Upcoming Events

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

Apr 2, 2017

RSVP HERE

Click here for flyer

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Join us for Conservation Café on April 2, 2017 with our invited speaker Dr. Nyssa Silbiger!

Dr. Nyssa Silbiger is a postdoc at UC Irvine studying how communities drive pH variability in intertidal ecosystems. She has been studying intertidal ecosystems since her undergraduate years at Florida State University, where she studied fiddler crabs, anemones, and cleaner shrimp. At the UNC-Chapel Hill, she studied how tropical algae obtain nutrients from marine sponges, and for her Ph.D work at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, she studied changes in coral reefs and how these changes are modulated by climate change.

Topics to discuss will include the following:

  • Effects of climate change on tropical and temperate ecosystems
  • The importance of incorporating natural variability in climate change predictions
  • Harnessing natural variability to buffer the negative effects of climate change

Past Events

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

RSVP HERE (Flyer)

Mar 5, 2017

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Join us for Conservation Café on March 5, 2017 with our invited speaker Barry Nerhus!

Mr. Nerhus has been working with western pond turtles for 11 years. His studies have been focused on their population ecology to better understand the important details to further manage, restore, and conserve populations. He founded a non-profit organization, the Institute for Conservation Research and Education, to research the western pond turtle as well as other species in need of conservation research. He was the original founder of the OCSCB, while attending UCI. He is the founder and president of Endemic Environmental Services, Inc, an environmental consulting company.

Topics to discuss will include the following:

  • The natural history of the western pond turtle
  • The current status and challenges
  • The management of this species for the future

Feb 24 - 26, 2017

Location:

Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center

Start Time: 5 PM on Friday, Feb 24th
End Time: 12:30 PM on Sunday, Feb 26th

Come join OCSCB for a fun weekend of exploring Anza-Borrego Desert State Park! Activities include hiking, paleontology, art, and, if we are lucky, wildflowers!

We will be staying at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center, one of the newest reserves in the UC system. It is located in the town of Borrego Springs, about two and a half hours from Irvine. There are several dorm-style rooms with bunk beds, a kitchen, bathrooms, and a nice common area both indoors and outdoors. Camping is nearby.

The reserve itself is about 75 acres, but is adjacent to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where we will do some exploring. Feel free to check out more information on the reserve and on the state park:

OCSCB will provide breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday night. Please let us know if you have any allergies. Friday night, please bring something to share in a potluck as we meet and get to know the group. You are responsible for your lunches on Saturday and Sunday.

Typical February/March temperatures can vary dramatically, ranging from cool and rainy, to hot and dry. Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared for hot days (up to mid 90s F) and cool nights (60s F).

We are planning to have some phenomenal hiking options to do as a group, but you are also welcome to explore on your own, or to hang out at the reserve. On Sunday, we are planning to have some time for anyone who is interested to do some drawing of the awesome flora around the reserve. Bring your creativity and your favorite art supplies!

We welcome and encourage anyone to participate. Our group is comprised of students, researchers, professionals, and conservation-minded community members. We welcome all levels of experience in conservation biology and wish to foster stronger ties between all folks concerned with conserving nature.

Kids and families are welcome! The cost for the trip, including accommodations, programming, 1 dinner, and 2 breakfasts is broken down as follows:

  • Child under age 5: FREE
  • Child over age 5: $30
  • OCSCB Student Member: $40
  • OCSCB Non-Student Member: $50
  • Non-Member: $60

Note: Membership dues can be paid at the time you RSVP for the retreat to receive the discounted price.

RSVP HERE

When you RSVP, please designate if you would like to bring a tent to fill one of the tent camping areas. Since there are a very limited number of tent areas, these will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Also, please be aware that this is a popular trip, so the spaces fill up quickly. The sooner you RSVP the better!

If you have RSVP'd but have not yet paid, you can pay HERE.

In the upcoming weeks, we will organize carpools and provide detailed directions to the reserve site. This is a really fun and educational trip and we look forward to seeing you there!

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail ocscbiology@gmail.com

ITINERARY

Friday, Feb 24

  • Afternoon departure from OC, arrive to reserve on your own (OCSCB will help coordinate carpools). Plan for a 2-2.5 hour drive depending on traffic
  • 5 pm: Arrive at the Steele/Burnand Anza Borrego Desert Research Center, settle in
  • 5:30 pm: Potluck dinner
  • 7 pm: Guided night hike with ABSP Ranger Steve Bier
  • 8 pm: Stargazing, music, games

Saturday, Feb 25

  • 7 am: Yogurt and granola bar breakfast – provided by OCSCB
  • 8 am: Do-it-yourself hike. Many options - Palm Oasis, Cactus Garden, etc.
  • Lunch – bring your own
  • 2 pm: Paleontology Museum Tour with Dr. Lyn Murray
  • Mellow afternoon - Art
  • 7 pm: Spaghetti dinner – provided by OCSCB
  • 8 pm: Natural history trivia
  • 10 pm: bugging

Sunday, Feb 26

  • 7 am: Bagel breakfast – provided by OCSCB
  • Clean up reserve
  • Flora art, or hike
  • Lunch – bring your own
  • 3 pm: optional AB air quality community meeting and presentation
  • Depart

PACKING LIST

  • Water bottles
  • Day pack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Warm clothes for evening
  • Cool clothes for daytime
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Toiletries – Sunscreen, etc
  • Hiking boots/ walking shoes
  • Binoculars
  • Cameras
  • Food: snacks, dinner contribution for Friday night, packed lunches for Saturday and Sunday
  • Art supplies (if you are interested in partaking of Art Time)
  • Games
  • Musical instruments

Directions to the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
There are several routes to get to the reserve. Depending on your preference, you could head down the 5 to the 76, or up the 91 to the 15 to the 79. Either way you go, when you get San Felipe Rd, follow it 4.7 miles to the Montezuma-Borrego Highway, where you go left to follow it east to Borrego Springs. Turn Right onto Palm Canyon Drive, right on Country Club Rd, and right onto Tilting T Drive. Follow this to the end. There will be a gate at the reserve, and a parking lot just inside.

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

RSVP HERE (Flyer)

Dec 4, 2016

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Join us for Conservation Café on November 6, 2016 with our invited speaker Dr. Jana Johnson!

Dr. Jana Johnson is a tenured professor at Moorpark College and an associate professor at Santa Monica College, working to revive the federally endangered Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly. Together with the Urban Wildlands Group, she founded The Butterfly Project at America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College, a center for endangered butterfly propagation and research. Dr. Johnson has established successful captive breeding populations of Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis). She has conducted annual releases of tens of thousands of Palos Verdes Blue Butterflies in restored habitats on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in efforts to increase the size of the blue butterfly populations in the wild.

Topics to discuss will include the following:

  • What factors contributed to the decline and near extinction of the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly?
  • What role does the Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly play in local California ecosystems?
  • How can we contribute to efforts in butterfly conservation?

Nov 11 - 13, 2016

Location:

James Reserve
Trailfinder Lodge
Riverside County

Start Time: 4 - 5 PM on Nov 11
End Time: 12:30 PM on Nov 13

The James Reserve is a UC research station located in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, CA that is not open to the general public.

We welcome and encourage anyone to participate. Our group is comprised of students, researchers, professionals, and conservation-minded community members. We welcome all levels of experience in conservation biology and wish to foster stronger ties between all folks concerned with conserving nature.

Reserve facilities include the Trailfinder Lodge, which includes the following:

  • Two bedrooms and two dorm-style rooms that accommodate 30 people
  • A main room for dining and meetings
  • A fully equipped kitchen with a 4 burner stove and 2 refrigerators
  • Two bathrooms
  • A wood stove and additional gas heating
  • A campfire ring
  • Outdoor barbecues
  • A tent camping area that can accommodate 4-5 tents

Kids and families are welcome! The cost for the trip, including accommodations, programming, campfire, and 2 breakfasts is broken down as follows:

  • Child under age 5: free
  • Child over age 5: $20
  • OCSCB Student Member: $30
  • OCSCB Non-Student Member: $35
  • Non-Member: $50

Note: Membership dues can be paid at the time you RSVP for the retreat to receive the discounted price.

RSVP HERE

When you RSVP, please designate if you would like to bring a tent to fill one of the tent camping areas. Since there are a very limited number of tent areas, these will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Also, please be aware that this is a popular trip, so the spaces fill up quickly. The sooner you RSVP the better!

If you have RSVP'd but have not yet paid, you can pay here.

In the upcoming weeks, we will organize carpools and provide detailed directions to the reserve site. This is a really fun and educational trip and we look forward to seeing you there!

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail ocscbiology@gmail.com

TENTATIVE ITENERARY

Friday, November 11th

Afternoon departure from OC, arrive to reserve on your own (OCSCB will help coordinate carpools). Plan for a 2-2.5 hour drive depending on traffic and number of stops.

If there is interest, an early afternoon meet-up to explore Idyllwild can be organized.

  • 4:00-5:00 arrive at the James Reserve
  • 5:30-6:30 Orientation and Introductions
  • 6:30 Group Potluck
  • 8:00 Optional night hike (bring headlamps)


Saturday, November 12th:

  • 8:00-9:30am OCSCB hosted breakfast (build your own yogurt parfait bar)
  • 9:30-10:00 Pack a lunch, prepare to hike
  • 10:00-11:00 Introduction to the reserve, history, conservation, and research. Presentation/discussion lead by the James Reserve Manager.
  • 11:00-4:00 Local hike - multiple options to choose from
  • 4:00-6:00 Afternoon free time to explore reserve, socialize, play music
  • 6:30 Potluck dinner, please bring or plan to prepare a dish to share.
  • 8:00-? Campfire, music, socializing. Bring your instruments!!

Sunday, November 13th:

  • 8:00-9:30 OCSCB hosted breakfast
  • 9:30-11:30 Reserve hike
  • 11:30-12:30 Pack up / clean up reserve facilities
  • 12:30 Depart for OC or explore Idyllwild

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

RSVP HERE (Flyer)

Nov 6, 2016

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Join us for Conservation Café on November 6, 2016 with our invited speaker Nancy Caruso!

Nancy Caruso is a Marine Biologist and Founder of the Environmental Non-Profit GetInspired!. Nancy has spent the last 14 years restoring and conserving the kelp forests of Laguna and Newport Beach. Her programs have involved thousands of citizen scientists with the goal of ensuring that the community has a stake in the health of restored ecosystems. More recently, Nancy began a massive 10 year project to restore green abalone populations along our coast with the help of public aquariums, museums, and 6,000 southern California students. This project will educate millions of people about how, in one human lifetime, we nearly ate the abalone to extinction and how we can all work together to bring them back.

Topics to discuss will include the following:

  • How do we restore kelp forests?
  • Why are abalone in so much trouble in Southern California and why should we care?
  • How can we as citizens contribute to efforts in marine restoration and conservation?

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

RSVP HERE (Flyer)

Oct 2, 2016

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Join us for Conservation Café on October 2, 2016 with our invited speaker Dr. Jennifer Funk!

Dr. Jennifer Funk is an Assoicate Professor at Chapman University. Her research focuses on identifying characteristics of invasive plant species and using that information to restore native plant communities. She is particularly interested in how invasive species out-compete native species for resources in arid and nutrient-poor habitats. She has worked extensively in Hawaii and Mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

Topics to discuss include:

  • What are plant functional traits and how do we study them?
  • How does understanding plant functional traits help us improve restoration?
  • What are the important characteristics to know about the plants we use in restoration?
  • How do collaborations between academic researchers and land managers benefit both research and land management decisions?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Location: Quail Hill loop in Irvine

Time: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Get directions and RSVP here

Come join OCSCB in partnership with IRC to keep the wildlife healthy by weeding artichoke thistle from the Quail Hill loop in Irvine. This activity takes place on uneven terrain and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. All training, tools, and gloves will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort. Rattlesnakes are occasionally seen here and generally avoid people, but protective gear will be provided.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Location: Irvine Ranch Conservancy Native Seed Farm

Time: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

RSVP HERE

The Irvine Ranch Conservancy Native Seed Farm is a 12.5 acre farm containing 43 different native species. These species are harvested each year for their seeds, which contribute to restoration events throughout Irvine without depleting local seed banks. Come join OCSCB for a tour of the native seed farm followed by a seed harvest to aid the IRC in their goal of restoring ~5,000 acres of native habitat!

Additional information about this event for those that have RSVP'd:

1. Please plan to arrive a little early, around 8:15 AM. We'll get rolling right at 8:30 AM.

2. Clothes: Please wear sturdy close-toed shoes and sun protection. Consider long pants and sleeves, since we may be kneeling and reaching into plants. We'll provide knee pads and gloves, but please wear comfortable clothes that will help keep you happy.

3. Your Stuff: To help us reduce waste, please bring a reusable water bottle for yourself, and I'll be bringing water coolers that you can refill from. We will provide granola bars as a snack. If you have food restrictions, please feel free to bring your own snack!

4. Download this map of the Farm. The Farm has no street actual address, and GPS/Google maps may not get you there reliably. There will be white folding signs at the tricky intersections, and we will have the gate open and be ready to receive you in the gravel parking area. Look both ways!-- Drive carefully, as we share our road with large heavy trucks.

5. Please complete and bring this liability waiver. You'll need to provide Emergency Contact information. The waiver will be collected when you arrive.

April 1-3, 2016

Location: Saddleback Butte State Park

Cost: OCSCB Members $25, Non-Members $35

RSVP HERE (if you have already RSVP'd but haven't paid, click here)

Join us for a weekend of hiking and wildflowers! OCSCB will be camping at Saddleback Butte State Park, about 15 miles east of Lancaster, on the Western edge of the Mojave Desert. There are several short hiking trails in the park, with opportunities to see the wildflower bloom and many desert species of plants and animals.

We have reserved the Joshua Group Campground in the park, with facilities for tent camping. We will be arranging carpools to the park, since only 12 cars are permitted at the campsite. There is a 30-person limit on the trip, so sign up early! If you need items for camping, we are arranging loaner gear in the trip sign up. REI also is a good resource for renting gear.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, located about an hour drive to the east, is another must-see spot for spring wildflowers, and one of the best places to view our state flower. There are 8 miles of hiking and walking trails.

Itinerary:

    Friday, April 1

  • Carpools arrange to meet early to mid afternoon. Arrive at Saddleback Butte by 6:30pm (it’s a 2.5-4hr drive from UCI, depending on traffic - earlier is better). Sunset is at 7:14pm so it would be good to have tents set up by then.
  • Dinner: Group dinner potluck. Please sign up to bring something on the google form, and plan to arrive by 6:30pm. We will have a couple of camp stoves, a grill, a fire ring, and potable water in the campsite. Please plan to have your contribution to the potluck prepared by 6:30, so if you plan to cook at the camp site, arrive early! We will have a meet and greet, dinner, then a fire, stargazing, and s’mores. We will also arrange carpools to Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve for the morning.
  • Saturday, April 2

  • Breakfast: OCSCB will provide bagels, cream cheese, and fruit beginning at 6:00am. Then everyone who wants to can head to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve for a day of hiking and wildflower viewing. Bring a packed lunch. Parking fills up early, so plan to leave as early as possible that morning. It is one hour and 10 minutes away, open sunrise (6:40am) to sunset. Anyone interested in staying at Saddleback Butte to relax and explore the state park is welcome to do so.
  • Dinner: Bring a snack to share for happy hour. Everyone is on their own for dinner this night, though we will still eat together. Fire, s’mores and star gazing to follow.
  • Sunday, April 3

  • Breakfast: OCSCB will provide granola, yogurt, and fruit beginning at 7:00am. Then everyone will pack up and clean up campsite. Once all set, anyone can choose to stay and go on hikes in Saddleback Butte, or head out if they need an early start. Plan to bring your own lunch food and head home according to your own schedule.

Packing List:

Note: temperatures in the area for this season are usually in the mid to high 70s during the day, and low 50s at night. Obviously, check the forecast when packing.

    Food and Cooking

  • Camp stoves
  • Coolers with ice packs
  • Water bottles
  • Cookware
  • Plates, cups, prepware, storageware, and utensils
  • Food: snacks, dinner contribution for Friday night, packed lunches for Saturday and Sunday, dinner Saturday (keep in mind the limited cooking facilities!), drinks (beer, wine, soda, etc)
  • Camping/ Miscellanea

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Pillow
  • Toiletries – there are no showers! Sunscreen, etc
  • Camp chairs
  • Binoculars
  • Cameras
  • Warm clothes for evening
  • Cool clothes for daytime
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Hiking boots/walking shoes
  • OCSCB Will Bring

  • Dish soap
  • Fire wood/charcoal
  • S’mores
  • Breakfast Sat/Sun (bagels, cream cheese, fruit, yogurt, granola, coffee/tea, milk, sugar)
  • Bins and sponges for washing dishes
  • Paper towels, trash bags, misc. camp stuff

Directions to Saddleback Butte State Park:

Saddleback Butte State Park is located East of the city of Lancaster, on 170th St between Avenues K and J. The campground entrance is on Avenue K, and the park entrance is on Avenue J. These directions are from google maps, but please take a look at a map for yourself to confirm. From Irvine: Take the 55N to the 5N (exit 10b) to the 57N (exit 107A). Stay on 57N for about 17mi. Merge L onto 60E for 15mi. Then take exit 41 for the 15N. Continue on 15N for 25mi. Take exit 131 for the 138W. Continue on 138W for 26mi. Just after Llano (town), turn R onto 165th St. This turns into 170th St. About 11 miles later, at Avenue K, the campground entrance will be on your R. The park entrance is farther down on Avenue J.

Click here for a printable version of all of these details for the retreat.

February 10, 2016 (Flyer)

Location:

UC Irvine
Natural Sciences I
Room 1114

Time: 7 - 8 PM (snacks and refreshments at 6:30)

Wolf Haven Interational is all about helping to conserve and protect wolves and their habitat! Come join their mission as Skie Bender, Education Outreach Specialist for Wolf Haven, covers the behavior, biology, and social structure of wolves. She will lead you through the history of wolves in North America and specifically the history of wolves in California, the future of wolves in California, and the importance of wolves as a keystone species in an ecosystem.

The presentation also includes the following:

  • Video footage of both wild wolves and Wolf Haven's wolves
  • An in-depth look at other predators such as mountain lions, bears, and coyotes
  • Similarities and differences between dogs and wolves
  • A hands-on experience with grizzly bear, black bear, wolf, coyote, cougar, bobcat and black tail deer skulls, antlers and tracks

Directions to UCI: Enter the UCI campus on Bison Avenue, continuing until the road ends at its intersection with Peltason Drive. Continue straight past the stop light into the parking area. Turn into the first entryway to the parking lot that you come across on your right. Park in any of the spaces that are not labeled and pay at the kiosk located on the sidewalk adjacent to the lot. Parking is $2.00 per hour. Enter Natural Sciences I directly adjacent to the parking lot. The event will be held in room 1114. These instructions are highlighted on this PDF.

More about Wolf Haven International

Bart Wolf Haven International
Bart from Wolf Haven International

Other ways Wolf Haven works to conserve and protect wolves and their habitat is by providing sanctuaries to born wolves, promoting wolf restoration, and protecting the remaining wild wolves and their habitat.

For 31 years they have provided lifetime sanctuary to over 170 animals. They participate in two Species Survival Plan programs for endangered species: 1) Mexican grey wolf and 2) red wolf (click here for a PDF on the Mexican Wolf Program). As an SSP member, Wolf Haven has successfully bred both red wolves and Mexican wolves. They have also had eleven of their SSP Mexican grey wolves released into the wilderness of the Southwest.

The Wolf Haven sanctuary and education department welcome over 12,000 visitors each year. Guided walking tours, eco-scavenger hunts, interpretive games, camping, and prairie walks inspire visitors to observe, interact, and appreciate wildlife of all kinds.

Wolf Haven also owns 82 acres of pristine Mima Mound prairie, wetlands and woodlands. They partner with The Center for Natural Lands Management, state and federal Fish and Wildlife, the Audubon Society, and other environmental organizations to preserve and restore native plants, butterflies, birds, and mammals to the prairie.

Wolf Haven International is a 501(c)(3) organization that has worked for wolf conservation since 1982.

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

RSVP HERE (Flyer)

Nov 14, 2015

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Dr. Melissa Neuman
Dr. Melissa Neuman from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service

Join us for Conservation Café on November 14, 2015 with our invited speaker Dr. Melissa Neuman!

Dr. Melissa Neuman is a marine conservation ecologist in the Protected Resources Division of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. She joined NOAA in 2002 and currently leads multiple teams of government, academic and non-governmental scientists towards developing recovery plans, as required under the U.S Endangered Species Act, for at-risk marine species along the west coast of the United States and in Baja California, Mexico. As part of this goal, she implements research efforts to better understand the ecological and conservation needs of at-risk marine invertebrates (primarily abalone) and fishes (primarily sturgeon and sharks) in order to restore them and their habitats to self-sustaining and resilient levels.

Although this may sound straight forward, seemingly simple aspects of how marine species survive and grow are often poorly understood and this can impede species recovery. Melissa’s work is focused on asking: how are rare and patchy organisms distributed through space and time, at what rates do individuals grow and develop, what habitat characteristics are crucial to species persistence, and what are the major sources of mortality for these species?

Melissa will be speaking about the challenges and progress she and her collaborators have been making in determining the status of the rare and patchily distributed White (Halitosis sorenseni) and Pinto (Halitosis kamtschatkana) Abalone in Southern California. Melissa holds a BSc in Biology (University of Pennsylvania), an MSc in Fisheries Biology and Veterinary Science (University of Rhode Island), and a PhD in Ecology and Evolution (Rutgers University).

Topics to discuss include:

  • Why are abalone in so much trouble in Southern California and why should we care?
  • How do we study marine species that are very rare and patchily distributed?
  • What is our strategy for recovering abalone in Southern California?

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

Oct 18, 2015 (Flyer)

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Muth Interpretive Center
Muth Interpretive Center (Image from Newport Bay Conservancy)

Join us for Conservation Café on October 18, 2015 with our invited speaker Dr. Jochen Schubert!

Dr. Schubert is a GIS and hydraulic modeling research specialist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Irvine. He joined the Computational Hydraulics Lab in 2009, with the objective of studying the effects of fine resolution geospatial data on predictive skill and computational efficiency of hydraulic models. His aim is to gain a better understanding of the data needs to characterize the complex hydrology of build and natural environments, allowing for advances in flood hazard prediction, flood risk management and watershed sustainability.

He is currently involved in the UC Irvine led research project FloodRISE, which is seeking to promote resilience to coastal flooding in Southern California. He is the lead hydraulic modeler for the Newport Beach, CA test site, for which he has been developing a flood model capable of predicting hazard from several flood drivers affecting the city.

Dr. Schubert holds a BSc in Remote Sensing and GIS (University of Bath Spa, UK), an MSc in Satellite Positioning Technology (University of Nottingham, UK), and a PhD in Engineering, Surveying and Geodesy (University of Nottingham, UK).

Topics to discuss include:

  • What is the FloodRISE project?
  • How do we communicate the flood risk to Newport Harbor?
  • What can we do about it?

Oct 2 - 4, 2015

Location:

James Reserve
Trailfinder Lodge
Riverside County

Start Time: 4 - 5 PM on Oct 2
End Time: 12:30 PM on Oct 4

The James Reserve is a UC research station located in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, CA that is not open to the general public.

We welcome and encourage anyone to participate. Our group is comprised of students, researchers, professionals, and conservation-minded community members. We welcome all levels of experience in conservation biology and wish to foster stronger ties between all folks concerned with conserving nature.

Reserve facilities include the Trailfinder Lodge, which includes the following:

  • Two bedrooms and two dorm-style rooms that accommodate 30 people
  • A main room for dining and meetings
  • A fully equipped kitchen with a 4 burner stove and 2 refrigerators
  • Two bathrooms
  • A wood stove and additional gas heating
  • A campfire ring
  • Outdoor barbecues
  • A tent camping area that can accommodate 4-5 tents

Kids and families are welcome! The cost for the trip, including accommodations, programming, campfire, and 2 breakfasts is broken down as follows:

  • Child: $20
  • OCSCB Student Member: $20
  • OCSCB Non-Student Member: $30
  • Non-Member: $40

Note: Membership dues can be paid at the time you RSVP for the retreat to receive the discounted price.

RSVP HERE

When you RSVP, please designate if you would like to bring a tent to fill one of the tent camping areas. Since there are a very limited number of tent areas, these will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Also, please be aware that this is a popular trip, so the spaces fill up quickly, so the sooner you RSVP the better!

If you have RSVP'd but have not yet paid, you can pay here.

In the upcoming weeks, we will organize carpools and provide detailed directions to the reserve site. This is a really fun and educational trip and we look forward to seeing you there!

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail ocscbiology@gmail.com



TENTATIVE ITENERARY

Friday, October 2nd

Afternoon departure from OC, arrive to reserve on your own (OCSCB will help coordinate carpools). Plan for a 2-2.5 hour drive depending on traffic and number of stops.

If there is interest, an early afternoon meet-up to explore Idyllwild can be organized.

  • 4:00-5:00 arrive at the James Reserve
  • 5:30-6:30 Orientation and Introductions
  • 6:30 Group Potluck
  • 8:00 Optional night hike (bring headlamps)


Saturday, October 3rd:

  • 8:00-9:30am OCSCB hosted breakfast (build your own yogurt parfait bar)
  • 9:30-10:00 Pack a lunch, prepare to hike
  • 10:00-3:00 Local hike - multiple options to choose from
  • 3:00-4:30 Afternoon free time to explore reserve, socialize, play music
  • 4:30-6:00 Introduction to the reserve, history, conservation, and research. Presentation/discussion lead by the James Reserve Manager.
  • 6:30 Potluck dinner, please bring or plan to prepare a dish to share.
  • 8:00-? Campfire, music, socializing. Bring your instruments!!

Sunday, October 4th:

  • 8:00-9:30 OCSCB hosted pancake breakfast
  • 9:30-11:30 Reserve hike
  • 11:30-12:30 Pack up / clean up reserve facilities
  • 12:30 Depart for OC or explore Idyllwild

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café. This event is free and open to the public.

Sep 20, 2015 (Flyer)

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11:30 AM

Mia Maltz
Mia Maltz Treseder Lab of Fungi, Ecosystems and Global Change at UC Irvine

We are excited to announce that our first Conservation Café this Fall! Join us on September 20, 2015 with our invited speaker Mia Maltz!

Mia is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Irvine in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Mia is broadly interested in the effects of environmental disturbance and global change on fungi, and how changes in fungal community composition influence ecosystem function. Before joining the Treseder Lab of Fungi, Ecosystems, and Global Change, Mia completed her M.S. in Environmental Microbiology at Sonoma State University. Mia has conducted field mycological research in Ecuador since 2007 and has collaborated with several nonprofit research- and outreach-based initiatives in Ecuador and California. Mia’s dissertation research investigates fungal biogeochemical weathering processes and the effects of invasive plant management methods on fungal communities in severely degraded coastal sage scrub ecosystems.

In conservation efforts, the inhabitants of the ecosystem that we can’t see are often overlooked. For example, soil fungi and bacteria play critical roles in how ecosystems function and are increasingly recognized as an important focus of habitat restoration.

Topics to discuss include:

  • How do these belowground communities affect the way ecosystems work?
  • How can we emulate processes found in nature for restoring ecosystems and designing the built environment?

June 20, 2015

Location:

Shaw's Cove
Laguna Beach
Street and meter parking

Time: 1 - 4 PM

We are hosting a snorkeling event in Shaw's Cove! Come out and look for our state (marine) fish, the Garibaldi, and other fish, sharks, rays, and invertebrates living in the surf. Afterwards, we will have a picnic to identify what we saw and get to know our neighbors interested in conservation. Please bring your own lunch. Dessert and drinks will be provided by us!

Suggested Donation: $5
OCSCB members: $3

All ages welcome, but everyone going in the water needs to be a moderately strong swimmer. All snorkelers under 18 will need a parent/guardian.

We will try to provide gear to participants that don't have snorkeling gear. However, supplies are limited and are on a first-come first-serve basis, and are reserved for members before non-members. Wetsuits are optional in June, but preferred.

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café.

May 17, 2015 (Flyer)

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11 AM

We are excited to announce that our next Conservation Café is on May 17th! Information on the sponsors and invited speaker will be announced after the April 19th event. Make plans to attend in advance and RSVP today! Although RSVP's aren't required, they are appreciated for planning purposes.

Free and open to the public!

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café.

April 19, 2015 (Flyer)

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Time: 10 - 11 AM

Our next Conservation Café will be on Sunday, April 19! Our invited speaker will be William Miller from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

William Miller received a Masters degree from the U.C. Irvine Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 1996, and since then has been working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service implementing the federal Endangered Species Act. Though he studied plants and insects in school, as a conservation biologist for the USFWS he helps oversee the conservation of over 100 listed species in southern California, and spends much of his time in meetings with attorneys, landowners, politicians, civil servants and academics, trying to bridge the gap between science and public policy. Once in a while he gets out in the field with the plants and critters he is honored to protect.

Topics to discuss include:

  • The Endangered Species Act - What is it and how is it implemented in Orange County?
  • The Pacific Pocket Mouse Case Study - What are the current efforts to conserve and captively breed this critically endangered species?
  • Balancing resource allocation between land conservation and land acquisition in the context of preserving and managing species under the Endangered Species Act

Conservation Café is designed to encourage informal science-based discussions of conservation issues of importance to Orange County, CA. Each Conservation Café will feature the conservation work of one local practitioner or researcher who will give a short informal talk about their conservation work. Most of the time will be devoted to audience-driven discussion. Coffee and pastries donated from local bakeries will be provided at each Café.

March 22, 2015 (Flyer)

Location:

Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA

Our first Conservation Professional in the series is Dr. Milan Mitrovich, the Science Coordinator for the Nature Reserve of Orange County. Our first Conservation Professional in the series is Dr. Milan Mitrovich, the Science Coordinator for the Nature Reserve of Orange County. Dr. Mitrovich’s professional background is in conservation biology, with an emphasis in landscape and wildlife ecology and urban design.

Over the last 10+ years Dr. Mitrovich has served in research and advisory roles for several public and private sector organizations, including Solution Strategies, Inc., an environmental consulting and strategic advisory firm based out of Los Angeles, California; the Biological Resource Discipline of the U.S. Geological Survey; the national award-winning Orange County Great Park Design Studio; and the Nature Reserve of Orange County, the conservation organization charged with implementation and management of one of the first multi-species habitat conservation plans created in the United States.

Dr. Mitrovich holds a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and San Diego State University

Our Current Sponsors:

Family Nature Summits Logo

Our Past Sponsors:

OCSCB Sponsor Tree of Life Logo
OCSCB Sponsor Loans4Love Logo