Speaker Series

Golden Gate Audubon’s monthly Speaker Series in San Francisco and Berkeley features renowned naturalists, photographers, ornithologists, authors, international travelers, and other fascinating speakers.

To cover event costs, we ask non-members for a voluntary donation of $5. Non-members may attend for free if they join that evening. As always, GGAS members are welcome to attend free of charge. Locations are listed on the right side of this page.


Art and Environmental Mobilizing

Sculpture of an extinct Great Auk by Todd McGrain

Sculpture of an extinct Great Auk by Todd McGrain

Todd McGrain  
Berkeley: Thursday October 16
7 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 p.m. program

Sculptor Todd McGrain and his brother-in-law Andrew Stern created The Lost Bird Project to raise public awareness through art of five bird species that went extinct over the past 150 years. They share a conviction that art can touch us in ways that ideas and intellect alone cannot. At our Speaker Series on October 16th, Todd will discuss the role that the arts can play in mobilizing people to address our current environmental crisis. Then on Sunday October 19, GGAS will show their film The Lost Bird Project from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Ed Roberts Campus across from Ashby BART in Berkeley. One of the filmmakers will be present and will answer audience questions.

Todd McGrain, a sculptor for over 25 years, is artist-in-residence at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Three Birds, Three Outcomes

Joel Greenberg and a Passenger Pigeon

Joel Greenberg and a Passenger Pigeon

Joel Greenberg
San Francisco: Thursday November 20
7 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 p.m. program 

Three different birds, three different outcomes at the hands of humans. The Passenger Pigeon once numbered in the billions, yet human exploitation drove it to extinction a century ago. The Kirtland’s Warbler had dwindled to fewer than 200 singing males in 1971, yet today we know how to maintain healthy populations. The Whooping Crane was down to 23 individuals – twice – and its fate still remains an open question. What can these three birds tell us about how to coexist with other species?

Joel Greenberg is a Research Associate of both the Field Museum and the Chicago Academy of Sciences. He is author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction and has been a leader in Project Passenger Pigeon, marking the anniversary of the species’ extinction.