November 5, 2021

Dear Point Reyes National Seashore ,

Point Reyes is a natural outdoor classroom with rich opportunities to experience park ecology and environmental science firsthand. In addition to our Youth In Parks (YIP) initiative which introduces underrepresented Bay Area youth to the park, we are equally excited to focus new attention on local youth.

During the past year PRNSA has been working with the faculty of the Bolinas-Stinson school to develop a preK-8th grade curriculum matrix for environmental education using the park and other nearby natural resources to support learning across the curriculum, with emphasis on local applications of Next Generation Science Standards concepts and practices. Already, classes have hiked to observe the Woodward Fire zone and explored park geology, and every grade this year is regularly engaging in the practice of nature journaling.

In August, Bolinas-Stinson teachers came together with us for a working retreat at our Clem Miller Environmental Education Center and affirmed their commitment to providing each grade with an iconic outdoor experience that has continuity with an overall learning plan. We will continue to support this work as they refine their place-based curriculum and will use this collaboration as inspiration for how similar school-specific plans can be developed with other local schools that have Point Reyes in their backyards.

How about your own backyard? What can you learn in the place where you live? Place-based learning is a way for us all to deepen our understanding and connection with nature. It’s where we’re at!

Be Well,

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Biret Adden

Education Director

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Board Hellos & Goodbyes

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October was a month of many transitions as PRNSA said goodbye and welcome to board members. Both Kirk Marckwald and Maureen Kennedy, who fulfilled their terms of board service in October, leave PRNSA in stronger financial and programmatic shape. Kirk served as chair of our organization over the last two years, providing a steady hand through the pandemic. Maureen served as chair just prior to Kirk, shepherding a new strategic plan and making a significant investment in PRNSA’s conservation work. We are so grateful to Kirk and Maureen for their contributions that will have positive impacts at Point Reyes National Seashore for years to come!


October also marked a new chapter at PRNSA as we begin a co-leadership model at the board level. Blanca Chang Johnson and Seth Rosen were elected as PRNSA Board Co-chairs in October. Blanca and Seth have provided critical guidance over the last 18 months. Blanca has been integral in PRNSA's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and Seth played a critical role most recently in financial, fundraising, and governance strategy throughout the pandemic. John Casaudoumecq continues as Board Treasurer and Michelle Sarti continues in her role as Board secretary. Thank you board officers!


We also welcomed Francesca Vietor (pictured left) and Ruchira Karamanchandani (pictured right) to their first board meeting in October. Both new board members bring in-depth experience from the nonprofit sector, including youth and family programming, equity and social justice work, and finance. View our full staff and board.

Webinar Highlights

Upcoming Webinar:

Inside the Mind of an Elephant Seal


Climate change is impacting the Elephants we see annually in Point Reyes, who must adapt to changes in temperatures that impacts food availability, mating practices, and relaxation. Researcher Emily Lam from the José Pablo Vázquez-Medina's Lab at UC Berkeley has been keeping a close eye on these changes in behavior and patterns in Point Reyes. In this free webinar, Emily will explain what she's observed at the cusp of Elephant Seal season in Point Reyes!

Register Here

Helping the Monarchs Overwinter in Coastal Communities and Beyond

Recorded on November 19, 2020

Each winter, monarchs migrate to coastal Marin, but they need help. Mia Monroe is a community science volunteer at The Xerces Society and co-founder of the long-running Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count. In this webinar Mia discusses challenges facing current monarch populations, and the steps that you can take to help save this species.

Watch here.

Community Spotlight

Point Reyes Open Studios

Carlos Porrata

The Point Reyes Open Studios (PROS), founded in 1997, is a group working to promote local artists living around Tomales Bay. The group currently has over thirty members, including ceramicists, photographers, sculptors, painters, and more!

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It wouldn’t be surprising if the photos in this section seem familiar to you. Carlos Porrata, an artist with the Point Reyes Open Studios, is a local photographer who spends hours in the wild to not only capture beautiful moments, but to also bask in the pleasure that wildlife brings. Carlos previously worked as a California State Park Ranger, where he learned and shared the natural and cultural history of the park. Now, he turns those observations into art. His work has appeared in local and national publications, and frequents the Point Reyes Light newspaper, organizations in the Bay Area, National and State Parks, and even on the PRNSA website!

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The Point Point Reyes Open Studios hosts a biannual art studio featuring local artists—the next event happening later this month. On Thanksgiving weekend, more than 20 local artists, including Carlos Porrata, open their studios to the public from 11:00am to 5:00pm, Friday through Sunday. Learn more here!


Capturing the World Around You with Your Smartphone

Sunday, November 7, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM 

The smartphone is the camera of choice for many. Learn how new apps can unlock your full potential to take breathtaking photos!

Register Here.

Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Mushrooms!

Sunday, November 21, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM 

Nothing is more elusive and mysterious than the wild mushroom. Join us for an introduction to the mushrooms of the Central Coast!

Register Here.

Wintering: A Writing Retreat

Saturday, December 4, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

Move your pen across the page and set intentions for your creative practice this winter! Prompts for all levels of writer, artist, and poet.

Register Here.

Drawing Autumn Colors

Saturday, December 11, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Autumn is the time to explore color with the beauty of changing leaves. Practice mixing and layering to create rich fall colors in pencil.

Register Here.

Mushroom Identification

Sunday, December 12, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM 

Explore the mysterious and fascinating world of wild mushrooms in Point Reyes.

Register Here.

Monthly Full Moon Members Hike

Saturday, December 18, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM 

Hike will go at a leisurely pace along Limantour Beach, allowing you to view the moon and to get back home not too late. Full Moon hikes are open to current PRNSA members.

Register Here.

Down For the Count: Exploring Bird Diversity at Point Reyes

Sunday, December 19, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM 

The Christmas Bird Count monitors over two hundred species and the Seashore ranks near the top of all counts. Join us to practice and enjoy!

Register Here.

Forest Bathing Walk

Sunday, December 19, 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM 

Nothing is more elusive and mysterious than the wild mushroom. Join us for an introduction to the mushrooms of the Central Coast!

Register Here.

Park Updates

Most park trails have reopened post-Woodward fire. See the NPS website for current information, visitor alerts, COVID guidelines, and other safety and program information.

Community Volunteer Ambassador Internship

Point Reyes National Seashore is recruiting for a Community Volunteer

Ambassador intern (CVA) who will have service and career opportunities

to strengthen communities and preserve natural resources.

Work alongside park staff to develop, grow, and diversify the Visitor Services and Trail Patrol volunteer programs. This paid internship is a one-year position and open to those 18 - 30 years old (or up to 35 years old if a veteran).

Internship begins February 7, 2022.

  • Free housing
  • A baseline living allowance of $500/week
  • An AmeriCorps Award of $6,345 (pretax), and
  • Public Land Corps Hiring Authority upon completion of the internship (non-competitive hiring status for federal jobs for two years following the completion of the internship)

Ranger Doug Hee, Community Volunteer Ambassador May Slen, and volunteer John Bielenberg Photo: May Slen

Application deadline is 12/17/2021, or until filled. 

See Job and Volunteer Opportunities - Point Reyes National Seashore Association for more information.

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Thanks to Board Member Melissa Nelken and her husband, Ronald Lee, all gifts up to $20,000 to support Youth In Parks programs will be matched through December 31, 2021. 

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