Santa Cruz Naturalist invites listeners to join UCSC Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate students as they explore nature in and around Santa Cruz County. Each episode will enrich your next experience with nature as you learn fascinating insights (from local experts) about the creatures that inhabit your favorite hiking trails, beaches and even your own backyard.
Buried alive: How forest fires are putting endangered black abalone at risk
This week, Sara talked with Wendy Bragg, a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz who is leading a recovery effort of the endangered black abalone following last year’s fires. You might not think that terrestrial forest fires would impact coastal marine life, but Wendy explains how large loads of sediment make their way to the coastline, and the impact this has on black abalone populations.
Rockfish of Monterey Bay, Part 1
This week on Santa Cruz Naturalist, Emily speaks with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories graduate student Kristin Saksa about her work on rockfish larvae “babies”. Kristin’s work focuses on how climate change will impact this vulnerable stage in rockfish life. This is part one of a series on rockfish found right here in the Monterey Bay. Tune in to learn more!
Birds in Your Backyard: Great Horned Owls Part 2
This week on Santa Cruz Naturalist, Theadora talks more about Great Horned Owls, following up on last month's episode.
Learn about some of their special adaptations which make them such amazing hunters. They are some of the only predators around who eat skunks!
Col. Charles Young - First Black National Park Superintendent
This week, in celebration of Black History Month, Sara highlights someone who made important contributions to preserving California’s natural habitats and making them accessible for people to enjoy. This person was Colonel Charles Young, the first Black superintendent of a U.S. National Park. In 1903, he oversaw construction and development at Sequoia National Park and a portion of Kings Canyon national park, working to protect California’s natural habitats while increasing their accessibility to the public, and securing more land in the national parks for future generations.
Tidepooling in Santa Cruz, Part 1
This week on Santa Cruz Naturalist, host Emily Donham introduces listeners to the hairy chiton, a common critter found in the intertidal zone in Santa Cruz.
Birds in your backyard IV: Great Horned Owls
This week on Santa Cruz Naturalist, Theadora talks about Great Horned Owls. They are one of the larger Owl species in North America, and have a wide range through all of North America and some parts of South America.
Great Horned Owls can be difficult to see as they roost quietly in trees during the day, but they are much easier to find by listening for their song at night. Listen in to hear their song, learn how to tell the males apart from females, and more!