'Sequoia Speaks' lecture series begins Feb. 1
The National Park Service will conduct a series of free lectures entitled “Sequoia Speaks,” briefing the public about the latest on water conditions in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The series will take place every Friday throughout February from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Visalia’s College of the Sequoias’ Ponderosa Lecture Hall. Parking, at $2 per vehicle, is located on the corner of Noble Street and Mooney Boulevard.
Following is a list of planned lectures:
- Friday, Feb. 1 — “Protecting Serene Mountain Lakes”
The vision of mountain lakes conjures up crisp clean air and pristine water. Just as dirty air affects the Central Valley, these air pollutants are finding their way to those ideal mountain lakes. The public will hear from environmental scientist and wilderness enthusiast Andi Heard about the challenges of protecting more than 1,200 alpine lakes in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks.
- Friday, Feb. 8 — “If Turtles Could Talk”
A virtual tour of local streams in search of the elusive western pond turtle. Aquatic biologist Erik Meyer will explain how potentially dangerous concentrations of pesticides and mercury in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks may be harming turtles. The public will learn why this is happening and explore what the western pond turtle can teach about the disappearance of the Sierra Nevada foothill yellow-legged frog.
- Friday, Feb. 15 — “Uncovering Hidden Mountain Reservoirs”
Hydrologist Ben Tobin spends his time discovering hidden mountain reservoirs because when snows dwindle, other types of water storage becomes increasingly important. The public will listen to stories of adventure while exploring how caves help maintain the flow of the Kaweah River to the San Joaquin Valley.
- Friday, Feb. 22 — “Measuring Sierra Snow from Above”
California relies on Sierra Nevada snow for around 35 percent of its annual usable water. Everyone in California is vying for their share. Research scientist Peter Kirchner will explain how new airborne technologies have enhanced viewing the amount of snow across a broad landscape. With these new technologies, usable water and ecosystem health may be more accurately calculated.
For more information, call Sequoia National Park at 565-4212.