Calendar of Events

naturalists conversing in a field in front of trees
10:00am to 11:00am

Dig into Nature with us! After a successful pivot to virtual events last year, we have an extensive series of virtual events lined up this spring. Let’s learn new skills and deepen our understanding of the earth together! Watch recordings of 2020 events under "Past Events." For questions, please conctact Kerry Wininger.

  • Local Nature - Live presentations combined with local nature explorations
  • Deep Dives - Live and recorded lectures from experts
  • Citizen Science Primers - Data collection and analysis from home
  • Professional Trainings - Certifications and professional skills
  • Learn with a Naturalist - Informal discussions and fun outdoors
  • Live from the Field - Conversations with researchers at field stations worldwide


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

a person stands next to fire in metal kiln in a forest

Deep Dive: Biomass to Biochar

2:00pm to 3:00pm

California is waging war against the three largest environmental issues of our time: severe catastrophic forest fire, drought and climate change. These issues are linked. With climate change comes drought, and with extremely dry conditions come extremely large, hot burning fires. Forest maintenance is critical to fire prevention and mitigation, but can present its own hazards through the resulting debris. While there are several approaches to dealing with that debris, one has the potential to keep carbon from escaping into the atmosphere and potentially add to soil health, without the use of heavy equipment: converting biomass to biochar. Come learn about biochar, its characteristics and benefits, and see a demonstration of biochar production in a portable kiln on site in the Usal Redwood Forest in northern Mendocino County.

Friday, March 12, 2021

bison graze under a blue cloudy sky

Live from the Field: Effects of Herbivores on Ecosystems

8:00am to 9:00am

Bring researchers into your classroom and give students a window into the process of scientific inquiry. Join us for an informal chat with researchers studying the various ways herbivores like deer, elephants, and bison are impacting their ecosystems in Kansas, New York, and South Africa. Find out who they are, how they got interested in ecology, and the research questions they are asking. Instructor’s guide available.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Los niños miran un libro y a través de binoculares

Aprende con un Naturalista: Caminos Hacia la Ciencia

11:00am to 12:00pm

¿Te gustaría trabajar ayudando a las personas y al planeta? Acompáñanos a escuchar las aventuras de tres científicos Latinx asombrosos que trabajan en la investigación, educación y conservación. Aprende que hicieron a tu edad para llegar a ser científicos, y que problemas tuvieron en el camino. Tendrás mucho tiempo de hacerles preguntas y escuchar consejos para saber como llegar a ser un científico. Para encontrar soluciones a los problemas ambientales, necesitamos muchos científicos que piensen de maneras distintas y sean de lugares diferentes, así como tú. ¡Te invitamos a ser parte de la solución y a que te diviertas en el proceso!

Este evento es parte del Día del Descubrimiento Científico de la Bahía del Norte. Obtenga más información aquí:

orb weaver spider belly on a web

Local Nature: Neighborhood Spiders

2:00pm to 3:00pm

Spiders! Are they scary? Cool? Depends upon how well you know them. Learn about their silky skills, hunting habits, and generally shy and gentle nature. Learn about jumpers, wolf spiders, tarantulas, the “bird turd spider,” and, of course, the black widow! Learn about types of webs, how and where to discover spiders, spider anatomy, common relatives... even a spidey quiz to test your creepy crawly knowledge. So, come with us around your house and/or backyard to see what we can see.

woman looking into a camera using assistive technology on wheelchair

Local Nature: AT Photography for Youth

4:00pm to 5:00pm

The profound connection to the environment and wildlife enjoyed by many nature photographers is not accessible to us all equally. Whether you or your child or student uses a wheelchair, has limited use of their hands, or is weak and has tremors, this informative and interactive event is for you. We will explore artistic techniques using Assistive Technology (AT) for smart phones and digital cameras in order to promote accessible photography for everyone. You are encouraged to reach out to event leaders in advance for specific information about your disability or mobility needs, and how to acquire AT. Before the event, we'll ask you to take a photograph to upload. After a presentation and demonstration of homemade and purchased AT photography devices, each person will have a chance to share their photo with the group and get feedback from Rick, then hear about accessible nature photography sites. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

sun shining through Purple Needlegrass

Deep Dive: Waving in the Wind

2:00pm to 3:00pm

From afar, our coastal grasslands appear as vast swaths of green or gold, depending upon the time of year. Within the small space of a footprint, however, you can find a wealth of diversity – grasses towering over gorgeous wildflowers, busy pollinators, snakes hiding in rodent burrows and fungi recycling nutrients. Come learn about this world that is often overlooked, but integral to our well-being. We will explore the history, beauty and mysteries of this dynamic and complex ecosystem as well as management approaches to preserving this threatened system that supports native biodiversity, healthy soils and water quality, and in turn provides benefit to all residents of our community. Come away with a deepened appreciation for the tiny forest beneath our feet.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Live from the Field: Remote Sensing of Growth & Diversity

10:00am to 11:00am

Bring researchers into your classroom and give students a window into the process of scientific inquiry. Join us for an informal chat with researchers examining how various forms of remote sensing can be used to study biodiversity and growth in California, Maine, and Pennsylvania. Find out who they are, how they got interested in this research, and the scientific questions they are asking. Instructor’s guide available.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

firetruck and helicopter on a smoky burned hillside with firefighter hosing it down

Deep Dive: Healthy Planet, Healthy People

12:00pm to 1:00pm

How does the health of the globe connect to global health? Some of the ways climate change may effect your health are obvious, smoke and heat illness to name a few. Dr. Joshua Weil, Emergency Physician at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa and part of the Permanente Medical Group will explore some of the many other ways in which the planet’s health and your health intersect, often in subtle ways. He will also discuss the ways you can proactively shape healthy choices, and even potentially influence climate change within health care.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Lidar imagery of forest canopy from above

Live from the Field: Carbon Storage & Cycling

11:00am to 12:00pm

Bring researchers into your classroom and give students a window into the process of scientific inquiry. Join us for an informal chat with researchers using data from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to examine carbon storage and cycling in ecosystems within Colorado, Maryland, and Virginia. Find out who they are, how they got interested in ecological carbon research, and the research questions they are asking. NEON is a long-term, continental-scale, ecological observation facility funded by NSF and operated by Battelle that offers a variety of open ecological data that powers the most important science being done today. Instructor’s guide available.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

a woman stands a creek scooping a net into the water

Live from the Field: Climate Change in Our Watershed

12:30pm to 1:30pm

Bring researchers into your classroom and give students a window into the process of scientific inquiry. Join us for an informal chat with scientists from Sonoma State University and Sonoma Water studying how climate change is affecting the Russian River Watershed. Come explore this fascinating topic through both an academic and applied lens while hearing about who these scientists are, how they got interested in watershed research, and their scientific goals and questions.