A special thank you to everyone involved in The Edge of the Sea! See our complete Schedule of Events here.
Steven and Mary Albert are a husband-and-wife team who have made four short documentary films focused on natural history along our local shores. Their titles include “The Great Tidepool: The Story of Ed Ricketts’ Scientific System,” which premiered at the PG Museum of Natural History in 2014 and subsequently has been shown at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and other venues.
Growing up in the Southern California Mission town of San Juan Capistrano created an early connection to California history for Lisa. Her coursework at U.C. Santa Barbara yielded a degree in Medieval Studies. After several years of career starts and stops, along with time out for the early years of raising three children, Lisa found her niche as an Interpreter for California State Parks in 1998, where her first 16 years with State Parks were spent in the passionate study of early California history and adobe architecture at Monterey State Historic Park. In Monterey she served as a facilitator for numerous park programs, including school and public tours, Living History programs, and special events which ran the gamut from Plein Aire workshops to lavish Christmas fandangos.
Her enjoyment in sharing “Spirit of Place” with visitors is reaching a new audience of international visitors who attend the conferences held year-round at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds – the first Conference Grounds to be owned and operated by a women’s group (YWCA) in the United States.
Jim Covel has worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the past 28 years and currently serves as the Director of Guest Experience Training and Interpretation. He’s responsible for training over 700 staff and volunteers that share the wonders of Monterey Bay with over 1.8 million aquarium guests each year. Prior to joining the aquarium staff, Jim was on the faculty at both UC Davis and CSU Sacramento, teaching in the areas of environmental studies, recreation, and resource management. He has also worked with the National Park Service, California State Parks and several local park agencies developing and managing interpretive and education programs. Jim grew up in Oakland, California where his father worked as one of the first park naturalists in the country. As a boy, he grew up sharing a house with raccoons, fawns, owls, bats, porcupines, skunks and other wild orphans that his father brought home. (His wife is glad the aquarium doesn’t allow him to bring fish home!) Outside the aquarium, Jim is a Fellow of the National Association for Interpretation, providing professional development and support for over 5,000 interpreters in 34 countries. He was honored as the 2008 Educator of the Year by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Jim and his wife, Christine, appear throughout California at historic events as members of the Alta California Dance Company, interpreting California’s colorful past through dance.
Tom Killion grew up in Marin County, California, where the rugged landscape inspired him to create Japanese-style woodblock prints. Killion holds a PhD. in African History from Stanford University, and has taught at Bowdoin College, San Francisco State and as a Fulbright Professor at Asmara University in Eritrea. His art was featured on PBS TV’s “Craft in America” program, and is shown around California. He lives with his family in Point Reyes, California.
Wes Gray grew up in the Monterey Bay area and attended Monterey High School. Both of his parents worked for California State Parks, leading him to a lifelong appreciation for conservation and park management. Wes has been working for State Parks since 2004. In 2010, he started working as an environmental scientist at Hollister Hills SVRA until recently transferring to Asilomar in September of 2015. He attended San Jose State and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
In her own words:
“My story is common for women my age. I have drawn since I could hold a crayon but my plan to work as an artist was not one of the three choices given me. So I became an educator and taught for 30yrs. However, for all those years, I took painting classes during summer breaks and figure drawing classes at night.
Now I want to be outside. Perhaps plein air painting is an excuse to be in nature and to devour her beauty.
With my eyes, skin, nose, and my camera’s viewfinder I select a composition with interesting shapes and good values.
I do not demand attention with color. We all love color but the more I paint the more I appreciate nature’s subtle colors, especially her grays. I covet SC Yuan’s palette.
Besides majoring in studio art I have studied privately with professional artists including Ray Roberts, Mark Kerckhoff, Kim English and locally Claire Thorson.
Except for two years teaching art for the DODD in Germany I have lived life my whole life on the coast. If I could live 100 more years it would not be enough to paint what is in my heart.
I am proud to be an artist level member of the California Art Club and a founding member of the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association. I am represented by Ventana Gallery in Big Sur.”
Donald Kohrs is Branch Library Specialist at the Miller Library of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove. Don has degrees in biology and library science and his current efforts entail researching the history of the Pacific Grove’s Chautauqua Program (1880-1926), the history of the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory (1892-1917) and the early years of the Hopkins Marine Station (1918-1950). Don will share the history of the first decades of the seaside laboratory, introducing several of the many women who participated in the summer sessions. In addition, Don will introduce Rheinhart P. Cowles, mentor to Rachel Carson, who as a student at Stanford, spent summers of 1887-1889 at the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory.
Stephen R. Palumbi received his Ph.D. from University of Washington in marine ecology. His research group studies the genetics, evolution, conservation, population biology and systematics of a diverse array of marine organisms. Professor Palumbi’s own research interests are similarly widespread, and he has published on the genetics and evolution of sea urchins, whales, cone snails, corals, sharks, spiders, shrimps, bryozoans, and butterflyfishes. A primary focus is the use of molecular genetic techniques in conservation, including the identification of whale and dolphin products available in commercial markets. Current conservation work centers on the genetics of marine reserves designed for conservation and fisheries enhancement, with projects in the Philippines, Bahamas and western U.S. coast. In addition, basic work on the molecular evolution of reproductive isolation and its influence on patterns of speciation uses marine model systems such as sea urchins. This work is expanding our view of the evolution of gamete morphology and the genes involved. Steve’s recent book, The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change, shows how rapid evolution is central to emerging problems in modern society. In January 2003, Steve appeared in the TV series, The Future is Wild, a computer-animated exploration of the possible courses of evolution in the next few hundred million years. His new book, published in November 2010, The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival, is a good-news environmental story about the difference that ordinary citizens can make in creating diverse, sustainable ecosystems and diverse, sustainable economies. In 2002, Professor Palumbi moved his laboratory from Harvard University to Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, where he is now the Director of the station. Steve is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, married to physician Mary Roberts, father of two grown children, and founding member of the band Sustainable Sole.
Biologist David Shonman has protected shorelines and coastal habitats for over 30 years. He has conducted numerous studies of coastal and marine systems, restored coastal dunes, protected endangered and threatened species and coordinated repairs to storm-damaged shorelines. Shonman has consulted with numerous Monterey Bay area communities, and is the co-author of Carmel’s Shoreline Management Plan.
William Souder’s work has appeared in many publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Smithsonian, and Harper’s. He is the author of three books. A Plague of Frogs (2000) followed the investigation into outbreaks of deformed frogs across North America. Under a Wild Sky (2004), which told the story of pioneer and bird artist John James Audubon, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, was published in September 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Carson’s Silent Spring. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, and was named one of the Top 25 Nonfiction Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, as well as one of the Ten Best Biographies of the year by Booklist. Mr. Souder’s next book, Mad at the World: John Steinbeck and the American Century, will be published by Norton in 2019. Souder lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The daughter of a fisherman and wife of the chef, Cindy runs the front of the house and takes their “sustainable living” message to the public. Her enthusiastic and positive approach to advocacy has made waves both locally and nationally.
Cindy Walter is the manager and co-owner of Passionfish, a gourmet restaurant dedicated to fresh, sustainable and delicious food. Cindy and her husband, Chef Ted Walter, created Passionfish in 1997, in the Monterey Bay town of Pacific Grove, California.
Cindy helped launch the sustainable seafood movement in Monterey County through legislative advocacy, public presentations, and educational forums for culinary students, restaurateurs, and chefs. Bon Appetit Magazine recognized the Walters as “sustainable seafood experts” in their “Best of 2006” issue, published in January of 2007.
Also in 2007, Cindy was given the “Sanctuary Reflections” Award for outstanding green business practices, by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
In 2008, the Seafood Choices Alliance named Cindy one of 10 finalists for its annual International Seafood Champion Awards. That same year, Cindy was named a “California Woman of the Year” by then California Assemblyman John Laird.
At their Carmel Valley, California home, Cindy and Ted practice the sustainable lifestyle they believe in so strongly. That includes Cindy making her own environmentally friendly toothpaste and household cleaning products, along with honey from her own hives.
Cindy currently serves as a board member of the National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Women’s Chefs and Restaurateurs and the Seafood Choice Alliance. She is a founding member of The Pacific Grove Young Entrepreneur Awards Program, a sponsor of the Animal Friends Rescue Project, and a contributor to dozens of local, regional and national nonprofit organizations.
Patrice Vecchione, is the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life, about which The Writer magazine said, “Trust the voice of Patrice Vecchione.” She is the author of two books of poetry and the editor of many highly acclaimed anthologies. Vecchione offers creative writing and collage workshops—inside and out—at universities, libraries, parks, and community and spiritual centers, including the Esalen Institute. She lives in Monterey, California with her best beloveds—her husband, two cats, and a garden often in bloom. patricevecchione.com.
Dionne Ybarra grew up the daughter of migrant farm workers in Salinas. Most people in her neighborhood, she says, never saw the ocean. Her mother took her to the beach in Moss Landing, but she never went in the water. “We went as spectators,” she says, “watching people, but not taking part in the activities.”
After moving to Pacific Grove, Ybarra had chances to borrow a board and try surfing – but she still felt too intimidated to try. But in 2009, she got a group of women together and hired an instructor for a group surf lesson. “The first time I popped up, I was ecstatic,” she recalls. “It was this breathtaking feeling of freedom and joy and accomplishment.”
Ybarra began The Wahine Project in 2010 to teach girls to surf. Wahine (pronounced wa-HEE-nee) means “girl” in Hawaiian. She says she chose to work with just girls, rather than boys, because they’re underserved in surfing and feel less intimidated together.
She reaches out beyond the “lettuce curtain” that separates the Salinas Valley from coastal communities to draw out a diverse group of girls.
Info from Monterey County Weekly.