WMRC Public Lecture Series

White Mountain Research Center is pleased to present a series of lectures open to the general public. The lectures cover a diverse array of topics and are usually presented by scientists and other researchers affiliated with the station. Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held at 7 pm at the Owens Valley Station, White Mountain Research Center, 3000 E. Line St., Bishop CA 93514, tel. 760-873-4344. For directions see WMRC Travel page. see google map site

Public Lecture

(See also the Spring Public Seminar Series presented by the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory)

Date Speaker Institution Title


February 20 CANCELLED    
February 27 Dr. Robert Klinger, Ecologist United States Geological Survey The Burning Desert: Fire in the Mojave Ecoregion Past, Present, and a little into the Future
March 6 David Lee, Researcher, Author, Lecturer Western Rock Art Research The Past in the Present: Cultural Resource Management in the OwensValley
March 13 Sue Burak University of Nevada, Reno Temporal Climate Impacts on Streamflow and Baseflow on Mammoth Creek and the upper Owens River
March 20 Dr. Stephen Muchovej Cal-Tech Owens Valley Radio Observatory Cosmological Observations from the Owens Valley Radio Observatory
March 27 Dr. John Wehausen Big Horn Sheep Recovery Program Bighorn Sheep Meta-population Dynamics in California
April 3 Elaine Chow Univeristy of California, Davis Population dynamics and plant competitive interaction of the endangered Eureka Valley evening-primrose
April 10 Nancy Hadlock & Richard Potashin   Exploring Eastside Aspen Love
April 17 Dr. Jeff Holmquist, Research Scientist University of California White Mountain Research Center Midnight at the Oasis: Influence of invasive palms on terrestrial insect assemblages at desert springs
April 24 Earth to Sky Calculus Club Bishop Union High School Earth to Sky: Exploring the Stratosphere


February 21

David Lee, Researcher, Author, Lecturer

Western Rock Art Research

Sharing Stories: New perspectives in Rock Art Research

Local Rock art researcher David Lee will share insights gained from 15 years of documenting rock art in the American west, and seven field-seasons working with Aboriginal Elders in northern Australia. This lecture will also discuss recent rock art discoveries and local management problems.

March 6

Christopher Kopp, Graduate Student

UC San Diego Cleland Lab, Ecology, Behavior and Evolution

The impacts of climate change on plant communities in the White Mountains

Chris Kopp has been investigating the impacts of recent and future climate change on alpine and sub-alpine plant communities in the White Mountains

March 28 Daniel Pritchett, White Mountain Research Center University of California, White Mountain Research Center
Mapping and Naming the White Mountains or, Whitney's Mistake

Even seemingly straightforward names like "White Mountains" and "White Mountain Peak" may have surprisingly complicated and interesting histories. Daniel will present a discussion of the origin and application of these place names over time. If you enjoy historic maps of the Eastern Sierra, you will find this talk rewarding.

April 2 Dr. Robert C. Klinger, Ecologist United States Geological Survey

A Mammal's Take on the Rapture Hypothesis, Jacob's Ladder, and Other Notions of Gloom, Doom, and Uniform Change in Alpine Ecosystems

This talk presents some of the findings from an ongoing study being conducted throughout the Sierra Nevada where scientists have been using remote sensing data, surveys of alpine mammal and vegetation communities, and field experiments to understand the degree to which climate shifts could affect mammal populations & vegetation communities (particularly meadows), in the alpine zone

Winter 2012 series

March 8 Sue Burak Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center How to read an Avalanche Advisory:Lessons learned from Avalanche Incidents
March 22 Greg Haverstock BLM Bishop Field Office The Prehistoric Utilization of High Elevation Resources in the Inyo Mountains of Eastern California
March 29 Alexandra Few, Ph. D. Wildlife Biologist, Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program, CDFG Recovery of Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep: Understanding Habitat Use and Distribution

Fall 2011 series

October 27 Dr. Jason Saleeby California Institute of Technology

Eperiogenic transients related to mantle lithosphere removal in the southern Sierra Nevada Region, California

Dec. 20 Joseph Kurtak Mackay School of Mines, University Nevada, Reno

Mine in the Sky; the history of the Pine Creek Tungsten Mine, Bishop, California

Winter 2011 series

Jan 27 David Lee, Researcher, Author, Lecturer Western Rock Art Research

Rock Art Research in the Owens Valley

Feb 10 Wallace Wolfenden, Fullbright Scholar, Research Scientist USFS

Relationships between Climate, Water Control and the Azraq Wetland during the past 4000 years in Jordan

Feb 24 John Wehausen, Research Scientist WMRC

The evolutionary history of North American wild sheep, Baja to Siberia: Where do local bighorn fit in?

March 10

Tomasz Owerkowicz, Postdoctoral Researcher

University of California Irvine

Atmospheric oxygen level and the evolution of cardiovascular design in vertebrates

March 17 Amity Wilczek Deep Springs College and Harvard University Spring Blooms in a World of Warming Winters
April 7 Erik Leitch, Senior Staff Scientist Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology Exploring the Edge of the Universe from the Bottom of the World
April 21 Colin Amos, NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow UC Berkeley

Active faults and deformation of the southeastern Sierra Nevada

May 5 Yvonne Wood, PhD Inyo-Mono Cooperative Extension Surficial Process and the Biotic Control of Desert Pavement Formation
May 12 Jeff Holmquist, Research Scientist UC White Mountain Research Station

Does pack stock grazing in mountain meadows impact invertebrates and  vegetation in Sequoia National Park?


Winter 2010 series

February 18 David Lee, Researcher, Author, Lecturer Western Rock Art Research

Continuing Rock Art Research in Northern Australia

February 25 Heather Johnson, Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program, California Department of Fish and Game

Escaping the Extinction Vortex: Identifying factors affecting population performance and recovery in endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep

March 4 

Frank Powell

Director, White Mountain Research Station Research Update on Causes of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
March 18 Rob Klinger USGS Yosemite Field Station

Mass effects, thresholds, and alternative states:  New ways of thinking about postfire vegetation dynamics in the Mojave"?

March 25 Stephen Muchovej NSF Fellow in Astronomy, Caltech Studying the Cosmic Microwave Background from the Owens Valley
April 1 David Hakopian Touro University

Using Osteopathic Manipulations to Decrease the Incidence of Acute Mountain Sickness

April 8 W.H. “Terry” Wright Professor Emeritus Sonoma State University

Geological gems of the Eastern Sierra

April 15 John Smiley, Associate Director UC White Mountain Research Station

Is climate change affecting Sierran insects and plants? Can we measure it?

April 22 Dave Rhode Research Professor, Desert Research Institute Earliest Peopling of the Northeast Tibetan Platueau
Weds, May 5, 7pm Jim Bishop NOAA Officer and Fire Weather Instructor Mountain Thunderstorms...Drama in the Sky

Winter 2009 series

February 5 David Lee Researcher, Author, Lecturer Song, Story, Ceremony: the Human Context of Rock Art
Feb. 12 Martin Kennedy Professor of Earth Sciences, UC Riverside The Geological Perspective on Climate Change: Abrupt, Non-linear and Soon?
March 12 Daniel Pritchett UC White Mountain Research Station 161 Years and Counting: Science in the White Mountains
March 19 Brian Williams UC Santa Barbara Cosmology Group Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization Measurements from White Mountain
March 26 Curtis Milliron California Department of Fish and Game Climate Change and DFG Management of High Elevation Aquatic Resources
April 2 Phil Pister Retired Biologist, California Department of Fish and Game Ethical Concerns in Biodiversity Conservation
April 16 Richard Potashin and Nancy Hadlock NPS Rangers, Manzanar National Historic Site For the Love of Aspens: Decades of Cultural Messages.

Winter 2008 series

January 17, 2008 Thea Wang Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
The evolutionary consequence of behavioral roles in the social yellow-bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris.
January 24, 2008 Stephen Park Department of Earth Sciences, UC Riverside
Deep Structure Beneath Yosemite National Park
January 31, 2008 Ron Smith Cerro Coso College Living in the Rain Shadow; Weather Patterns in the Owens Valley
February 7, 2008 David Lee Sweeney/Granite Mountain Desert Research Center Rock Art: Recording the Stories Behind the Paintings
February 21, 2008 Rob Klinger Ecologist, Western Ecological Research Center, USGS When is Restoration an Appropriate Concept?
February 28, 2008

John Wehausen

Wildlife Population Ecologist, WMRC

Climate Change and Desert Bighorn Sheep

March 6, 2008 Christine Hancock School of Public Health, UC Berkeley Becoming at Home: A Developmental Model of Rural Physician Recruitment and Retention
March 13, 2008 Brigitte Berman Retired Geologist / WMRC Friend Plant Fossils in Ancient Lake Deposits; A Middle Miocene Fossil Flora from Central Nevada
March 20, 2008 Steve Ostoja Western Ecological Resarch Center
Patterns and interactions among granivores, cheatgrass invasion, and restoration in the Great Basin
March 27, 2008 Susan Hough United States Geological Survey

The 1872 Owens Valley Earthquake: California's Largest Historical Event?

April 3, 2008 Ron Oriti Former Planetarium Director, Santa Rosa Community College Dragonflies, Global Warming, and Life in the Universe
April 10, 2008 Kirk Halford Archeologist - Bureau of Land Management, Bishop Field Office

The Economy of Ancient Glass; Prehistoric Use of Obsidian

April 17, 2008 Steve McLaughlin Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona Tundra to tropics: Floristic plant geography of North America
April 24, 2008 Mike Maxwell Dept. Biology, National University

Fatal attraction or just attraction? Examining hypotheses on the occurrence of sexual cannibalism in praying mantids



Winter 2007 series

January 11, 2007 Nic Kanaan School of Medicine, UC San Diego Physiological predictors of Acute Mountain Sickness see poster
January 18, 2007 Pete Epanchin Department of Entomology, UC Davis Thinking outside the lake: Do fishes and finches fight for food?
January 25, 2007 David Lee Sweeney/Granite Mountain Desert Research Center A Comparative Study of Rock Art in Australia and Western North America: PART 2
February 1, 2007 Ron Smith Cerro Coso College The Pluto problem: What is a planet?
February 8, 2007 Greg Russell Department of Biology, UC Riverside High altitude metabolism in mice and men: Keeping the fire burning
February 15, 2007 Sarah Kimball Dept. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC, Irvine Mechanisms defining ecological range limits in a natural plant hybrid zone
March 15, 2007 Jeff Holmquist UC White Mountain Research Station Trampling damage and recovery in Tuolumne Meadows: What do we really leave when we "leave only footprints?"
March 22, 2007 John Wehausen UC White Mountain Research Station Sierra Nevada Bighorn: How unique are they?...and why.
March 29, 2007 Gerald Dubowitz MD Department of Anesthesia, UC San Francisco High Altitude Research: A World Tour
April 12, 2007 Adelia Barber Dept. of Ecology and Evol. Biology, UC Santa Cruz Long term population changes in Bristlecone Pine
April 19, 2007 Steve Parmenter Biologist, California Department of Fish and Game Genetics and hindsight of the Mojave Tui Chub.
April 26, 2007 James Patton Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley The legacy of Joseph Grinnell: The future of California's vertebrate fauna based on surveys
of the past