Science Lectures

Please join Point Reyes National Seashore staff for Science Lectures, 45 minute presentations on scientific research being performed at Point Reyes and elsewhere in the California. Science Lectures are sponsored by the Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center at Point Reyes National Seashore. They usually occur at noon on many Thursdays throughout the year and are normally held at the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore's Headquarters. All are welcome and admission is free.

To get to the Red Barn Classroom, follow the Directions to get to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. After turning off of Bear Valley Road, proceed up the two-lane, paved driveway toward the Bear Valley Visitor Center. You will see the Red Barn on the left and after about 0.1 miles, there is a brown road sign pointing left to the Red Barn Classroom. Turn left on to the gravel driveway and proceed across the bridge to the parking lot. The Red Barn Classroom is on the end closest to this parking lot.


Upcoming Science Lectures:

There are no upcoming Science Lectures scheduled at this time.

Some of our Brown Bag Lectures earlier this year included:

Wildcat Beach, Alamere Falls and Double Point.

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Title: "Sea cliff retreat and coastal waterfalls in Point Reyes"
Presenter: Patrick Limber, Ph.D., U.S. Geological Survey, Santa Cruz, CA
Summary: In California, nearly three-quarters of the coastline consists of eroding sea cliffs or bluffs. Cliff retreat often happens suddenly and without warning: wave impacts can undercut and destabilize sea cliffs, causing rapid collapse. Cliff collapse and retreat can be hazardous, but it also gives rise to spectacular coastal features such as sea stacks, arches, and coastal waterfalls.

In this talk, Patrick discussed: 1) historical and future cliff retreat hazards along the Point Reyes coastline; 2) the formation of erosional coastal features such as arches, caves, and sea stacks; and 3) how coastal waterfalls develop, like Alamere Falls in Point Reyes, and why they are uncommon geological features.

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria). Two red mushrooms with white spots. © Debbie Viess.
Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria).

Date: Sunday, February 12, 2017
Event: Fungus Fair at Point Reyes Bear Valley Visitor Center
Summary: Fungi from the park was on display and experts were available to answer questions throughout the day. Three talks were offered in the Bear Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on Science and Ecology of Fungi.

  • 11 am "Truffles and Their Funky Friends" by Stephanie Jarvis
  • 12:30 pm "Introduction to Wild and Edible Mushrooms" by David Rust
  • 3 pm "Amanitarita's Freaky and Fabulous Fungi" by Debbie Viess


Eelgrass bed.

Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017
Title: "The Eelgrass Microbiome"
Presenter: Melissa Kardish, Ph.D. Candidate at UC Davis
Summary: Melissa Kardish will discuss the diversity of the bacterial communities on eelgrass. She is incorporating data on the diversity of these communities from around the world—including from samples in Tomales Bay—to look at patterns in these communities and how they vary with invertebrates, host plants, and environmental conditions. She is a graduate student at UC Davis working with the Seagrass Microbiome Project and the Zostera Experimental Network.


Check out what the Science Lecture topics were for:

For more information about the Brown Bag Lectures, contact Ben Becker at 415-464-5187 or by email.

Ocean Film and Lecture Series
June 12, 2009 Ocean Film Series Flyer (124 KB PDF)
Ocean Lecture Series April 2008 flyer (143 KB PDF)

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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