Skyline Earth Team stepped out of the classroom to enjoy an afternoon learning about the giant redwoods at Joaquin Miller Park. While only a short drive from Skyline High School, some of our interns had never walked through this park before! The park, named after the American poet, is home to over 200 native plant species, including the Coast Redwoods. Joaquin Miller planted many of the trees himself.
In the fourth episode of the BCM Podcast, Cathy and Charlie discuss what life is like as an Oxford student. BCM course director Dr. Paul Jepson and students Allan Mjomba Majalia, Nelson Wekwa Mhlanga, and Roberta Ordoñez join Cathy and Charlie to give insight into the BCM program. Take a listen if you're thinking about applying to BCM, have been accepted into the course and are awaiting to start, or are simply interested in what we're actually doing here in Oxford.
In the third episode of the BCM Podcast, Cathy and Charlie discuss lab-grown meat with Dr. Hanna Tuomisto, a Senior Researcher at the University of Helsinki, and Sergio Carvalho, a DPhil student at Oxford's School of Geography and the Environment.
In the second episode of the BCM Podcast, Charlie and Cathy discuss ocean plastics with fellow BCM student, Kat Machin, and Dr. Lucy Woodall, a researcher with the Oxford University Ocean Research and Conservation Group as well as the Principal Scientist with the NGO Nekton.
The California coast attracts visitors not only for the aesthetically pleasing ocean views, but also for the glimpse of a bird that puts vultures to shame: the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). Although spotting North America’s largest land bird is still a rare occurrence, the chances of seeing this critically endangered bird today are much greater than they were 30 years ago. Policy and education play a role, but a series of unusual partnerships may be to thank for the miraculous recovery of a species that has gained conservation fame. The successful reintroduction of the bird with a three metre wingspan can serve as a lesson for the future of rewilding in Europe.
Lessons for Rewilding: Condors, Partnerships and a Bunch of Dead Cows
A group of biologists and social scientists boarded a coach on September 28th. We were all a little nervous, yet still blissfully unaware of what we had just gotten ourselves into. What followed was three days of discerning the course, jaunting through English countryside, and a long game of Never Have I Ever to truly get to know our course mates.
A Grave, Some Ponies, and a Troop of Conservationists
On a chilly Friday morning in late October, the BCM and ECM cohorts crowded into two coaches. The location was only a short trip from Oxford city centre, but quick glances between hedges from the coach windows revealed we would be spending our day surrounded by trees.
The White-tailed Kite, also referred to as the White Hawk and the Black-shouldered Kite, is the only North American Kite that hovers while hunting for prey. This prey consists of small rodents, especially Voles, and occasionally reptiles, insects, and other small birds. White-tailed Kites form monogamous pairs in December that last until August. Nests are built 20-50 feet high in trees and are often built near other pairs. About 4 eggs are laid and, after hatching, the male will hunt while the female stays with the nest. White-tailed Kites roost together when not breeding in groups of 5 to even 100 birds. California has the highest population in all of North America.
The Western Pond Turtle is the only native freshwater turtle on the Pacific Coast. The length ranges from 3.5 to 8.5 inches (9 to 21.5 cm) and can be seen as dark brown, black, or dark green. The top of the shell, or the carapace, is covered in lighter colored spots that radiate outwards. The underside of the shell, or the plastron, is a lightish yellow color. The Western Pond Turtle is diurnal. Its predators consist of raccoons, coyotes, skunks, and foxes. They are particularly vulnerable when emerging from eggs and are sought after by ravens, garter snakes, bass, egrets, and herons.