Archives List with Synopsis

Expert Talk Series “Penquin Etiquette (and other things I learned in Antarctica” with Chris Epting | April 22, 2018

Synopsis: Expanding our reach to bring you topics on ocean connectivity, award-winning author Chris Epting returned on Earth Day 2018 to enthrall you with stories about an unforgettable trip he and his then teenage daughter took to a little-known place called Snow Hill Island in Antarctica, where he observed and studied Emperor Penguins, a unique and challenging adventure. In the talk, Epting explores ecologic connections between creatures of the deep icy southern hemisphere and our wetland ecosystems, and why it is important to protect and preserve our natural habitats.

“The Camping Trip that Changed America” – Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite” with Chris Epting | March 15, 2018

Synopsis: In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on his first visit to California. Before leaving, he reached out to naturalist John Muir with a special favor: to act as the president’s tour guide in Yosemite. That became what many refer to as “The Camping Trip that Changed America.” Join author Chris Epting for a presentation on how that fateful three-day trip helped to shape the destiny of Yosemite and the National Park system.

“Hidden Wetlands History: The Bolsa Chica Gun Club” with Chris Epting | January 24, 2018

Synopsis: Established at the turn of the 20th century, the Bolsa Chica Gun Club was the most elaborate and exclusive of all Orange County hunting clubs. Both mythical and controversial, it even played a part in World War II before being left to disintegrate for decades after. What was is it like there? What really went on there? What effects did it have on the environment? Author/journalist Chris Epting will tell the story using little-seen images, documents and even a rare film clip, after leading a walking tour to the site for further discussion.

“Sharks, the Myth of the Monster” with Jim Serpa | July 27, 2017

Synopsis: The shark, the myth, the legend. Sharks have existed for millions of years and are generally misunderstood and demonized. For many years they have been dwindling in numbers; some have been pushed to near extinction, in part due to human hostility, illegal fishing and hunting for fins and teeth. People think sharks are vicious creatures, overlooking the fact that we have invaded their waters. Researchers are utilizing tagging and satellite technology to better understand these amazing, yet misconceived ocean animals to piece together their unknown behavior and migratory patterns. Many have been spotted off California’s coast, shutting down beaches and raising public concerns. To learn more about these animals, join the Conservancy and Mr. Jim Serpa as he sheds the light on these widely misunderstood creatures.

“Raptors of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands” with Orange County Birds of Prey | April 6, 2017

Synopsis: Rich in food sources and an excellent climate, Bolsa Chica hosts many birds of prey, also known as raptors. A variety of hawks, falcons, kites and owls call the wetlands home. Learn from the experts of the Orange County Birds of Prey and meet their animal ambassadors up close and personal. Join us to hear about these nocturnal and diurnal species, their classification, their common names and migration patterns.


“Natural History of the Western Pond Turtle” with Barry Nerhus | December 8, 2016

Synopsis: The Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata), is native to Southern California, and are found in aquatic habitats, such as marshes, ponds, lakes, and streams. Due to California’s summer months, some aquatic areas have dried up, forcing the species to either bury themselves in mud or vegetation or leave their habitat, spending days without water. These species have evolved and adapted to environmental changes by metabolizing slowly to effectively hibernate. California’s native pond turtle has been rapidly declining due to urban development and the increase of non-native pet turtles turned loose by their owners.

“Not-So-Empty Nests: Construction, Function, and Human Influences on Western Bluebird Nests” with Bill Hoese, PhD | May 5, 2016

Synopsis: Bird nests are constructed to insulate and protect developing eggs and growing chicks. Western bluebirds, however, are secondary cavity nesters that use abandoned cavities and man-made nest boxes placed in their habitat. Dr. Hoese and his students have been collaborating with the Southern California Bluebird Club to investigate the composition and insulation properties of western bluebird nests in Orange County. They have been asking some of the following questions: Do bluebirds build nests differently early versus later in the breeding season? Why are the nests that some birds build so trashy? What types of man-made debris are used in bluebird nests and how are they used? Preliminary answers and ideas about these questions will be the focus of this discussion.

“The Acjachemen: Rediscovering Bolsa Chica’s Native American Heritage” with Louie Robles | November 20, 2014

Synopsis: November is Native American Heritage month, and here at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Native Americans have been calling this home for as long as 9,000 years. Relics such as cogged stones and pottery have been found in abundance on the reserve, and offer a glimpse into the past lives of the indigenous peoples who inhabited this land long before the arrival of the Spanish. Hear it straight from, Louis Robles, Jr. Tribal member, Juaneno Band of Mission Indians/ Acjachemen Nation, a descendent of the Indigenous Peoples of Orange County.

“Exploring “Blue Carbon” in Southern California Salt Marshes” with Jason Keller | September 25, 2014

Synopsis: Coastal ecosystems, like the salt marshes of Bolsa Chica, are particularly adept at removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing that carbon in their soils for long periods of time. Similar to other forms of carbon sequestration, this process can help to mitigate climate change. There is growing interest from ecologists, coastal managers and economists to better understand and quantify this coastal “blue carbon” which may have value on emerging carbon markets. At least conceptually, “blue carbon” could therefore be used to offset the costs of coastal restoration and conservation projects. Here, Dr. Jason Keller discusses results from collaborative projects exploring the ecology of “blue carbon” in Southern California salt marsh ecosystems.

“Wildflowers and their Pollinators” with Robert L. Allen and Fred M. Roberts Jr. | July 31, 2014

Synopsis: The wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains are a sight to see that are enjoyed by scientists and novices alike. What are equally as important are the pollinators that make the flora thrive. Join us as experts Bob Allen and Fred Roberts discuss their book Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains and explain the importance of the relationship between our fascinating flowers and magnificent pollinators.

“What’s Swimming in the Waters Below?” with Kelly O’Reilly | May 29, 2014

Synopsis: The Bolsa Chica Wetlands provides habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms, including more than sixty species of marine fishes. Wetlands such as Bolsa Chica serve as fish nurseries. Not only do these fish provide food for a wide variety of wetland birds, when the fish recruit into the ocean, they are often taken by local recreational and commercial fisheries. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75% of fish we buy from the market are wetland dependent. Join us as Environmental Scientist and Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve manager, Kelly O’Reilly discusses the diversity of fish in the wetlands and their importance to the ecosystem and us.

“Venomous Snakes and Arachnids of Los Angeles and Orange Counties” with Carol Taylor | March 27, 2014

Synopsis: The native venomous snakes and arachnids that call Los Angeles and Orange counties their home play an important role in the natural environment, but are often misunderstood by humans. Expert herpetologist and naturalist Carol Taylor will discuss the various local species, their look-alikes, how venom is created and used by these creatures, as well as debunking the common myths associated with venomous animals.

“Wetland Predators” with Chris Lowe, Ph.D, California State University, Long Beach | January 31, 2014

Synopsis: Wetlands are highly productive communities that provide habitat and food resources for a wid range of species, including sharks and rays. Dr. Chris Lowe will discuss wetlands sharks and rays, their populations and behavior.

“Health and Fitness in your Backyard – Lunch and Learn” with Dr. John Bergman | November 15, 2013

Synopsis: Get healthy for the holidays and all seasons of the year! Join us for a talk on “Health and Fitness” by Dr. John Bergman, the best selling author of “How to Reverse Arthritis” and “How to Recover from Fibromyalgia Naturally.” His mission is to make people aware of the health renaissance where the body is respected and true healing comes from within, and to awaken the innate force that is in everyone that has the potential to reverse all disease.

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