Science Lectures


Cancelled until further notice

From 2008 to 2020, the public was invited to 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 were sponsored by the Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center at Point Reyes National Seashore. They usually occurred at noon on many Thursdays throughout the year and were normally held at the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore's Headquarters. All were welcome and admission is free.


Past Lectures

Some of our Science Lectures from 2020 included:

A woman and a man sitting on the ground. The woman holds a digging implement and has her feet in a small hole.

Date: Thursday, January 9, 2020
Title: "Using microfossils to identify tsunamis and hurricanes in the geologic record"
Presenter: Lillian Pearson, Graduate Student at the University of Southern Mississippi and California Academy of Sciences (and a former Point Reyes National Seashore Paleontology Intern)
Summary: As tsunamis and large scale hurricanes can occur on centennial to millennial time scales, observational and historical records generally do not provide sufficient information to determine consistent patterns of event frequency and intensity. Coastal populations have been growing, making it even more important to better understand these coastal hazards and prepare for the future by looking into the past. The geologic record therefore can provide more insight on greater timescale of these coastal hazards. Microfossils such as plankton, that are abruptly found in sand sheets onshore can be indicators of extreme, but short lived marine flooding that would coincide with a tsunami or hurricane. By analyzing the microfossils deposited within coastal sand sheets it is possible to reconstruct the coastal hazard history of a region.

A composite image of six depictions of what the Point Reyes Headlands looked like in the past, at present, and in the future.

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2020
Title: "Dynamically Visualizing the Past and Future of Shorelines, Ecosystems, and Climate Change, at Point Reyes"
Presenter: Thomas Whitley Ph.D. from the Anthropological Studies Center at Sonoma State University

Two wet, brown-colored river otters stand on a rock.

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Title: "Changing the River Otter Range Map - Brought to You by Community Science!"
Presenter: Megan Isadore, Executive Director for The River Otter Ecology Project
Where: Your home via an online webinar.
Summary: Hear about a community science initiative that changed the range map for river otters in California. What does that mean and why does it matter? Drop in to see videos, photos, and maps, and some surprising results from camera trapping files.

If you missed the live webinar, you can watch it on Point Reyes National Seashore Association's Facebook page.

A photo of the head of a bat with yellow fur around its face and grizzled fur on the top of its head and body.
Hoary bat.

Date: Thursday, May 7, 2020
Title: "Bats of Point Reyes and Marin County: Studying Secretive and Nocturnal Mammals of the Night Sky"
Presenter: Gabe Reyes, from US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center
Where: Your home via an online webinar.
Summary: Learn about bat research being conducted in Point Reyes and across Marin County. We will hear how we can eavesdrop on bats to learn where they forage, and the technology we use to track bats to where they roost. Find out what species occurs in Point Reyes, and what role they play in the ecosystem.

If you missed the live webinar, you can watch it on Point Reyes National Seashore Association's Facebook page.

A small black bird with red eyes and brown shoulders huddled among marsh plants.
California black rail.

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Title: "Response of California Black Rails to Tidal Wetland Restoration"
Presenter: Jules Evens, from Avocet Research Associates
Where: Your home via an online webinar.
Summary: Join us online as Jules Evens, Principal, Avocet Research Associates and author of Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula, talks about California black rail ecology and his research into their use of restored tidal wetlands, including the Giacomini Wetlands. Jules Evens conducts wetland monitoring, biological assessments, and survey populations of at-risk species throughout the greater Bay Area. Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) is thrilled to share his PRNSA-funded research at this free lunch-time science talk.

If you missed the live webinar, you can watch it on Point Reyes National Seashore Association's Facebook page.


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.

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Last updated: April 28, 2024

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