loading icon



ExperTalk Series

The ExperTalk Series is a great way for members of the community to learn more about topics related to Bolsa Chica, such as local plants and wildlife, restoration practices, nutrient cycling within wetlands, and Native American history! Our ExperTalk series also provide presentations on current day issues relating to environmental conservation and other relative ecology topics such as drought-tolerant landscaping and local biodiversity of zooplankton.


For more information on the ExperTalk Series or to RSVP, contact Kirsten Haltman at 714-846-1114 or kirsten@bolsachica.org.

Upcoming ExperTalk Events:

Designing Solutions for Wetlands in a Time of Change by Christine Whitcraft, Ph.D.


Description: Coastal wetlands, like Bolsa Chica, are jewels of the coast - highly productive and important ecosystems along the California coast. Yet, despite their recognized importance, human activities, such as development and pollution, have reduced and degraded wetland areas. Here in California, we estimate that approximately 90 percent of our coastal wetlands have been lost. Despite habitat restorations, climate change predictions indicate that sea level rise and increasing temperatures will have a profound impact on these coastal salt marshes. In this talk, Christine Whitcraft, PhD will discuss how combining science, policy and education can ensure that we design effective restoration solutions to ensure successful protection and restoration of these valuable ecosystems in the future.

Speaker Bio: Christine Whitcraft is a professor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). She received her PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and completed her post-doctoral work at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. In addition to teaching, she is also the Director of the Environmental Science and Policy program at CSULB, and is a board member with the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Her areas of expertise include wetland ecology, human effects on coastal ecosystems, and climate change.

Duration: approx. 90 minutes Program Contribution: $5.00 per participant*


Click here to register!

Most Recent ExperTalk Events:

Expert Talk Series: “Where We Bow Our Heads" with Joyce Stanfield Perry | January 15th, 2022

Synopsis: Before homes, oil operations, duck hunting, or cattle ranching ever existed in and around Bolsa Chica, the area was inhabited—and cared for—by Native Americans. The Tongva and Acjachemen nations lived in balance with the ecosystems around then, but over the centuries, much of the history and culture of these nations was lost due to changes in use of the land. In this talk, Joyce Stanfield Perry will speak on the history and cultural significance of the sacred site that once existed at Bolsa Chica, and the experience of seeing it destroyed through the eyes of a Native woman. In addition, she will address how we can continue to live in areas like Bolsa Chica while also leading with respect for both the people that first inhabited those lands and the natural world as a whole.


Expert Talk Series: “Investigating Shorebird Use on Restored Living Shoreline Habitat in Newport Bay" with Maddy Panzino | September 11, 2021

Synopsis: In 2016, several experimental living shoreline plots—consisting of native Olympia oysters and eelgrass beds - were established in Upper Newport Bay by Dr. Danielle Zacherl and a team at Orange County Coast Keeper. Maddy Panzino’s research investigated how shorebirds used this living shoreline habitat, and explored if, and how, shorebird use of the area differed between restored living shoreline plots and unrestored mudflat plots.


Expert Talk Series “Local Legends: Movement Biology of the Leopard Shark off La Jolla, California" with Andrew Nosal, Ph.D. | July 17, 2021

Synopsis: Every summer, hundreds of harmless leopard sharks aggregate in shallow water off La Jolla Shores Beach. Marine biologist Dr. Andrew Nosal has studied these sharks for over a decade and will explain why leopard sharks aggregate at this spot and the best time to snorkel with them.


Expert Talk Series “Surprising Connections in the Natural (and Unnatural) World" with Drew Talley, Ph.D. | March 20, 2021

Synopsis: Individual habitats, natural populations, and even people are “connected.” What affects one may have profound and often unexpected implications in others. Drew Talley, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental and ocean sciences at the University of San Diego, has been studying these connections in habitats ranging from salt marshes to desert islands for the past 25 years, and will share some of these insights.


Expert Talk Series “The History of the Bolsa Chica Gun Club" with Chris Epting | February 20, 2021

Synopsis: Founded in 1899, the Bolsa Chica Gun Club was a retreat for the rich and powerful, including one notable member, Henry Huntington, who forever changed the surrounding area when he made plans to purchase Pacific city in 1903, thus creating “Huntington Beach.” However, the club holds many other stories, from a near blood-feud between local farmers and out-of-town millionaires to its hosting of many luminaries and, ultimately, its place in World War II history as a coastal military barracks. What other secrets are held here today among the sparse ruins? Author Chris Epting has uncovered little-known tales and mysteries along with rarely-seen photos.

Expert Talk Series “The Geologic History of Southern California” with Eric Cathcart, M.S. | January 30, 2021

Synopsis: California is renowned throughout the world for our biological diversity, but the geologic history of the region is just as fascinating as our plant and animal life. The geology of California is highly complex, with numerous mountain ranges, substantial and historically intense tectonic activity, and rich natural resources that have made the state a mining hotspot. But what exactly happened all those millions of years ago that shaped California as it is today? To find out, join the Conservancy and Eric Cathcart as he describes the very unique conditions that created the geologic wonders of Southern California.



If you would like to view any other previous ExperTalks, click here!


*The Bolsa Chica Conservancy is committed to providing education for all, but programs like our ExperTalk Series would not be possible without support from the members of our community. Program contributions help to ensure the Conservancy is able to continue providing environmental education to all ages. If you are able, please consider contributing more to help support the Conservancy's education programs!

Website Security Test