Enhance your knowledge of the latest in Sierra Science, or learn new skills to grow your environmental nonprofit when you attend Sierra Nevada Alliance’s free monthly webinars. Each month, Sierra Nevada Alliance works with experts to provide monthly webinars on topics relating to capacity building, fundraising, networking, environmental challenges in the Sierra, and more. View upcoming webinars and sign up here!
View recordings of past webinars hosted by the Alliance.
What is the Nature Gap? Nature is supposed to be a “great equalizer” whose services are free, universal, and accessible to all humans without discrimination. In reality, American society distributes nature’s benefits—and the effects of its destruction and decline—unequally by race, income, and age. The United States has fewer forests, streams, wetlands, and other natural places near where Black, Latino, and Asian American people live. Notably, families with children—especially families of color with children—have less access to nature nearby than the rest of the country. In other words, these communities are nature deprived. These disparities are particularly concerning because nature is not an amenity but a necessity for everyone’s health and well-being.”
Carbon markets, a component of nature-based solutions, are a market-based solution to provide funding for various management practices that take up additional carbon on the forested landscape.
Nature-based solutions describe various methods for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration, biodiversity protection, and ecosystem services preservation.
All carbon projects must follow a set of principles to achieve meaningful emissions reductions. These principles govern how the projects are implemented, how the management is carried out, and how the credits are sold and traded on the carbon market.
This presentation provides an overview of carbon markets, the necessary tools to understand how projects are developed conceptually, and what to look for in a high-quality carbon offset credit.
Andy Sawyer, Assistant Chief Council with the California State Water Board, shared recent developments in California water rights management, drought response with a focus on in-stream flow protection, and water quality certification for hydroelectric projects, along with Delta water quality planning and how it will affect rim dams and areas upstream.
Alex Leumer, Environmental Attorney and Policy Consultant for California’s Power in Nature 30×30 initiative, and Sam Davidson, Senior Policy Analyst with Trout Unlimited, reviewed the role of freshwater in achieving the state’s 30×30 conservation goals and discussed the relationship between land and water protection. They provided an update on water issues in the California legislature this session, including modernizing water rights and increasing fines and enforcement of illegal water diversion.
California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, who leads California Volunteers, Office of the Governor, discusses the power of service to bridge divides and create equity and justice, and the importance of service. He also discusses the legacy of service champions such as Cesar Chavez, how Governor Newsom invests in service in California, and the important role of AmeriCorps California programs like the Alliance’s Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP).
Celebrate our big milestone with a memorable virtual celebration of the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s 30th Anniversary.
Since 1993, we’ve been working with our Member Groups, conservation partners, and community members in the Sierra and beyond to protect and preserve this treasured region.
Alliance staff and board members share achievements throughout our history, current projects and programs, and our priorities for the future.
Dr. Scott Valentine, Earth Science Instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College, tells a captivating story of how earthquakes, volcanism, and geologic riches shaped the state of California.
Dr. Scott Valentine is the lead faculty member of the Earth & Environmental Science Department at Lake Tahoe Community College and he teaches a variety of classes ranging from Oceanography to Geology and Meteorology. He spent time working as a professional raft guide and a US Forest Service Hydrologist prior to his teaching profession. Scott lives in the Lake Tahoe area and spends his time biking, skiing, and chasing his two kids around the mountains.
Learn about the essentials of telling your organization’s story to help connect with supporters and donors. Chris Ringnes, of the El Dorado Community Foundation, will also cover the importance of creating a communications plan that includes best practices for your website, social media, and e-blasts. And finally, the value of building a consistent brand across your internal and external communications.
Chris is the Public Relations and Communications Coordinator for the El Dorado Community Foundation. He is a California native who grew up engaged in outdoor activities throughout the Sierras. Chris graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of the Pacific and comes from a sales and marketing background in the small business sector. He has been with the Foundation since 2018 and loves being a part of an organization that does so much for the community he was raised in.
In this lecture we will discover some of the basics regarding mycology, edibility and forest ecology of the Sierra Nevada mushrooms. Learn to safely identify, forage for and enjoy the amazing mushrooms in our forests. We will be covering the basics of a few noted species that are commonly found in our surrounding mountains and discuss the intricate relationships to the ecosystem that wild mushrooms provide.
Gina Woods is a local herbalist, nutritionist and chef. Practitioner, head medicine maker and owner of a local business, Woods Apothecary. She has skillfully taught classes on the local Tahoe flora and funga for nearly two decades. A hobby mycologist and ecologist Gina has foraged for wild foods and mushrooms all over the globe but has an affinity for the Sierra Nevada where she calls home!
Gina shares her passion for ecology, foraging wild foods, herbalism, cooking, survival skills and much more locally and internationally, teaching classes and working with people to improve their health and wellness.
Learn about the state of federal forest protections and what groups are doing to push the United States to take action and demonstrate international leadership. Ellen Montgomery is the public lands campaign director and a leader of the Climate Forests Campaign. Join us for a discussion about how the Biden administration can protect our most valuable forests, resulting in cleaner air and water, more habitat for wildlife and helping us fight climate change.
Ellen Montgomery with Environment America runs campaigns to protect America’s beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado’s mountains.
Taylor Parker, PhD, Sierra Nevada Alliance Forestry Program Director, presents on his experiences in forestry. Taylor discusses details of his previous projects, the people he met along the way and what he has learned in the process. Taylor also shares more information about the Sierra Corps Forestry Program and his goals for the future of the program.
Brandon Smith, co-founder and Executive Director of The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP), presents on the founding of FFRP and the gap that they help fill for firefighting efforts in California. He shares the importance this program has to help provide career support to formerly incarcerated firefighters and those currently incarcerated in California’s Conservation Camps. Brandon also covers the need for continuing and growing partnerships.
Megan Joyce, founder of Kestrel Blue Digital, facilitates a panel of women in science and conservation. Celebrate the people behind the research, advocacy, and policy that helps protect our world. Hear the unique stories of each of the panelists including their career paths, challenges they have faced, their successes, and much more.
- Susan Britting: Executive Director, Sierra Forest Legacy
- Jenny Hatch: Executive Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance
- Ali Meders-Knight: Master TEK practitioner with the Machoodpha Tribe
- Beth Pratt: California Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation
- Meg Seifert: Executive Director, Headwaters Science Institute
Former California Native Plant Society (CNPS) President, Cris Sarabia, gives a presentation all about the CNPS. He covers topics including many of the CNPS programs, how you can get involved in your local chapter, and how you can help protect native plants. He also shares with us some of his family history and connection to specific plants and the areas they can be found.
Naturalist and birder Sarah Hockensmith of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science gives a presentation on many of the common and unique birds of the Sierra Nevada that can be found during the winter months. She provides tips to beginner birders including helpful resources and materials. Sarah also covers tricks to identify different bird species and bird songs. She also shares with us current research being conducted at TINS.
- EBird: https://ebird.org/home
- TINS Checklists: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e682e76e2f55527c82dc988/t/6009e4a1fc0e2450ca6d6982/1611261094071/TINS_Bird_Checklist.pdf
- Bald Eagle Count: https://www.tinsweb.org/upcoming-events/2022-mid-winter-bald-eagle-count
- Christmas Bird Count: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count
Wildlife advocate and conservation leader Beth Pratt gives a lively presentation on “the most adorable animal on the planet” – the pika! Pratt, who has been observing and studying pika in Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Sierra for over a decade, gives an introduction to their habitat, their habits, and their future outlook faring with the impacts of climate change.
Presentation by Carolyn Finney, PhD, and author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. Dr. Finney explores the complexities and contradictions of our past, the realities of our present, and the possibilities of our future as it relates to green space, race, and the power to shape the places we live in our own image.
The Sierra Nevada Alliance also acknowledges Patagonia for providing funding so that we could have Dr. Finney join us.
Sarah Hockensmith of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science introduces many of the common and unique birds of the Tahoe Basin, along with tips and tricks for beginner birders. She covers identification, bird song, current bird research in the Tahoe region, and Tahoe birding destinations.
Amarina Wuenschel describes her work with the U.S. Forest Service studying Sierra Nevada tree mortality, and goes over her project work on how tree mortality changed over time with management, precipitation, and forest density. She discusses the results of her study on tree mortality patterns in treated and untreated forested stands, and addresses the contexts of drought and wildfire in California.
Rob Grasso describes his work leading the Aquatic Wildlife Restoration Program in Yosemite National Park restoring endangered amphibians and rare turtles. Rob goes over the steps Yosemite has taken to establish a successful restoration and reintroduction program for the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frog, CA Red-legged frog, and discuss their bullfrog eradication efforts as well as long-term monitoring projects for the Yosemite toad and Western Pond turtle.
Interested in California groundwater management? The Alliance’s invited UC Davis’ Katrina Jessoe to speak in October about managing agricultural groundwater, focusing in on the water markets and water pricing as tools to manage groundwater under SGMA and internalize groundwater pollution externalities.
Are you or someone you know interested in conservation jobs in California’s Sierra Nevada?
Hear from four of our Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) members who will be talking about their unique job positions (Education Coordinator, Field Technician, Restoration Coordinator, & Outreach Specialist) during an hour-long employee panel, with a Q&A to follow!
Watch Now Link Coming Soon
Did you know that there are invisible glaciers up in the Sierra Nevada? Did you know there is extensive permafrost terrain in California? Once climate change has destroyed the few surviving Sierra Nevada glaciers, rock glaciers and other permafrost features of the periglacial environment will continue to provide seasonal melt water to downstream ecosystems. Rock glaciers, which are similar in size and morphology to ice glaciers, contain internal ice (i.e. permafrost) that is covered by a thick, rocky outer debris layer that provides insolation which helps protect the ice from the warming effects of climate change. Few know, understand or consider the importance of permafrost features to water basin regulation. Our work to protect the world’s cryosphere through improved and informed policy, education and activism is part of what we dubbed “cryoactivism”, that is, activism geared to protect our frozen environment. From the day that we discovered a multinational mining company dynamiting glaciers in the Central Andes of South America, we set out on a quest to bring attention to the worlds glaciers and periglacial resources. In 2008 we helped get the world’s very first glacier and permafrost protection law passed in Argentina. California is extremely rich in rock glaciers, oftentimes confused with lateral moraines of remnant glaciers. Yet, there are hundreds of these very active rock glaciers (that have nothing to do with moraines) and thousands of smaller periglacial features that are rich in ice and that are providing continuous water to California’s streams and rivers. Find out more about these obscure but fascinating high mountain hydrological features by joining this webinar!
Chris Anthony is a Division Chief with CAL FIRE. During the webinar, he will provide an overview of wildfire trends in California and discuss factors behind why these fires are becoming larger and more destructive. He will also address some of the current endeavors underway to address these issues and answer questions from the group. Over Chris’ career with CAL FIRE, he has worked in disciplines ranging from forest management, firefighter training and safety, law enforcement, fire investigation, administration, and fire suppression operations. In 2015 Chris was appointed as the Deputy Task Force Leader for the Governors Tree Mortality Task Force; helping to lead an effort of over 80 federal, state and local entities in response to the Governors Emergency Proclamation to address the massive tree die off in the Sierra Nevada.
The Sierra Nevada has experienced notable variability in weather and climate during the last decade with other significant changes occurring over the past century. Regional climate projections indicate further increases in precipitation variability and the intensity of winter storms. These precipitation changes will be superimposed with continued warming, leading to severe declines in snowpack. I will share insight from a variety of studies aiming to characterize individual historic extreme weather and climate events as well as longer-term changes. Recent trends in snow line elevations, the timing of achieving sufficient early season snowpack for recreation, the partitioning of cool season precipitation into rain and snow, and the types and origins of snow droughts will be explored. The value of long-term, high elevation observational networks and ongoing citizen science projects, namely the Community Snow Observations (http://communitysnowobs.org/) project, will be highlighted.
Once common throughout much of North America, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) was driven to localized extinction when the last wild gray wolf in the Golden State was shot in Lassen County in 1924. Flash forward to present day California, where gray wolves are once again returning to their historical territories, including increasing forays into the northern Sierra Nevada.
Join Defenders of Wildlife’s senior California representative Pamela Flick for a presentation on the history of gray wolf recovery efforts, the species’ comeback to the Pacific West, information about individual wolves and wolf packs in California, and making sure your voice is heard in the current attempt to rollback protections for this apex predator.
The role of a board member is one of the most influential volunteer positions in a community, and an opportunity to serve a mission to which one is truly dedicated. Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation has blended the best resources available on Board Governance and delivers them in a four-part workshop series. Watch the first workshop of the series to learn exactly what responsibilities a board member takes on and how to co-create a powerful and engaged board of directors. The workshop is delivered in three parts: Theory, Practice, and Application.
The Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Business Council are excited to once again be partnering to bring information and resources to Sierra communities.
In 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 32. This landmark climate bill requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. In the face of rising threats caused by climate change, these emissions reductions are now more critical than ever to ensure a healthy and sustainable future. But how can a community know if they’re helping or hurting–if they’re reducing emissions or continuing on a Business-As-Usual emissions scenario?
In this webinar, we will explore the importance of greenhouse gas inventorying and empowering communities to take charge of their carbon footprint. Inventories are used to estimate the greenhouse gases that a community or government emit each year. These inventories are a crucial component in climate planning, and we’re excited to share with you the basics and show you some local Sierra examples. Please join the Alliance’s CivicSpark Climate Fellows, Meredith Anderson and Sam Ruderman, and Sierra Business Council’s Climate and Energy Team, Paul Ahrns and BJ Schmitt, for this exciting and instructive webinar to learn more about how greenhouse gas inventories can be a powerful tool for your community to help combat climate change.
Audiences and interactions are always changing on social media, but there has never been a more accessible way to communicate with the masses and actively engage with constituents. If you and your organization are feeling overwhelmed by the multiple platforms, the sheer volume of available content, and everything else, this is the webinar for you. Make sure you’re capitalizing on your most under-utilized outreach tools, and communicate your organization’s mission even more effectively. Present by Sierra Nevada Alliance and the Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP), a program of Sierra Business Council.
Interested in California’s Groundwater? Check out our recorded webinar from June presented by Gus Tolley, who spoke about the groundwater of California and how it is being affected. You can watch the recording here!
Interested in learning about the Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frogs? The Alliance had guest speaker Tom Smith from the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab speak for the Monthly Webinar in May. During this webinar, Tom spoke about his research on these cool creatures! Check out the recorded webinar here!