Jan-Mar 2009

 

Issue Content

Taking the Heat

January 01, 2009 by Glen Martin

Though we may not be able to detect it on a day-to-day basis, climate change has come to the Bay Area and is already leaving its mark on local ecosystems: rising tides in the Bay, increasingly severe wildfires, acidification of ocean waters. While it may be too late to avoid global warming’s early stages, there […]

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All in a Roe

January 01, 2009 by Glen Martin

This winter, as they have for decades, fishermen in the Bay’s last commercial fishery will launch their boats in search of spawning herring. These small fish come into the Bay from the ocean to lay their eggs. People aren’t the only ones on the hunt for herring; seals and seabirds depend on this bounty as well. But changing consumer tastes, rising costs, and unstable marine conditions have put the squeeze on the both the hunter and the hunted, and now the survival of this historic fishery is very much in question.

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Altamont Power Struggle

January 01, 2009 by Sue Rosenthal

Cost-effective and quick to install, wind turbines seem to be a leader in the race to develop clean, renewable energy sources. But at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area east of Livermore, the country’s largest and oldest wind farm site is also the most deadly for wildlife, killing thousands of birds annually. The Altamont, a […]

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Arachnophilia

January 01, 2009 by John Muir Laws

Take a closer look at a few of our quirkier local spiders.

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Coyote Valley Crossings

January 01, 2009 by Laura Hautala

Students help document how wildlife cross Coyote Valley, a critical link between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range.

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Dem Bones, Dem Bones

January 01, 2009 by Mike Koslosky

What can you learn from a skull or other bone you might find along the trail? A few simple tips will help you figure out what those bones have to say.

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A Good Big Year

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

December 31, 2008, marked the end of the 2008 Endangered Species Big Year in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The yearlong event was a call to action for people to observe, and do something to preserve, each of the 33 endangered and threatened species in the GGNRA. The 2008 Big Year was a […]

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Geography of Hope

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Family farmer David Mas Masumoto likes to start shaping his 3,000 peach and nectarine trees in the fall when the trees still have their leaves. It helps him envision the trees in summer when they are full of fruit and sunlight. Masumoto, the award-winning author of Harvest Son, Epitaph for a Peach, and Four Seasons […]

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Jenner Headlands Preserved

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

I’m told that on a clear day you can see as far as Point Reyes and Mount Diablo from Jenner Headlands, a 5,630-acre coastal ranch north of the town of Jenner on the Sonoma coast. After four years of negotiations with the landowners, Sonoma Land Trust is poised to purchase the $36 million property in […]

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Kayaks and Breeding Birds at Alcatraz

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

The nearly vertical cliffs on the western side of Alcatraz Island serve as a nursery for several species of seabirds. These cliffs are the Bay’s only breeding site for Brandt’s and pelagic cormorants. In 1991, when PRBO Conservation Science began monitoring birds on the island, they counted only three breeding pairs of Brandt’s. In 2007, […]

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Planning for the Pond Turtle’s Protection

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Scientists are working on the first draft of a conservation strategy for California’s only native freshwater turtle, the western pond turtle. The state Department of Fish and Game (DFG) commissioned the U.S. Forest Service’s Redwood Sciences Laboratory to write the plan, expected by June 2010. The as yet unknown effects of climate change pose a […]

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Raptor Rapture

January 01, 2009 by Joe Eaton

The Marin Headlands is justifiably renowned as a great place to see raptors. But did you know that the world’s highest density of breeding golden eagles is found near Altamont Pass? Indeed, the East Bay is a prime location for observing and studying native raptors, from prairie falcons nesting on cliffs near Mount Diablo to bald eagles fishing in local reservoirs and Cooper’s hawks snatching prey out of the air above the streets of Berkeley.

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Letter from the Publisher

January 01, 2009 by David Loeb

Our planet is a dynamic place, always changing. That’s a given. Some 100 million years ago, most of the rocks under the Bay Area were beneath the ocean somewhere near the equator. And 12,000 years ago, during the last ice age, there was no Bay and the coastline was out near the Farallones. So change […]

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Oil Spill CSI

January 01, 2009 by Dan Rademacher

The 2007 oil spill in San Francisco Bay may be bad news for herring.

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Out of the Blue

January 01, 2009 by Carolyn J. Strange

This massive South Bay preserve, which is still being assembled, forms a critical link in the chain of protected landscapes in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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Perilous Beauty

January 01, 2009 by Debbie Viess

The beauty, and danger, of Amanita mushrooms.

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ACTerraGreen

January 01, 2009 by Laura Hautala

Making significant reductions in your household’s energy use becomes a lot easier when people around you are making changes too. The Palo Alto-based nonprofit Acterra has developed a program that takes this into account: ACTerraGreen aims to reduce people’s carbon footprints by reaching out to them through existing social networks, such as their place of […]

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Analy High School

January 01, 2009 by Laura Hautala

Math students at Analy High School in Sonoma County solved a real-life story problem when they came up with a plan to reduce carbon emissions from their schoolmates’ daily commute. It started in 2006 when teacher David Casey’s advanced-placement statistics class realized that, all told, students at Analy were driving 42,000 miles a week to […]

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Berkeley FIRST

January 01, 2009 by Laura Hautala

The high cost of installing solar panels is a major obstacle for Bay Area residents wanting to go solar to reduce their carbon footprint. Even though photovoltaic solar panels more than pay for themselves eventually through lower energy bills, many people can’t afford the up-front installation costs. That’s why the City of Berkeley started its […]

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Climate Change Resources

January 01, 2009 by Sue Rosenthal

With increasing awareness and concern about climate change, the number of organizations and resources addressing this issue has increased dramatically over the past few years. The following resource list, then, is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg.

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Solar RichmondBUILD

January 01, 2009 by Sue Rosenthal

What do you get when you combine entrepreneurial spirit, construction and engineering expertise, and a commitment to the community and the planet? One answer is Solar RichmondBUILD, a job training, energy conservation, and community development program in Richmond that installs solar electric systems for low-income homeowners and trains community residents to do the work. Solar […]

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Taking the Heat

January 01, 2008 by Glen Martin

Though we may not be able to detect it on a day-to-day basis, climate change has come to the Bay Area and is already leaving its mark on local ecosystems: rising tides in the Bay, increasingly severe wildfires, acidification of ocean waters. While it may be too late to avoid global warming’s early stages, there is a lot we can do to both understand and mitigate its impacts on our landscapes and watersheds. With the support of world-class research institutions and an active environmental movement, Bay Area scientists are taking the lead in this crucial effort.

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The Art of Flight

January 01, 2009 by Josiah Clark

Ryan Jones (1978-2008) was a local naturalist, artist, and educator. His work with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and National Parks Conservancy touched the lives of hundreds of people of all ages.

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World’s Smartest Molds

January 01, 2009 by Michael Ellis

Watch out for these unusual creatures next time you’re walking in a wet forest.

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