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Volunteering for the Laguna de Santa Rosa
(photo by Gerald Corsi)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2018 Schedule

 

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Artist Reception for New Heron Hall Art Exhibit
"Naturally" prints and paintings by Rik Olson
Saturday, January 13, 3:00-5:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

FREE. No RSVP necessary.
Light snacks provided.

Join us in welcoming Rik Olson and his beautiful artwork to Heron Hall. His prints and paintings will be on display January 9 through May 1, 2018. “Moving to Sonoma County 20 years ago opened up my vision to the beauty of nature. The natural environment, the colors, the forest, the ocean coastline are all inspirations to a visual person. I am drawn to the printmaking process and its complexity where the skill of the hand and eye combine to cut blocks. Through the art of printing I try to produce images of the fullness of nature.” A California native, Rik Olson received his B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. He studied under such masters as Barry Moser, John DePol, Richard McLean, and Ralph Borge. He lived, studied and exhibited in Italy, Germany and the U.S. His influences include the years he lived in Europe and currently the beautiful countryside of Sonoma County. He enjoys pushing the envelope in printmaking and has recently been working on editions of multi-color linoleum cut prints. Check out details of our current and upcoming art exhibits here.

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Waterfowl of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the Pacific Flyway
Presentation with “Duck Man” Dave Barry
Saturday, January 20,
(reschedule from Jan. 6), 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center,  900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12
(non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (see below).

Ducks, geese, wonderful waterfowl!  We will learn basic identification and characteristics of waterfowl found in Sonoma County and along the Laguna de Santa Rosa at different times of year. Did you know that a goose species that overwinters in Sonoma County is known to migrate 3,000 miles over open ocean? And that most ducks practice sexual dimorphism, where females and males of the same species look different? We will learn cool facts like the difference between “dabbling" and “diving” ducks and its importance to these masters of the water world. Learn about how the Laguna de Santa Rosa is an important stopover along the Pacific Flyway for thousands of migrating ducks and other water-loving birds. We will talk about some of the challenges that waterfowl face, as well as success stories.

And, join us for another waterfowl-focused event with Dave the next day on Sunday, January 21, 7:30-11:00am for a Sunrise Natural History walk. Details below. 

Dave Barry is a certified California Naturalist, a certification program created by UC Berkeley and UC Davis. Dave brings a breath of experience and knowledge of birding and nature to his volunteer work mentoring young birders, leading bird tours and nature hikes, and giving natural history talks. Dave is a Santa Rosa native and has done programs with LandPaths, Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Wildlands Conservancy, and is a lead naturalist with West County Hawk Watch.

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Waterfowl of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the Pacific Flyway
Sunrise Natural History Walk with “Duck Man” Dave Barry
Sunday, January 21,
(rescheduled from Jan. 7), 7:30am-11:00am
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

$35.  Pre-registration required
(see below).

We will visit 2-3 sites along the Laguna, not normally open to the public, where waterfowl love to hang out. On our early morning walk we will learn to identify ducks by their behavior and vocalization, both in flight and while feeding. We will learn basic identification techniques and key characteristics of waterfowl found in Sonoma County and along the Laguna de Santa Rosa at different times of year, as well as learn cool facts such as the difference between “dabbling" and ”diving” ducks and its importance to these masters of the water world. We will keep a list of what we see and compare notes back at Heron Hall. This natural history walk is suitable for novice to advanced birders, 10 years old and up. Light snacks provided.

Join us for another waterfowl-focused event with Dave the previous day on Saturday, January 20, 3:00-4:30pm for a presentation all about wonderful waterfowl. Details above. 

Dave Barry is a certified California Naturalist, a certification program created by UC Berkeley and UC Davis. Dave brings a breath of experience and knowledge of birding and nature to his volunteer work mentoring young birders, leading bird tours and nature hikes, and giving natural history talks. Dave is a Santa Rosa native and has done programs with LandPaths, Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Wildlands Conservancy, and is a lead naturalist with West County Hawk Watch.

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Before the Flood Film Screening
And discussion with Woody Hastings, Center for Climate Protection
Thursday, January 25, 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$6-20 sliding scale
(non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (see below).

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet. The film first came out in October 2016 and follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and investigate concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. After the 1.5 hour film, Woody Hastings, Renewable Energy Manager from the Center for Climate Protection, will join us for a discussion including what’s being done in Sonoma County and California to address climate change and positive steps each of us can take. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided.  

Woody Hastings is an energy and environmental policy analyst, strategic planner, and community organizer with over 28 years of experience in the non-profit, governmental, and private sectors. Woody specializes in Community Choice energy, a state policy that fosters energy democracy by empowering communities to establish their own not-for- profit electricity service, thereby taking control over decision-making about energy sources for electricity generation. Read Woody’s blog posts.

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Winter Color: Branches, Lichen and Leaves
Colored Pencil Techniques Workshop with Nina Antze
Saturday, January 27, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

$95.  Pre-registration required
(see below).

Spend a peaceful, meditative day at the Laguna Environmental Center learning and practicing different colored pencil techniques from a wonderful botanical artist and instructor, Nina Antze. We’ll explore the textures and markings of winter branches, along with lichen and the dying leaves, acorns, dried berries and other last vestiges of the season.  Learn ways to use lots of color to create interesting browns and grays while enjoying the warmth of Heron Hall and the Laguna Environmental Center native plant landscape. All levels welcome. Suitable for 12 year olds and up (children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult). Participants bring their own lunch and art supplies (a supply list will be provided). Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.

Nina Antze is a Sonoma County botanical artist and quiltmaker. She has a degree in Fine Art from San Francisco State and a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the New York Botanical Gardens. She teaches colored pencil and botanical workshops throughout the Bay Area.  Learn more about Nina at her website.

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Healing from the October Fires: Ecological and Firewise Perspectives
Presentation with biologist, poet, and filmmaker Maya Khosla
Thursday, February 1, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$6-20 sliding scale.  Pre-registration required
, (see below).

Join us for this multifaceted program of poetry, film, and scientific perspectives on fire ecology and being firewise. Maya Khosla and community members (pre-arranged), including high school students, will share their writings about the October 2017 Sonoma County fires. This shared work will be followed by a brief discussion and a slideshow of Pepperwood Preserve landscapes that are rapidly recovering from the recent fires. We will then screen two of Maya’s short films and follow-up each with a Q&A. The first film is Firewise: The Scientists Speak, a 6-minute film that weaves personal accounts and findings of leading fire scientists and firefighters who work to provide fire-safe communities while understanding the high value of backcountry wildfire. The second film is Searching for the Gold Spot: The Wild after Wildfire (30 minutes) a film about the rapid and amazing comeback of the wild in forests after wildfire. The story follows teams of scientists and firefighters through the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades Mountains and beyond, and shows hundreds of living, breathing reasons why our publicly owned forests need to be saved from large-scale logging projects. The teams find rare black-backed woodpeckers, goshawks, spotted owls, their young, and many other animals using post-fire forests – a surprise and a new sense of hope for all. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided at this event.

If you would like to share your poem about the October fires (reading time no more than 2 minutes), please contact Anita. Limited spots are available for the poetry sharing, and you would not have to pay for the event, but pre-registration through Anita is required.

Formerly a biology instructor at Imperial Valley College, Maya Khosla has a wide variety of field experience ranging from turtle habitat restoration in India to riparian and salmonid habitat restoration in Marin, Sonoma, and Monterey Counties. She has also been on research teams evaluating the impacts of wildfire across the Sierra Nevada and Cascades Mountains – both the beneficial impacts as well as the home protection measures to be used. Maya’s screenwriting efforts include poetic narratives for "Shifting Undercurrents" and "Village of Dust, City of Water," award-winning documentary films. She is author of “Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek” (non-fiction) and “Keel Bone” (poems from Bear Star, Dorothy Brunsman Award), essays including "Heating Up: Spotted Owls and Wildfire" featured in Boom (UC Press), “Tapping the Fire, Turning the Steam: Securing the Future with Geothermal Energy” (also a film project), and “Notes from the Field.” Recently, Maya has been interviewing and filming firefighters as they discuss the dangers and offer solutions for building at the urban/wildlife interface. Check out the Trailer for her film Searching for the Gold Spot, an October KRCB TV Sonoma fire update (Maya’s work is shown as part of the fire update), and her recent article about the fires in Earth Island Journal.

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Celebrating World Wetlands Day: Laguna Kayaking Adventure
With Laguna Foundation Staff and Guides
Friday, February 2, 9:00am-Noon 
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$50. (benefits the Laguna Foundation). Pre-registration required (see below).

In celebration of World Wetlands Day, we’re getting outdoors to experience the Laguna up close and personal, and we’d love to have you join us! Kayaking the Laguna gives us a different perspective of this amazing, dynamic place. We’ll enjoy birding, looking for wildlife, and cruising through the upper canopy of oaks while getting some exercise and fresh air. We’ll also keep our eyes open for trash to pick up so it doesn’t flow out to the Russian River and the ocean! The Laguna de Santa Rosa is one of 2,289 sites around the world designated as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is “Wetlands for a sustainable urban future: Urban wetlands making cities livable.”  We’ll discuss how a healthy Laguna reduces flooding downstream and how our collaborative restoration, conservation, and education work is helping make the Laguna Watershed more resilient. We’ll meet at Heron Hall (hot drinks and light snacks will be provided), and after a brief welcome and overview, head out to explore. We have all the kayaks, life vests, and paddles needed (or you’re welcome to bring your own). Heavy rain or wind cancels, in which case you’d receive a full refund. Group size is limited, so sign up today! 

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Miniature Twined Basket of Peeled Willow
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, February 3, 9:30am-3:30pm 
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required (see below).

Enjoy a delightful day full of hands-on learning in Heron Hall and around the peaceful Laguna Environmental Center grounds with master weaver, Charlie Kennard. We will use fine peeled sticks of the native coyote willow to make small, bowl-shaped, open-weave twined baskets. Participants already experienced with willow may choose to make baskets with flat- or recurved-bottom baskets. Open to adults and teens, this class takes manual dexterity and previous weaving experience is very beneficial (not recommended for complete beginners or those with hand movement difficulties). All basket-making materials are included in the registration fee. Participants bring a sharp pocket knife, small diagonal clippers, a water bowl, small towel, and their own lunch. Hot drinks and snacks are provided.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and European techniques. He has taught for MAPOM, Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the California Academy of Sciences, the Bay Model in Sausalito, the Oakland Museum, and the one in Heron Hall! You can also visit a basketry plant garden he created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, where he and four friends recently wove a basket 13 feet in diameter. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.

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Rocks, Minerals, and Folks
Presentation with geologist, Dr. Jane Nielson
Thursday, February 15, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12
(non-refundable) Pre-registration required (see below).

We live on a rocky planet. Rocks form the Earth’s solid surface provide raw material for human industries, structural materials, gems, medicines, and even food additives. The conditions of local surface rocks define the stability of human building sites. This talk will introduce the major rock types and discuss the Earth processes that drive cycles of rock formation and transformation— including climatic influences such as the hydrologic processes that we observe in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. It also will explain where the rock types tend to be found, and how to make sure that we experience them in mostly positive ways. This is the first in a series of three talks Dr. Nielson will be presenting here this spring. The next one will be "Inside the Earth" on March 29, and "From Earth to the Moon and Back Again" on April 26.

Jane Nielson has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG).  Dr. Nielson worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999, and in 2003 was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group and the Sonoma County Water Coalition. She also serves on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action and the O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.

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Laguna Watershed Perspectives: Taylor Mountain Regional Park Walk
with Laguna Foundation and Regional Parks Staff
Sunday, February 18, 9:00am-12:30pm
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (see below).

How is Taylor Mountain connected to the Laguna de Santa Rosa? Join Sonoma County Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation naturalists for a leisurely walk along Todd Creek Trail, a 1.5 mile loop to find out! We’ll stop to enjoy the views, do a little birdwatching, look for signs of wildlife, and see what else pops up to explore. Topics will include watershed connections, conservation, wildlife corridors, and more. We'll start out at the Laguna Environmental Center's Heron Hall with hot drinks and snacks and a brief watershed perspectives presentation. Then we’ll carpool to Taylor Mountain for the hike. Parking fees are included in the $10 event fee. After a couple hours on the trail, we’ll carpool back to the Laguna Environmental Center by 12:30pm. Participants are welcome to bring their picnic lunch to enjoy at the Center, surrounded by birds and beautiful views. Heavy rain cancels. Questions? Email Anita Smith, Public Education Manager, Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. We hope you’ll join us for this fun outdoor adventure!

To learn more about Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space District, click here. To learn more about the Laguna de Santa Rosa, click here.

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Dragonflies – Eagles of the Insect World
An Introduction to the Acrobatic, Ferocious and often Bizarre Lives of Anisopterans
Presentation with Laguna Foundation’s Executive Director, Kevin Munroe

Thursday, February 22, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 
(non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

Join Laguna Foundation’s self-described dragonfly-nerd Kevin Munroe, for a behind-the-scenes look into the strange and colorful world of dragonflies. Kevin hails from Virginia, so his photos will include lots of “exotic” east coast insects. Spend a winter evening being warmed by stories and descriptions of these valuable predators – an essential part of the Laguna de Santa Rosa ecosystem. Ever wondered what they eat, how fast they fly, how they breath underwater or how they see? Learn the answers, as well as how these primitive insects are excellent indicators of wetland health and perfect tools for connecting folks to their watershed. We’ll also talk about our two summer dragonfly field trips! Kathy Biggs, one of California’s most accomplished dragonfly experts and nationally known for her field guides, will be joining us for our first summer field trip on June 10.

Kevin Munroe, Executive Director of the Laguna Foundation since August 2015, is also a talented naturalist, educator, and dragonfly aficionado. He started the website, Dragonflies of Northern Virginia, and is enjoying learning all about west coast “Odes.” Kevin developed his passion as a naturalist in early childhood and subsequently transformed this interest into a rich career that includes conservation resource management, restoration, and environmental education.

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Good Fungi, Healthy Roots, Happy Plants
Presentation with Robert Kourik
Saturday, March 3, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 
(non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

There are amazing beneficial fungi that promote the healthiest roots of native and ornamental plants. Trees especially need this symbiotic relationship for superior growth. This valuable fungus assists 95% of all plants to grow and prosper—from the Laguna and beyond. This presentation will explain what the relationship is (called mycorrhizal association), where in the roots it happens, how it increases yields, and whether-or-not purchased inoculants are needed. More importantly, how to promote the existing fungi will be reviewed. All gardens and market gardens will prosper with a healthy presence of this natural fungus. All gardeners, landscape professionals, restoration specialists, and farmers will benefit from this presentation. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided.

Robert Kourik started his organic maintenance and landscape design company in 1975 – long before the word sustainable "existed.” Since that time, his designs, consulting, and books have focused on organic and sustainable gardens, water management, drip irrigation and edible landscaping. He is the author and publisher (Metamorphic Press) of Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape - Naturally, Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates, Roots Demystified: Change Your Gardening Habits To Help Roots Thrive, No-Dig Gardening, The Lavender Garden, his most recent book - Understanding Roots: Discover How to Make Your Garden Flourish and 15 more horticultural books.

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Spring Birding in the Laguna Series
Birdwatching and Natural History Walks with Lisa Hug
Sundays March 18, April 15, and May 20, 8:30am-1:00pm
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$50 per walk.  Pre-registration required (see below).

In this birding series, we will celebrate Spring by exploring a different non-publicly accessible corner of the Laguna each month. During the March 18th walk, we will enjoy the wide variety of waterfowl that utilizes deep channels of the Laguna that the winter rains have brought. During the months of April and May the resident songbirds will awaken and the colorful migrants will arrive from Central America with their vibrant songs. We will begin and end each session at Heron Hall at the Laguna Environmental Center (hot drinks and snacks provided), and carpool to sites along the Laguna. There will be a brief PowerPoint orientation by Lisa at the beginning of the first session (March 18). Bring binoculars, (spotting scope optional), a field guide, comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and a packed lunch or snacks. We will end each session with a group lunch and make a list of the species which we encountered.  In the case of forecasted moderate to heavy rain (determined the afternoon before), we will cancel and issue full refunds. Join us for this incredibly fun learning experience outdoors with one of the area’s foremost birders.

Lisa Hug originally came to California from the Midwest in 1986.  She was very involved with Point Reyes Bird Observatory and eventually became a contract biologist and freelance naturalist in the mid-1990s. She has been teaching for the College of Marin, Petaluma Adult School and Point Reyes Field Institute for over a decade.  She was president of Redwood Region Ornithological Society for two years and received the Martha Bentley and Ernestine Smith Award for the Dedication to Wildlife Conservation Education in 2009. She is currently a regional coordinator for the Sonoma County Breeding Bird Atlas and she edited the Birds Checklist for the Laguna de Santa Rosa which can be bought through the Laguna Foundation GiftShop.

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CTS Terrestrial Ecology Workshop
Lecture and Field Trip with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Friday, March 23, 2018 8:00am-5:30pm
Early Bird (ends Jan 19) $225
Regular $250
Student and Combo discounts available.

This one-day workshop is designed to provide practical training to professional biologists, resources managers, and students on the terrestrial ecology, land use management, and regulations of the California tiger salamander (CTS).

Rare Pond Species Survey Techniques Workshop
Lecture and Field Trip with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, 2018 8:00am-10:30pm
Early Bird (ends Jan 19) $375
Regular $400
Student and Combo discounts available.

This one or two-day workshop (depending on which field trip you choose) is designed to provide practical training on aquatic survey techniques for the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and western pond turtle.

About the Instructors
Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez are experts on amphibian and reptile ecology and conservation, conduct herpetological research, and hold state and federal permits for three pond species.

 

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Inside the Earth
Presentation with geologist, Dr. Jane Nielson
Thursday, March 29, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12
(non-refundable) Pre-registration required (see below).

What makes the Earth work, and how do we know that our modern concepts are completely factual? California’s earthquakes and thermal springs, such as occur locally in Sonoma County, were the focuses of scientific studies that helped to resolve those questions. Geology combined with physics (Geophysics) developed inventions for detecting earthquake waves, thermal variations, and density differences that together revealed the Earth's internal structure and compositional differences—and eventually confirmed the processes that created and still modify oceans and continents. This talk will describe the signal discoveries that led to worldwide acceptance of mobile Earth (Plate Tectonics) concepts. This is the second in a series of three talks Dr. Nielson is presenting this spring. The last one will be "From Earth to the Moon and Back Again" on April 26.

Jane Nielson has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG).  Dr. Nielson worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999, and in 2003 was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group and the Sonoma County Water Coalition. She also serves on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action and the O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.

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Exploring the Historic Headwaters of the Laguna de Santa Rosa
Walk with Jenny Blaker, Michael Knappman, Patrick Lei, and Kate Symonds
Sunday, April 8, 10:00am-2:00pm
Meeting in Cotati
(directions and details sent upon registration)
$10-50 sliding scale
(benefits the Laguna Foundation). Pre-registration required (see below).
This walk is most suitable for adults (slow with lots of stops). Only heavy rain cancels.

Explore the upper reach of the Laguna de Santa Rosa from downtown Cotati to the historic “headwaters” on a gentle, level, (but not wheelchair accessible) 3-mile loop walk. A number of local experts will share their knowledge and insights of the natural and cultural history of the area. This leisurely amble will include highlights about the Ross Street vernal pools; Cotati Creek Critters restoration and education work; Rohnert Park's Lydia Commons Community Garden where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch; and the surprising historic headwaters of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Bring your own lunch, but delicious cookies will be provided! Jenny Blaker and Michael Knappman will lead the loop walk from downtown Cotati to the historic headwaters of the Laguna and back, along with Laguna Foundation staff and Guides, and special guest speakers Patrick Lei and Kate Symonds. Check out this descriptive article from the Press Democrat about the headwaters walk.

Jenny Blaker co-founded Cotati Creek Critters habitat restoration project in 1998, and was Outreach Coordinator from 2006-2012, when thousands of volunteers planted and maintained native trees, shrubs and understory plants alongside the Laguna de Santa Rosa channel in Cotati. She helps maintain an informational website, Headwaters of the Laguna de Santa RosaPatrick Lei is a Technician with the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Stream Maintenance Program. Michael Knappman has been on the Lydia Commons Community Garden organizing committee since its inception in 2009. He has been active as a Master Gardener, helping promote community gardens and school gardens in Sonoma County. He has been walking the Laguna channel in his neighborhood for the past 25 years and has recently been organizing nature walks along the Laguna in Cotati for the students at University Elementary School. Kate Symonds is a biologist with 30 years of experience, including 20 years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, specializing in habitat restoration and native plants for the last 12 years (recently retired). She now volunteers with various organizations on habitat restoration projects and is a docent naturalist at Sonoma State University's Fairfield Osborne Preserve.

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From Earth to Moon and Back Again: Stories from "Lunar Analog Studies"
Presentation with geologist, Dr. Jane Nielson
Thursday, April 26, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12
(non-refundable) Pre-registration required (see below).

Debris from space constantly rains onto the Earth’s surface; by the 1950s, meteorite studies showed that the variety of known space materials could represent a destroyed Earth-like planet, or raw materials that could have coalesced to create one. In 1963 the U.S. Space program provided funding for studies of suspected meteorite impact craters, and focused Earth Science into the debate about the origins of supposed extra-terrestrial masses, which also funded studies of deep Earth rocks. This talk will focus on some passionate 1960s debates, which space exploration and lab studies eventually resolved --including speculations that proved to be hilariously wrong.

Jane Nielson has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG).  Dr. Nielson worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999, and in 2003 was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group and the Sonoma County Water Coalition. She also serves on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action and the O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.

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Also on tap, coming up . . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Winter Flash Kayaking opportunities (make sure you're on our E-News list!)
  • Dia del Nino Open House, April 29
  • Delta Pond Rookery Walks, May 6
  • Animal Sign and Bird Language of the Laguna, field trip with Marley Peifer, June 3
  • Behind the Scenes Restoration walks with Laguna Foundation stafff
  • Nature Journaling classes
  • Wildlife Watching Evenings at the Laguna Environmental Center
  • Laguna for Little Ones, playscape fun for moms and toddlers
  • Talks about climate adaptation, botany, anthropology, reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • And much, much more!!!

For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Manager, (707) 527-9277 x110 or by email at anita@lagunafoundation.org.

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CANCELLATION POLICY: If you are registered for an event and need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations received more than 30 days in advance of the event date will receive a refund minus a $10.00 processing fee. Cancellations made between 30-7 days in advance will receive a 50% refund. We are sorry but refunds cannot be given on cancellations made less than 7 days in advance. Please also note that we often need a minimum number of participants to conduct most events. If the Laguna Foundation needs to cancel the event for any reason, we will notify you as soon as possible (at least 1 day prior to the event) and you will receive a full refund.

NON-REFUNDABLE FEES: Events that cost $20 and less are non-refundable (except in case of our cancelling for inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances, in which case we will issue full refunds). This is due to administrative costs and significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as Eventbrite. Thank you for your understanding and for your interest and support of our programs!

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