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.
Date: Sunday, January 3, 2016 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. Two talks were offered in the Bear Valley Visitor Center Auditorium on Science and Ecology of Fungi.
noon "Introduction to Wild and Edible Mushrooms" by David Rust
2 pm "Amanitarita's Freaky and Fabulous Fungi" by Debbie Viess
Special Evening Lecture: Date: Friday, January 8, 2015 Description: Join us for a special presentation on Dune Restoration, Dune Plant Ecology, and Western Snowy Plovers presented by Dr. Tiffany Knight and Dr. Eleanor Pardini from Washington University, and Dr. Lynne Stenzel from Point Blue Conservation Science.
"Of Mice and Plants"
Dr. Tiffany Knight and Dr. Eleanor Pardini,
Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
-- Native mice on sand dunes consume the seeds of plants. Recent research at Point Reyes National Seashore has shown that invasive European beachgrass provides shelter that allows mice to consume large quantities of fruits of the endangered plant, Tidestrom's lupine. The recent large-scale restoration at Abbotts Lagoon, which has removed European beachgrass, has allowed for an incredible recovery of this endangered plant at this site.
"Secretive inhabitant of the beach and dunes: Snowy Plovers on the West Coast"
Dr. Lynne Stenzel, Point Blue Conservation Science
-- You find Snowy Plovers year-round on our coastal beaches and dunes, habitats they share with an ever-increasing human population. Learn their intriguing life-history and hear how the public, government agencies, and non-profit organizations have collaborated to recover their populations in many locations along the coast.
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016 Title: "Overgrowth of eelgrass by an invasive tunicate in Tomales Bay" Presenter: Holly Long, M.S., Bodega Marine Lab - UC Davis, Mosaic Associates Summary: The invasive tunicate Didemnum vexillum has become widely distributed in estuaries in western North America over the past decade. It has recently invaded eelgrass meadows in a central California estuary, growing directly on shoots and rhizomes. This invasion is of concern due to the important role of eelgrass as a foundation species in coastal communities and the known detrimental effects of this tunicate on sessile organisms in other habitats. Holly Long studied the effects of tunicate overgrowth on eelgrass growth and morphology using surveys, field experiments, and outdoor mesocosm experiments. Holly Long will discuss her findings. More info:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098115300101
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016 Title: "Climate change and conservation in the Bay Area: Visualizing the future" Presenter: David Ackerly, Ph.D., Professor, UC Berkeley Summary: Climate change poses a grave threat to California biodiversity. Current research in the Ackerly lab is focused on studies of climate change impacts on California biodiversity, including distribution modeling, long-term vegetation dynamics and focal studies of selected plant species. Graduate students and post-docs are working on evolution of physiological traits, demography of alpine plants, and species distributions on fine-scale spatial gradients. More info:http://www.ackerlylab.org/
Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016 Title: "Ecology of the California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii) in Coastal Dune Systems" Presenter: Patrick Kleeman, Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center Summary: More than 60% of the coastal dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore have been invaded by non-native plants such as European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) and iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), threatening one of the largest remaining expanses of native dune plant communities in California. The National Park Service has begun restoration of this native dune ecosystem by removing these invasive plants, but little was known about how California red-legged frogs (Rana draytonii) used this habitat. Patrick Kleeman, Brian Halstead, and other USGS employees surveyed 25 sites in 20 seasonal drainages that run through dunes with independent double surveys and found California red-legged frogs in 90% of the drainages. For a more detailed understanding of habitat use, they attached radio transmitters to 22 frogs in three of these drainages between April and September 2015, and they collected habitat data on paired use and random points. The results of this study will inform the Park Service how to protect the California red-legged frogs while they proceed with dune restoration, and sheds light on the frog's use of an under-studied habitat that exists elsewhere in their range.
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2016 Title: "The Rangeland Monitoring Network" Presenter: Dr. Libby Porzig, Point Blue Conservation Science Summary: The Rangeland Monitoring Network provides tools, data, and people that assist ranchers, researchers, and conservation planners and partners in collecting data that expands our knowledge of the ecological function of California rangelands and ranching practices.
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2016 Title: "Singing in the city: How soundscapes affect communication and vocal performance in White-crowned Sparrows" Presenter: Jenny Phillips, Ph.D Candidate at Tulane University Summary: Graduate student Jenny Phillips will present on current research of how noise pollution affects songbird communication, using the model species of Nuttall's white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli). Jenny has been working in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore for three years recording song and testing whether changes in song affect function for male-male competition and female mate choice.
For more information about the Brown Bag Lectures, contact Ben Becker at 415-464-5187 or by email.
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.