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2019 Field Seminars
 

2019 Field Seminars

Registration for the Mono Lake Committee's 2019 Field Seminars is open to members and non-members alike.

Members may register starting on February 1 each year, and if you are not a Committee member, but you wish to register in February, you may join the Committee when you sign up for the seminar(s) of your choice. Non-members can register beginning on March 1 each year.

You may register either by calling the Mono Lake Committee at (760) 647-6595 or by clicking the "register" button near the seminar(s) of your choice to sign up online. That button will take you to Eventbrite, where you click the green button, and then scroll through the resulting list to find the seminar(s) of your choice.

Questions? Call (760) 647-6595 and ask for Elin, Nora, or Andrew. You can also email us if that's easier.

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Full Moon Hikeregister now
July 16 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$90 per person / $80 for members

There is no better way to deeply immerse yourself in the majestic calm of the Mono Basin than to experience it by moonlight. On this special evening seminar, we will take a natural history hike as the sun sets and the full moon rises. We will find a perch to enjoy moonrise and hear stories about the night. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Wildflower Waltzregister now
July 18 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$110 per person / $100 for members

Working on your wildflower identification? July is the perfect month to practice as the flowers will be out in abundance, taking advantage of plentiful sunlight and warm temperatures. On this half-day seminar we will scour meadows and canyons for the plethora of blooms that grace the trails. We will focus on identification and natural history of the flowers we see. Great for photographers and budding botanists. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Mammals (canceled)
July 19–21 • John Harris
$182 per person / $167 for members

This class will cover the diversity of mammals found in the Mono Basin, from desert sand dunes to forests and alpine meadows of the high Sierra. More mammals occur here than in many states, and the group will try to see as many as possible by live-trapping and field observation. Participants will look for tracks and learn to identify skulls, focusing on identification and adaptations to Mono's varied environments. John Harris is a retired Mills College biology professor whose interest in Mono's mammals began in 1975 while studying chipmunks as an undergraduate. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

The Art of Wildflower Macrophotographyregister now
July 26–28 • David Gubernick
$275 per person / $250 for members

Learn to take creative and beautiful close-up images, further develop your artistic vision, and enhance your photographic skills in the supportive learning environment of this workshop for beginning to advanced amateur photographers. The weekend will emphasize the artistry of macrophotography and the technical means to render such images; this is not a course in botanical identification. David Gubernick is an internationally and nationally published and award-winning nature photographer and workshop leader. Limited to 8 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Landscapes & Milky Way Photographyregister now
August 2–4
• Jeff Sullivan
$275 per person / $250 for members

Summer is Milky Way season for photographers in the Eastern Sierra, with wildflowers blooming, snow lingering on Sierra Nevada peaks catching morning alpenglow, and afternoon cumulus cloud formations for potential sunset color, typically yielding to clear skies for night photography. In this seminar accomplished local photographer Jeff Sullivan will teach you some of his favorite techniques and show you some of his favorite spots for landscape and night photography in the Mono Basin. Jeff is a landscape photography and astrophotography workshop instructor, and author of the guidebook Photographing California Vol. 2 – South. Limited to 10 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Natural History: Aquatic & Terrestrial Habitatsregister now
August 2–4 • David Wimpfheimer
$207 per person / $192 for members

The Mono Basin is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the continent; this field seminar will be an overview of the varied habitats that are found here. We will enjoy the rich diversity of mammals, butterflies, wildflowers, trees, and other plants as we explore the Mono Basin, and a major focus of this seminar will be the identification and ecology of birds that breed here. A guided canoeing exploration of Mono's south shore is included in this class. David Wimpfheimer has been an educator and interpreter for over 20 years, focusing on birds and California's natural history. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

En Plein Air at Mono Lake: Beginning Oil Paintingregister now
August 9–11 • Penny Otwell
$192 per person / $177 for members

Painting outdoors allows an instant connection with landscape, and the textural possibilities and complete-coverage quality of oil paint allow students to portray their own unique feelings in their work. This field seminar is designed to be an introduction to the sometimes-intimidating subject of oil painting for students who may or may not have experience painting but who want to learn oil painting outdoors. Instructor Penny Otwell has painted in oil in the Sierra Nevada for over 20 years, and her distinctive style has evolved as a self-taught painter. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mining the Past through Binocularsregister now
August 10 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

The Mono Basin is rich with Native American, mining, logging, and ranching history. This seminar will visit historic locations that give background to the tenacious pioneers, legendary basket weavers, and hardscrabble miners who came before us. We'll also learn about the animals and plants that inhabit these places now. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Falling for the Migration: Bridgeport Valley & Mono Basinregister now
August 15–16 • Dave Shuford
$172 per person / $157 for members

The east slope of the Sierra Nevada is a major migration route for birds traveling from northern nesting areas to warm southern habitats. As a result, late summer is the time of year to see fall migrants and early arriving wintering birds in the Mono Basin and Bridgeport Valley. Dave Shuford has been a staff biologist at Point Blue Conservation Science for over 30 years. He has conducted numerous surveys and research projects in the Mono Basin and beyond and is well acquainted with where to find birds in the Eastern Sierra. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
August 16–18 • Greg Stock
$182 per person / $167 for members

From volcanic craters to glacial moraines, earthquake faults to tufa towers, the Mono Basin displays some of the most unique, spectacular, and accessible geology anywhere in the world. In this seminar, consisting mostly of field visits to locations like Tioga Pass and Panum Crater, Greg Stock will guide you through eons of fascinating Mono Basin geology. Greg is Yosemite National Park's geologist, and has authored and co-authored over 50 papers and abstracts on Sierra Nevada geology. He is co-author of the book Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Falling for the Migration: Crowley, Mammoth, Monoregister now
August 17–18 • Dave Shuford
$172 per person / $157 for members

The east slope of the Sierra Nevada is a major migration route for birds traveling from northern nesting areas to warm southern habitats. As a result, late summer is the time of year to see fall migrants and early arriving wintering birds in the Crowley, Mammoth, and Mono Basin areas. Dave Shuford has been a staff biologist at Point Blue Conservation Science for over 30 years. He has conducted numerous surveys and research projects in the Mono Basin and beyond and is well acquainted with where to find birds in the Eastern Sierra. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Miwok-Paiute Basketryregister now
August 23–25 • Lucy Parker, Julia Parker,
& Ursula Jones
$265 per person / $250 for members
$80 materials fee

During this seminar, participants will prepare materials and create a small Miwok-Paiute basket using a twining method. This seminar is designed for weavers of all levels and participants are encouraged (but not required) to camp with the group at a peaceful private campsite near Lundy Canyon. Lucy Parker is a descendent of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadika'a, and Kayasha Pomo peoples. She learned traditional handiwork from her mother Julia, a master basket weaver who has dedicated her life to learning and teaching basketry. Ursula, Lucy's daughter and Julia's granddaughter, is carrying the tradition forward. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Birding the White Mountainsregister now
August 30 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

The gradient from the Owens Valley to the White Mountains provides a great swath of diverse habitat, from desert oasis to high-elevation pinyon-juniper woodland. On a day of birding like this, one could easily see over 100 species in eight hours. This one-day field seminar will search high and low for a great variety of species and end the day tallying up the list at the Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She holds the Mono County Big Day record after seeing 153 species on July 26, 2011. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Volcanism of the Mono Basinregister now
August 31 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

Mono Lake sits in a geologic bowl formed by ancient volcanic sediments and recent volcanic eruptions. Plug dome volcanoes, underwater eruptions, and hot springs are a few of the exciting geologic features this region holds. This seminar will visit several volcanic formations around the lake while addressing the overall picture of volcanism in the Mono Basin and its role in shaping the landscape we see today. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

A Long Journey: Shorebird Migrationregister now
September 1 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

As birds fly south for winter, we wonder "Where exactly are they going? Where are they coming from? How long does it take them to get there? How do they know where to go?" This seminar strives to answer those questions during a fun time in the field observing these ultra-lightweight travelers as they fuel up along their migration. We will focus on waterbirds and shorebirds, but there also will be plenty of landbird migrants. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She spent nine years migrating to and from the Mono Basin along with the birds, until she finally became a resident in 2016. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Creating the Illuminated Field Journalregister now
September 6–8 • Hannah Hinchman
$192 per person / $177 for members
A field journal is an ideal vehicle to record moments of discovery about the natural world, as well as a quiet way of simply being present outdoors. In this workshop, artist and writer Hannah Hinchman will guide you in exploring the variety of nearby habitats—opening windows to nature's many secrets and learning to personalize these experiences through journal entries, both drawn and written. Hannah is the author of three books about field journals—with a fourth in progress—and has been teaching field journal workshops all over the US for over 20 years. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Tree Identificationregister now
September 13 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

This one-day seminar will delve into the diversity of trees in the Mono Basin and their identifying traits. We will examine, observe, and even smell the trees to help ingrain the knowledge into our senses. Nora Livingston is the Committee's Lead Naturalist Guide. She was lucky to study dendrology (the study of trees) in the Appalachian Mountains where there are well over 100 tree species in a small geographic area. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fire Ecology of the Eastern Sierraregister now
September 14–15 • Malcolm North
$172 per person / $157 for members

We live in a pyrogenic landscape, where most forests are born and shaped by fire. Fires are inevitable in much of the western United States, but many modern fires burn differently than what forests evolved with. This seminar will visit several recently burned areas in the Mono Basin, show fire effects on forest ecosystems, and discuss the good, bad, and ugly of current fire management and policy. Malcolm North is a research scientist in the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station and a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. He has studied Sierra Nevada forests for more than 20 years, authored or co-authored over 150 papers, and worked extensively with forest managers to apply research findings. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Los Angeles Aqueduct Tourregister now
September 20 • Bartshe Miller
$165 per person / $150 for members

The Mono Basin extension of the Los Angeles Aqueduct began transporting water 350 miles south to the City of LA in 1941. Visit all the major aqueduct facilities in the Mono Basin and learn about their modern relationship with Los Angeles, Mono Lake, and its tributary streams. We'll discuss past and present diversions and see how modifications to 20th century infrastructure can serve 21st century water needs. Bartshe Miller is the Committee’s Policy Director, and has nearly 30 years of experience leading tours about Mono Basin ecology, hydrology, and history. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Geology of the Mono Basinregister now
September 20–22 • Greg Stock
$182 per person / $167 for members

From volcanic craters to glacial moraines, earthquake faults to tufa towers, the Mono Basin displays some of the most unique, spectacular, and accessible geology anywhere in the world. In this seminar, consisting mostly of field visits to locations like Tioga Pass and Panum Crater, Greg Stock will guide you through eons of fascinating Mono Basin geology. Greg is Yosemite National Park's geologist, and has authored and co-authored over 50 papers and abstracts on Sierra Nevada geology. He is co-author of the book Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fall Color Forayregister now
October 4 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$90 per person / $80 for members

Every fall, quaking aspen trees famously paint the landscape with golden hues as their leaves change. This half-day seminar will hit the hotspots of colorful groves during peak season. We will enjoy glittering golden, ruby, and emerald forests while learning about aspen ecology. Great for photographers. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Watercolors in the Wild: Autumn Floraregister now
October 4–6 • Andie Thrams
$192 per person / $177 for members
Painting in wild places is powerfully transforming, yet working outdoors can be overwhelming. A series of guided studies designed to get us working with ease will focus on autumn flora, with a particular emphasis on fall's color palette. During gentle forays outdoors and inside the studio, we'll carefully observe local plant life, collect ideas, and experiment with drawing and painting techniques using watercolor, gouache, and ink. All levels are invited. California-based visual artist Andie Thrams uses watercolors onsite in wildland forests to create paintings and artist's books that explore mystery, reverence, and delight, while also grappling with the vanishing habitats of our era. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Arborglyphs & Aspen Natural Historyregister now
October 5–6 • Richard Potashin
& Nancy Hadlock
$197 per person / $182 for members

A century of sheep grazing brought Basque sheepherders into the Mono Basin's aspen-bordered meadows, and they left numerous carvings—arborglyphs—on the aspens. Join the instructors for an enchanting journey into the aspen groves at peak color to explore this historic art form and to learn about the wildlife, insects, and birds that are drawn to the groves. Richard Potashin has been discovering and documenting aspen carvings for many years. Nancy Hadlock has been a naturalist, interpreter, and educator for the National Park Service and US Forest Service for over 30 years.
Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Fall Color Forayregister now
October 11 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$90 per person / $80 for members

Every fall, quaking aspen trees famously paint the landscape with golden hues as their leaves change. This half-day seminar will hit the hotspots of colorful groves during peak season. We will enjoy glittering golden, ruby, and emerald forests while learning about aspen ecology. Great for photographers. Limited to 9 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Fall Photographyregister now
October 11–13 • Robb Hirsch
$275 per person / $250 for members

Autumn in the Mono Basin is one of the greatest photographic experiences in the country—spectacular foliage and skies combine with exceptional light, presenting ample subject matter. Join accomplished photographer Robb Hirsch to explore shoreline locations at sunrise and sunset, fall color in nearby canyons, and grand overviews of the Mono Basin. Photographers of all levels are welcome; a fully adjustable camera of any size or format is suggested. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

Mono Basin Landscapes & Moon Photographyregister now
November 8–10
• Jeff Sullivan
$275 per person / $250 for members

Late fall is sunset, moon rise, and reflection season at Mono Lake. The departure of summer heat reduces wind, leaving the dense, salty water of Mono Lake mirror-smooth. A passing storm may leave a dusting of snow or bring clouds to decorate our compositions. Accomplished local photographer Jeff Sullivan will teach you some of his favorite techniques and show you some of his favorite spots for landscape and night photography in the Mono Basin. Jeff is a landscape photography and astrophotography workshop instructor, and author of the guidebook Photographing California Vol. 2 – South. Limited to 12 participants. Click here for a full seminar itinerary.

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Finished seminars:

Birding Mono Basin Hotspots
May 31 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$110 per person / $100 for members

Breeding Birds of the Mono Basin
June 1 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

Visions of the Past: Sierra Gold, Aurora Silver
June 1–2 • Terri Geissinger
$197 per person / $182 for members

Twilight Birding & Owling
June 2 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$90 per person / $80 for members

Natural History of Mono Basin Woodpeckers
June 11–13 • Steve Shunk
$182 per person / $167 for members

Mono Basin & Bodie Photography
June 21–23 • David Gubernick
$300 per person / $275 for members

Capturing the Mono Basin in Pastel
June 28–30 • Ane Carla Rovetta
$192 per person / $177 for members
$30 required materials fee

Wildflower Waltz
July 5 (half day) • Nora Livingston
$110 per person / $100 for members

Mono Basin Big Day Birding
July 6 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

Birding the White Mountains
July 12 • Nora Livingston
$140 per person / $130 for members

Butterflies of the Mono Basin & Sierra Nevada
July 13–14 • Kristie Nelson
$172 per person / $157 for members

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Questions? Call (760) 647-6595 and ask for Elin, Nora, or Andrew. You can also email us if that's easier.

All seminars operate under permits from the Inyo National Forest and California State Park system.

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The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.