January 03, 2022

Talk by Dr. Jim Covel about the Lake Merritt Tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus-free, online Friday Jan 7th 7 pm

Rotary Nature Center Friends is hosting a free online talk by Dr. Carlton. The Tube Worm is not a bird, but an integral part of the food chain at this estuary lagoon. A great way to start off the year!
James T. Carlton, Professor of Marine Sciences Emeritus, Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) and Director Emeritus, The Ocean & Coastal Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut

Title: “The Lake’s Most Famous Animal: The Enigmatic Story (and the 100th Anniversary!) of the Lake Merritt Tubeworm”

Description: First discovered in Lake Merritt 100 years ago, the brackish-water tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus (known before the 1980s to Lake naturalists as Mercierella enigmatica) has a long and fascinating global history. What exactly is it, what does it eat, and how does it reproduce? Where did it come from and how did it get to San Francisco Bay? Why did a French scientist give it the name enigmaticus? And why did the tubeworm remain only in San Francisco Bay until the 1990s, after which it began to appear elsewhere in California? Today the Lake Merritt tubeworm is also found in Europe, the North American Atlantic coast, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Hawaii, and elsewhere. We’ll explore some of the scientific techniques that have been used to explore out where its (probable) original home port was.

Register here: to https://lakeside-chat-14-the-lakes-most-famous-animal.eventbrite.com
You will receive zoom link in confirmation email.
Rotary Nature Center Friends is a community 501c3 nonprofit advocating for the Rotary Nature Center in Lakeside Park as an interpretive education and science center for all the people of Oakland and as the Steward for the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge.

Posted on January 03, 2022 15:06 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 25, 2021

Clay Anderson will present a virtual walk about Winter Birds @ Lake Merritt in Oakland CA-free, online Dec. 3rd, 7-8 p.m.

Winter birds travel thousands of miles every winter, some of them, to Lake Merritt in the heart of urban Oakland. Join us as Naturalist Clay Anderson leads a virtual walk to find and learn more about the birds hanging out at Lake Merritt. Clay was awarded Bay Nature’s Local Hero Award in 2021 for his inspirational work as Youth Coordinator and Program Manager at the Golden Gate Audubon Society. Register by eventbrite to get zoom link and YouTube recording later.
Free, online. 7-8 p.m. on December 3rd.

Register HERE => https://lakeside-chat-13-winter-birds.eventbrite.com
The zoom link to join the program is in the confirmation email when you get a free ticket

Sponsored by Rotary Nature Center Friends
Rotary Nature Center Friends is a community 501c3 nonprofit advocating for the Rotary Nature Center in Lakeside Park as an interpretive education and science center for all the people of Oakland and as the Steward for the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge.

Posted on November 25, 2021 16:32 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 09, 2021

A wonderful evening with birder Hilary Powers! LINK to recording

Rotary Nature Center Friends would like to share with you the recorded Lakeside Chat #4, “A Birder in Her Patch-Hilary Powers at Lake Merritt”, now up on YouTube.
We hope you will enjoy it and share it with your friends, families and contacts.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Lakeside Chat #5 with Dr. Richard Bailey of The Lake Merritt Institute and Vanessa Pope of Mudlab Zero-Waste Café on April 5th.
Register for Chat #5 at: https://lakesidechat4-lakemerrittinstitue-and-mudlab.eventbrite.com
You can read Hilary’s bird walk column every month in The Tidings newsletter of The Lake Merritt Institute.
You can peruse Hilary’s needle felting creations at Salamander Feltworks website and Instagram:
Golden Gate Audubon Society
Birds of the Rotary Nature Center on iNaturalist (there are at least 9 projects about Lake Merritt on iNaturalist!)
e-Bird Birding Hotspot, where 213 species of birds have been recorded
Explore: https://ebird.org/hotspots
Katie Noonan and David Wofford, Co-chairs of Rotary Nature Center Friens
FOLLOW Rotary Nature Center Friends on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and INSTAGRAM
Previous Lakeside Chats:
Lakeside Chat 1 with Jim Carlton - “An Unsolved Mystery: The Enigmatic Beach Hopper of Lake Merritt” 12/4/2020
Lakeside Chat 2 with Jim Covel - “Stories from the Early Days at Lake Merritt”

Lakeside Chat #3 with Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel - "The Earth, The City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race."
Lakeside Chat #4 with Hilary Powers – A Birder in Her Patch – Hilary Powers at Lake Merritt
150th Anniversary Celebration of the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge

Posted on March 09, 2021 20:32 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 19, 2021

March 5th, 2021 Lakeside Chat #4 via Zoom -A Birder in Her Patch - Hilary Powers at Lake Merritt

Register here: https://a-birder-in-her-patch-hilarypowers-at-lake-merritt.eventbrite.com

Rotary Nature Center Friends invites you to enjoy a virtual bird walk with Hilary Powers, co-leader of Golden Gate Audubon's 4th-Wednesday Bird Walks at Lake Merritt since 2005

Join us as Hilary Powers, a Golden Gate Audubon Volunteer, takes us to some of her favorite birding spots at Lake Merritt. She will share her perspectives on the species and ecological community at the nation’s first wildlife sanctuary that she has gleaned in over fifteen years of 4th-Wednesday Bird Walks. Hilary's quick eye and entertaining explanations will delight beginners and advanced birders. Her passion for the birds opens up new opportunities to connect with nature and engage in minds-on outdoor recreation during the pandemic.

A Zoom link will be emailed to Eventbrite ticket-holders before the program. Please register before 6 p.m. on March 5th to avoid delay in receiving the zoom link.

Posted on February 19, 2021 18:10 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 01, 2021

Jan 8th 7-8 pm PST-Lakeside Chat with James Covel: Stories from the Early Days at Lake Merritt

Please register here: https://lakemerrittstoriesearlydays.eventbrite.com
Before there was iNaturalist, before there were smart phones, even before earth-observing satellites, the first municipal naturalist in the United States Paul Covel developed a philosophy and practice of citizen science in Oakland, CA. His motto, "Bringing Nature and People Together" resonates today.
Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and peaceful New Year. We would like to invite you to join us for the first Lakeside Chat of 2021, "Stories from the Early Days at Lake Merritt", featuring James Covel of the Monterey Bay Aquarium (and son of legendary Rotary Nature Center Naturalist Paul Covel).
Friday January 8th from 7 pm-8 pm PST. There will be a 30 minute illustrated talk followed by questions and answers, a trivia game with prizes and discussion. Please share widely with your members and social media.
Description: The story of Lake Merritt is a story of people connecting to nature in the heart of a big city. The city established the first municipal naturalist program in the country (at the first waterfowl refuge in the country) to nurture that connection to nature. We'll dig into this story, and talk about the people that were involved, including Paul Covel, the City's first naturalist.
This is a free, completely online program. A zoom link will be sent to eventbrite registrants before the show.
We are looking forward to brighter days at Lake Merritt and around the world. Take care and hope to seeing you on the 8th.

Posted on January 01, 2021 16:22 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 21, 2020

Lakeside Chat Recording - Dr. James Carlton - “An Unsolved San Francisco Bay Mystery: The Enigmatic Beach-Hopper of Lake Merritt”

Dr. Carlton's December 4th talk brought us up to date on ongoing scientific research into the origin of the little amphipod found only in the 340 acre tidal lagoon in the heart of urban Oakland, CA. It was fun and a great opportunity to talk with Jim.
If you missed the talk you can view it at https://youtu.be/LHZU24X3OWA.

Answers to questions in Chat can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m-dfU4C6WjDyyHgRMGmNUVuonzHImLfT/view?usp=sharing

Lakeside Chats are a monthly series of free online talks about a variety of topics related to Lake Merritt. They are sponsored by Rotary Nature Center Friends (https://sites.google.com/view/stem-at-lake-merritt/home). Please join us for future talks listed on our website.

Posted on December 21, 2020 02:32 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 04, 2020

Join us tonight (7 pm-8 pm PST) for free online talk by marine biologist, Jim Carlton!

Please join us for our first free online Lakeside Chat program this Fri 7-8 pm by zoom. Marine biologist Jim Carlton is going to talk about an enigmatic little invertebrate that is found only at the lake and was key to his figuring out marine invasions via ballast water. He'll also talk about his pathway to becoming a scientist. We are opening the room with "warm-up" activities at 6:45 pm to bring in and hopefully engage a wide audience including families. (Jim is an Oakland High graduate!)
Please register via eventbrite, so that you can receive the Zoom link.

Title: An Unsolved Mystery: The Enigmatic Beach-Hopper of Lake Merritt
Fri, Dec 4, 2020 7:00 PM-8:00 PM 30 min talk + Q&A by Zoom
Event URL:https://lakemerritt-mystery_drjimcarlton.eventbrite.com

Best wishes,
Katie Noonan
Rotary Nature Center Friends

Posted on December 04, 2020 13:43 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 11, 2020

Invitation to online talk - An Unsolved San Francisco Bay Mystery: The Enigmatic Beach-Hopper of Lake Merritt

Dr. Jim Carlton will kick off a series of talks, "Lakeside Chats", about Lake Merritt, its diverse wildlife and human community. Fri, Dec 4, 2020 7:00 PM - 8:00 pm
Interactive: 25 min of Q&A

Please register at:
Event URL:
Lakeside Chats Organizer: Rotary Nature Center Friends

Beach Hoppers and other invertebrates are at the bottom of the food chain on which the birds of Lake Merritt depend. Join us for the first in a series of "Lakeside Chats" honoring the tradition of Bringing Nature and People Together.

Abstact: A small, one-half inch, semi-terrestrial crustacean living in Lake Merritt is one of San Francisco Bay’s biggest mysteries. Beach-hopper amphipods (distantly related to shrimps and crabs) live in a unique but narrow and fragile habitat — the uppermost edges of beaches around the world, and are typically found under decaying seaweed, driftwood, and rocks. Our native beach-hoppers are found both in San Francisco Bay and along outer coast beaches. However, one species of beach-hopper, Bulychaeva enigmatica, is found in only one place in the world — Lake Merritt! Is it a native relict of the Bay Past, or a non-native species from somewhere else in the world? We trace its discovery, the most current thinking about its origins, and how this enigmatic beach hopper may have come to be in Lake Merritt.

See you there! Katie Noonan

Posted on November 11, 2020 16:21 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 17, 2020

150th Anniversary of the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge

It's the 150th anniversary of the first wildlife refuge in the nation - Lake Merritt in Oakland!
There will be a virtual celebration on Friday, October 23rd 7-8 pm on the Zoom.

Attendees will hear live comments by Pam Young, Director of Golden Gate Audubon, Jim Covel, son of legendary naturalist and founder of the Rotary Nature Center, Paul Covel, David Lewis of SaveTheBay, East Bay Regional Parks District Board President Ellen Corbett and Board VP Dee Rosario, and many more.

See list of speakers on the Eventbrite invitation. Zoom link will be sent before the program. Time permitting, there will be opportunity to ask questions via chat.

Please register online for a thoughtful, upbeat, fun community education event. FREE.

Posted on October 17, 2020 23:20 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 01, 2020

Happy New Year! Winter Bird Walk on Sat Jan 4 starting at Rotary Nature Center 9:30 am

Winter birds come thousands of miles, some of them, to Lake Merritt in the heart of urban Oakland in the winter. Join us Saturday as Naturalist Tony Iwane leads a walk to find and learn more about the birds hanging out at Lake Merritt. Tony is Outreach Coordinator for iNaturalist and an interpretive naturalist for the California Center for Natural History. He is a superb wildlife photographer who lives in Oakland and has documented birds and other species on iNaturalist.

We will start outside the Rotary Nature Center at 600 Bellevue Ave. in Lakeside Park. Please arrive on time. The walk is from 9:30 to 11 am. Dress warm in layers and bring binoculars if you have them. Tony has additional binoculars for those who lack. The sun may be bright, so bring a hat too.

There is a $5 park entrance fee for Lakeside Park. You can often find free parking nearby on Perkins, Bellevue Ave. and Grand Ave.


Posted on January 01, 2020 16:14 by ktnoon ktnoon | 0 comments | Leave a comment