Regional Rendezvous speaker series 2019

Regional Rendezvous speaker series 2019

This year's Regional Rendezvous (August 16-18) will host an abundance of learning opportunities for our CalNat participants. Aside from the amazing activities and adventures (such as kayaking, birding, historic building and nature preserve visits, traditional tool use workshop, etc.), Rendezvous participants will learn from our lightning talks, welcome speakers, a professional natural resources panel, and our plenary speaker.

Lightning Talks: For us to maintain a cohesive community across the entire state, it is important to know what other Naturalists have been up to in their areas. Lightning Talks are a great way to get an update on research or ongoing restoration projects, to present a particularly engaging Capstone Project, or to highlight the work being done by various organizations and programs. Our Naturalists are encouraged to contribute by submitting their work for a Lightning Talk. Each presentation will be about five minutes long with time allotted at the end for a few questions. 

Welcome Speakers: 

Don Pierce, Jr., Salinian Tribe elder, will welcome us to his ancestral lands. Born and raised in the mountains above Morro Bay he comes from a long line of ancestors traditionally located north of the Chumash. He grew up in the modern world, but learned native ways from his parents and extended family. Among many positions he holds, Mr. Pierce is presently the Salinan Chairman, Public Relations lead, Education lead, MBMM Board of trustee's, Native American liason for the Maritime museum and Navigators circle.

Dr. Katherine Soule, University of California Cooperative Extension Director and Youth, Families, & Communities Advisor of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties will welcome us to the county. Dr. Soule leads an award-winning multicultural, bilingual team who truly understand the culture, needs, and strengths of the people in the communities where they work. Her programs integrate health education with community engagement, improving equity for marginalized populations. 

Plenary Speaker Dr. Peter Alagona is an associate professor of history, geography, and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara. His recent book focuses on the conservation topics regarding endangered species such as the reintroduction of the California Grizzly Bear, highlighting the implications, impacts, and results of such conservation efforts. From his website: "Throughout my research and teaching is the concept of habitat. This may at first seem like a simple idea—habitat is where a species lives—but it has a long history and contested place in environmental science, management, politics, and law, as well as popular ideas about and cultural representations of nature. My work explores what happens when humans share space and resources with other species: how we interact with non-human creatures, how we make sense of these interactions, why we fight so much about them, what we can learn from them, and how we might use these lessons to foster a more just and sustainable society."

Natural Resource Expert Speaker Panel:

We have four guest speakers at this year's Regional Rendezvous whose amazing work embodies and often supports our collective environmental missions.

Heather Holm is the Interpretive Planning and Program Section Manager for California State Parks Interpretation and Education Division coordinating statewide interpretive projects and programming. One of her active projects is PORTS – Parks On-line Resources for Teachers and Students (a distance learning program covering subjects from kelp forests to California's Missions). Her work has brought high quality virtual field trips highlighting California's unique ecology and deep history to students across the world. Heather has 19 years of experience in interpretation, having worked in various positions in California State Parks and other non-profit museums and archives. 

Rocio Lozano-Knowlton is the Director of MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) Foundation. A Latin American oceanographer and an environmental/science educator, her impressive and eclectic experience focuses on ocean research and sustainable tourism and has reached and supported millions of teachers, students, and community members as she advocates for global environmental justice, and racial equality in the environmental field in USA. 

Organization's MissionTo enhance ocean and climate science literacy among multicultural communities while supporting marine research and conservation in order to promote healthy ocean ecosystems and inspire the next generation of ocean professionals.

Scot Pipkin is the Director of Education for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Dating back to the mid 1920's, this site highlights California native plants and offers educational courses and community events year-round. Scot has spent the better part of two decades as an outdoor/environmental educator in California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. He has worked with populations ranging from preschool to retirement, always with the objective of having participants make their own discoveries about the natural wonders that surround them.

Organization's Mission: To conserve California native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet.



Daniel Bohlman is the Deputy Director of The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Daniel holds a degree in Ecology and Systematic Biology from Cal Poly SLO, with a concentration in Botany. His passion is for San Luis Obispo's diverse and amazing landscapes and to preserve and maintain these landscapes via direct action.

Organization's Mission: Through voluntary and collaborative measures, The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County works to permanently protect and enhance lands having important scenic, agricultural, habitat and cultural values for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Our wonderful panel moderators are Chris Cameron: former Director of and lead California Naturalist instructor for Camp Ocean Pines and Michelle RoestInterpretive Planner and lead California Naturalist instructor for the Cuesta College CalNat course.

We are so excited to share and learn from these amazing speakers. Register soon! Space is limited!

See you at the Rendezvous!


By Eliot Freutel
Author - Community Education Specialist 2 (SoCal)