Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flow (with redwood trees)

September 6, 2016 | Uncategorized | Permalink

On a Sunday in summer 2008, I was sitting in the library at the California Academy of Sciences, alone on the third floor of the brand-new Renzo Piano-designed building. I no longer have this kind of access, but at the time I was able to move at will into the temperature-controlled stacks, to consult a […]

Citizen Scientist

July 18, 2016 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Gearing up for the September 6 release of my new book, this website is being redesigned at the moment by the wonderful Nancy Freeborn. I’m still in the pupa stage yet feel those unfurling butterfly wings in my stomach. Grateful for very thoughtful pre-publication support from writers and scientists: “The idea that science is something […]

Stand By Me

July 2, 2016 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Maybe it’s because the word refers to the ultimate oblivion, or maybe it’s because most of us think of polar bears stranded on melting icebergs when we hear about “extinction,” but many of us assume the curtailing of life forever is a remote phenomenon. But local extinction happens in our backyards. Populations of species are […]

Tally Ho

May 20, 2016 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Since the inception of the National Park Service 100 years ago, individual parks have kept lists of what animals and plants live in them. These records are important to science and to managing the parks, but with relatively few biologists covering millions of acres of land and sea, they have been woefully incomplete. Right now […]

Nature: The Brand

February 7, 2016 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Doug Tompkins, prematurely deceased at age 72 by way of a kayaking accident, leaves a cadre of older conservationists behind, many of whom are still on the front lines of nature protection. Still, his passing sounded the note of an era’s end and a changing of the guard. Old time enviros turned out in good […]

Time’s Flaming Arrow

November 12, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

A little more than a week ago I drove into Yosemite National Park for a week-long, California Master Naturalist immersion course. I was euphoric, about to sequester in beauty to study deeper levels of what Shakespeare called “nature’s infinite book.” Heading in from Oakdale, mile upon mile of mountainous hillside was covered in rusty brown […]

Precarious Ark

October 16, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

The title is a bit of a sledgehammer. Would you guess that The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals is a beautiful thing? Anne and Paul Ehrlich’s latest book (co-authored with Gerardo Ceballos) invites the reader to linger over mesmerizing photographs and to slowly absorb intricately crafted captions illuminating the life and […]

Here and Now

September 29, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

“Here and Now” would seem to direct one’s attention to the present, but the past is not far behind in this inspiring film made by the Bay Area Open Space Council. (You can watch it here: The past isn’t even past, to paraphrase William Faulkner. The film profiles progressive partnerships between the Amah Mutsun […]

Moving Masses

September 25, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Last week my 15-year old son and I did a “fast raft” whale watch in Monterey Bay. It was wild! At one point our boat was surrounded by more than two dozen humpbacked whales. There was constant breaching, sometimes two whales leaping up in tandem as if they were doing a star turn in an […]

Shh…don’t tell my book group

August 30, 2015 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Okay it’s still summer so a lot of reading and attention to my book group going on here. Also, a month ago I turned in a major revision of my book about citizen science, the researching of which has been preoccupying my reading life for a good four years. I have been looking forward to […]