Golden Gate Audubon’s monthly Speaker Series features renowned naturalists, photographers, ornithologists, and other fascinating speakers. Due to the impact of COVID-19, GGAS’s Speaker Series will now be hosted as online events, through Zoom webinars.
Expect our Speaker Series email alerts approximately 48 hours before our scheduled online events. These emails will have important details including the Zoom link and passcode necessary to sign in to the event. Our online Speaker Series has a first come, first serve sign in basis with a limit of 500 participants. We are unable to accommodate any RSVPs or advanced sign ins. Sign in to the event takes place the day of the event at 7 pm with the information provided in our Speaker Series email alerts.
If you’d like to sign up for our monthly email distribution list (which includes our Speaker Series email alerts), please email our Communications Manager, Melissa, at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no cost to sign in to our online series, however, if you would like to make a donation to Golden Gate Audubon Society, please click here.
Online: Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 7 pm
Wildfires are an important part of many ecosystems around the world. Fires provide an opportunity for new growth, to return nutrients to the soil, and to create a wholly unique type of habitat. Many species are adapted for these ever-changing systems, and they have developed a wide variety of strategies for making the best of the post-fire habitat. However, these systems exist in a delicate balance. Recently, forest fires have been increasing in size, intensity, and frequency due to human activities, and even fire-adapted species are struggling to keep up. In this talk we discuss how animals survive and thrive in a system defined by fire and what we can do to help protect the balance of these special ecosystems.
Lynn Schofield is a biologist for the Institute for Bird Populations. Her research covers a diversity of topics including bird migration, forest fire ecology, and wetland conservation. In addition to using her research to help inform effective conservation strategies, Lynn also works to help make connections with nature accessible to all. She is one of the core members of the Cal Falcons social media project, a frequent trip leader for the Bay Area chapter of the Feminist Bird Club and a long-time volunteer for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.
As climate change impacts both wildlife and human communities worldwide, climate smart restoration is becoming recognized as an important strategy for healing landscapes and increasing human health. The goal of climate smart restoration, a growing field of ecological restoration, is to prepare landscapes for the impacts of climate change by increasing habitat resilience and engaging local communities. In this presentation we’ll explore guiding principles of climate smart restoration, current science and exemplary projects where people and places are being restored together. In addition to highlighting projects across California, we’ll explore our experiences engaging diverse communities and practicing culturally relevant teaching — a pedagogical framework to make restoration science and conservation topics relevant to the culture and lived experiences of the students and communities we engage. In a time of civil discord, a global health crisis and rapid climate change, climate smart restoration is emerging as a solution for many challenges.
Point Blue Conservation Science’s STRAW program (Students & Teachers Restoring A Watershed) implements community-based restoration projects, engaging more than 3000 students annually in hands-on restoration across California. Since beginning in 1994, STRAW has restored more than 36 miles of streams and educated 50,000 students, all free of charge to teachers thanks to generous support from partners, funders and donors. Our speakers are integral members of STRAW and other conservation programs. For speaker bios, please click their names.
Featuring Dr. Kristen Greer
Online: Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 7 pm
During the 19th century, Britain maintained a complex network of garrisons to manage its global empire. During their tours abroad, many British officers engaged in formal and informal scientific research. Kirsten A. Greer tracks British officers as they moved around the world, just as migratory birds traversed borders from season to season. Greer examines the writings of a number of ornithologist-officers, arguing that the transnational encounters between military men and birds shaped military strategy, ideas about race and masculinity, and conceptions of the British Empire. Collecting specimens and tracking migratory bird patterns enabled these men to map the British Empire and the world and therefore to exert imagined control over it. Through its examination of the influence of bird watching on military science and soldiers’ contributions to ornithology, Red Coats and Wild Birds remaps empire, nature, and scientific inquiry in the nineteenth-century world.
Dr. Kirsten Greer is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Geography and History at Nipissing University, and the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Global Environmental Histories and Geographies. Her CRC program addresses specifically reparations “in place” from Northern Ontario, Canada, to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean through interdisciplinary, integrative, and engaged (community-based) scholarship in global environmental change research. She is the author of Red Coats and Wilds Birds: How Military Ornithologists and Migrant Birds Shaped Empire (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Greer is of Scottish-Scandinavian descent, from the unceded lands of Tiohtiàke/Montréal.
Online: Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7 pm
Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with 2.6 million residents. It has the largest sand dunes in the world, and it hasn’t rained for over 10 years in parts of the Namib Desert. But it hosts many birds and animals that have learned to survive in this arid place. We spent some time in Cape Town with GGAS friends (Eric and Susan), and then four of us drove to Walvis Bay where we met our GGAS tour group. We’ll show you many of the desert creatures we saw on our tour.
Bob trained as a chemist, but his second career is very avian. He’s served on the GGAS board where he led the Adult Education Committee. He’s an award-winning photographer and world traveler, and frequent public speaker on avian topics at libraries and Audubon Societies. He has co-taught Master Birding, Avian Evolution and Bay Area Birds for GGAS, and his bird life list stands at 5037.
Audubon California - Tricolored Blackbird
Thursday, January 17
6:30 p.m. refreshments,
The Tricolored Blackbird is a colonial breeder that is nearly endemic to California. Historically, these birds bred on wetlands in the Central Valley. As a result of the loss of 90 percent of the wetlands, Tricolors increasingly nest in agricultural fields. When nesting and farmers’ harvest schedules conflict high proportions of the Tricolor population are put at risk. Tricolored Blackbirds were listed as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act in April 2018 due to sharp, ongoing population declines. In this presentation Conservation Project Director, Samantha Arthur, will discuss Audubon California’s multi-pronged approach to save the Tricolored Blackbird. This approach includes creating new wetland habitat, working with dairy farmers to delay harvest until after chicks have fledged from nests, and advocating for protections under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.
Samantha Arthur is a Conservation Project Director for Audubon California, focusing on improving wetlands management for the benefit of bird species in the Central Valley. She also manages Audubon California’s campaign to save the Tricolored Blackbird.
Innovative Habitat Enhancement for Birds
Since 1997 Golden Gate Audubon has partnered with the Port of San Francisco to enhance shoreline wildlife habitat at Pier 94, located along the south eastern bay shoreline, on property owned and operated by the Port of San Francisco. After completing successful wetland and beach enhancement projects, in 2013 Golden Gate Audubon initiated habitat enhancements in the adjacent upland areas of Pier 94. Through creative partnerships and modest funding, Golden Gate Audubon mobilized materials, equipment, and people to transform a mostly barren area of shoreline rubble and road into a viable place for native plants and wildlife. This project is a model for beneficial sediment reuse – using clean local “waste” sediment from mining, dredging, and excavation projects for habitat enhancement rather than disposal
Mike Perlmutter is the Environmental Stewardship Team Supervisor for the City of Oakland Public Works Environmental Services Division. The Environmental Stewardship Team supports volunteer cleaning, greening, and beautification projects throughout City of Oakland public spaces such as parks, creeks, and rights of way. Mike holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Tufts University, and a Master’s of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Mike has worked in San Francisco Bay Area environmental conservation since 1998. His experience includes native plant and wildlife habitat restoration with the National Park Service, wildlife advocacy with the National Audubon Society, regional invasive plant management with the Bay Area Early Detection Network, and urban environmental stewardship with the City of Oakland.