In Search of Serpentine’s Sister

Students gathered at the Siskiyou Field Institute on a cool spring day to learn from long-time SFI instructor John Roth during “In Search of Serpentine’s Sister: Uniting Indigenous and Natural Histories.” As a student of many natural sciences and a local resident of the Illinois Valley, John is passionate about how much there is to … Read more

Sounds of Winter

https://youtu.be/Xl4fVPK49zA Last winter I had the opportunity to work with our SnowSchool partner, Winter Wildlands Alliance, on creating a video to be part of their SnowSchool at Home curriculum. In this video, geared towards 3rd-5th graders, I play in the snow and invite students to “warm up” their senses.  Being aware of the sounds of … Read more

Fall Foraging with SFI

Fall is a traditional time of harvest, but this harvest isn’t limited to crops grown on manmade farms. The forests and fields of our valleys supply many useful (and often delicious!) fruits in the fall months – if you know where and how to safely look for them. SFI’s class ‘Fall Foraging: Nuts & Roots’ … Read more

From Novice to Naturalist with SFI

Lynn Ransford on a mushroom hike On September 13th, student Lynn Ransford officially met all the requirements to be recognized as a Siskiyou Naturalist by SFI, a certification she originally started working toward in 2008! We spoke with Lynn about her most memorable experiences completing the certificate, how the opportunity to volunteer as a course … Read more

Joining the ‘Pet Rock Show’

A generous (and much needed) rain didn’t deter a small, but eager group of students from getting to know the stories of some of their own ‘pet rocks’ collected over the years in September’s ‘Best of Pet Rock Show’ class. Long-time SFI instructor and geologist John Roth led the class in an introduction to on-the-ground … Read more

On Conifers & Climate

Students struck out into the diverse forests of SFI’s property this month to learn all about ‘Montane Conifers: Identification, Measurements, and Responses to Climate.’ Our instructors, Lucy Kerhoulas and Rosemary Sherriff, joined SFI from Humboldt University, where they are both researchers and professors. Co-hosting the course were Dr. Chris Lee, a forest health specialist from CalFire, and … Read more

Great Basin Butterflies

By SFI Butterflies instructor Dana Ross   A visit to Steens Mountain and the Alvord Desert is always worth the time and effort. This past July, I taught a new 3-day course for the Siskiyou Field Institute (SFI) on the butterflies of the region based at Malheur Field Station.   DAY ONE. On Friday afternoon, … Read more

Early in the Field

Spring is about to awaken at Siskiyou Field Institute. While young students are learning about our watershed at Mt. Ashland SnowSchool, preparations are under way for spring Outdoor School. In our forest, Pseudotrillium rivale will soon peek from under dead oak and madrone leaves and California goldfields (Lasthenia californica) will splash the serpentine rock with … Read more

MACROLICHENS

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Hello, Rose here!

Like your lichens? When I arrived at SFI, I knew zilch about lichens. Before I left SFI, I learned how important lichens are to the ecosystems surrounding us.

Lichens absorb and retain pollutants, providing us with a way to measure stored chemicals and air quality. These pollutants are absorbed through lichens’ surfaces, which are called cortexes. Something else to consider: lichens provide food for large animals and small animals and shelter for tiny creatures, including insects. Within our ecosystems, lichens are telling us a story. We should listen!

 

“Introduction to Lichens” in April 2018 was well balanced with classroom education plus labs, along with field experiences. The basic chemistry needed to test and identify lichens was explained in an easy-to-understand way.

I have take several classes at SFI; they always find a way to accommodate all students. Discovering lichens was an all-around good experience.

“If you don’t know, you will learn.
If you do know, you will learn more.”

Rose Kilpatrick

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Rose Kilpatrick