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!

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December 2020

Winter Science Speaks Series – Local Renewable Energy Transition Planning & Climate Resilience

December 10, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Free

Expansion of local renewable supply is key to more timely, just, and safe local, state, and national renewable energy transitions. U.S. cities and counties should encourage private investment in local solar energy production because it enables faster local decarbonization and energy resilience - also because it strengthens local economies in many ways. This Thursday, Gerald “Gerry” Braun from the Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Network will present on energy transition planning, local decarbonization, and climate resilience as part of UC Davis…

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January 2021

Winter Science Speaks Series – UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center

January 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Free

An overview of the UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center’s mission to facilitate much-needed cannabis and hemp research despite regulatory challenges with Li Tian, Associate Professor of Plant Sciences and co-director of the UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and C. Bryan Cameron, Presidential Chair in Neuroscience and co-director of the UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center. The UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center (CHRC) serves as the university’s…

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Sierra Nevada Alliance Monthly Webinar: Tahoe Birds with Sarah Hockensmith

January 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
western bluebirds

Interested in nature, discovery, exploring outside, and a bit of a challenge? Birdwatching may be a perfect fit for you! Join Sarah Hockensmith of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science as she introduces you to the 2021 Tahoe Big Year, a year-long birding event that celebrates the hundreds of bird species that occupy the Tahoe Region. This event brings together birding beginners and enthusiasts alike. This presentation will acquaint you with common and unique birds of Lake Tahoe, birding destinations in the Tahoe region, what a bird Big Year is, and how to get involved!

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February 2021

Sierra Science Series – Behavioral ecology of Tamalia gall aphids: induction, cohabitation, freeloading

February 9 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

Learn how social parasites exploit primitive social behavior in aphids with Dr. Don Miller, professor in the Center for Water and the Environment at California State University, Chico. These insects create galls (abnormal growth bubbles) in manzanita leaves, but some individuals invade these retreats rather than build their own. Is conflict reduced because invaders are clonally related to the hosts? When does an aphid make the shift between starting its own gall and invading another’s? Learn about how Dr. Miller…

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Sierra Nevada Alliance Webinar with Carolyn Finney, PhD

February 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Image of Carolyn Finney, webinar presenter

Black Faces, White Spaces: Christian Cooper, John Muir & Playing the Long Game Central Park birder Christian Cooper.  George Floyd. Removal of Confederate Statues.  Renaming of institutions.  Reparations.  Systemic Racism. What's the environment got to do with it?  How do we meet this moment?  Drawing from her book, Black Faces, White Spaces, her relationships “in the field” and her lived experience, Dr. Finney explores the complexities and contradictions of our past, the realities of our present and the possibilities of…

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Science Speaks Series: Shrimply Blue: Restoring Lake Tahoe’s Clarity One Dog at a Time

February 18 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Free

How the new non-profit organization “Shrimply Blue” is inviting dogs and their human sidekicks to restore lake clarity one dog treat at a time. The Tahoe Environmental Research Center has identified invasive Mysis as a key contributor to clarity decline. By removing the surprisingly nutritious Mysis and transforming them into premium dog treats, Shrimply Blue is creating a regenerative system for sustainable lake restoration. Millions of people visit Tahoe each year, and for the first time ever people and their…

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March 2021

Sierra Science Series – California conservation in the genomics era: The CALeDNA and California Conservation Genomics projects

March 9 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

Please join us on March 9th at 6:30pm for our next Sierra Science lecture. The employment of genomic technologies is becoming increasingly important for detecting, understanding, and developing species and ecosystem management plans, including maximizing the adaptive potential of natural systems. Dr. Jason Sexton will describe two programs currently using conservation genetics and genomics in California: 1) California Environmental DNA (CALeDNA), a program for detecting DNA in environmental samples, and 2) the California Conservation Genomics Project (CCGP), a project using…

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Sierra Nevada Alliance Monthly Webinar: Pika Palooza with Beth Pratt

March 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Join wildlife advocate, conservation leader, Sierra Nevada Alliance board member, and author Beth Pratt for a fun talk about 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, claims “they are also one of the most intrepid creatures in the world for all their adorableness.” The pika also happens to be the Sierra Nevada Alliance's mascot! During her talk, Pratt  will show…

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Winter Science Speaks Series – Calculating the Costs of Climate Change

March 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Free

What are the costs if climate change increases the risk of extinction of plants and animals? What about costs from impacts to agricultural production and the risk to the global food supply? These are some of the important costs involved in estimating the costs of climate change damages, a value known as the social cost of carbon. Frances C. Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California Davis. Moore’s research…

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April 2021

Trash Talk with Clean Up The Lake

April 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Free

Are you curious about what lies beneath the surface of Lake Tahoe? Grab a virtual refreshment and join the Clean Up The Lake team and Environmental Scientist Zoe Harrold, PhD as we talk all things trash. We will share the dirty details of our 2020 underwater clean ups and discuss what’s in store for this summer as we embark on the 72 mile SCUBA clean up presented by Tahoe Blue Vodka. Prize giveaways and a sneak peak premiere of a…

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Webinar Archive

View recordings of past webinars hosted by the Alliance.

Watch it here.

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.

Watch it here.

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.

Watch it here.

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.

Watch it here.

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.

Watch it here.

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.

Watch it here.

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.

Hear from 2019/20 SNAP Members and Sierra Corps Fellows as they present their final posters during this year’s Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference.

Watch it here.

Watch it here.

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!

Watch it here

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.

Watch it here

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.

Watch it here

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.

Watch it here

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.

Watch it here

The Alliance hosted a diversity and inclusivity panel discussion to learn more about organizations can begin the work to increase diversity and become more inclusive.

Watch it here

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.

Watch it here

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.

Izzy Martin, with the Sierra Fund, speaks about the history of California’s environmental impacts, resiliency, and a little bit about the Sierra Fund’s projects. You can find the recording here.

Interested to learn a little bit about GIS? Kate Gladstein gives a great presentation on how some ways we can use GIS! Watch the recording here!

Have you been interested in various types of birds that inhabit Tahoe? Watch the recording with Sarah Hockensmith talking about her studies on various birds of Tahoe. Click here to watch the webinar!

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!

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