Inspired by the preponderance of highly competent female conservation scientist and educators on the ACR staff and the philanthropic support of Impact 100 Sonoma, a wholly women-founded and administered philanthropic organization, ACR’s education team designed and piloted a conservation science summer camp for young women in June 2016. ACR’s goal was to provide land-based conservation and stewardship training and theory to a diverse group of young women who express strong interest in science based environmental stewardship.

Led by ACR’s female conservation, stewardship, and education staff and based at the Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen, CSI 2016 included a day trip to ACR’s 3,000 acre Modini Mayacamas Preserves near Healdsburg, and an overnight trip that included a visit to ACR’s Toms Point Preserve and Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, and the Martin Griffin Preserve on Bolinas Lagoon. Participants developed their knowledge base and field skills in natural history, fire ecology, trophic cascades, radio telemetry, invasive species management, marine ecology, and outdoor leadership.

Participants had this to say about the program:

"I've never learned so much in one day" - Aliya Blinman, speaking about the first day of the CSI program.

"I liked learning from women leaders in conservation about ideas that I usually don't think about." - Hannah Chun

“I think the more you are aware, the more you can appreciate the natural world.” -Hannah Chun

“Sherry taught us how to read the landscape and I never really thought of that; like where fire was and why certain plants are growing in certain areas.” -Emma Maggioncalda

“Everything we’ve learned in this program has been directly applicable to our lives, when we’re out in the world, hiking and living our lives.” -Emma Maggioncalda

“I like that we don’t care what we look like or that we are all sweaty. We’re just here to learn.” -Erin-Rose Charlton

“I am so thankful for this camp because I am experiencing things that I never would have been able to.”  -Sophia Falls

“It is just nice to know that people can do what they love and be happy with their job.” -Amy Stanfield

 

 

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Director of Stewardship Jeanne Wirka demonstrates trapping techniques and creek dwellers before the participants head out on day 1 of the week-long program.
 

 

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GIS Specialist Emiko Condeso, right, describes brid counts and the wetland ecology of Tomales Bay.

 

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Resource Ecologist Jennifer Potts and a participant marvel over the size of a crayfish from Stuart Creek 

 

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Preserve biologist Sherry Adams (left, front) describes ways to read a landscape after fire.

 

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Resource Ecologist Sasha Berleman explains using fire as a natural process to manage the land. 

 

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Education volunteer Elizabeth Martins demonstrates the use of GPS telemetry used in the ACR Mountain Lion Project

 

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Particpants and staff gather at the top of Modini Mayacamas Preserves

 

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Some of the ACR Science and Education Staff: Sherry Adams, Modini Mayacamas Preserves Biologist; Julia Clothier, Sonoma Education Program Manager; Gwen Heistand, Director of Education; Eileen Shanahan, Marin Education Program Manager; Jeanne Wirka, Director of Stewardship