Archive for January, 2011

The Islands of San Francisco Bay
Guest Speaker: James Martin
7:30pm, Thursday, February 17th, 2011

James Martin discusses his book, the Islands of San Francisco Bay, documenting the the habitats of some 48 islands with their own unique ecologies and the histories.

The Marin Islands

The Marin Islands (photo by Adrian Cotter)

“A newly published coffee-table-sized book of uncommon beauty is, in its conception, much more than a fabulous collection of dramatic nature scenery. With striking photographs by Marin County photojournalist and rock climber James Martin — who conceved and produced the book with the help of Petaluma native and fellow rock climber/photographer Michael Lee — their collaborative effort aims to capture the wildness of the island habitats in the hope of boosting environmental awareness of San Francisco Bay’s unique island ecology.”
“A Fascinating Look at the Islands Around Us”, by Sara Peyton, The Press Democrat

More information can be found on his website.

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Saving the Frogs

Dr. Kriger knows his frogs. At the Randall, last lecture night, he imitated the ones he knows best: a series of Australian frogs, a brightly colored, alien eyed set of amhibians. His imitations of their little cries, as he introduced each one brought the crowd to laugher. But he had learned those sounds in earnest: he had to be able to imitate them so that he could find them, to get them to respond when he called.  They were otherwise invisible to him when he was doing his field research in Australia.

For all that frogs are hard to see and find, they are doing remarkably poorly for a group of animals that have lasted through 5 major extinctions. they are having a hard time surviving people. we humans have been setting aside many of the mountains as wildlife preserves, but of course we live in the lowlands, near water, the same place that frogs and other amphibians tend to live, and amphibians are getting the worst of it.

From habitat loss, the things we dump in the water, our desire for colorful frogs for pets, and frog legs for food, to the affects of invasive species, climate change and new infectious diseases we are loosing frog species at a rate far and above what has been lost before.

But as invisible as they can be, they may be more important to us than we think, as part of the food web, as a source for innovation in bioscience (about 10% of bioscience nobel prizes have involved frogs), as an eater of ticks and mosquitos. But also, less tangibly perhaps but most importantly, as fascinating and beautiful creatures that we share this planet with.

There is more information to be found at SAVE THE FROGS! Dr. Kriger founded this organization to bring the plight of these organisms to the attention of everyone. The organization has done a ton, but there is of course much more to be done. Join them at events round the world this April 29th, on Save the Frogs Day, 2011.

Pond First

Hopefully, it won't come to this!

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The Wild World of Frogs
Guest Speaker: Dr. Kerry Kriger
7:30pm, THURSDAY, Jan 20th, 2011

yeah I'm on the brink of extinction, what are you going to do about it?

Dr. Kerry Kriger, Founder of SAVE THE FROGS, introduces us to frogs, why they are disappearing worldwide and what can be done to save them. Up to 200 species have disappeared since 1979, and nearly a 3rd of amphibian species are on the brink of extinction.

SAVE THE FROGS is America’s first and only charity dedicated to amphibian conservation. You can learn more at savethefrogs.org.

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