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December 9, 2015

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

11th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival - South Lake Tahoe!

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival, organized and produced by the South Yuba River Citizens League, leaves attendees feeling INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to go out and make a difference in our communities and the world. By activists and for activists, it is the largest event of this kind, and it showcases our work in a broader environmental and social context, serving to remind us that we’re participants in a global movement for a more wild and scenic world.

Date: March 31st, 2016
Location: Montbleu Casino in South Lake Tahoe.

Please view festival tour dates here, or visit their website!

Conservation Science Webinars!

Conservation Biology Institute and Data Basin are teaming up to provide the following webinars to the public!

December 14, 10 AM PST: Bioenergy Threatens Wetland Forests of the US Southeast
December 17, 11 AM PST: Mapping Aquatic Condition to Facilitate Informed Management Decisions
January 7, 10 AM PST: How Temperature and Precipitation Trends Have Affected Mountain Hydrology and Ecology

For more information about webinar topics and presenters, click here!

TERC Monthly Lecture: Exploring Mars with Curiosity

Dawn Sumner from the UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will be leading this monthly lecture. She is also a member of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, helping the rover Curiosity explore ancient environments in Gale Crater on Mars.

Date: January 28, 2016

Location: California Air Resources Board, Monitoring and Laboratory Division. 1927 13th Street, Sacramento

Details: Seating open at 5:30 p.m. to pre-registered guests, open seating starts at 5:50 p.m. Program starts at 6:00 p.m. $5 suggested donation will be collected at the door.

Please click here to register for this event!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Executive Director: Sierra Nevada Alliance!

We are seeking an innovative, resilient, and dynamic executive director to lead the organization as it moves into its 23rd year. The executive director will have primary responsibility for pursuing the Alliance’s long-range vision of successful Sierra conservation in concert with member organizations, partners, volunteers, staff, and board.

Job description and application info here.

River Policy & Communications Director with SYRCL!

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) seeks a Director who is a seasoned advocate and manager with leadership, communication, community organizing and coalition-building skills. The Director will be highly skilled in using policy advocacy, legal, scientific and communication tools to protect the watershed, and will be experienced at building strategic coalitions, mentoring program staff, and raising funds.

Job description and application info here!

Operations Manager: Friends of the Inyo!

Friends of the Inyo seeks an Operations Manager, responsible for day-to-day operations. Responsibilities include financial, human resources requirements and legal obligations, and operations management. This is a full time, year-round, position based in Bishop, CA.

Job description and application info here.

Development Director: Keep Tahoe Blue!

The League to Save Lake Tahoe seeks a Development Director to grow their annual revenue. The League to Save Lake Tahoe is a solutions-based environmental organization focused on advocating for environmental standards backed by science, devoted to community engagement, and working together to Keep Tahoe Blue.

Job description and application info here.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe also seeks Education center volunteers!

Development Director: Eastern Sierra Land Trust!

The Development Director is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and management of all fundraising and development for Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT).

Job description and application info here.

Community Water Center Internship!

The Community Water Center is currently interested in hiring 1-2 interns to support ongoing environmental justice campaigns around drinking water issues in low-income communities and communities of color in the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

Full internship description available here, or email Asha Kreiling.


Call for Abstracts - Agricultural Groundwater Conference

The Unique Agricultural Groundwater Conference will be held in San Francisco, June 28-30, 2016. The conference integrates across a wide range of topics specifically focused on this nexus: sustainable groundwater management, groundwater quality protection, groundwater-surface water interactions, the groundwater-energy nexus, agricultural BMPs for groundwater management and protection, monitoring, data management, modeling tools, and agricultural groundwater management, regulation, and economics.

Please consider submitting an abstract to this unique conference focusing on groundwater in key agricultural regions in California, North America and throughout the world!

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 15, 2016! More information here!

Free Memberships Available: The Citizen Science Association

The Citizen Science Association is now inviting inaugural members. At this time, there is no cost for membership. As this new organization is being established, inaugural members can help to shape the Association through opportunities to vote on key decisions about direction, priorities, and leadership.

For more information, click here!

CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

California's State Legislature is looking for a few good scientists and engineers to trade their lab coats for business suits, and swap molecules and equations for committee hearings and bill analyses!

Applications for the 2017 Class of our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship open onTuesday, December 1st.

For more information, click here!

Become a 2016 Switzer Environmental Fellow! Or a Host!

The Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation announces 2016 Switzer Environmental Fellowship opportunities. Switzer Fellowships are given to top graduate students in New England and California who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, and who are committed to a career in environmental improvement.

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation also created the Leadership Grant Program to help advance the professional careers of Switzer Fellows and to give non-profit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies greater access to individuals with superior technical, scientific or policy expertise.

The Switzer Fellowship focuses on leadership potential than any particular research project. Applications due January 11, 2016!
More information here.

Leadership Grant Projects (One-year grants of up to $40,000!) may address any environmental issue; however, there must be a clear partnership between the Fellow and the non-profit agency.
More information here.


Environmental Crisis of Plastics:
Squaw Valley Institute & 5 Gyres Institute
Host Community Discussion

5 Gyres Institute

On December 3rd, the Squaw Valley Institute held a discussion led by Anna Cummins, Dr. Marcus Eriksen, and the 5 Gyres Institute at the Resort at Squaw Creek.

This event examined the mystifying 5 gyres, targeted methods to reduce plastics pollution, and raised awareness for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its devastating effects.

The Squaw Valley Institute is passionate about bringing attention to this growing situation and helping to open a dialogue about what can be done to combat the problem.

Plastics are used virtually everywhere, polluting our planet and oceans at an alarming rate.

Most of the things we buy utilize single-use plastic. While some of it is recycled and remade into durable goods, only 5-10% is recovered and roughly 50% ends up in the garbage where it eventually washes out to sea. Once in the ocean, much of the plastic circulates into one of the earth’s five gyres. These massive, slow rotating whirlpools accumulate plastic and currents circulate it around the world where it washes up on beaches thousands of miles away.

Plastic eventually breaks into tiny pieces, is consumed by ocean wildlife, and sometimes ends up on our dinner plates.

Attendees joined the discussion led by 5 Gyres co-founder Anna Cummins & Dr. Marcus Eriksen, as they explained the growing plastic problem, examined the 5 ocean gyres, and offered solutions for how to reduce plastic pollution, while raising awareness for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its devastating effects.

5 Gyres aims to restore clean oceans through research, education and advocacy.

Founded by Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen, in collaboration with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Pangaea Explorations, 5 Gyres aims to restore clean oceans through research, education and advocacy. The group has completed 16 global expeditions collecting cutting-edge plastic research, which has helped create legislation, impact change and further address global education of plastic pollution.

To inspire uncommon conversations about this topic within our schools and kids, SVI’s youth program VOY/CE has partnered with Sierra Watershed Educational Partnerships (SWEP). SWEP is a popular local non-profit organization that promotes environmental stewardship by collaborating with local teachers, school districts and community partners to address pertinent environmental issues.

SVI’s youth program VOY/CE has partnered with Sierra Watershed Educational Partnerships

Similarly, SVI’s VOY/CE program is also directed at the school age members of our community and aims to introduce students to thought-provoking topics to create lasting transformations as students expand their view of the world through dedicated time interacting with SVI guest speakers. The VOY/CE program and SWEP’s Green Teams through the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District met with Anna Cummins and Dr. Marcus Eriksen in advance of this event. Students were able to ask meaningful questions, examine and share their own experiences and ideas, and develop a broader understanding of the impact plastic pollution has on our oceans and our local environment.

The event was a great success. Thank you to attendees and all who made this community educational event possible!

Find out more about the 5 Gyres Institute by clicking here
For more info about the Squaw Valley Intitute VOY/CE program, click here

If you would like to support the Sierra Nevada Alliance Initiatives,
please click here to contribute to our funding.

The policy of the Resource is to include articles that appear in local or major media outlets relevant to Sierra conservation. We also include news releases, event notices, funding opportunities and job announcements sent to us from our Member Groups and friends. If you as a reader disagree with the content of a submission we encourage you to submit a letter to the editor of the issuing publication to reach the broader audience who read the article. You are welcome to forward your letter to the editor to the Alliance for inclusion in our new "Letters to the Resource" section. We also invite Letters to the Resource to be directly submitted on any article with which you're concerned.

Newsletter contents prepared by Kate Gladstein.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback,
please email Kate!.

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Recent News

Climate Change

Arnold Schwarzenegger Doesn't Care If You Agree With Him On Climate Change
Huffington Post, Nick Visser, 12/8/15

Sierra Link: Former CA Gov. Schwarzenegger (R) has spent the past week in Paris with current Gov. Jerry Brown (D), and the two have been speaking about ongoing dysfunction that has kept the U.S. from dealing with climate change. California has been suffering from a massive drought, the likes of which has been made worse by the warming planet.

Latest: California's plan for conservation-minded energy development takes its first step forward
High Country News, Paige Blankenbuehler, 12/3/15

Sierra Link: In November, officials announced the first phase of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, clearing the way for solar, wind and geothermal energy development on 400,000 acres of public lands in the California desert. How will this impact the high-altitude deserts of the Sierra Nevada?

Top U.S. Scientist: World Must Act Now to Reverse Climate Change
National Geographic, Craig Welch, 12/7/15

Sierra Link: It is absolutely essential, if we want to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change, that we turn this problem around starting now.


Action Item: Help Stop Environmentally Destructive Logging Bill!
Earth Island Journal, Chad Hanson, 12/7/15

Sierra Link: Help the John Muir Project stop Republicans from attaching anti-environmental logging provisions to the government spending bill. This pro-logging “rider” bill in Congress would allow clearcutting in our national forests. Click above to learn more and to help!

Forest health includes fighting fire with fire
Capitol Weekly, Mark W. Schwartz and Zack Steel, 11/23/15

Sierra Link: This article examines many questions relevant to the Sierra and our forest management efforts, such as "what is the right approach to forest management?", and "how should we manage human development in forests?".


How National Parks Tell Our Story—and Show Who We Are
National Geographic, David Quammen, 12/8/15

Sierra Link: Over the past hundred years the National Park Service has grown from 37 protected areas to more than 400. From hallowed battlegrounds to Native American archaeological sites and breathtaking vistas, the NPS is working to ensure that the nation’s historical and natural treasures will be available for generations to come.

Climate Change Could Melt the $60 Billion Snow Sports Industry. Can COP21 Make a Difference?
National Geographic, M-J Staples, 12/7/15

Sierra Link: Winter sports is a $60 billion industry that props up 900,000 U.S. jobs, but because of climate change it could be melting away before our eyes. Since the 1960s the Northern Hemisphere has lost nearly a million miles of spring snow cover and that trend shows no signs of stopping.

The tenuous revival of Mono Lake
High Country News, J. Madeleine Nash, 11/23/15

Sierra Link: Its defenders won a long fight over water with Los Angeles. Now, drought is raising new questions about its future.


Water shortage will mean less California farmland
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kassler, undated

Sierra Link: California's water shortage won't end when the drought is over. New groundwater regulations will result in hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland being retired.

Rising to El Niño’s challenges – and opportunities
California Water Blog, Nicholas Pinter, 11/29/15

Sierra Link: The much-anticipated El Niño has arrived, with increased potential for heavy rain and snowfall, including the possibility of localized flooding, mudslides and other hazards. Government officials, academics and environmental leaders recently gathered for a UC Davis summit on the current El Niño to discuss steps available now to minimize challenges and maximize opportunities.

Fresno, California, aims to recharge its dwindling groundwater
High Country News, Zoe Meyers, 10/9/15

Sierra Link: In 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the first ever statewide effort to regulate groundwater use. In this video, we hear water experts discuss invisible costs of the dry spell, and what the city of Fresno is doing to recharge its groundwater reserves and develop infrastructure for surface water use.


Drought emergency: The need for a biodiversity policy
Capitol Weekly, Peter B. Moyle, 11/30/15

Sierra Link: California ecosystems are losing their resilience and their ability to sustain native plants and animals. This is especially true for aquatic ecosystems. Native fish populations have plummeted, some approaching extinction. Wetlands for waterbirds are shrinking. Almost all groups of aquatic organisms have endangered species. We see this here in the Sierra.

How Fish Make Themselves Invisible — Mystery Solved
National Geographic, Jenny Morber, 11/23/15

Sierra Link: This may be a familiar idea in the Sierra, but a new study proves that fish have figured out a way to mask themselves in nothing but water and sunlight. Scientists have long suspected that silvery fish use their skin as camouflage, reflecting light away to be less conspicuous.

Other Articles

Despite winter temps, locals urged to tap into Tahoe beaches
Tahoe Daily Tribune, UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, 12/1/15

Sierra Link: Scientists from the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center are encouraging people to hit the beach this winter — and record what they see there on the “Citizen Science Tahoe” mobile app.

Maker Series: Artisanal Firewood - This Is That
CBC Radio Canada, This is That, 9/9/15

Sierra Link: This Is That profiles Smoke & Flame, a Vancouver artisanal firewood company that is selling bundles of kindling for $1000. It is SO FUNNY. For info more, visit This is That website.

Sierra Nevada Alliance

P.O. Box 7989
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158

phone: 530.542.4546

Since 1993 the Sierra Nevada Alliance has been protecting and restoring Sierra lands, water, wildlife and communities. The regional climate change program shapes and implements county and regional resource plans that promote smart land use, incorporate sustainable water management practices, aggressively reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change.