Obi Kaufmann’s lively presentation about how science and art can work together to deliver a powerful message of hope comes as an antidote to the miasma of despair that seems to pervade most popular discourse regarding the natural world of California and beyond. In the newly released The State of Water, a follow-up to his best-selling book The California Field Atlas, Kaufmann turns his artful yet analytical attention to the Golden State’s single most complex and controversial resource: water. Interspersed throughout with trail paintings of animals that might survive under a caring and careful water ethic, Kaufmann shows how California can usher in a new era of responsible water conservation, and – perhaps most importantly – how we may do so together. Join us in beautiful Heron Hall for a dive into a unique exploration of water, the resource that supports life as we know it and from which the Laguna Foundation bases all of its conservation, education, and restoration efforts.
Growing up in the East Bay as the son of an astrophysicist and a psychologist, Obi Kaufmann spent most of high school practicing calculus and breaking away on weekends to scramble around Mount Diablo and map its creeks, oak forests, and sage mazes. Into adulthood, he would regularly journey into the mountains, spending more summer nights without a roof than with one. For Kaufmann, the epic narrative of the California backcountry holds enough art, science, mythology, and language for a hundred field atlases to come. When he is not backpacking, you can find the painter-poet at his desk in Oakland, posting @coyotethunder #trailpaintings on social media. His website is www.coyoteandthunder.com.