing popularity of citizen science National Park Service scientists are employing the power of the people to help them solve the problems they face. Read on to learn about one such project that just concluded at Cabrillo National Monument.
Cabrillo National Monument is home to many different species of birds. One of the most remarkable is also one of the smallest, and most iconic – the hummingbird! Read on to learn more about these masters of the air.
Asteraceae is one of the largest plant families in the world. This includes the sunflower, aster, daisy, cosmos, dahlia, and thistle to just name a few. At Cabrillo National Monument we have a great bloom of plants in the sunflower family. This year’s rain has given the Sea Dahlia, Bush Sunflower, and San Diego Viguiera a great start and impressive bloom within the park.
Muad’Dib is a fictional animal from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Its description most closely resembles a kangaroo rat or possibly a pocket mouse. While we aren’t exactly the barren lands of the desert planet in Dune, the plants and animals at Cabrillo National Monument need to have specialized traits to survive the harsh drought and desert-like conditions here. Check some of these cool critters out in this edition of Field Notes.
Cabrillo National Monument staff and volunteers have been “bringing the parks to the people” at a variety of fun community events. Read on to see what the outreach team has been up to, and what’s on the horizon!
With the consistent rains of this rainy season, the Wild Cucumber is the first to come out of dormancy and spread its vines across the Coastal Sage Scrub. This perennial is one of the early blooming plants at Cabrillo National Monument and its white flowers and spectacular seed pods can be seen in many areas of the park.
December through March is a wonderful time of year to visit Cabrillo National Monument – the air is crisp, the plants are green, the flowers are blooming, the tides are low… and the Pacific Gray Whales are migrating! Read on to learn more about these incredible marine mammals and their arduous journey.
It’s been a wet winter here at Cabrillo National Monument, and our drought-adapted plants are putting that precious water to good use! Read on to learn about how the change in weather affects our native species.
As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to look back on some of the cool things that happened in and around the park this year and extend a special thank you to all of our community partners that made it happen. Check it out!
The Schoodic Institute recently held a workshop titled Strengthening Your Citizen Science at the Point Bonita YMCA on the Marin Headlands in Sausalito, CA. This workshop focused on helping individuals and groups design and build strong citizen science projects with, and for, the varied agencies that preserve and protect open areas in California. Two members of the Science Education Team got to attend – here’s what they learned!
The Cabrillo Adventure Traveling Trunk is designed to introduce teachers and students to the historical, cultural, and natural resources of their National Park, Cabrillo National Monument. Several educational activities, videos, and books connect students to the cultural and historical stories and the science conducted within the park.
Cabrillo Field Notes is full of stories about the work being done in and around Cabrillo National Monument, but we’ve never talked about how you, our readers and members of the community, can get involved! Read on to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities at the park.
The California Science Teachers Association hosts the California Science Education Conference on an annual basis to gather teachers, informal educators, institutes, and everything in between to learn effective Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) strategies that are used to foster students’ love of science and three dimensional learning. Cabrillo National Monument was able to attend this year!
Woodrats, also known as packrats, are a pretty common resident in San Diego. These species are known for their large nest composed of plants, shells, and other local materials. These large nests, often overwhelming, have been found to be very helpful to humans. Scientists use part of their nest that is used for waste to look into the past to identify fossils and vegetation composition from thousands of years ago!
There are 417 National Parks and Monuments, and they all belong to you! These public lands are here for all to enjoy, and we at Cabrillo National Monument want to ensure everyone knows it – we’re bringing the Parks to the people with our new community outreach initiative. Read on to find out more!
In November 2018, after the park was closed and night had just fallen, Law Enforcement Ranger Bonnie Phillips came upon an unfamiliar creature on the sidewalk near the Visitor Center – the Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii). Let’s learn more about this camouflaged nightjar.
On Saturday, November 17, we kicked off the 2018-2019 season of Naturally Speaking Science Education Lectures with Law Enforcement Ranger Bonnie Phillips. Bonnie spoke about the history and importance of Law Enforcement in the National Park Service. Read on to find out more!
Researcher Jason E. Bond from Auburn University recently renamed, described, and classified over 30 species of trapdoor spiders, one of them being right here at Cabrillo National Monument. Read on to learn more about this interesting group of arachnids and their fun new names!
One of our partners, the Climate Science Alliance, recently teamed up with local ecologists and climatologists to assess how climate change is impacting San Diego ecosystems and its wildlife. Based on this assessment, here are 10 things you can do to give wildlife a break. At Cabrillo National Monument, we hope you strive to help wildlife each and every day.
Could you imagine walking from the tip of South America all the way up to Alaska? Now imagine making that trek twice every year – like birds do! Fall and spring bring migratory birds through Cabrillo National Monument. Learn how to identify these visitors in this edition of Field Notes.
Did you know that we offer traveling trunks of activities and resources for teachers to use in their classroom? Specifically created for students in grades K-2, the Nature’s Nurseries Traveling Trunk was designed to highlight the life cycles of four animals found at Cabrillo National Monument. Take a look!
Because it’s the month of Halloween, we thought it’d be festive to talk about fangs. Not vampire fangs, however, but the fangs of real animals - snakes. All snakes have teeth, but not all snakes have fangs. What’s the difference? Read on to find out about the anatomy of our slithery friends!
Naturally Speaking is a Science Seminar Series that explores the natural themes of Cabrillo National Monument. This year, the series will include topics from a Cabrillo National Monument Law Enforcement Ranger, Botanists, Ecologists, and much more. The concept behind the lecture series is to reach beyond our comfort zones and enhance the way people interact with public lands.
With the help of our project partners, San Diego Public Library and Cabrillo National Monument Foundation, we are excited to reach new audiences with the EcoLogik Project and extend the role of Cabrillo National Monument as a STEM leader in our community with EcoLogik Workshops 2018 - 2019. In accordance with this mission, we are offering four specialty workshops throughout the year to teach our nature + technology curriculum. We hope you can join us!
Extirpated species are those that are native to a certain area, but no longer found there. Quite a few animals, both on land and in the intertidal, have been extirpated from Cabrillo National Monument, but some may question why we can’t just bring them back. Find out the answer here!
There are 6 resident snake species at Cabrillo National Monument. One of these species, the California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae), is sometimes called the “king of snakes” – read on to find out why!
Strolling down the trails at Cabrillo National Monument you might hear the mewling of a newborn kitten. But you’ve been fooled! The cries you hear are not from kittens, but from an endangered bird called the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica). Read on to discover more about this adorable, rare species!
On Thursday, September 20, Cabrillo National Monument Volunteers and Foundation members had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Keith Lombardo as part of the Naturally Speaking Science Education Lecture Series. Dr. Lombardo spoke about his research on the history of fire in Southern California – are large, destructive fires just a part of life here, or are they something new? Read on to find out!
The phrase “back-to-school” usually conjures images like school supplies, new clothes, or yellow buses driving through our neighborhoods. But did you know that here at Cabrillo National Monument, we go back-to-school, too? Read on to find out how!
August 31, 2018Posted by: Nicole Ornelas & Melonie Brown
“We love to see thriving flora and fauna, so long as they are in their native habitats and do not harm the environment in the process. Ongoing efforts are being made by the National Park Service and its partners to ensure the preservation of our parks for years to come. However, this requires cooperation from visitors and your support to help prevent the spread of invasive species.”
Field guides are designed to help the reader identify wildlife in a local area and generally designed to be brought into the ‘field’.
When hiking and/or exploring in the ‘field’, visitors will typically have water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, maybe a light a jacket and field guide to identify wildlife, if there is space. However, whether it’s a long exploration or a short one, in today’s era, there is one thing that is guaranteed to make the cut - your CELL PHONE.
Pinnipeds (the group that includes seals and sea lions) often visit the waters off Cabrillo National Monument. Read on to learn more about these marine mammal species and how to identify them in the field.
Field scientists do their best to observe and catalogue every species on the Earth, but there just isn’t enough of them to be all places at all times. Because of this, community scientists are playing an increasingly vital role in keeping track of the world’s organisms – are you one of them?
Wildlife cameras reveal an unexpected but welcome visitor – a greater roadrunner. This is a species that has not been seen for decades in Cabrillo National Monument. We take a look into the history of roadrunners in the park as well as interesting facts about this amazing bird.
On Monday, August 6, 2018, Biological Science Technician - Ranger Melonie (Lonie) Brown discovered an unusual bin in the maintenance area of Cabrillo National Monument. The bin was up against a chain link fence with the lid missing. She approached the bin and unfortunately found what she thought to be a deceased adult opossum.
Scientists with Cabrillo National Monument frequently monitor the native species of animals and plants that live here. Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) monitoring is important to ensure that the Monument’s reptile and amphibian populations are healthy and thriving. Read on to learn about the herpetofauna species at CNM and the scientists that study them!
On Thursday, July 19, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members and volunteers had the opportunity to hear from SDSU researcher and professional rattlesnake-wrangler Roman Nava as part of our ongoing Naturally Speaking Lecture Series. Read on to learn more about his research and the life of the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
Animals (and plants) have evolved different strategies to ward off predators. Some species have developed toxins to do this, but there are different ways the toxins can affect these would-be predators. We will delve into the differences between the terms “venomous” and “poisonous,” which are often used synonymously in conversation, but have completely different meanings.
The EcoLogik Project Summer Program looks to provide a platform for underrepresented young girls (ages 9-16) who show specialized interest in the natural and technical sciences, but lack opportunity to explore these careers.
As the Sun rose through the mist at Cabrillo National Monument, wildlife biologists and volunteers joined forces with equipment in hand ready to explore the tidepools. Our team’s goal was to categorize as much biodiversity as possible in the rocky intertidal before the tide came up as a part of Snapshot Cal Coast.
To many of us, when we think of science communication we imagine a tweedy, boring expert repeating the contents of an entire textbook while we sit in the back of a classroom and doze. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Science communication can be fresh, engaging, and fun! It can use unconventional media in unconventional locations, like comic books instead of nature journals and exist outside in nature instead of inside a stuffy classroom.
On Thursday, June 21, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members and volunteers had the opportunity to hear from volunteer naturalist Patricia Simpson as part of our ongoing Naturally Speaking Lecture Series. Read on to learn more about some of the park’s smallest residents!
Earlier this year our Science Education team teamed up with students and teachers at High Tech Elementary North County to collaborate on a semester long project focused on Nature’s Nurseries. Find out more here!
Wart-Stemmed Ceanothus or Coast Lilac is one of many plant species of concern at Cabrillo. Habitat loss, due to urbanization, has greatly reduced the suitable coastal habitat Coast Lilac requires. But this species also needs FIRE to propagate. However, wildfire is extremely rare at CNM. To combat this management concern, Ranger Adam Taylor, Greenhouse Manager Patricia Simpson, and volunteers have been collecting seed for successful nursery propagation of this native species.
Field Trip for Teachers is an event held at Cabrillo National Monument to highlight the educational programs available to educators. These programs include science, cultural and historical educational programs. This is a fun way for teachers to spend the day in their National Park and preview the amazing programs available to their students for the upcoming school year.
The National Park Service recently partnered with YMCAs across the nation in an effort to get more kids outside. Cabrillo National Monument is proud to be a part of this effort, bringing hundreds of San Diego youth to their national park this summer.
The Geoscientists-in-the Parks Internship Program (GIP) provides college students and recent graduates with on-the-ground, natural resource, science-based work experience with the NPS. Cabrillo National Monument is excited to host a GIP Intern this summer – learn more about her here!
Birds, like all living things, are sculpted by natural selection. Every adaptation they sport serves a purpose: beaks are designed to eat a specific kind of food, feet help them to navigate their preferred environments, and plumage advertises a bird’s fitness or disguises its presence. Ready to learn about some of the interesting adaptations that make birds unique? Read on!
Starting in late February, volunteers and natural resources staff at Cabrillo National Monument have kept tabs on our remarkable aerialists through visual observation and telescopic photography. Renowned for their speed and hunting skill, Peregrines are the fastest animal in the world, capable of reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour or more when diving down on unsuspecting prey.
The San Diego Urban Ant Project is a citizen science project that aims at mapping the presence and absence of the invasive Argentine Ant, Linepithema humile, throughout San Diego County. Through the combined forces of several High Tech campuses in San Diego, the University of California – San Diego, the Escondido Creek Conservancy, and Cabrillo National Monument, the San Diego Urban Ant Project provides insight on the ant populations within San Diego County.
Imagine sitting in your high school chemistry class – the current topic is acids and bases. After learning about the pH scale, titrations and buffers for over two weeks, you finally ask the teacher, “Why do we care about this stuff?” San Pasqual High School teacher, Jared Hoyt, answers that question by using his passion for teaching to connect his students to the relevancy behind the bonds and atoms.
The Garden Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps major) is a native Southern California salamander that inhabits Cabrillo National Monument. This species of salamander does not live in creeks and streams, but inhabits damp environments under leaf litter, bark, logs, and rocks.
San Diegans enjoy more than 150 miles of beautiful coastline on the Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Depending on the weather and the tide, thousands of people will head towards the shore to surf, swim, snorkel, kayak or go tidepooling. San Diegans lifestyle typically surrounds the coast in some way or another.
As part of our ongoing Naturally Speaking Lecture Series, speaker and licensed falconer Charles Gailband delighted guests with a talk about Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) on March 22. He even brought some falcon ambassadors for guests to meet! Read on for more information about these incredible masters of the air.
This April brings the 2018 City Nature Challenge to San Diego, and with it, your chance to help document species within San Diego County! Find out how you can help answer the call and quantify the biodiversity of our region.
Ever wonder how scientists track bird migration and discern which birds live where? With a survey, of course! Join Cabrillo National Monument staff and volunteers as they walk you through the process, and learn about native and visiting shorebirds along the way.
Pacific Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus) undergo one of the longest migrations in the animal kingdom as they travel from Alaska to Baja California. Read more about these amazing marine mammals in this edition of Cabrillo Field Notes.
In conjunction with the Downtown Public Library, Cabrillo National Monument recently hosted its second EcoLogik Workshop - 3D Cabrillo. Learn more about the workshop and the EcoLogik Project at CabrilloEducation.org.
Students across High Tech High campuses (Kindergarten through eleventh grade) are working hard as citizen scientists in a project aimed at mapping the presence of the invasive Argentine Ant, responsible for the decline and absence of native ants when present.
In the Rocky Intertidal Zone at Cabrillo National Monument, one of the most extreme ecosystems on earth, plants and animals are tested every day. From the crashing waves on the shore at high tide to the intense wind and sun when the water recedes, this is an environment characterized by stress. If anything is to survive such a barrage of natural pressures, preparation is essential. Find out how in our newest video!
After receiving a Community Grant from the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego Chapter, in collaboration with the San Diego Native Plant Society, the landscape surrounding Cabrillo National Monument Visitor center altered drastically. See how things are growing along!
Many of our friends in the animal kingdom display something called "sexual dimorphism," which is simply a difference in size or physical appearance between the male and female. Check out how this shows up in the peregrines of Cabrillo.
Among the shifting tides of Cabrillo National Monument’s intertidal bench lives a colorful little sea slug, the Spanish Shawl (Flabellinopsis iodinea). This is a species of aeolid nudibranch that is so striking to behold, it will stop you in your tracks!
With the arrival of the Spring Tidal phase occurring during park hours more visitors are able to explore the intertidal bench here at Cabrillo National Monument during our low tide events. Among the many creatures one can observe are the Crustaceans. Two that have been recently seen recently are the Common Rock Crab (Cancer antennarius) and the Globose Kelp Crab (Taliepus nuttalli). Learn more about these crusty critters in this edition of Cabrillo Field Notes.
Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members recently had the opportunity to hear from Superintendent Andrea Compton in the latest installment of our “Naturally Speaking” lecture series. Read on to learn about the difficult task of balancing resource protection with visitation here at Cabrillo National Monument.
With the help of amazing volunteers, the Science Education team is excited to unveil their new program for park visitors, the Science Explorer’s Club. Read on to find out how you can become part of the Club!
As a part of our Naturally Speaking Science Education Lecture series, Cabrillo National Monument Foundation members recently had the opportunity to learn all about the geologic history of the Point Loma Peninsula from SDSU Geologist Dr. Stephen Schellenberg. He spoke about the formation of the peninsula, its rise out of the sea, and the fossilized remains left behind. Join us as we explore some of those fossils!
EcoLogik is a unique fusion of ecology, nature, and technology that connects the next generation of stewards to the science of Cabrillo National Monument. In collaboration with San Diego Public Libraries and Treobytes, the EcoLogik Project has expanded to include specialty 2-hour workshops that are open to the public free of charge at Cabrillo National Monument and the Downtown Library’s Innovation Lab.
On Thursday November 30th, the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation kicked off its “Naturally Speaking” science education lecture series with volunteer naturalist and resident bat expert Don Endicott. Read on to find out more about these amazing creatures of the night!
Park biologists, volunteers, administrators, interns, law enforcement officers and many more wear the National Park Service Arrowhead with pride. It is a symbol, for many, of our nation’s treasures and hope as we continue into the future. But what do the various pieces represent?
Did you know that we offer our tidepools in a box that you can check out for your classroom? The See Life Trunk is designed to help students experience the vast biodiversity of earth’s marine ecosystems from the comfort of their classroom. The trunk brings to life the meaning of biodiversity in the ocean, its role in the maintenance and function of healthy marine ecosystems, and what students can do to help protect this environment into the future.
In your last visit to the tidepools, did you come across a specimen that looked like green fingers? This unique seaweed, known as Dead Man’s Fingers or Codium fragile, has a weird appearance and feels fuzzy- learn more in this edition of Creature Feature.
This time of year is accented by the hues of orange and red on the leaves, the dip in temperature, and the dramatic sunsets. Here at Cabrillo National Monument, we also see other distinct signs of the fall season.
We have planted hundreds of native species surrounding the Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument within the last month. Here are a few highlighted species that you may plant at home or in your surrounding neighborhood. Visit your local nursery to find species like these and many more.
As the water recedes in the tidepools and you look back towards the cliffs, you might find yourself wondering how they have become so perfectly layered- like a well-formed cake or perhaps a mud pie? Join us as we take a step back in geologic time to see how the cliffs of Cabrillo came to be.
Cabrillo National Monument is proud to partner with students at High Tech High Media Arts to remove invasive plants in the park. In accordance with the ongoing mission of the National Park Service and the Centennial Call-to-Action, this project seeks to develop and nurture lifelong connections between young people and their National Park through meaningful educational experiences.
Cabrillo National Monument was recently awarded a community grant from the American Society of Landscape Architects to upgrade the native plant landscaping around the Visitors Center Complex. Check out the progress our vegetation teams have made on this extensive undertaking to improve the ecological landscape.
It’s that time of year again... It seems like everyone is flocking to haunted houses and spooky corn mazes in search of a scare. For many, Halloween often elicits visions of masked figures with chainsaws and flesh-eating zombies, but are these the things we’re really afraid of?
While the firefighters are out protecting structures and people, this special group of people continue to protect our natural parks. Take a look into the life of a READ or a wildfire Resource Advisor as they help maintain our beautiful outdoor spaces during the threats of wildfires.
On October 7th and 8th, the Cabrillo Science Education team participated in the San Diego Maker Faire at Balboa Park. This event was hosted by the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and San Diego Makers Guild, and featured over 200 different Makers from San Diego and beyond. This two-day event spanned multiple venues, featured different food and entertainment options, and brought in roughly 28,000 visitors.
In collaboration with supporting artist Audrey Carver and our partners at the Climate Science Alliance, we are excited to host a new installation that explores the beauty of art and data. "Along the Transect Line" highlights each of the major scientific inventories at Cabrillo- from the rocky intertidal ecosystem to the menagerie of birds that call the park home.
Friday, September 22 was the Fall Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The day marked the changing of the seasons as the Northern Hemisphere began to tilt away from the sun. Days are getting shorter, nights longer, and temperatures are dropping as we move from the long, hot days of summer. Humans can adapt to the changing weather by putting on a jacket or staying indoors, but did you know that plants and animals also adapt to the changing seasons?
Orange beats blue, blue beats yellow, and yellow beats orange. Our Western Side-Blotched Lizards are playing a high stakes game of rock-paper-scissors. Who win in this evolutionary arms race and who will perish?
Urban Lights is a collection of stories and learnings from across the country, showcasing the breadth and depth of innovative work in the urban sphere from coast to coast. Check out page 10 to see how Cabrillo is contributing to the National Park Service’s Urban Agenda.
We are committed to inspiring our community, both locally and globally, to come along side us to preserve and protect America’s beautiful spaces. As we look to the next year of programing, we hope you that you will join us in your National Parks.
Through innovation and education, the Cabrillo Science Education team is committed to the next generation of stewardship. Over the past year, our team has engaged our diverse community in new and exciting ways – providing the tools and knowledge necessary to foster a more sustainable future. Check out our 2016-2017 Year in Review.
CNM and Ocean Discovery Institute have been selected to participate in a new science education program, Citizen Science 2.0 in National Parks. Made possible thanks to a $1 million Veverka Family Foundation donation to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, this new program supports collaborations among select national parks, local environmental science education providers, and local middle and high schools over a three-year period.
Have you recently noticed the noodle looking masses down in the tidepools? Did you know they are the eggs of a very unique individual? Check out this edition of Creature Feature where we highlight the California Sea Hare.
At Cabrillo National Monument, we have tons of wildlife spanning across the coastal sagescrub. Birds, insects, and lizards are seen on a daily basis as you journey the designated trails. However, some of our animals are nocturnal or can be a bit shy to the limelight. So how do we precisely know what animals live and visit within the boundary of the park once the sun goes down?
At Cabrillo National Monument, we have a few scaled ambassadors that are typically behind the scenes. Take a moment to get to know our snakes before you come meet them Thursdays at 1:30 pm in the summer.
A large hive of bees recently made their home in one of the several military armaments protected within the park. Luckily, Hilary Kearney of Girl Next Door Honey was on the job and helped us safely relocate these precious buzzing pollinators.
Summer is here and we are excited to host 25 young women in science for our first EcoLogik summer camp. EcoLogik is a 2.5 week full immersion program that fuses nature and technology that serves underrepresented students ages 9-15 and connects them to their National Park. Check our re-cap from our Final Week!
Summer is here and we are excited to host 25 young women in science for our first EcoLogik summer camp. EcoLogik is a 2.5 week full immersion program that fuses nature and technology that serves underrepresented students ages 9-15 and connects them to their National Park. Check our re-cap from Week 2!
With heavy winter rains, Cabrillo experienced a beautiful spring bloom. However, with the flowers also came an onslaught of invasive species. Luckily, Cabrillo has weed warriors to help in the fight against plants that do not belong in the park.
Summer is here and we are excited to host 25 young women in science for our first EcoLogik summer camp. EcoLogik is a 2.5 week full immersion program that fuses nature and technology that serves underrepresented students ages 9-15 and connects them to their National Park. Check our re-cap from Week 1!
Strolling through the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument, you might happen up on a small, brightly colored sea slug. These Hopkins Rose nudibranchs are a delight for visitors of all ages. Friend of Cabrillo and conservation photographer, Michael Ready, recently captured their beauty and splendor in this edition of Cabrillo Field Notes.
Recently, our park botanist, Adam Taylor, joined Channel Islands National Park biologists on San Miguel Island. Check out his experiences doing vegetation monitoring and the interesting species he came across.
This semester a group of Fourth grade students embarked on a journey to learn about some of San Diego’s tidepool critters. These students demonstrated their knowledge base of the creatures through the fusion of art and technology. Check out what they shared with Cabrillo Visitors!
This spring we invited over 40 educators to spend the day with us here at Cabrillo National Monument. These San Diego teachers participated in their very own field trips through our natural and cultural education programs.
From the coastal intertidal, herpetology and bird surveys, to the plant communities within the boundaries of CABR. Terrestrial vegetation monitoring takes place each Spring here at Cabrillo National Monument. Check out the tools you will see our biologists using in the field.
Marine biologists have a particularly imaginative track record when it comes to naming. Experts have touted their tautonyms, noted their knightly naming virtues, and wondered at the many magical monikers for marine molluscs. Here, we will explore a few of the more extraordinary scientific names for marine species and take a look at how those names were first assigned and why.
Here at Cabrillo National Monument, we are trying to switch our educational framework to provide students with new tools to be the next generation of environment stewards. Find out how this week in Cabrillo Field Notes!
The Mosaics in Science (MIS) Diversity Internship Program provides college students and recent graduates that are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career fields with on-the-ground, natural resource science-based, work experience in the National Park System. We are happy to host a Mosaics intern at Cabrillo for the summer! Join us as we welcome our newest team member.
Cabrillo National Monument is once again proud to partner with the students of High Tech High Media Arts- this time to remove invasive seaweeds from the Cabrillo tidepools. In accordance with the ongoing mission of the National Park Service, this project seeks to develop and nurture lifelong connections between young people and their National Parks through meaningful education experiences.
From the Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral to the Maritime Succulent Scrub, the native species of Cabrillo National Monument’s unique plant communities support a high biodiversity of organisms within the Park. However, managing these threatened resources is an ongoing struggle between invasive species and the survival of existing species. At this park we are fortunate to upkeep a substantial stock of native plants through our thriving greenhouse program.
During monthly herpetofauna surveys in March, CABR biologists and wildlife VIPs discovered a cute little furry critter hiding in a cup in a pitfall bucket. This was something they had never seen before, and it turns out, had never been caught in the 20+ years of monitoring!
This past week, a certain brown and tan moth has overtaken the park. Our park biologists recently noticed their caterpillars voraciously consuming Wishbone Bush on the Bayside Trail- check out some of the observations they made.
Join us as we celebrate the third year in a row we have had nesting California gnatcatchers at Cabrillo! A species once thought to be extirpated from the park for over 100 years, this federally threatened species has returned home.
Cabrillo National Monument was happy to welcome the Climate Kids this past week. Over 200 students explored the Rocky Intertidal Zone, the science behind Ocean Acidification, and ways in which they could help save the earth.
As you are out exploring Cabrillo National Monument, you might notice a vine canopying across the coastal sage scrub with unique, spiky fruit. Get the inside scoop on one of our most interesting park inhabitants in this edition of Species Spotlight.
Cabrillo National Monument is home to arguably some of the best singers around. Migration season is in full swing, so now is the perfect time to hike in the park to hear a variety of sweet songs. Check out this quick introduction to these tiny, talented tattlers.
For all living things adaption is crucial to ensure survival under a given set of conditions. Find out how the Native Plant Communities of Cabrillo hold up under the stressors of our Mediterranean ecosystem.
You may have noticed our Cabrillo biologists and resource volunteers exploring the tidepools with a few gadgets at your last visit to the park. Here we highlight those tools used for a successful intertidal monitoring sample.
Have you ever gone to the tidepools, searched for what seems like forever, and still didn’t really find something that interested you? Find out how there might just be more than meets the eye in this watery wonderland.
Browsing through the strands of Bladderpod at Cabrillo, you might have come across these unique and flashy bugs. Find out the reasoning behind their unique color patterns and how they warn predators of danger.
Intertidal explorers across the West Coast may have noticed that one of the more iconic tidepool “stars” has gone missing. Tune in to understand where all the sea stars went and if they are ever coming back.
Perhaps one of the most frequent questions we get from our younger and sometimes older visitors is, “Are there sharks in the Cabrillo tidepools?” More often than not the explanation is met with a startled silence and big eyes. Cue the ominous music…
We invite you to come explore with us as we continue to delve into fun natural resource topics in our Cabrillo Science Education Series! From Abalone to Sea Slugs, each month we tackle a new realm. Talks are hosted in the Cabrillo Auditorium and are free for all ages with price of park admission.
If you have been to the park in the last month or so, you may have noticed a young scientist standing in the shadows of the Shaw’s Agave scattered throughout the landscape. Equipped with her field net and spotting scope, San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM) entomologist Annika Nabors looks to help us answer a pressing question. “Who is pollinating our Shaw’s Agave?”
: Last week, the Cabrillo tidepools were filled with more scientists than normal. Stretching out several long white transect tapes and quickly scoring notes on their data sheets, members of the Coastal Biodiversity Survey set out to count and identify the resident marine species of Cabrillo.
In order to best study and manage species numbers, we must document and obtain a greater understanding of overall species diversity. Check out how we are committed to making park biodiversity more accessible for San Diego students.
In collaboration with High Tech Middle Media Arts, Cabrillo educators prompted students to take lessons from nature on what it means to adapt to their environment. Witness the inspiring conclusions these bright young minds came up with.
Cabrillo biologists and resource volunteers have amassed some pretty interesting gadgets for monitoring the different ecosystems at the park. In this edition of “Tools of the Trade” we take a look at the implements used for a successful shorebird monitoring endeavor.
Welcome to 3D Cabrillo! We are excited to announce a new and unique educational archive that connects both students and visitors to the natural resources of Cabrillo National Monument through 3D models.
In an effort to preserve and protect vulnerable park resources, Cabrillo National Monument partnered with students from High Tech High Media Arts (HTHMA) in a large-scale native plant propagation and restoration effort.
This week our Natural Resources Team adventured to San Nicolas Island to participate in rocky intertidal monitoring. Find out more about their trip and larger collaboration with the Navy Marine Ecology Consortium.
Citizen Scientists are everyday people that assist in scientific exploration. With your help in collecting data, scientists can grasp a better understanding of our natural world. Find out how you can help!
This month, Pelecanus brought their show to Cabrillo in an episode entitled, “Bioblitz! At Cabrillo National Monument.” Focusing on our May 21-22nd, 2016 event, this episode perfectly encapsulates the fun and importance of citizen science and our connection within the local community.
“CABR is concerned about the effects that climate change will have on its marine seascape, a place visited by a quarter of a million visitors each year, and a crown jewel of the greater San Diego area. Many marine organisms will be threatened by the warming and acidification of seawater globally as more carbon dioxide makes its way into the atmosphere and by extension, the surface ocean.
On May 21-22, 2016, Cabrillo National Monument provided a unique opportunity for the San Diego community to get involved in citizen science through the 2016 National Parks Centennial Bioblitz. Utilizing the application, iNaturalist, explorers of all ages made their way to the Monument to discover biodiversity in their National Park.
This past week Cabrillo National Monument, in association with Artist-in-Residence Michael Ready and a community donation from visitor Miranda Hope, was proud to present a classroom set of images from the See Life Collection to Monarch School.
Cabrillo National Monument celebrated Qkids day with Qualcomm, Inc. by hosting a biodiversity scavenger hunt using the program iNaturalist. Bioblitz events are great opportunities to learn more about the biodiversity of a given area and contribute to our greater understanding of the biodiversity of our world.
In partnership with Southern Indian Health Council (SIHC), a social service agency that serves youth from seven Kumeyaay reservations in San Diego County, Cabrillo National Monument proudly hosted twelve students throughout the summer. Native STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) is the first Cabrillo program of its kind and comprises a unique blend of western science and indigenous practices.
On May 21-22, 2016, Cabrillo National Monument and several other park units hosted a Centennial Bioblitz event. Utilizing the biodiversity observation application, iNaturalist, explorers of all ages made their way to the Monument to discover biodiversity in the Park. Thanks to a truly outstanding community effort and an incredible team of over 157 scientists, exhibitors, and volunteers, over 1706 observations spanning 427 species were documented.
Thousand Oaks, CA - A study published today found that the amount of light pollution produced within Southern California’s three coastal National Park Service units has not significantly changed, and in one case has decreased, over the past two decades.
Overall, however, the study found that extremely high levels of nighttime lighting are present within two of the three parks, and all of them are highly influenced by light pollution in the surrounding regions.
Cabrillo National Monument is a proud partner of the Climate Science Alliance. The Alliance is a collaboration of organizations and agencies focused on sharing ecosystem-based resiliency approaches to safeguard our communities and natural resources from climate change risk.
Climate Kids, a program of the Alliance, facilitates student participation in hands-on science, art, and literacy activities regarding climate change.
You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.” These words, penned by the famous ecologist E.O. Wilson, exemplify the power of public involvement in nature exploration. In order to foster the next generation of environmental stewards, we must make ecosystems and the animals they encompass real and tangible entities.
The NOAA-led West Coast Ocean Acidification (WCOA) cruise started its voyage along the California Current May 5. Its route follows the entirety of the West Coast from Baja California to British Columbia, taking water samples along 13 transects on the way. On each transect, samples of water will be collected at the offshore stations by the on-board scientists, and at nearshore and onshore locations by partnering agencies.
In ecosystem management and conservation, a fair number of challenges often arise such as conflicts between species. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Raptor Biologist, Dr. Joel ‘Jeep’ Pagel, we have been monitoring a probable scuffle whereby local populations of endangered California Least Terns (Sternula antillarum browni) are being preyed upon by our resident Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus).
Select species of seaweeds generate noxious chemicals to defend themselves against would be predators. One such species, the rockweed (Silvetia compressa), can be found atop rocky outcrops throughout Cabrillo National Monument’s intertidal zone. In partnership with the United States Navy and Cabrillo biologists, Dr. Jeremy Long from San Diego State University investigates the intricate interactions between this brown seaweed and the prevalent black turban snail.
In preparation for the 2016 National Parks Centennial Bioblitzes occurring around the country this week (May 16-22nd, 2016), the science education staff at Cabrillo National Monument hosted a “MiniBlitz” in our local community. Staff members were excited to collaborate with four – 4th and 5th grade classrooms at the local elementary schools, High Tech Elementary and Explorer Elementary.
Welcome explorers and scientist! In association with the 2016 Centennial Bioblitz, the National Park Service is proud to collaborate with the iNaturalist team for data management. iNaturalist allows citizen scientists to make observations with just the snap of a picture. Using any mobile Andriod or Apple device you can identify any plant or animal you come across, anywhere you go!
For the students of Vista Square Elementary, the opportunity to visit a National Park is one well out of their grasp. At 10 years old, many of the children report that they haven’t even left the three-mile radius that encompasses their school or homes. Unfortunately, plagued with limited funding and accessibility, this is reality for many Title-1 schools in the greater San Diego area.
Cabrillo National Monument is proud to announce a new curriculum to coincide with the BioBlitz 2016 event. “Biodiversity Snapshot” encourages students and teachers to perform their own Bioblitz on their school playground or local open space.
Cabrillo National Monument is proud to announce a new curriculum to coincide with the BioBlitz 2016 event. “Biodiversity Snapshot” encourages students and teachers to perform their own Bioblitz on their school playground or local open
Cabrillo National Monument was happy to host an Alternative Spring Break experience this past week for the University of Arizona Honors Program.
The University of Arizona Honors Alternative Breaks is a service-oriented organization that challenges students to become active citizens, making the community a priority in their values and choices.
Spring has officially sprung at Cabrillo! In celebration of the beautiful flowers now blooming across the park, we are excited to announce our newest exhibit “Wildflowers of Cabrillo.”
From now until May 31st, 2016, select live specimens will be on display for visitors to take a closer look at the flowers and unique plant communities that cover Cabrillo’s 166 acres.
On March 6th, 2016, Cabrillo National Monument was proud to successfully host one of the first National Park Bioblitz events of the year in our rocky intertidal zone. This BioBlitz is part of a larger effort coordinated by the National Park Service (NPS) to celebrate the NPS Centennial. This event and others like it are great opportunities to learn more about the biodiversity of a park and contribute to our greater understanding of the biodiversity of the nation.
The SEE LIFE Collection is a unique project highlighting the stunning and diverse ecosystems and animals that call the park home. Cabrillo Artist-in-Residence Michael Ready masterfully captures the morphology of his subjects while building an awareness for the biodiversity of the region. These select images include some of the commonly occurring and easily discovered species, and others that are rarely seen due to their small size, ephemeral existence, or natural behavior.
Scattered across the landscape here at Cabrillo National Monument, the conspicuous Shaw’s Agave (Agave shawii) portrays a perfect example of the plight of global pollinators and the consequences of their decline to those that rely on them. Low replenishment of new individuals to the Agave population represents the threat of greatest concern, leading Cabrillo biologists to investigate this striking decline and it’s potential causes.
Cabrillo National Monument is excited to announce a new collaboration for the 2016 National Park Service Centennial with the conservation-based podcast, Pelecanus.
Pelecanus is a radio show/podcast about the current happenings within the science conservation community. As a documentary style show, Pelecanus highlights the people and organizations that are making it their purpose to push the conservation community forward.
Last week, Cabrillo National Monument’s education team was fortunate to host over 70 Second Graders from Pacific Beach Elementary School. In partnership with the Climate Science Alliance, students spent the morning exploring their National Park while participating in activities associated with outdoor and climate education.
The newest exhibit at Cabrillo National Monument, The See Life Collection is a unique project highlighting the stunning and diverse ecosystems and animals that call Cabrillo home.
The artist, Michael Ready, is a nature photographer based in San Diego, California. From vanishing amphibians to bioluminescent squid, Ready seeks to reveal the diversity of life and particularly its smaller and lesser-known forms.
Last month, Artist-in-Residence Jason Rogalski and Centennial Ambassador Alex Warneke joined forces to bring 32 refugee students from San Diego Refugee Tutoring to Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego’s only National Park.
On August 1st, Cabrillo National Monument scientists and interpreters unveiled a new temporary exhibit, “The Pollination Project.” Designed in-house with original art, hands on activities and sound science, the exhibit creates a compelling and interactive learning environment for park visitors.
Excursions to the rocky intertidal zone can reveal a vast diversity of marine life. However, in remote sections of Cabrillo's intertidal habitat, park biologists and volunteers have recently discovered a most unusual group of visitors. Aggregating in large numbers, juvenile Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) scout the shallow seagrass beds for their crustacean and mollusk prey.