Eco News

Drought, Deluge and Wavenumber-5

Spring Road Clearing in Lassen National Park, Photo by National Park Service

A recent study links long dry spell and heavy rains to the same climatological phenomenon: Wavenumber-5.

Science Spotlight: Santa Cruz Sandhills

Zayante sand soil from the Santa Margarita sandstone formation covers some trails near Henry Cowell State Park. Photo by Emma Hiolski.

The Santa Cruz sandhills, a unique, fragmented habitat within the Santa Cruz Mountains, hosts seven kinds of plants, animals and insects found nowhere else in the world.

Science Spotlight: Beach Erosion

During the 1983 El Niño winter, Twin Lakes State Beach lost over 10 feet of sand, as shown above. Gary Griggs photo.

Beaches initially form where waves and currents move sand deposited by coastal streams. The shape of a shoreline and human structures like harbors and jetties influence where sand piles up.

Science Spotlight: Schooling & Flocking

A beautiful display of schooling behavior in sardines.  Klaus Steifel photo CC BY-SA 2.0

Schooling fish, such as the tight bunches of anchovies and sardines found in Monterey Bay, uniformly dart away from predators, make hairpin turns, and accelerate or stop without colliding.

Science Spotlight: Marbled Murrelets

Marbled murrelets, small and plump seabirds with short necks, stubby tails, and webbed feet, nest silently in old-growth forests. Robin Corcoran, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

They sneak silently into their nests an hour before sunrise, after spending a day and a night hunting at sea. Hundreds of feet off the ground, they settle into the highest branches of old-growth trees.

The Old Cabin Classic Returns

Woodblock print by Campbell Steers

March 17, 2016—Ladies and gents, start your engines. And by engines, I mean legs. Mountain bike racing is back in Santa Cruz.

Big Blue Dream

Maybe THEY will save the world ... Photo by Jasper Lyons.

O'Neill Sea Odyssey nears a major milestone: 100,000 students served.

Citizen Science and the Monarch Butterfly: The Milkweed Mapping Project

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed by Stephanie McKnight/Xerces

The fight to save the Monarch Butterflies just got a new weapon. You.

The Elephant Seals of Ano Nuevo State Park

The Story of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A Fight for Protection.

The Big Sur Coast. Part of the Protected Sanctuary. CC0 Public Domain

Next time you look upon the beautiful coastline here in California, make sure you say thanks. It was not without a fight that you get to enjoy this beautiful piece of the earth the way it is.