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Entries in Rocky Shore Naturalists (3)

Tuesday
Aug022016

CA Coastal National Monument Expansion

Today, we have the opportunity to add 6,200 acres to California Coastal National Monument, providing lasting protections to some of the California coast’s most exquisite coastal gems—and making more of the monument accessible to more people than ever.

If the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act is passed, these incredible coastal views, rolling grasslands, lush redwood forests and live oak groves—just outside of Santa Cruz and an hour’s drive from the Bay Area—would be open for all to enjoy.

Let’s give the California Coast the protection it deserves. Ask President Obama to expand the California Coastal National Monument now.

Saturday
Nov082014

Racing with Copepods

Racing With Copepods - Trailer from Bazooka Mama Productions on Vimeo.

One of my fellow Rocky Shore Naturalists, Barbara McVeigh, has produced a video about 12 middle school youths in a one-week race sailing course where they learn about the fastest animal on earth: copepods. In Racing with Copepods, they connect with the natural marine world and become advocates for its well-being.

You can follow the production on Twitter or Instagram @bazookamama for updates and screening locations.

director CARLOS GRANA
producer BARBARA MCVEIGH
camera CARLOS GRANA, RICHARD JETT, RAY BRANAM
narrator KIMBALL LIVINGSTON
trailer editor CARLOS GRANA
cast DR. SYLVIA EARLE, MEGHAN HARTNETT, ANN HOLMES, RICHARD GILLETTE

Major funding provided by 11th Hour Racing, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation. Special thanks to Sailing Education Adventures, Romberg Tiburon Center and S/V Derek M. Baylis. Copepod photograph by Dr Richard Kirby, planktonpundit.org.

Here's my review of the film: 

Racing with Copepods is a natural and nautical adventure of self-discovery and scientific exploration that illuminates the fundamental link between people and planet. The students and scholars featured in the film portray an inter-generational, inter-connected perspective on environmental education that uses concepts such as sense-of-self and sense-of-place to evoke key lessons in responsibility and sustainability. The film powerfully and urgently reminds us that that we’re all on a race and need to tack before it’s too late.”

Sunday
Apr202014

Biodiversity Academy

Two of my favorite academies—California Academy of Sciences and Khan Academy—have partnered to produce an online series that investigates the amazing diversity of life on this planet. In the short, informative videos, viewers learn what biodiversity is, why it is important, where it is found, how it comes into existence, how you study it, why it is threatened, and how it can be protected.

Why is Biodiversity Important?
Discover why a high diversity of species sustains ecosystems, which in turn provide important services to humans.

Topics:

  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Ecological interactions
  • Ecological levels: from individuals to ecosystems
  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecosystems and ecological networks
  • Healthy ecosystems

Where is Biodiversity Found?
Explore how life is found almost everywhere on Earth, but is not distributed evenly. And learn why the clumped distributions of species are the result of a wide variety of both natural and human-driven factors.

Topics:

  • Biodiversity distribution patterns
  • Biodiversity Hotspots
  • Extreme life
  • How biodiversity is distributed globally
  • Tolerance ranges of species
  • Why biodiversity is distributed unevenly

How is Biodiversity Studied?
Delve into the history of humanity’s passion to document and display specimens from the natural world and learn how biodiversity expeditions are conducted today.

Topics:

  • Biodiversity analyses and uncertainties
  • Biodiversity analyses and unknowns exploration questions
  • Biodiversity Expeditions Past and Present
  • Biodiversity fieldwork
  • Field Methods for Documenting Biodiversity
  • How much biodiversity do we really know?
  • Studying biodiversity in the lab

The tutorial videos are narrated by Dr. Rich Mooi, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, and the series includes a variety of supplementary educational materials, such as activities, case studies, community questions, glossaries, and quizzes.

According to the welcome site:

“We chose biodiversity as the focus of our first course with Khan Academy not only because it is so relevant to our institutional mission, but also because biodiversity is literally the stuff of life. It is the diversity of all the species on this planet, the genetic diversity represented by all the individuals, the ecosystem diversity, and the evolutionary lineages represented by all species, living and fossil. Biodiversity is all around us. It is crucial to the quality of our lives and the lives of all other living organisms, but we actually know very little about who all the players are in this pageantry of life, much less the roles they play and the benefits they can and do provide. We do know, however, that we are losing biodiversity at an alarming and unprecedented rate, driven by our own actions that result in habitat loss, pollution, climate change, overfishing and overhunting, to name a few. But it is not all bad news. We are learning more about biodiversity every day, and tremendous advances have been made in protecting and restoring biodiversity in many areas of the world. This course is designed to tell these exciting, amazing, crucial, and at times troubling stories of the diversity of life.

The course is designed for many audiences, including teachers, students, families, youth leaders, policy makers, and anyone interested in learning more about the diversity of life on our planet. We hope that you will not only learn things from the course, but will also be moved to become even more active stewards of the environment and its precious biodiversity.”

All of the video tutorials are wonderful and I especially enjoy the California Case Study, featuring Dr. Rebecca Johnson, my colleague and mentor who trained me as a Rocky Shore Naturalist.

Check it out!