Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wishful thinking about landfills

Ours is a consumer economy. That’s a misleading term, since much of what we “consume” ends up in landfills. And although state and federal regulations have improved landfills over the last 50 years, they still pose problems. They take up space, can change the behavior of flora and fauna, and are environmentally destructive in the long run.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Science and delight at Jepson Prairie

Jepson Prairie's unique ecosystem attracts scientists, including four fabulous women
Jaymee Marty at Jepson Prairie (Photo by Ian Shive)
Restoration ecologist Jaymee Marty remembers the day that she saw her first Delta green ground beetle, a rare, quarter-inch-long beetle found only in the Greater Jepson Prairie area.
"The only way to see them is to sit completely still for 20 or 30 minutes. If you move at all, they freeze and blend into the vegetation," she said of the elusive metallic-green beetle she eventually saw on the edge of Olcott Lake at Jepson Prairie.
Read more about four women who have contributed to the understanding and education of the prairie in this article I wrote for Solano Land Trust. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Opening the Coast to All

Photo by Alison Taggart-Barone,
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Although many Californians visit the coast, most don't deepen their experience by spending the night, especially those who are younger, are in a lower-income family, or are people of color.

Read my latest article for the Bay Area Monitor to learn how agencies and non-profits are working to provide equitable access to low-cost overnight accommodations on the coast.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Saltwater Revival

Brad Robinson swimming in the San Francisco Bay.
Photo by Fran Hegeler
I'm an avid swimmer, though I mostly swim in a pool. My experiences with open-water swimming have primarily taken place in the safety of a summer lake.

I tried swimming in the San Francisco Bay twice while wearing a half wet suit, hood, and booties. I still had trouble catching my breath.

I want to try again, especially after interviewing Fran Hegeler and Brad Robinson for my latest article in Estuary News. The piece profiles these South End Rowing Club swimmers, and the joy they get from swimming in the bay, despite its perils.

Read it here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Proud of California redwoods

Dwarfed by giants on the Vineyard Trail
at Jack London State Park.
Photo by Aleta George
Scientists recently learned that old-growth redwood forests store at least three times more carbon above ground than any other forest on earth.

The scientists working with Save the Redwoods League on the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative want to know if that holds true for second- and third-growth forests, too.

Read more about redwoods and climate change in my latest for the Bay Area Monitor.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Working landscapes can capture (and keep) carbon

Making compost at Sierra Orchards
(Photo compliments of Sierra Orchards)
The term “farm” can have more than one meaning these days, especially when it comes to farms fighting climate change. While wind farms are easily recognizable with their giant wind turbines marching across a landscape, a carbon farm is not so easy to spot, given that the fruits of the farm lie in the soil.

Take a look at Carbon Farming: Sequestering Greenhouse Gases in the Soil, my latest for Bay Area Monitor.

Volunteers make the parks come alive

Docent Kay Jang at Regional Parks
Botanic Garden at Tilden Park
It’s not an exaggeration to say that volunteers are vital to the East Bay Regional Park District. With 73 parks and 121,396 acres of parkland, the district is dependent on, and committed to supporting, its volunteers.

The district’s volunteer program is a human web of support. It’s also a giant hug that goes both ways.

Here's an article I wrote about EBRPD volunteers for Bay Nature magazine.