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:

 
A man wearing an orange coat and sunglasses holds a yellow and black-colored cylindrical device while on a small boat while the driver of the boat stands in the background.
An excited team recovers the first white shark camera tag of the season.

© Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Title: "Fins, scars, and tags: Ongoing research on white sharks along the Central California coast."
Presenter: Thomas Farrugia, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Time: Noon

 
A man uses a yellow tape measure to measure the girth of a large pine tree. A tall, sheer granite cliff rises in the background.
Patrick Gonzalez measures the girth of a pine tree in Yosemite Valley.

©2012 Al Golub/Golub Photography.

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019
Title: "Anthropogenic climate change at Point Reyes and across US national parks"
Presenter: Patrick Gonzalez, Ph.D., Principal Climate Change Scientist, U.S. National Park Service and Associate Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Time: Noon
Summary: Anthropogenic climate change has already increased temperatures and raised sea level at Point Reyes National Seashore. Continued climate change could reduce habitat for marine mammals, shift vegetation, increase wildfire potential, and increase other future risks to natural and cultural resources in Point Reyes. This presentation will provide climate change science information specific to Point Reyes, explain the situation across US national parks, and describe how cutting carbon pollution can still limit damage to our national parks.

 

Past Lectures

Some of our Science Lectures earlier this year included:

 
A SCUBA diver and a black fish swim above corals. The diver holds a measuring tape.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2019
Title: "Monitoring coral health at Dry Tortugas National Park"
Presenter: Kayla Nimmo, Dry Tortugas National Park
Summary: Warming ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, and coral disease are negatively impacting corals worldwide at an ever-increasing rate. The Florida Reef System is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the continental U.S. Kayla will discuss the importance of coral reefs, the threats these reefs face, coral monitoring programs at Dry Tortugas National Park, and the proposed actions managers may take in response to coral disease outbreaks.

 
Purple, orange, and pink sea stars on top of black mussel shells.

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Title: "Mass mortality, recruitment and genetic change in ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) associated with sea star wasting disease"
Presenter: Dr. Michael Dawson and Lauren Schiebelhut, UC Merced
Summary: Extreme environmental disturbances are expected to increase in frequency and intensity with continuing anthropogenic climate change. However, we know little about what determines resilience or susceptibility to extreme events, or how population dynamics may influence and be influenced by population genomic change. We explore how marine species responded to two mass mortality events using field surveys coupled with genomic data. We describe the population dynamics and genetic consequences of mortality and recovery.

 
Hundreds of small, tan-colored fish swarm above pink and orange sea anemones and corals.
Rockfish recruits on the top of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, taken on the first visit ever by NOAA divers (2010).

Date: Thursday, October 10, 2019
Title: "Ship to Shore" Live from the E/V Nautilus—Exploring Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries
Summary: Join Point Reyes National Seashore and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary for a live "ship to shore" video chat with scientists from the E/V Nautilus. Ask questions, hear from the team about what they are seeing and learning about this unique deep sea ecosystem in the national marine sanctuaries offshore and north of Point Reyes.

The E/V Nautilus is operated by the non-profit organization Ocean Exploration Trust, founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to engage in pure ocean exploration. Their international programs center on scientific exploration of the seafloor and many of our expeditions are launched from aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust. In addition to conducting scientific research, they offer our expeditions to explorers on shore via live video, audio, and data feeds from the field. They also bring educators and students of all ages aboard during E/V Nautilus expeditions, offering them hands-on experience in ocean exploration, research, and communications.

 

Check out what the Science Lecture topics were for:
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: October 10, 2019

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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