listed by topic
All About Lichen
Mount Diablo is a bio-diversity hotspot for all kinds of animal and plant life, but what about lichens? Cat Chang will share her interest in the tiny world of these fascinating partnerships of fungi and photobionts. We’ll take a look at what is found in the State Park and the surrounding areas. Bring your lichen questions!
Learn about North America’s smallest falcon, the American Kestrel. This colorful and intelligent raptor can be seen hunting in the open spaces around Mount Diablo. Researchers struggle to explain the steady decline of kestrel populations over the years, thus rallying the help of citizen scientists to raise nest boxes and contribute breeding data for national studies. Brian Richardson will share a deep dive review of this treasured bird of prey, along with nesting activity of local nest boxes.
Annual Meeting of the Members - 2020
This is a brief 30-minute meeting of the membership! We will update you on the current status of the park, what's open and what isn't. You'll get to hear about some of the great things MDIA has been able to do during the pandemic and what our plans are for the coming year including the 100th birthday of Mount Diablo State Park. We'll vote in some new board members and say goodbye to retiring ones. As a special thank-you for attending, we will tell you how you can get 30% off anything in our online store!
Butterflies of Mount Diablo
Join MDIA naturalist Michael Marchiano to view a cross-section of butterflies found on Mount Diablo winter through fall. View the photographs of outstanding nature photographer and naturalist Dan Fitzgerald and be surprised by the number of species that can be seen on the mountain, for those that take the time to stop and look. Learn interesting facts about butterflies from the "giant" Tiger Swallowtail to the "tiny" Pygmy Blue. Find out about our MDIA Butterfly Guide and (in the future when COVID restrictions permit) join MDIA leaders on a butterfly hike.
California’s Iconic Oaks and Their Many Relations
Oaks support more life forms than any other tree in North America, and California’s oaks are no exception. In a presentation filled with woodpeckers, woodrats, wood ducks, and many other organisms, author and naturalist Kate Marianchild will explain why oaks play such an important role in oak woodland food webs. She will talk about animals that rely on oaks for food, shelter, foraging substrate, and more, and oak mistletoe as a keystone genus. We’ll hear about the eleven functions of a gray squirrel’s tail, and we’ll marvel at the tiny wasps who bend oaks to their bidding. We will crawl with Kate through woodrat mansions, fight for breeding opportunities with acorn woodpeckers, and navigate through an oak with the third eye of the western fence lizard. Who could stay away?
Cattle's Role in Conservation
Cattle's Role in Conservation:
You will hear from Cari Koopman, Tim's daughter, about the role grazing plays in conservation. She will share the commitment ranchers have to being stewards of the land. This two part series will give you a good understanding of current ranching practices and help you to interpret the role cattle play within Mount Diablo State Park, on both private land and State Park land.
Common Spiders of Mount Diablo
Step inside the world of spiders with Dr. Jack Fraser through his pictures and stories in this webinar from Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. You'll be amazed by the widely varied locations, eating habits, and defense mechanisms of these fascinating creatures, giving you a new appreciation for spiders and how to find them—not always where you expected!
Coyote Behavior in the Urban Interface
With local human/coyote interactions fresh in the news of late, this is a timely discussion. We will address urban coyote behavior and management and the delicate interface between humans and the most persecuted keystone species in North America. How education and understanding is the only way forward.
Forgotten Landscapes of California
Laura Cunningham, an accomplished artist and author, presents this webinar. Cunningham’s life's work is at once a celebration of California’s past – its natural legacy of abundance and diversity – and of change. In A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California Cunningham imagines what a prehistoric California must have looked like using research from history, prehistory, field work, and scientific illustration.
Geology of Mount Diablo
John Karachewski, a geologist, hiker, bike rider and photographer will take you on a ride up Northgate and Summit Roads to see over 200 million years of geological history. Your front-seat journey takes you from ancient lava flows erupted on the seafloor thousands of miles away to modern landslides as you learn how Mount Diablo became the prominent natural landmark of Northern California.
Hiking Apps Introduction
Hiking applications for cell phones promise to navigate while hiking, suggest trails to get to a specific location, post reviews by prior hikers, and/or record a hiker’s actual route. These programs, when properly used, can be helpful navigation aids, but they also have limitations. The webinar includes live displays of the features of each of these applications and present hints when using hiking apps in the Mount Diablo State Park.
Insects of Mount Diablo: Spring and Summer
This webinar covers some of the amazing lifecycles of the insects you can look out for on and around Mount Diablo. As we enter the beautiful season of Spring we look forward to seeing a burst of wildflowers and plant life, as well as witnessing the return of migrating birds and re-emerging reptiles. Much of the Spring activity we see on the mountain is based on the boom in numbers of insects. What are the colorful, fascinating insects we might encounter as we walk the trails of Mount Diablo in Spring and early Summer, and how do they interact with each other?
Mitchell Canyon Birding Hotspot – Spring Migration
Spring in the East Bay outdoors means enjoying comfortable weather, looking at beautiful wildflowers, and greeting the colorful migratory birds flying up from further south that either settle here to find mates and nest, or stop briefly before continuing up north. Mitchell Canyon, on the north slope of Mount Diablo and lying within Mount Diablo State Park, is known by birders as perhaps the best place around to see this annual rush of feathered color and song.
In this presentation you will see some beautiful birds, fascinating migratory maps and learn what we all must do to help Mitchell Canyon’s beautiful birds survive. Presented by Juan Pablo Galván Martínez (Mount Diablo State Park volunteer, Mount Diablo Audubon Society Conservation Chair, and Senior Land Use Manager for Save Mount Diablo).
Native Trees of Mount Diablo
Wildflowers are the divas of springtime, but the allure of our native trees extends through every season. Join us for a virtual stroll up Mitchell Canyon and indulge your inner druid as we share fascinating tidbits about Diablo’s dendritic darlings. How is climate change and habitat loss impacting our native trees? What tree was the original source of aspirin? Which is the “gasoline tree”? And which tree offers a goodly but inedible crop of “California pears”? We'll also share tales of early day botanical explorers who risked life and limb to learn the secrets of the trees.
Newt and other Amphibians of Contra Costa County
With Winter rains come the filling of ponds and streams and the emergence of our local frogs, salamanders, and toads returning to their seasonal mating grounds. Find out which Amphibians live in our county and their role in the environment. Learn about the endangered species that live on Mount Diablo and how they survive our long hot summers. Maybe one or two live specimens will appear on your screen.
Night Sky Above Mount Diablo on the Winter Solstice
Please join MDIA in looking upward to the skies. We will have an amazing presentation by Steve Jacobs, president of the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society (MDAS) and colleagues talking about the programs they conduct at the summit, and about how the winter solstice (December 21) will have an effect on humans, animals, and plants as we change the seasons. Join us for this fascinating program to learn about the sky above Mount Diablo and see some of the beautiful images of the night sky their members have produced.
Peregrine Falcons of Pine Canyon
Join Peregrine Team leader Staci Hobbet and Wally De Young for an up close and personal look at the Peregrine Falcons of Pine Canyon. You'll learn about this incredible apex predator and the remarkable success story of their reintroduction after local extinction; the mission of the volunteers known as the Peregrine Team; as well as a look at the struggles the Peregrine encountered this very season.
This ranch has been run by the Koopman family since 1918 and has continually evolved practices to become a model of conservation ranching. You will hear stories of this ranching history from where it started, to what it has become today.
Reptilian Mount Diablo
What reptiles inhabit our open spaces? Snakes, Lizards and even a Turtle are found on Mount Diablo. Learn to recognize these fascinating creatures on the sky-island in the middle of Contra Costa County. Join us and find out about the unusual and rare reptiles that inhabit this natural wonderland. What are the true facts about the only venomous snake found in Northern California, the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake? Find out about, "Blue Bellies, Horned Toads, and Whiptails." Join Contra Costa Native, naturalist Michael Marchiano, who has studied and photographed these amazing animals since childhood as he shares his enthusiasm for these often maligned creatures.
Tarantula Time on the Mountain
Michael Marchiano shares his deep knowledge of the tarantulas, why we mostly see them during these few months, which ones we see and what life is like for these gentle giants of the spider world. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about these fascinating spiders.
One Bite Can Change Your Life
Lyme disease is prevalent in Northern California, yet most practicing physicians don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease. You have to be your own best warrior. Learn how to prevent tick bites, recognize the ticks that are prevalent in Contra Costa County and the disease they carry, and what to do if you are bitten. Carolyn Degnan, COO of LymeDisease.org will talk about the steps you need to know to protect yourself, your family and your pets from this debilitating disease. Carolyn is a longtime resident of CCC and has two daughters who were bitten in the San Ramon Valley. Both daughters contracted Lyme disease and multiple co-infections while hiking and trail riding. She has been a Lyme advocate since 2002 giving Lyme prevention talks to The US Forest Service, EBMUD, PG&E, Boy and Girls Scout troops, Fire Fighters, local service clubs, etc. Any question you would like to have answered during the hour can be directed to Carolyn at email@example.com.
Watersheds of Mount Diablo
Mount Diablo is an integral part of three major watersheds in Contra Costa County. This presentation will explore what a watershed is, how watersheds work and their environmental challenges. We will look at watershed management considerations at Mount Diablo State Park. Presenter for this webinar is Steve Elliott, one of the long time volunteer leads at the Park.
Wild Boar Ecology
Doc Hale discusses the ecology of the Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) and feral pigs in Contra Costa County. He highlights their introduction into the state, their dispersal, ecological impacts, and management. Doc has been fascinated with Wild Boar since childhood, and has researched their presence throughout history, California, and the world.
Wild Cats of Mount Diablo
Learn about the Felidae Conservation Funds' current work with mountain lions and bobcats around Mount Diablo and throughout the Bay Area, including mountain lion ecology, history, and the challenges of sharing habitat with wild felids in California. Learn essential tips for living and recreating without fear. Our presenter will also discuss the important role of wild cats in creating healthy ecosystems and enjoy engaging photos and videos.
Wildflowers of Mount Diablo
Mount Diablo Interpretive Association President and Mount Diablo State Park Docent Steve Smith discusses how some of our flowers earned their wild names, how flowers have been used by humans ritualistically throughout the ages, and why we chose some of these flowers to represent our state and country.
In this first of a two part webinar, you will learn why iNat is such an amazing resource for scientists, researchers and nature-lovers, alike. We cover how iNat works and how to post observations. It is recommended that you create an iNaturalist account prior to the session, so you can work with it hands-on, right away. Just go to: http://www.inaturalist.org/ to sign up, and download the app in your phone's app store.
iNaturalist: The Next Step
In this second of a two-part webinar, iNaturalist: The Next Step, you will learn how to harness the power of inaturalist.com for your own research and learning, and to share with your nature/outdoor friends. It is recommended that you create an iNaturalist account prior to the session, so you can work with it hands-on, right away. Just go to: http://www.inaturalist.org/ to sign up, and download the app in your phone's app store.