California is a large, diverse state. Its ecosystems range from marine and coastal, through chaparral, grasslands, forests, alpine, to deserts, among others. California's human population and economy are equally large and diverse. In our twelve day trip, it was impossible to see all of the state, and to investigate all of the environmental issues engendered by a growing population this region of diverse and often fragile ecosystems. Instead the focus of our trip was on the people who work to resolve the environmental issues. On the trip we met with people in the private sector, various government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Along the way, we saw issues related to water use, agriculture, habitat loss and restoration and urbanization.
Our trip started along the coast, among the redwoods in Big Basin State Park. We then visited farms, coast preserves, and cultural areas in the Monterey Bay area. We drove across the central valley to Yosemite National Park, stopping to look at water projects, wildlife preserves, and historic effects of gold mining. After a glorious day in Yosemite, we drove across the Sierra Nevada to Mono Lake. On our return, we visited the Nature Conservancy's Cosumnes Preserve, and then returned to the coast to investigate fisheries issues at the National Marine Fisheries laboratory in Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Read more about the trip in these articles: