Natural history series highlights California environment

30 January 2002 | California’s remarkable and complex ecosystems — past, present, and future — are the focus of three upcoming public lectures sponsored by Berkeley Natural History Museums.

Graham Chisholm, executive director of The Nature Conservancy of California, launches the 2002 lecture series with a talk on “Evolving Strategies for Protecting California’s Biodiversity: The Nature Conservancy’s Vision.” The Nature Conservancy is one of the world’s leading land-conservation organizations, and the California chapter is its largest branch. Chisolm speaks Friday, Feb. 8. All lectures in the series will be held at 7:30 p.m. in 2050 Valley Life Sciences.

Subsequent events feature campus forest pathologist Matteo Garbelotto, an expert in the pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death, on April 3; and Anthropology Professor Kent Lightfoot, well known for his archeological investigations of Russian and Native American sites in northern California and the shores of San Francisco Bay, on May 1. Lightfoot will offer a “5,000-year perspective” on human transformation of the bay.

“With their staff, collections, and research taken all together, the Berkeley Natural History Museums rank among the very largest and most important natural history museums in the country, a little-know fact that we hope to publicize,” said Professor Brent Mishler, chair of Berkeley Natural History Museums.

The collaboration brings together the resources of six campus natural history and anthropology collections — the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the UC Botanical Garden, the UC Museum of Paleontology, the University and Jepson Herbaria, the Essig Museum of Entomology and the Museum of Vertebate Zoology. Its public event last semester, a KQED “open house,” was linked to the airing of the TV series “Evolution” and attracted a packed audience.

For information on the consortium; its new organized research unit, the California Biodiversity Center; or the 2002 public lecture series, see or call 643-0188.


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