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.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Transporting kids to nature

Kids like to be outside and it's good for them.

Trouble is, it's hard for teachers and schools to get them there.

Read my latest in the Bay Area Monitor about the challenges and solutions to getting kids outside.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Empowered by Constituents: A Closer Look at Prop 68

Proposition 68 is a $4.1 billion bond measure that will be on California’s June 5 ballot. It is the largest park bond in state history, and the widest in scope.
Take a closer look at the bill and its investment in water, natural resources, and park-poor communities--and how it was championed by the Latino Legislative Caucus.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sailing for Sport or Life Skills?

Photo courtesy of Treasure Island Sailing Center
Around the bay, people who love to sail are sharing the sport with young people. Tucked into marinas and coves, and working out of portable classrooms and small offices, yacht club volunteers and nonprofit staff are working hard to get youth out on the bay in sailboats.

They don’t volunteer their time or work long hours because they want to make sailors out of the kids. They believe that getting a kid on the water, even for a few hours, has value...
Photo courtesy of  Mary Rutz, Call of the Sea

Read my latest for Estuary News about getting young people out on the bay in sailboats. The article is presented in a slideshow with pictures from sailing schools for Bay Area youth.

As a geographer, I can't help but love this photo of young people working with a map.