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, SEPTEMBER10: 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. 

Gray Whales in the California Current

Gray Whales in the California Current

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8: Whales of Guerrero with Katherina Audley
Barra de Potosí in SW Mexico is a little known jewel, and it’s at a tipping point. Humpback whales breed there every winter, and resident dolphins delight visitors, but before Katherina Audley arrived, fishing was almost the only local industry. For the past 6 years, she has been working to change that through cooperative research, ecotourism, and community-driven conservation.

Her organization, the Whales of Guerrero, has been conducting collaborative whale and dolphin research in Barra de Potosí since 2013. With local fisheries on the verge of collapse, they have supported newly formed ecotourism coops to provide a new way for local people to make a living, and trained 75 boat owners from across the region in whale safe boating. Their environmental education programs have reached 3500+ kids in 25 schools.

Over the past six years, Whales of Guerrero has worked to transform the relationship between people and nature in this special part of the world. The seeds of stewardship have taken root in Barra de Potosí, and now they are beginning to bear fruit.

Learn about the 16 species of marine mammals identified so far in this region, how a community of fishermen became committed whale protectors and a special village in Mexico where all the resident kids know their local whales by name. Katherina will also share her top tips on how to empower and inspire communities to become marine conservationists and lessons learned along the way.


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12: Birds and Beasts of Tanzania with Rita Carratello and Don Roberson. 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.

Wild African Lions

Wild African Lions

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10: The Salton Sea: A Looming Crisis with Audubon California Conservation Director, Andrea Jones

Salton Sea is a crucial breeding area for the elusive Least Bittern. Photo by Hal Trachtenberg

Salton Sea is a crucial breeding area for the elusive Least Bittern. Photo by Hal Trachtenberg

The Salton Sea, an inland saline lake covering 350 square miles in southern California, is a critically endangered Important Bird Area that hosts two-thirds of California’s bird species.

For years, irrigation run-off water in the Imperial Valley fed the sea. But in 2003, a deal was struck to divert more than 400,000 acre-feet of water that once flowed to the Salton Sea to San Diego and Coachella for urban uses. In 2018, water provided to the Salton Sea as mitigation for the 2003 deal will be shut off, meaning the sea will shrink even further.

In the next 15 years, the Salton Sea will lose 40% of the water currently flowing into it. It will drop by 20 feet and expose 100 square miles of dust-generating lake bottom. The region’s strong winds will create contaminated dust clouds, worsening the already poor air quality in the region. Salinity in the lake will triple, eliminating its fishery and most invertebrates that provide value to birds.

Andrea Jones is Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon California. She will highlight why the Salton Sea is so important that over 400 species of birds use its habitats. She will also describe which species are most threatened by a changing Sea. Although the State of California agreed in 2003 to provide for habitat restoration and dust mitigation, the state has yet to follow through on these promises, and the situation at the Salton Sea continues to worsen as this year’s deadline looms with no solution.

Jones will discuss past efforts to “restore” the sea and describe how Audubon is engaging currently in a new solution for the Salton Sea that will be beneficial to both birds and people.

For the past 12 years, Andrea Jones has led conservation programs and worked with staff and the network of Audubon chapters across the state to implement conservation projects at high priority Important Bird Areas (IBAs). She oversees Audubon’s efforts in priority bird species and serves as the spokeswoman for bird conservation across California.

Prior to Audubon California, Andrea worked at Massachusetts Audubon where she served as the Director of the Coastal Waterbird Program. Andrea received her M.S. in Wildlife Conservation/Ornithology and her B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a past board member of Morro Coast Audubon and currently resides in the East Bay of San Francisco.