About Joan Hamilton

Joan Hamilton is a Bay Area environmental writer and editor who enjoys hiking, camping, and kayaking in California state parks. She was formerly chief editor at High Country News, Climbing, and Sierra magazines. She produces mobile audio tours for people who want to learn more about Bay Area nature.

Website: http://audioguidestotheoutdoors.com

Contributions

On Mount Diablo, Springtime in the Summer Heat

July 30, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

The temperature rises to well over 90 degrees on Mount Diablo these days—hot enough to bake many small plants. But the little green shrubs have just begun to stage their comeback. It’s springtime in the chaparral.

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A Bird’s Eye View of the Morgan Fire, Now Available from Google

July 30, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

One way to check out the 2013 Morgan fire is to tromp around on Mount Diablo’s trails. Then there's another option: check out satellite photos.

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To Catch a Mouse: Chasing Mammals on Recovering Mount Diablo

July 01, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

Researchers are using hidden cameras and small mammal traps to try and answer questions about animal life following the fire.

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Mammals Caught on Hidden Camera Visiting the Diablo Burn Area

July 01, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

A team of researchers, with a grant from Save Mount Diablo, has installed hidden cameras in a variety of plots around the Mount Diablo burn area to see what sort of large wildlife shows up.

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What a Great Wildflower Year Looks Like in the Spring

June 03, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

Regular visitors to Mount Diablo are calling this spring one of the best wildflower years they've ever seen. Here's what that looked like in May in the Morgan Fire burn area.

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What Follows a Fire? A Mount Diablo Botany Quiz

May 12, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

After a fire, botanists hustle out to burned areas to identify surviving and regenerating species. They’ve often got only a few leaves to go on, some from species that haven’t been seen for decades. So it’s tough. Want to test your skills against those of the botanists?

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Fire Followers Arrive, with Scientists Right Behind

May 09, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

An expert in rare plants, Heath Bartosh is especially interested in “fire followers,” plants whose seeds stay buried in the ground until heat or smoke stimulates germination. These annuals flourish for one to three years. And then they’re gone—until the next fire.

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Mount Diablo’s Chamise, Researcher Shows, Likes It Hot

March 20, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

A Berkeley researcher is using chamise seeds collected from Mount Diablo this fall to explore the plant's response to fire.

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Oasis on Mount Diablo: Perkins Canyon’s Trial By Fire

January 13, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

The Morgan Fire transformed more than 3,100 acres of meadow, chaparral, and woodland on Mount Diablo’s south and east sides, including Perkins Canyon. “It was a once-in-
a-generation event,” says Seth Adams — the biggest fire on the mountain since 1977.

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Fog and redwoods: Demystifying the mist

June 30, 2013 by Joan Hamilton

Fog means survival for many Bay Area plants and animals. What will happen to this life-giving airborne moisture in an era of global warming?

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