Bay Area Naturalist Events Calendar

A compendium of bird walks, fungus forays, work parties, wildflower hikes, beach cleanups, exhibit openings, garden tours, wildlife festivals, star parties, ecology classes, science symposia, employment opportunities, and natural history lectures. Compiled by Patrick Schlemmer. If you have an event to list on the calendar, please submit it to jkodiak@earthlink.net. It is always good to confirm locations and times before heading out, as these sometimes change. This calendar is updated every day, so check back often!

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Sat., April 12 New exhibit: “Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid, and Cuttlefishes” opens at Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Wed., April 16 The Ecology Center is seeking a highly committed youth development professional to lead and expand our efforts to empower the next generation of environmental leaders. Our youth come from communities most impacted by poverty as well as environmental and heath disparities. The Program Manager will build on over ten years of vibrant youth food justice programming at the Ecology Center and expand the scope to include a broad spectrum of environmental topics, experiences, and on the job training using state of the art environmental literacy curriculum and youth program quality improvement tools. The re-envisioned program begins this summer with an 8-week Youth Environmental Academy and continues with an academic year Youth Internship Program. Hours: 40 hours per week; some activities will be off-site and on evenings and weekends. Compensation: Competitive annual salary, plus medical, dental benefits, vacation and holiday leave, 401k plan. More information: www.ecologycenter.org/jobs.


Fri., April 18 SF Bay American Cetacean Society Naturalist Training Course. This program will support ACS's commitment to sound science in public education about whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their habitats. SF Bay ACS naturalists will represent the chapter at events such as wildlife tours (land and boat), school programs, special presentations and outreach events. Our members, colleagues, partners, friends, and followers are an engaged group with wide-ranging experiences. We want to include you in the development of this exciting program. As we move forward we will reach out to you with updates and opportunities for participation. Your input will help us design a program that deepens a connection between community members, local wildlife, and researchers. You can help now by giving 5 to 10 minutes to answer this short survey: Link to Naturalist Program Survey:


Sat., April 19 Earth Day Cleanup. Ravenswood Point, East Palo Alto. 9 am-noon. Help protect wildlife! Join the refuge and Save the Bay for our annual Earth Day Cleanup. For more information, call (510) 792-0222 ext. 141. Reservations are required. Please reserve your spot through www.savesfbay.org. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.


Sat., April 19 Learn to identify invasive species, get hands-on training, and be a part of the team working to protect and restore the unique ecosystem on Kent Island in Bolinas Lagoon. Space is limited, so RSVP to save a spot! Participation requires a short rowboat ride to the island. Dress in layers you can get dirty: long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and a hat or visor. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Rubber boots come in handy but are not necessary. Snacks, lunch, and drinks will be provided. 10 am-2 pm. Questions or to RSVP: contact Tori Bohlen at VBohlen@marincounty.org or the Marin County Parks volunteer office at (415) 473-3778.


Sat., April 19 Wild Places, Wild Things Conservation Lecture with Megan Parker, PhD., Director of Research for Working Dog for Conservation. Working Dogs for Conservation has been at the forefront of the conservation detection dog field, developing training and field methods for using the unparalleled abilities of canine olfaction to collect information for conservation projects around the world. From detecting the smallest, ignored invasive weed in Montana to helping describe population parameters of large carnivores in Africa through scat detection, these dogs have provided critical conservation solutions from non-invasive surveys of wildlife sign, invasive plants, and live animals. Working Dogs for Conservation works collaboratively where hard-to-find samples can have large conservation impacts and many of their projects have been successful only through the use of canine detection, where other methods have failed. They help conservation through conservation partnerships, innovative research, and setting the highest standards for the field. Come help us celebrate Earth Day at the Zoo by learning about this amazing organization. San Francisco Zoo, Osher Great Hall, noon-1:30 pm. Recommended for ages 12 and above. For more information, call (415) 753-7073. Free.


April 19-27 National Park Week.


Sun., April 20 Raven cam: www.wellesley.edu/ravencam.


Tues., April 22 Extreme Weather & The Science of Superstorms. Heidi Cullen in conversation with Elizabeth Farnsworth. Nourse Theater, 7:30 pm. For tickets, call (415) 392-4400 or visit the City Box Office.


Tues., April 22 Springtime in the Smoky Mountains, with Bob Case. Potluck slide show at the County Fair Building, GG Park, 7 pm. For more information, contact Ted Kipping at tkippingsprint@earthlink.net. Please bring your own plates and service and a dish and beverage to serve eight people.


Thurs., April 24 The Sibley Guide to Birds ' David Allen Sibley will be speaking at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center on April 24. Sibley, famous for his Guide to Birds, is cause for celebration for the veteran and novice birders among us. In fact, the Zoo is pleased to partner with the JCC on this event, and Zoo bird staff is looking forward to attending. For a 25% discount on tickets, SFZS Members can purchase online and use the discount code BIRDING25.


Fri., April 25 California Native Grasslands Assn's 7th Annual Field Day at Hedgerow, 21905 County Road 88, Winters. 8:45 am-4:30 pm. Register now at www.cnga.org. $85, $45/Students with ID.


Fri., April 25 Arbor Day.


Sat., Apr 26 Bay Bike Ride. Meet at the Visitor Center, Fremont. 10:30 am. Go on an 11-mile bike ride with docent Gregg Aronson along Marshlands Road and on the Shoreline Trail to observe birds and the occasional leopard shark! Pass through several habitat types along the way including salt marsh, salt pond, and the bay. The paved and dirt trails are almost flat and trail and hybrid bicycles highly recommended. Helmets are required. Recommended for more experienced bicyclists. Program cancels if it rains the day before and the day of due to mud. Register at https://donedwardsbike.eventbrite.com or call (510) 792-0222 ext. 362 for reservations.


Sat., April 26 Conference on Animal Welfare in Mainland China and Taiwan. Golden Gate University, 536 Mission Street, 2 nd floor. For more information, go to http://www.duoduoproject.org/conference.htm.


Sat., April 26 Save The Frogs Day is the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation action. On Save The Frogs Day 2013 our supporters held 270 events in at least 30 countries, directly reaching over 17,000 participants. Please get involved and help spread the word so we can make Save The Frogs Day 2014 even more successful! Only a small proportion of the public is aware that frogs are disappearing, and amphibian conservation efforts will not be successful with an un-informed public. Our goal is to make the amphibian extinction crisis common knowledge, and Save The Frogs Day is our best way to make this happen! Learn all about Save The Frogs Day and how YOU can get involved at www.savethefrogs.com/day.


Sat., April 26 Sonoma Seaweed Workshop. We live in abundance, including a rich variety of seaweeds! Seaweeds can be used as food, medicine and fertilizer. Nori, wakame, bladderwrack and kombu are just a few of the local seaweeds that we'll learn about. The informative illustrated presentation includes how to identify, sustainably harvest and use our coastal "sea vegetables" and will also discuss pollutants, the health of our coastlines, harvest cycles and the health benefits of seaweed. Later in the afternoon, with expert guidance, we'll go on a foray and practice our identification skills and more. Heidi Herrmann is a farmer and owner of Strong Arm Farm in Healdsburg. She teaches Sustainable Agriculture at Santa Rosa Junior College and vends at the Sebastopol and Healdsburg farmer's markets. Heidi is an avid seaweed harvester and the only legal commercial seaweed harvester in Sonoma County. $40 full day including lecture and field work, or $15 lecture only (plus California State Parks $8 per car entrance fee).


Sat., April 26 Marin County Parks and the My Earth Day Marin Coalition will host a wide variety of service projects and activities throughout Marin County in honor of Earth Day. The My Earth Day Marin Coalition is a collection of land management agencies and private citizen groups that work together to inspire Earth Day volunteerism from citizens of all ages and abilities. Visit My Earth Day for a complete list of opportunities and for more information on the My Earth Day Marin Coalition. Help give back to Mother Earth by signing up for a volunteer project, or promote a service project of your own. 9 am-noon. For more information, contact Volunteer Coordinator Greg Reza at (415) 473-3778 or  GReza@marincounty.org.


Sat., April 26 20th Annual Bowl-the-Planet Party and Silent Auction! Enjoy an evening of bowling, raffles, gold pin prizes, all–you-can-eat pizza and silent bidding auction on 100+ exclusive items! Classic Bowling Center in Daly City, 5-8 pm. For details, visit http://bowltheplanet.org.


Sun., April 27 This open oak woodland at the edge of the San Pablo Bay wetlands is a fabulous spring destination. Wildflowers dot the lush grassland, the fresh leaves of the trees are alive with birds, and there are always butterflies patrolling the road that runs along the ridge. We'll make our way up to the ridge among a unique oak woodland before dropping back down to follow the trail that runs along the edge of the wetlands. This walk is for ages 15 and up. We request that no pets (except service animals) attend. Heavy rain may cancel. If questionable weather, call (415) 893-9527 on the morning of the walk for a recorded message to see if the walk is cancelled. 10 am-2 pm. Shannon Burke will lead. Questions: contact Shannon at (415) 893-9520 or SBurke@marincounty.org.


Sun., April 27 Annual Native Plant Garden Tour. 11 am-3 pm. The free, self-guided tour is a unique opportunity to see San Francisco-specific and Bay Area native plants in gardens that range from highly designed and manicured to free-spirited and wild. For more information visit www.sfnativegardentour.org.


Sun., April 27 National Crow and Raven Day.


Mon., April 28 The Best of the Best San Francisco Walking Tours. Veteran City Guide Rob Spoor offers a composite walking tour of San Francisco, drawn from some of the best City Guides walking tours. With slides and commentary, Rob goes beyond the landmarks to show the city as you haven't seen it before --- highs and lows, old and new, and a sprinkling of colorful personalities. You'll get an insider's tour of the city without leaving your seat. For more information, go to www.sfcityguides.org


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Thurs., May 1 This walk will explore the theme “how to look at a grass” and will serve to familiarize those of us who are botanically inclined but are intimidated by the completely new vocabulary that applies to these familiar plants. Bring a hand lens and a Marin Flora if you can. 10 am-2 pm. This walk is for ages 15 and up. We request that no animals (except service animals) attend. High fire danger may cancel: call (415) 893-9527 after 7 am on the morning of the event to hear a recorded message if cancelled. Questions: contact Shannon Burke at (415) 893-9520 or SBurke@marincounty.org. Free.


Thurs., May 1 CNPS Guided Tour of the Arthur Menzies Garden of California Native Plants in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum. Every year we try to arrange for one of our programs to be an after-hours stroll and picnic in San Francisco Botanical Garden's award-winning Arthur Menzies Garden of California Native Plants. This year's visit will be led by two of the Garden's expert luminaries. Our chapter conservation chair Jake Sigg spent 16 years as caretaker and supervisor of the Menzies Garden. Jake will share with us the history of many of the well-established plants, as well as some wonderful stories from the past. Ted Kipping has been involved with SFBG most of his life, as gardener, treeworker, and always generous volunteer of time and expertise. A trained geologist, skilled in botany and horticulture and with an extraordinary breadth of natural-history knowledge, Ted is unsurpassed in his ability. He will concentrate on the wealth of trees and shrubs in the garden. Bring your bag supper and enjoy a communal dinner in the garden. Enjoy guided walks from our experts, and take advantage of the opportunity to ask them questions. Garden admission is free for all attendees. Meet in the parking lot behind the County Fair Building before 5:30 pm.


Fri., May 2 International Migratory Bird Day.


Sat., May 10 Strawberry Hill Butterfly Habitat Restoration Project. Join us and help enhance Swallowtail butterfly habitat on Strawberry Hill! If you love your parks, and are looking for a meaningful and substantive way to make a positive difference, come on out and volunteer with the San Francisco Parks Alliance and the Recreation and Park Department! On the second Saturday of every month we'll enhance butterfly habitat on Strawberry Hill. We'll remove invasive weeds, and put in the native plant species that swallowtails and other butterflies need to thrive! In addition to enhancing habitat, volunteers will learn about the natural and cultural history of Strawberry Hill. We meet at the Stow Lake Boat House and get started at 10 am sharp.


Wed., May 14 This public trail easement passes through some great wildflower habitats including serpentine soil that hosts some unusual species. It's also one of the best places to see some great birds, including grasshopper sparrows, horned larks, and lazuli buntings. This walk is for ages 15 and up. We request that no pets (except service animals) attend. High fire danger may cancel: call (415) 893-9527 after 7am on the morning of the event to hear a recorded message if cancelled. 10 am-2 pm. David Herlocker will lead. Questions: contact David at (415) 893-9508 or DHerlocker@marincounty.org.


May 15-18 Jepson Herbarium Workshop: Seaweeds of Northern California with Instructor Kathy Ann Miller. Our workshop will focus on the common intertidal seaweeds of the northern California coast and, more specifically, the seaweeds of Point Arena, a wild and diverse area. Our overview in the field will include the basics of seaweed ecology and biogeography. For detailed studies of seaweed identity and form, we will collect at local intertidal sites and take a closer look in the lab. Our home base at Mendocino Community College's Point Arena Field Station provides easy access to the field: we can walk to the intertidal from our bunkhouse! The low tides on Friday and Saturday fall between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m., so we will be able to explore and collect at a reasonable hour. Beginners and experienced seaweed enthusiasts are welcome. We especially invite people interested in photography who are keen to contribute photos to our new project, California Seaweeds, an online seaweed flora that we will introduce during the workshop. Workshop is limited to 17 students; register by April 4. Workshop fee ($485 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium; $525 for the general public) includes lodging and meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch. Accommodations include shared, dormitory-style rooms. Showers and flush toilets are available. Registration information is available at http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/workshops/2014/regform_2014.html or at (510) 643-7008.

Fri., May 16 Endangered Species Day.


Sat. May 17 Geology Walk of the Coyote Hills. Visitor Center, Fremont, 1-2 pm. Ever wonder what the dirt on the trail is made of, what the rocks are by the shore, and how wetlands are created? Join Park Ranger Jose Garcia at the refuge as he deconstructs the area around you and explains how geology influences the landscape. Discover how knowledge of geology helps rebuild wildlife habitat and provides flood protection for us all. Cameras welcome. Trail is 1.3 miles and family friendly. Call (510) 792-0222 ext. 141 for more information. Free.


Thurs., May 22 International Day for Biological Diversity.


Fri., May 23 World Turtle Day.


Sun., May 25 Introduced Invertebrates. Alien mud creatures are invading our bay! They have no spine and no legs. How did they get here? How have these exotic aquatic creatures impact our ecosystem? Come learn about the invertebrates living in the San Francisco Bay through a slideshow presentation and touch a few of them. Suitable for ages 7 and up. Call (408) 262-5513 ext. 102 for reservations. (required by May 22) Environmental Education Center, Alviso, 11 am-noon. Free.


Tues., May 27 Flowers of Lebanon, with Nisrine Machaka-Houri. Potluck slide show at the County Fair Building, GG Park, 7 pm. For more information, contact Ted Kipping at tkippingsprint@earthlink.net. Please bring your own plates and service and a dish and beverage to serve eight people.


Wed., May28 Whooping Crane Day.


Sat., May 31 This month our regular drop-in volunteer day coincides with our annual Ring Mountain Thistle Pull! We'll work together to ward off invasive tocolote, a feisty, nonnative plant that was once widespread, but is on the decline due to this annual event. Our efforts help protect many unique, native species, including the endangered Tiburon mariposa lily, a beautiful flower found only on Ring Mountain. We will also have the opportunity to listen to interpretive talks, and find out what's in store for the future of this incredible preserve. Become a part of this habitat restoration success story! This is a moderately strenuous activity and is suitable for volunteers of all ages. Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. 9 am-1 pm. Questions: contact Ring Mountain Stewardship Coordinator Sam Abercrombie at (415) 473-2128 or SAbercrombie@marincounty.org.


Sat., May 31 Fossils and Flumes. Environmental Education Center, Alviso. 11 am-12:30 pm. Fossils and flumes are used to teach children about the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Park Ranger Jose Garcia brings fossils from Triassic wetlands he collected in eastern Montana to show the similarities to today's wetlands, and to explain their function in nature. Interactive flumes allow for a hands-on experience of how wetlands protect the surrounding area from flooding. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call (510) 792-0222 ext. 141 for reservations.


Sat., May 31 SkeptiCal 2014, Oakland.


Sat., May 31 World Parrot Day.


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Wed, June 4 Cucurbits of California, with Kipp McMichael. Everyone is welcome to attend Native Plant Society membership meetings in the Recreation Room of the San Francisco County Fair Building (SFCFB) at 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park. 7:30 pm Free.


June 6-8 The Lives of Birds: Yosemite Valley (3-day class) with David Lukas. For more information, go to www.yosemiteconservancy.org/outdoor-adventures/lives-birds-yosemite-valley.


Sun., June 8 World Oceans Day.


Mon., June 9 Science & Scripture: Inside the Vatican Observatory. Father George Coyne, former Director of the Vatican Observatory, in conversation with Ryan Wyatt. Nourse Theater, 7:30 pm. For tickets, call (415) 392-4400 or visit the City Box Office.


Thurs., June 12 The Borneo Project. Brihannala Morgan speak about the wonder of the island of Borneo -- its wildlife, its lands and its people. In addition to the history of the Project itself, Brihannala will also discuss the unique model of the Borneo Project and what the Project does to support rainforest communities on-the-ground in Borneo in their fight against encroaching development and mega-dams. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco, CA 94114. 7:30-9 pm. For more information, go to www.sfns.org or contact Patrick Schlemmer at jkodiak@earthlink.net or (415) 225-3830. Free and open to everyone.


June 12-15 Sierra Nevada Wildflower Identification Made Fun with instructors Karen Wiese and Carl Wishner. Are you interested in learning to identify wildflowers using photographs, flower color, and simple plant features? In this field-oriented workshop, you will learn to use the book Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, and several other excellent field guides, to identify a broad range of wildflowers with confidence. Based out of the UC Sagehen Creek Field Station, north of Truckee, California, the workshop will include an interactive overview of basic botanical vocabulary, two and one-half days in the field visiting meadow, forest, and riparian plant communities, and two evening programs. To sharpen your plant identification skills, there will be opportunities to use dissecting scopes with live plant material and, should you desire, to learn how to key plants using the second edition of  The Jepson Manual. This workshop's content will be tailored to the beginning field botanist. We welcome more experienced participants as well! Workshop fee: ($485 for members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium, $525 for the general public) includes lodging, meals from dinner on Thursday through lunch on Sunday, and some transportation to field sites. Most participants will be accommodated in twin or bunk-style beds in shared rooms. Flush toilets and showers are available in an adjacent bath house. Space is also available for camping. Registration information available at http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/workshops/2014/regform_2014.html or call the Jepson Herbarium: (510) 643-7008.


Fri., June 13 International Pigeon Day.


Wed., June 18 Day of the Condor.


June 22-27 Natural History of the Lakes Basin (5-day class) with David Lukas at the SFSU Sierra Nevada Field Campus. For more information, go to www.sfsu.edu/~sierra/Courses.html.


Tues., June 24 The Southern Ocean, with Buff and Gerald Corsi. Potluck slide show at the County Fair Building, GG Park, 7 pm. For more information, contact Ted Kipping at tkippingsprint@earthlink.net. Please bring your own plates and service and a dish and beverage to serve eight people.


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July 4-6 Writing and the Naturalist's Mind (3-day class) with David Lukas. Sierra Nevada Field Campus. For more information, go to www.sfsu.edu/~sierra/Courses.html.


Wed., July 16 World Snake Day.


July 18-20 Sierra Nevada Natural History. Three day Yosemite Conservancy class with David Lukas. For more information, go to


Sat., July 19 MBARI annual open house. We at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) invite you to our annual open house! Our staff, scientists, and engineers will share their knowledge and enthusiasm about oceanographic research at this special event. Highlights include science exhibits, technology demonstrations, deep-sea videos, presentations about our research, robotic submarines, children's activities, and ocean career information. This free event is fun for the whole family! MBARI - 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, Ca 95039, noon-5 pm. For more information, go to www.mbari.org.


Tues., July 22 Al Life Devoted to Beauty, with Jack Halpern and Ted Kipping. Potluck slide show at the County Fair Building, GG Park, 7 pm. For more information, contact Ted Kipping at tkippingsprint@earthlink.net. Please bring your own plates and service and a dish and beverage to serve eight people.

July 26-Aug. 5 Ants of the Southwest. This workshop is designed for students, biologists, and other individuals who have some background in biology at the college level. This course is designed with curriculum that complements rather than competes with the California Academy of Sciences Ant Course. Although we will cover basic taxonomy and systematics, the major focus of this course will be on the ecology and behavior of ants. For the full announcement click here http://research.amnh.org/swrs/ants-southwest.


Tues., July 29 Global Tiger Day.


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Tues., Aug. 26 Symphonies in Chartreuse, with Ted Kipping. Potluck slide show. County Fair Building, GG Park, 7 pm. For more information, contact Ted Kipping at tkippingsprint@earthlink.net. Please bring your own plates and service and a dish and beverage to serve eight people.


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