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.

Please note the new, EARLIER start time for our speaker programs in 2016! Doors open for refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and the speaker will start promptly at 7 p.m.

A Very Big California Year

Immature male Brambling by Curtis Marantz

Immature male Brambling by Curtis Marantz

Curtis Marantz
San Francisco: Thursday, July 21
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7:00 p.m. program

Curtis Marantz spent 2014 crisscrossing California in an attempt to find as many species as possible during a one-year period. He ultimately found 485 – including every species that now breeds regularly in the state – and broke the previous record of 481 set in 1996 by Vernon Howe. Curtis will give an overview of how he set this new record, including stories about the birds seen (or missed!) while driving 40,000 miles in a single year. He’ll show photos of the more unusual species.

Curtis Marantz received an M.S. in biology from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. His research examined vocal variation and systematics in groups of woodcreepers, a passerine family that occurs exclusively in the Neotropics. For his fieldwork Marantz spent extended periods of time making audio recordings of woodcreepers and other birds in the forests of Brazil and Venezuela. He is now a biological consultant in Riverside.


Double-crested Cormorants on the Bay Bridges


Double-crested Cormorant by Mark Lauzon

Mark Rauzon and Meredith Elliott
Berkeley: Thursday, August 18
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7:00 p.m. program

The Bay Bridge and Richmond-San Rafael Bridge have hosted the Bay Area’s largest nesting colonies of Double-crested Cormorants for decades. But now these colonies are declining, and their nesting structures are being dismantled or blocked off for maintenance. Where will the cormorants nest in the future? Learn about this resilient species and what researchers are learning about the regional population of this adaptable yet maligned bird.

Mark Rauzon , a geography professor at Laney College, is a wildlife biologist specializing in seabird conservation. Meredith Elliott is a Senior Scientist at Point Blue Conservation Science who has worked on seabird monitoring.


Seabird Conservation in the Farallones

Common Murres at the Farallones by Ron LeValley

Common Murres at the Farallones by Ron LeValley

Sean Denny
San Francisco: Thursday, September 15
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7:00 p.m. program

The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary along the central California coast protects some of the world’s most productive waters, including the highest density of seabirds in the contiguous United States. Learn about the fascinating history of seabird conservation in the Farallones sanctuary, including historic activities on Southeast Farallon Island and current efforts to monitor and restore seabird populations.

Sean Denny is an Outreach Specialist for the Seabird Protection Network, a program of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. He has a Masters in Conservation Science and years of experience engaging the public in conservation issues both in the U.S. and abroad.