Sunday, December 29, 2013

Press Release from the Feldman Gallery

Sagehen environmental artists Helen and Newton Harrison have broken ground on the vegetation manipulation for their 50-year artwork at Sagehen! Watch video here.

They also have a new exhibit opening in New York City. If you are in town next month, be sure to catch it. Here's the press release from their gallery rep:




January 11 - February 8, 2014

"[The Harrisons’] work is a prime example of the potential of ecoart to create knowledge that promotes cultural change." -- Ruth Wallen, Leonardo XLV, no. 3, 2012

Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison are the first recipients of the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography, presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Cartographic Society (NACIS) on October 9, 2013 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Ronald Feldman Fine Arts will exhibit, Global Mapping, an overview of the life-long work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, pioneers of ecologically-oriented art, whose visionary proposals have influenced long-term public policy in the United States and abroad. For more than forty years, the Harrisonsʼ expansive practice, realized in collaboration with experts from other disciplines and often commissioned by government and art institutions, has been to map out specific geographical areas at ecological risk to encourage public discourse and community involvement. Their impassioned works serve as both a meditation on global ecology and also as a futuristic vision, often with proposals for environmental change and recovery.

The Harrisonsʼ mapping - on large wall panels and synthesized with aerial photographs and narrative text of Socratic reasoning - dominates the exhibition space. The artworks are selected from large-scale installations of projects from the early seventies to the present. Similar in appearance to the wall panels, a floor panel allows the viewer to walk on a topographical map of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a work from Force Majeure, the Harrisonsʼ current on-going series which addresses the effects of global warming on an unprecedented scale.

Earlier works, From The Lagoon Cycle (1974-1984), Law of the Sea Conference from the 1976 Venice Biennale, and Baltimore Promenade (1981), focus on watershed restoration, agricultural and forestry issues, and urban renewal, as well as providing a history of the Harrisonsʼ engagement with the topic of global warming.

Reflecting the Harrisonsʼ international perspective and the scale of their research, the exhibition includes projects that study the eco-systems of large bodies of water from around the world: the Sava River in former Yugoslavia, the Yarkon River in Israel, and the Salton Sea and the Bays at San Francisco in the state of California. Their titles often incorporate visual metaphor to define and unify the large geographical areas under consideration: A Vision for the Green Heart of Holland, Peninsula Europe, Greenhouse Britain, and Tibet is the High Ground.

Helen Mayor Harrison and Newton Harrison, Emeriti Professors in the Visual Arts at the University of California at San Diego and currently research professors at University of California at Santa Cruz, have been represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts since 1974. The recipient of numerous awards, they delivered the convocation address at the College Art Association 100th Year Anniversary Conference in 2011. They have exhibited internationally, and their work is in the collections of many public institutions including The National Museum of Modern Art, The Pompidou Center, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.

There will be a reception Saturday, January 11: 6 - 8. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 - 6. Monday by appointment. For information, contact Varvara Mikushkina at (212) 226-3232 or


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bob Behnke, 1929-2013

One of Sagehen's most successful alumni passed away on September 13, 2013.

Dr. Robert Behnke was an influential fisheries biologist and prolific writer who was one of the world's foremost authorities on trout and salmonids.

Beginning what became a career-long interest in "extinct" trout, Behnke did his Master's thesis on the Bonneville Lahontan Cutthroat at Sagehen in the 1950's. Word has it that he also maintained the only still we are aware has ever existed in the basin!

Dr. Behnke was the biologist who recognized that relic, transplanted fish living in a creek near Pilot Peak on the Utah-Nevada border were the giant Pyramid Lake strain of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, long thought to be extinct. Trout eggs from the creek were later collected and taken back to a hatchery, shortly before a wildfire in the area exterminated the population.

Today, due to cultivation efforts by the Pyramid Lake Piute tribe, these descendent fish, the largest trout in the world, are reaching over 20-pounds and heading upward.

We were lucky to meet Dr. Behnke at Sagehen during our 50+ year reunion in 2002. Our profound condolences to his family.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

UCNRS Climate Monitoring Network

The network is now up and running with a new website
"The University of California Natural Reserve System (UC NRS) Climate Monitoring Network was established through a grant (Award: DBI-0936048) from the National Science Foundation, Division of Biological Infrastructure, awarded to the University of California, Berkeley and the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). The project entitled, Collaborative Research: A Climate Station Network for the UC Natural Reserve System, aimed to establish a network of 20 similar high quality long-term monitoring stations to enhance and compliment ecological research within an existing system of biological fields stations across California."

Friday, September 06, 2013

Erica Krimmel wins Switzer Fellowship.

Congratulations to Sagehen's Collection Manager, Erica Krimmel, for snagging a highly competitive fellowship to complete her Master's studies!


ERICA KRIMMEL – MS, San Jose State University – Library & Information Science:  Erica works with environmental researchers to maximize the accessibility and usefulness of their data.  Through her role as volunteer collections manager at Sagehen Creek Field Staiton in the Sierra Nevadas, she ensures that botanical data is not only preserved and shared, but is analyzed in comparison with existing historical specimens.  In her career, Erica will work to ensure that high quality scientific data is easily accessible to better inform policy and research.


CONTACT: Lissa Widoff, Executive Director, Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation
(207) 338-5654 / /

Lauren Hertel, Communications Manager, Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation


BELFAST, Maine, August  5, 2013 – Twenty-two environmental scholars were announced today as recipients of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship, a program of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation that recognizes the achievements of environmental leaders and their potential to drive positive change.  One Switzer Leadership grant was also awarded to International Rivers to work with Switzer Fellow Dipti Vaghela as their Energy Solutions Coordinator analyzing micro-hydropower as an alternative to large dams in the developing world.


Each year, at least 20 promising environmental leaders are awarded $15,000 each to complete masters and doctoral degrees to advance their skills and develop their expertise to address critical environmental challenges. Nearly $14 million in grants has been invested in Switzer Fellows over a 27-year period.

"Today’s environmental issues are increasingly complex and require an ability to translate scientific, ecological and social knowledge across disciplines and apply it in real world settings. The 2013 Switzer Environmental Fellows are at the cutting edge of science and policy and will be supported with funding, professional coaching and a network of leaders to help them achieve results. Their problem-solving abilities and innovation will make a difference," explained Executive Director Lissa Widoff.

The Switzer Foundation identifies, supports and nurtures emerging environmental leaders. Fellowships are merit-based and rigorously competitive.  Candidates must be recognized for their leadership capacity by their academic institution or by environmental experts.

More information on the 2013 Switzer Fellows and other Switzer Foundation Grants recipients can be found at

The 2013 Switzer Fellows are as follows:

Michael Antos (PhD) – UCLA - Geography
Assessing watershed health and informing water resource decision-making in southern California

Anne Baker (MS) – Clark University – Geographic Information Science
Visualizing complex human-environment relationships to improve environmental planning

Bret Callaway (MESM) – UC Santa Barbara – Environmental Science & Management
Assessing ecological, economic and political drivers affecting Bureau of Reclamation dam site selection

Jia-Ching Chen (PhD) – UC Berkeley – City & Regional Planning
Understanding China’s emerging role in the global green economy and its impact on food & energy

Caitlin Cleaver (MS) – University of Maine – Marine Science and Marine Policy
Understanding the biological and social aspects of Maine’s green sea urchin fishery

Angela Doerr (PhD) – UC Davis – Ecology
Examining policies, resource economics and marine ecology of the Bahamian spiny lobster fishery

Devaughn Fraser (PhD) – UCLA – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Characterizing the health and dietary responses of bats to pest management strategies

Robert Heilmayr (PhD) – Stanford University – Environmental Economics & Land System Science)
Identifying the geographic, economic and ecological factors in Chilean forest expansion

Caroline Howe (MELP) – MIT – Environmental Policy & Planning
Building community-based environmental initiatives and social enterprise in India and Nicaragua

Erica Krimmel (MS) – San Jose State University – Library and Information Science
Maximizing accessibility and usefulness of scientific data for environmental researchers

Kevin Kung (PhD) – MIT – Biological Engineering
Converting solid organic waste into valuable cooking fuel in Kenya

Lily Lewis (PhD) – University of Connecticut – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Understanding patterns of diversity and dispersal of bryophytes in high latitude regions

Max Ludington (MESM) – UC Santa Barbara – Environmental Science & Management
Investigating the role of the private sector in the conservation of critical ecosystems

Sarah Moffitt (PhD) – UC Davis – Ecology
Understanding rapid environmental change in ocean ecosystems

Valerie Moye (MEM) – Yale University – Sustainable Urban & Industrial Systems
Measuring and communicating resource consumption in various types of human settlements

Meredith Niles (PhD) – UC Davis – Ecology
Understanding farmer perceptions of climate change and environmental policy

Isella Ramirez (MURP) – UCLA – Urban Planning
Identifying the health and economic impacts of the goods movement industry in southern California

Sarah Sharp (DVM) – Tufts University – Veterinary Medicine
Using marine animal health as an indicator of overall marine ecosystem health

Elisabeth Stoddard (PhD) – Clark University – Human and Environmental Geography
Understanding the effects of agricultural policies on farming operations under a changing climate

Amanda Subalusky (PhD) – Yale University – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Examining the impacts of large wildlife on water quality in the Mara River, Kenya/Tanzania

Jessica Veysey (PhD) – University of New Hampshire – Natural Resources & Environmental Studies
Identifying the factors fueling wetland loss and wetland policy effectiveness in New England

Paige Weber (MS) – Yale University – Environmental Economics
Examining the impact of the built environment on transportation and energy use

More information on the 2013 class of Switzer Fellows, and the Fellowship program, is available on the Foundation website at

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

UCNRS handouts

Kathleen Wong at UCNRS produced these great informational handouts about the UC Natural Reserve System and the Berkeley Reserves.

You can download full-sized, printable PDFs on the UCNRS website.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

UCOP Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) completes review of reserve system.

Click image to read an excerpt from the report.
From Peggy Fiedler, Director of the UC Natural Reserve System...

Dear NRS Reserve Managers and Directors - 

I'm pleased to tell you that the review of a large suite of systemwide research programs funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) has been completed and an interim report issued in the last two weeks. The report was succinct, and in it, the NRS fared quite well. We here at the systemwide office were particularly pleased with the summary statement of the Findings (paragraph 1, lines 3-4). [In this post] is the excerpted portion of the PRG review report that deals directly with the NRS...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Radio networks and internet security.

With an eye toward increasing our data-collecting ability, we are working hard to expand and improve the radio network within the basin and between the greater Central Sierra Field Research Stations

This summer, we are installing portable radio towers provided by a National Science Foundation grant to the UC Natural Reserve System.

We are also upgrading our mesh system to provide better redundancy and resilience. Unfortunately, the internet traffic these radios generate as they talk to each other looks very suspicious to campus and we are having to work hard to convince them that there's nothing untoward going on.

It's interesting how well internet traffic is tracked these days. Here at Sagehen, we ask visitors to be respectful and not use our system for illegal downloads, but sometimes students are pathetic idiots and do it anyway.

Here's what happened last year after a student illegally downloaded a movie while staying at Sagehen. The professor whose class contained the offending student was not amused, and I imagine that was reflected in the grade received.

There is a widespread disregard for intellectual property rights among people raised in the digital age, but maybe realizing that their GPA is potentially endangered might finally be a reason to grow some respect :)


Reference ID No. 14-35871013

 You are being contacted on behalf of NBC Universal and its affiliates
 ("NBC Universal") because your Internet account was identified as having
 been used recently to illegally copy and/or distribute the copyrighted NBC
 Universal motion picture(s) and/or television show(s) listed at the bottom
 of this letter.  This notice provides you with the information you need in
 order to take immediate action that can prevent serious legal and other
 consequences.  These actions include:

 1.  Stop downloading or uploading any motion pictures or TV shows owned or
 distributed by NBC Universal and/or its affiliates without authorization;

 2.  Permanently delete from your computer(s) all unauthorized copies you
 may have already made of such films and/or TV shows.

 The illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted works are serious
 offenses that carry the risk of substantial monetary damages and, in some
 cases, criminal prosecution.

 Copyright infringement also undoubtedly violates your school's policies
 governing acceptable use of campus network resources and could lead to
 serious disciplinary action.

 A motion picture industry website,, offers
 step-by-step instructions to ensure that your Internet account is not
 being used to violate the copyright laws.  The site also can point you to
 an array of legal choices for enjoying movies and TV shows online.  You
 can also learn there how movie theft damages our economy and costs
 thousands of Americans their jobs, thereby reducing employment
 opportunities for new graduates.

 If, after visiting you still have questions, or
 if you believe you have received this notice in error, you may contact NBC
 Universal by email at or by calling (818) 777-4876.
 Please cite the Reference ID noted at the top of this letter in the
 subject line of your email or in any voicemail you may leave.  You should
 take immediate action to prevent your Internet account from being used for
 illegal activities.  Today, there are many ways to enjoy movies and TV
 programs legally.

 The undersigned has a good faith belief that use of the NBC Universal
 Property in the manner described herein is not authorized by NBC
 Universal, its agent or the law.  The information contained in this
 notification is accurate.  Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned is
 authorized to act on behalf of NBC Universal with respect to this matter.

 This letter is not a complete statement of NBC Universal's rights in
 connection with this matter, and nothing contained herein constitutes an
 express or implied waiver of any rights, remedies or defense, all of which
 are expressly reserved.


 Osama Hussain, Esq.
 Irdeto (fka BayTSP.COM Inc.)
 c/o NBC Universal Anti-Piracy Technical Operations
 100 Universal City Plaza
 Universal City, CA 91608

 tel.  (818) 777-4876
 fax  (818) 866-2026

 *pgp public key is available on the key server at

 ** For any correspondence regarding this case, please send your emails to and refer to Notice ID: 14-35871013.  If you need
 immediate assistance or if you have general questions please call the
 number listed above.
 Title:  Love Happens
 Infringement Source:  BitTorrent
 Initial Infringement Timestamp:  04 May 2012 01:51:39 GMT
 Recent Infringement Timestamp: 04 May 2012 01:51:39 GMT
 Infringing Filename:  Love Happens[2009]DVDRip-MXMG
 Infringing File size:  734461553
 Infringers IP Address:
 Infringers DNS Name:
 Bay ID: 2ab47d54946cea26fea267c744e0d67cda0265c4|734461553
 Port ID: 49507

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Last chance to sign up for California Naturalist certification training.

California Naturalist certification takes place at Sagehen again this summer!

This year, we will be repeating the successful 10-week format, as well as adding an intensive 1-week course. The courses are filling up, and the first session of the 10-week course is this Friday evening.

Here's an article about the program.

See this link for more information and to register.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Leopold benches

Cheryl Mulder and her husband Craig built and donated a couple of Leopold benches to Sagehen this week. Cheryl spent time here last summer at the Aldo Leopold Foundation's Land Ethic Leader training.

This bench design was originally created by Aldo Leopold and used by the family at the Shack in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

I've attached some plans, in case you'd like to build your own bench--they are remarkably comfortable!