Human History

Human settlement in the San Francisco Bay Area dates back 7,000 years to early Native American settlements. Today, the region is a teeming metropolis of 6 million people that collectively challenge the health of the region’s ecosystems. How it got this way — from Spanish acquisition to the Gold Rush boom and on to contemporary battles over land development — is a story that prompts a deeper understanding of our place in the landscape.

Latest from Human History

Students explore origins of popular Thanksgiving dish

November 23, 2011 by Paul Epstein

Making the most of a popular Thanksgiving dish and Native American agricultural traditions, students at Frank Havens School planted a "Three Sisters" garden. The fifth-graders planted squash, corn and beans together – known as succotash -- in an effort to demonstrate how the plants help each other grow without the need of chemicals and how, when combined, provide complete nutrition.

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Bay Area Nature 100 Years Ago, Through the Eyes of Painter William Keith

October 17, 2011 by Aleta George

The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art is honoring California landscape painter William Keith a century after his death with 150 paintings from the college's permanent collection. "The Comprehensive Keith: A Centennial Tribute," on view through December 18, 2011, includes dozens of Bay Area views, from Pacheco Pass to San Anselmo. Some are startlingly familiar. Others are lost to roads and subdivisions. All will help you see local nature with new eyes.

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Artist Finds Graphic History at the Farallones

August 15, 2011 by Juliet Grable

Artist Eva Chrysanthe has always been intrigued by the Farallon Islands, those distant humps on the western horizon. But when she discovered a trove of old letters about the islands, she discovered a dramatic story that's taking shape as a new graphic novel about the Farallon Egg Wars. She'll talk about the project this Thursday in San Francisco.

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New Exhibit Explores Muir’s Living Legacy

August 10, 2011 by Joan Curtis

On August 6, the Oakland Museum of California opened "A Walk in the Wild," an exhibit highlighting the life of naturalist John Muir. Open through January 2012, the show aims to portray Muir's life in a way that captures the attention of a diverse audience, to reawaken the "spirit of Muir" in the general public.

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Bluebelly

January 01, 2011 by Greg Sarris

Greg Sarris, currently Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, grew up in Santa Rosa, left for many years, and has now resettled on Sonoma Mountain. The bluebellies were there in his childhood and are still there now, woven into the landscape and the history of Sarris's people.

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“Never Give Up!”

January 01, 2011 by David Kupfer

Before Harold Gilliam began his weekly newspaper column in 1960, the category of environmental journalism simply did not exist. For the next 35 years, Gilliam pioneered and perfected the craft of environmental reporting. We talk to him about his career, biggest stories, and how things are different for today's environmental journalists.

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Salt Point Geology and History

December 21, 2010 by Rick Bacigalupi

Geologist Tom Williams and retired Salt Point State Park ranger Bill Walton lead a Bay Nature walk through geology and ...

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Book Review: California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names

October 01, 2010 by Sue Rosenthal

by Erwin G. Gudde (revised by William Bright), UC Press, 2010, 496 pages, $27.50 What’s in a name? Sometimes rich ...

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Book Review: Dorothy Erskine, Graceful Crusader for Our Environment

October 01, 2010 by Dan Rademacher

A strong biography of the founder of Greenbelt Alliance, dorothy Erskine, who deserves to be remembered widely and well.

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Book Review: Living Landscape: Rise of the East Bay Regional Park District

October 01, 2010 by Dan Rademacher

A new book chronicles the recent history of the East Bay Rewgional Park District, which turned 75 years old in 2009 and remains the largest regional park district in the nation.

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