facebook pixel

Topics

Ask the Naturalist

A bird? A bug? Something strange in the natural world nearby? Ask us and we’ll find the answer! And check here for answers to great questions you didn't even know you had. Top questions find their way to top naturalist Michael Ellis, who writes a column for our print magazine.

Botany

The study and science of plants.

Climate Change

Rising seas, droughts, invasive species, and fires are some of the impacts Northern California can expect as the world warms. Climate change is dramatically altering the San Francisco Bay Area's ecosystems and raising profound questions among conservationists about how to help species best adapt to new conditions.

Diablo Recovery

Content for the Mount Diablo: After the Fire featured topic page.

Farming and Ranching

The San Francisco Bay Area may be one of the densest metropolitan areas of the country, but roughly 40 percent of the region's total land area is comprised of farms and rangelands. As such, the Bay Area has been at the forefront of the local food movement where the concern about growing food in balance with nature has a head seat at the table.

Fungi

All about mushrooms.

Geology

The San Francisco Bay Area's crazy quilt-pattern of rock formations -- shaped by earthquakes -- are the key to understanding the region's landscapes. From ice-age dune sand in San Francisco to recently subsided land in the Santa Clara Valley or the veritable maze of earthquake faults in the East Bay, the geology is a fascinating blueprint of the region's natural history.

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.

Kids and Nature

Children are quite naturally drawn to the swallowtail flitting about in the air or the shard of greywacke underfoot, which may be why the San Francisco Bay Area has an extensive array of programming to support little people with big curiosities. Connecting kids to the outdoors helps instill a lifelong respect for nature and may be the key to protecting the Bay Area's wildlife and open spaces in times to come.

Parks

California's state park system is the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holdings in the nation. Yet the century-and-a-half-old system has been in perpetual crisis mode for several decades, battered about by funding shortfalls and repeated threats of closures. How California parks -- from redwood forests to coastal bluffs and historic monuments -- will continue to survive is a story that ardent citizen supporters are striving to determine.

Point Reyes Walkabout

Follow the footsteps of author and biologist Jules Evens as he hikes every inch of trail in Point Reyes National Seashore, which turns 50 years old in 2012. Support the work of the Point Reyes National Seashore Association by donating to the Point Reyes Walkabout campaign.

Recreation

Getting out into nature is part of the cultural fabric of the San Francisco Bay Area, thanks to the region's impressive landscapes and rich natural resources. From hiking to birdwatching and painting, the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding hills and beaches offer a myriad of ways to connect with the outdoors and find inspiration in what nature offers.

Science and Nature

Natural history, human history, and science.

Stewardship

The San Francisco Bay Area is bejeweled with hundreds of parks and open space preserves as well as a rich set of laws and policies meant to ensure the survival of vulnerable species and ecosystems. Real people made this happen through a dedicated call to stewardship. The organizations they've founded and developed have created a lasting framework for conservation to remain a public value.

The Bay

The San Francisco Bay is our region's dominant geographic feature.

The Ocean

Stories about the Pacific Ocean.

Urban Nature

In the San Francisco Bay Area, slices of nature pop up in the most unexpected places, a testament to the region's wealth in biodiversity and the resilience of its natural systems. Bringing nature to urban areas is not just about ensuring the survival of species, but enhancing people's quality of life through a fulfillment of our innate need to be with nature.

Weather

The Bay Area is famous for its microclimates. Learn about the patterns of rain, sun, and wind that make our home what it is.

Bay Nature