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CONES Archives

Welcome to CONES (California Online Naturalist Event Series) archives.  This series is created by and for UC California Naturalists and UC Climate Stewards to connect across the state on topics including natural history, ecology, climate change, and the intersections of pressing human and environmental issues. Each talk is available to the public afterward, pending speaker approval.

We kicked off the UC California Naturalist CONES in fall 2020 with a three-part series on climate justice and community resilience (October, November, December 2020).


What Lizards Tell Us About a Warming Planet
March 30, 2021
Cameron Barrows
Cameron Barrows is an Associate Research Ecologist with UC Riverside, coordinating the Center for Conservation Biology's Desert Studies Initiative. The initiative develops risk assessments and implements regional conservation programs for desert flora, fauna and natural communities and enhances secondary level science education in surrounding schools. Dr. Barrows is a recognized ecologist and naturalist who has studied, managed, and explored a huge swath of our diverse state from Humboldt County to the Mojave Desert. As the first UC California Naturalist Program Lead Scientist, he recognizes the importance of California Naturalist and Climate Stewards courses in revitalizing natural history training, increasing community & ecosystem resilience, engaging the public in participatory science, and capturing the sense of urgency that climate change brings to our work. In this talk we'll learn about climate change in deserts, using common lizards as a means of answering ecological questions, and successes in engaging naturalists with participatory science.

Diversity from the Ground UP: What works

View the recording here

February 23, 2021

Claudia Award 2020
Claudia P. Diaz
Carrasco, 4-H Youth Development Advisor and UC California Naturalist instructor for the Southern California Mountains Foundation: Urban Conservation Corps of Inland Empire course. Since joining UC ANR in 2014 as a 4-H Youth Development Advisor, Claudia has provided expertise, visibility, and a keen understanding of local issues, particularly in the areas of cultural competence, social justice, positive youth development and science literacy. Claudia´s work focuses on piloting new models to better serve under-represented populations and places, including Latino and/or low-income youth and families in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Claudia is interested in the interconnections of culture, nature and education. In partnership with the National Park Service, she developed a bilingual guide to help youth and families explore Camp #59 of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Expedition. Claudia also plays a key role in helping the Urban Conservation Corps develop greater capacity to engage youth of color in environmental education and stewardship. In this talk, Claudia will draw from these experiences to present the findings of one of her latest research projects which identified new strategies that foster inclusion of diverse youth and families in programs.

Smokey the Beaver: Can Beavers Prevent Wildfires?

View the recording here

January 19, 2021

Dr. Emily Fairfax, Assistant Professor, California State University Channel Islands. Dr. Fairfax leads the BEAVS Research Group: Beavers, Ecohydrologyand Visual Storytelling. Her current research focuses on the ecohydrology of riparian areas, particularly those that have been impacted by beaver damming. Dr. Fairfax uses a combination of remote sensing, modeling, and field to work understand how beaver damming changes these landscapes and on what timescales those changes operate. In addition to learning about beavers and Dr. Fairfax's research, participants in this CONES will have an opportunity to practice finding signs of beaver in both on ground photos and in satellite images.

Environmental Justice as a path to solving the global climate crisis: simple and not-so-simple things we could do differently to make the world a better place

View the recording here

December 8, 2020

Joana Flor TavaresĀ 
Joana Flor Tavares (she/her/hers) is a marine scientist, an educator, and a mom. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of California, Irvine in the Earth System Science Department, where she is investigating the impacts of pollution on marine life with funding from NASA.  Joana serves as a board member and community science advisor for local non-profit organizations: the Amigos de Bolsa Chica, and the Newport Bay Conservancy, both in Southern California. Joana is interested in intersectional environmentalism, the nexus between climate change and environmental justice, and the challenges and opportunities to effectively address systemic racism and cultural, social, and economic oppression.


Changing the climate of fear through elemental activism

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November 17, 2020

 AshEL “Seasunz” Eldridge, MA. Transpersonal Psychology, resides in Oakland, CA. AshEL has worked with the Alliance for Climate Education, been a Green For All Fellow, a Climate Justice, Race, and Activism instructor at San Francisco State University, and taught conflict resolution skills with Soul Shoppe. He is the founder of Soulestial Church, Earth Amplified, and S.O.S (System out of our System) Juice. He is a co-founder of United Roots – Oakland’s Green Youth Arts and Media Center. He serves on the board of Hip Hop is Green, an international organization promoting the 10th Element of hip-hop: Health and Wellness. AshEL's most recent project is EFAM, a collective of community organizers, farmers and gardeners, and healers committed to bring essential food and medicines to all.

How resilient communities respond to climate change

View the recording here

October 27, 2020 

UC California Naturalist panel discussion moderated by Francis Mendoza. 

Francis Mendoza
Moderator Francis Mendoza (Salmon Protection And Watershed Network California Naturalist) is a Supervising Naturalist at the East Bay Regional Park District in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked for Literacy for Environmental Justice, served on the Steering Committee Chairperson for ChangeScale (an Environmental Education Collaborative in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas), and specializes in working with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and other marginalized communities. 

Panelist Brandon Barragan (Point Reyes National Seashore Association CalNat partner) works for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association in the education department where he focuses on a variety of weekend programs for the general public to participate in. After graduating from Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in Environmental Studies, Brandon has been devoted to improving visitor relationships in Point Reyes National Seashore and working on outreach to expand the opportunities available there for all potential visitors. 

Panelist Emily Cobar (UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden Naturalist) is the Community Program Manager at Los Angeles Audubon Society, a nonprofit organization that focuses on wildlife conservation through research, education, recreation, and habitat restoration. Emily leads many environmental education programs for varying audiences from inner-city elementary school students to high school students to community college students. She enjoys teaching about the natural history of Los Angeles, including topics such as water conservation, plant communities, urban wildlife, geology, and more. 

Panelist Jerome Gaw (Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum California Naturalist) is a wildlife photography hobbyist, science communicator, and conservation educator. A mental health practitioner by profession, he is a firsthand witness to the power of nature to promote community involvement and facilitate well-being. 

Panelist Brenda Kyle (Pasadena City College California Naturalist) is a Southern California based naturalist who leads environmental programs all over the L.A. area. She rates herself an 11/10 on the, "I love nature scale!" Brenda is deeply connected to the mountains in L.A., and is descended from the Tarahumara and Tepehuan peoples from Mexico.