Monterey Audubon's Monthly Lectures and Programs Occur at the PG Museum of Natural History on Forest Avenue in Pacific Grove. Doors open for refreshments and socializing at 700pm. Our programs begin at app. 7:30. Monterey Audubon's Board Meetings are also open to the general membership and begin at 6:00pm, before the presentation. All are welcome.

TUESDAY, JUNE 11: Monterey’s Heermann’s Gulls; An update on ongoing efforts to secure the future of the United States only population of this stunning and unique larid, with Joanna and Byron Chin

A Heermann’s Gull resting near Pacific Grove

A Heermann’s Gull resting near Pacific Grove

Since the late 1990s the area around Roberts Lake, Seaside, has been home to the only population of nesting Heermann’s Gulls north of Mexico. These strikingly beautiful and genetically distinctive birds are more widespread in winter around Monterey Bay when much of the species disperses north along the west coast from California to Washington, from their isolated natal islands further south. Monterey’s little breeding colony has become of both symbolic and actual importance to the species as whole in recent years as climate change and volatile ecological conditions threaten the species’ survival. But our local birds have been beset by their own challenges. After their chosen islands in Roberts Lake eroded in the mid-2000s, the Heermann’s Gulls dispersed to nearby commercial rooftops where they were met with the ire of local property owners, and in some cases, conflagration (literally). Monterey Audubon under the leadership of committee chair Joanna Chin has launched an ambitious project to reconstruct an island in Roberts Lake so the birds have a secure, ecologically suitable place to raise their young.

A Black Oystercatcher in Pacific Grove

A Black Oystercatcher in Pacific Grove

 TUESDAY, JULY 9: Black Oystercatchers and Sea Level Rise in Pacific Grove, California with Amanda Preece and Rahil Ryder
Amanda and Rahil will discuss their work on the effects of sea level rise on the availability of Black Oystercatcher habitat in Pacific Grove, CA. Both masters students at CSUMB, Amanda and Rahil took on the challenging topic of sea level rise for their Remote Sensing class, in which satellite imagery or other remotely sensed data is used to answer specific ecological questions. They used ArcGIS in conjunction with NOAA's sea level rise projections, plus additional help from our local Black Oystercatcher Monitoring Project, to develop maps that indicate which sections of the oystercatcher territories are at risk from sea level rise. 

 TUESDAY, AUGUST 13: Wild Tanzania with Rita Carratello and Don Roberson

Seeing wild African elephants is always one of the highlights of a visit to Tanzania

Seeing wild African elephants is always one of the highlights of a visit to Tanzania

The Usambara Mountains of northeastern Tanzania are not usually on anyone’s tourist route. The roads are bumpy and the infrastructure is poor. However, because of its isolation, there are unique flora and fauna, including endemic birds and endangered species to track down. With the help of an experienced local guide, Don Roberson and Rita Carratello visited there in June 2018 for 5 days. They also made a return visit to two favorite safari parks -- Tarangire NP and Ngorongoro Conservation Area -- to search for the iconic mammals of East Africa.

TUESDAY, September 10: Journaling as a way to experience wildlife and the natural world, with Marley Peifer

Marley Peifer

Marley Peifer

Do you want to take your birding to the next level? Do you want to better remember the species, patterns, and behaviors that you see in the field? A new pair of fancy binoculars might be nice but there is another, much more important tool that every birder should know about. Join Marley Peifer in this fun class where we will explore the powerful ways that nature journaling can make you a better birder and naturalist while deepening your connection to the natural world. Beginners and experienced participants alike will leave this class empowered with tricks, techniques, and the mental mindset to accelerate their learning and enjoyment in nature.

Marley has been leading nature journaling groups at least once a month in the North Bay for the last three years. In addition to his excursions in California, he has also nature journaled in the Ecuadorean Amazon and cloud forest, the Serengeti, and the seasonally dry tropical forests of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Marley lives in Sebastopol, California where he practices gardening, wildlife tracking, birding, and painting. He strives for a reintegration of art with science, a synthesis that he develops in his journaling and teaching. Nature journaling has been a fundamental practice for Marley ever since he discovered how it improved his observation and learning.