Naturally Speaking

Poster describing Naturally Speaking Tours

Naturally Speaking: Science Seminar Series

Join us as we explore the natural themes of Cabrillo National Monument in our Science Education Series "Naturally Speaking!" All talks will be held select Thursdays from 6-8 pm in the Cabrillo Auditorium.

**Space is limited so reserve your seat today at:

** This series is open exclusively to Cabrillo National Monument Foundation Members. Join the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation today at the Visitor Center or online at


January 18, Thursday – Naturally Speaking 6 – 8 PM

Talk title: Nature in Balance- The delicate balancing act of resources management in the NPS – Superintendent Andrea Compton

Synopsis: NPS leaders and staff are continually barraged with sometimes conflicting management objectives that focus on merging two aspects of the NPS mission -- protecting natural and cultural resources, and doing so for the current, and long-term enjoyment of the public and visitors. Join our very own CNM park superintendent, Andrea Compton, as she describes some of these balances that are interwoven into our agencies' responsibilities and our daily work.

About: Superintendent Andrea Compton has been superintendent at Cabrillo National Monument for about 2 years and worked for the NPS for over 15 years. She is delighted to return to this park since her first position with the NPS was as Chief of Natural Resources here. In between these two positions, she served as Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources at Joshua Tree National Park. Her background in ecology and interest in visitor management serve as foundations for the management decisions facing this park and all units of the NPS. --

March 22, 2018 Thursday – Naturally Speaking 6 – 8 PM

Talk Title: Peregrine Falcons – Masters of the Air!

Synopsis: Capable of diving at speeds exceeding 200 mph, Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus – the “wanderer”) are considered the world’s fastest animal and one of the most widely occurring birds. They reside on all continents except Antarctica. Cruising at speeds of 40-55 mph, some Peregrines migrate incredible distances, covering 15,000 miles or more annually. Apex aerial predators, their populations dropped precipitously in the 1950s due primarily to the cumulative effects of exposure to DDT and they came dangerously close to extinction. Fortunately that trend was reversed and Peregrine populations have rebounded throughout most of the world including right here on Point Loma. This presentation relates that comeback story as well as provides an overview of their specialized anatomy, unique adaptations, and typical behaviors that help make them masters of the air.

About: Don is a retired civilian research engineer and executive in the field of Navy Communications and Network Technologies. He is a National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide, presenting multi-media talks on Mountain Lions and on Bats for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County Parks, Mission Trails Regional Park, and other public venues. Don serves as a Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guide and supports wildlife monitoring surveys and Peregrine Falcon monitoring for Cabrillo National Monument and Yosemite National Park. He serves as volunteer Archaeological Site Steward and is qualified as an Archaeology Technician for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, contributing to formal recording of sites and conducting impact assessments. An avid hiker and climber, he has enjoyed over 50 years exploring and photographing wildlife and wilderness settings throughout California and the western States. --

June 21, 2018 Thursday – Naturally Speaking 6 – 8 PM

Talk Title: “Am I Bugging You?: Insects of Cabrillo” – Patricia Simpson

Synopsis: Meet Cabrillo National Monument' smallest visitors. As one of the few coastal patches of land with native habitat, the park is an essential home for insects and other arthropods. Learn about their fascinating and often unconventional habits and life cycles and their relationship with plants and people.

About: Patricia Simpson is a volunteer naturalist. She is a wildlife rehabber with the San Diego Humane Society (Project Wildlife) specializing in songbirds and squirrels and a trail guide with Mission Trails Regional Park. At Cabrillo National Monument, she helps with various projects such as peregrine nesting monitoring or plant restoration and every week, she leads a nature walk for the public. --

July 19, 2018 Thursday – Naturally Speaking 6 – 8 PM

Talk Title: Of Islands and Reptiles – Roman Nava

Synopsis: Learn about the rattlesnake and reptile research going on at Cabrillo! Here we compared the snakes on Cabrillo and the Coronado Island. This research can give us a better idea of how these key predators respond to habitat fragmentation.

About: Roman Nava is a second year graduate student in Dr. Rulon Clark’s lab at San Diego State University. He is interested in animal behavior, conservation and evolutionary ecology. --

September 20, 2018 Thursday – Naturally Speaking 6-8 PM

Talk Title: Tolerating the Flames: Understanding Wildfire Management – Dr. Keith Lombardo

Synopsis: Wildfires have always played a critical role in southern California chaparral ecology. But to what degree? Are the massive, modern-day fires that cost millions of dollars to fight a natural phenomenon? Or are they a product of decades of mismanagement? Let's dig deep into southern California's past by examining the tree-ring record of one of the most unique conifers in the world, the fire-tolerant, chaparral-loving Bigcone Douglas-fir.

About: Keith Lombardo, PhD, Coastal Ecologist – National Park Service. Keith has served as the Chief of Natural Resource Management & Science at Cabrillo National Monument since 2012. He specializes in coastal ecology and is responsible for managing and guiding all long term terrestrial, marine and wildlife conservation programs in the park. Keith also directs a broad portfolio of collaborative research efforts and facilitates scientific partnerships including the Science Outreach Initiative, which fuses the sciences with art to engage people of all ages in the beauty of the natural world.

Last updated: December 20, 2017

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1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106


(619) 557-5450

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