Science Lectures

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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.

 

Past Lectures

Some of our Science Lectures earlier this year 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:
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008

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

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Last updated: May 31, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Phone:

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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