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, contact Kenneth Perez at 714-846-1114 or

Upcoming ExperTalk Series events:

Check back with us soon for upcoming ExperTalk events

View our previous ExperTalk Series events:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

*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!

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