Naturalist Night

The Naturalist Night series is a Museum favorite!  This long-running monthly lecture series features a special guest speaker and topics vary widely.  Interesting in attending, but not ready to purchase a ticket? Call (831) 420-6115 or email education@santacruzmuseum.org to reserve a seat and pay at the door – events with low enrollment are subject to cancellation.

Upcoming lectures:

Bolstering Climate Resiliency in Santa Cruz

Wednesday, August 15 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Click HERE to Register
$12 General | $6 Youth (under 18) | Members 50% off
Location:  Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Talk will begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

About the talk:

While climate action has typically focused on emission reductions to slow global warming and its climatic impacts, the City of Santa Cruz has become a regional leader in climate adaptation, or, preparing for the impacts of climate change. Dr. Tiffany Wise-West, Sustainability and Climate Action Manager for the City, will present the City’s latest work related to climate adaptation with particular focus on sea level rise, social vulnerability to climate change, and the planning and policy efforts undertaken by the City to bolster climate resilience. The talk will conclude with a call to action and tips for climate preparedness.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Tiffany Wise-West is the Sustainability and Climate Action Manager for the City of Santa Cruz. She is a licensed professional civil engineer and LEED associate professional with over 20 years of experience in municipal planning, infrastructure and programming. Dr. Wise-West complements her technical skill set with policy, regulatory, and economic expertise in the areas of climate resilience, energy, and sustainability. Drawing on her interest in innovation and education, she specializes in collaborating across public, private and academic sectors to deliver award-winning and impactful emissions mitigation and climate adaptation policies, projects and programs. Current major work projects include the City’s climate suit against fossil fuel companies, updating and conducting outreach on the City’s Climate Adaptation Plan, managing the Keep it Cool energy conservation campaign for businesses, developing 3 new city solar projects, collaborating with the urban forester on an urban tree inventory and tree planting projects, and managing the upcoming West Cliff Drive Shoreline Adaptation and Management Plan.

Restoring Indigenous Stewardship – The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Land Trust

Thursday, November 8 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Click HERE to Register
$12 General | $6 Youth (under 18) | Members 50% off
Location:  Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Talk will begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

About the talk:

For centuries California Indians managed and sustained cultural ecosystems with traditional resource and environmental management practices. Today, after a period of colonial dispossession, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is fulfilling their obligation to their Creator by relearning traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and returning to their traditional territory, which includes Santa Cruz and surrounding areas, to steward and care for Mother Earth. Amah Mutsun Tribal Chairman Valentin Lopez will discuss the history of the tribe and how the Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT) was developed as a means to assist the tribe in their efforts to gain access to lands within their tribal territory. Sara French, research associate with AMLT, will give examples of how the AMLT is restoring indigenous stewardship to Amah Mutsun ancestral lands using research and education, conservation and restoration, and innovative partnerships in the Santa Cruz mountains and beyond.

About the Speakers:

Valentin Lopez is the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the President of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust Board of Directors. Chairman Lopez works tirelessly to honor his ancestors and make sure they are never erased from history or forgotten. He has spoken on numerous occasions on the floor of the United Nations to bring international attention to the cultural and ecological restoration initiatives of his tribe. He serves as a Native American Advisor to the University of California, to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Chairman Lopez is a Mutsun singer and dancer and student of the Mutsun language.

Sara French is the Director of Programs and Development for the Amah Mutsun Land Trust. She holds dual degrees from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Anthropology, and a master’s degree from UC Berkeley in Range Management. She has worked with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2009 on numerous ethnobotanical, ecological restoration, and resource management projects. In recent years she has focused her efforts on fundraising, grant writing, and developing resource stewardship programs for the Amah Mutsun Land Trust. She is a native plant enthusiast and is deeply committed to restoring indigenous stewardship and culturally significant native plants to Amah Mutsun traditional territory.

The 2018 Amah Mutsun: Then and Now program series is supported by California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.


Naturalist Nights are sponsored by:

Do you have an idea for a future Naturalist Night?  Let us know at education@santacruzmuseum.org.