The Sierra Nevada Now and Then: Revisiting the Grinnell Survey |

The Sierra Nevada Now and Then: Revisiting the Grinnell Survey

courtesy photoRodents are just one element of local habitat that has changed over the past 100 years.

“The Sierra Nevada Now and Then: Revisiting the Grinnell Survey” is an event sponsored by the Institute for Sustainability at the Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee Campus, and UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station. The event will include both an informative afternoon presentation by Dr. Craig Moritz and Dr. Stephen Long from UCB’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and a workshop that will focus on the Sierra Nevada habitat, human impact, and change through time.

The Grinnell survey is an environmental and mammal assessment completed nearly a century ago. The survey is now being revisited in an effort to assess the changes that have occurred to the natural environment in the past 100 years. An explanation of the survey, speculation concerning the cause of these environmental changes, and evaluation of the human impact will all be addressed.

In addition to the lecture, Frank DeCourten from Sierra College, Rocklin, will be giving a presentation on the Institute for Sustainability at the Tahoe-Truckee Campus. The Institute for Sustainability at the Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee campus is associated with the Center for Sierra Nevada Studies. The “Center” is an official entity of Sierra College and has been established under the Vice President for Educational Services and Programs. The Center has a strong reputation for its dedication to conservation and environmental issues, including the Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum and “Saving the Sierra,” an award-winning oral history project. The Center provides an organizational placeholder for the growth and development of our sustainability efforts, which may someday develop into a separate district-wide initiative.

Within the current activities of the Center is a new sustainability initiative called the “Institute for Sustainability at the Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee campus.” This “Institute” will concern itself with the promotion and implementation of the five-point plan known as the Seventh Generation Project which addresses sustainability ethics and principles in five arenas of college activity: Policy, Educational Programs and Services, Educational Requirements, Operations, and Outreach.

The Seventh Generation Project is an ongoing effort involving nearly 100 dedicated faculty members on the Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee campuses. The Seventh Generation Project’s “Institute for Sustainability at the Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee campus,” a pilot project spearheaded by Frank DeCourten, was created in order to establish a model for community-based sustainability education and outreach that might become a template for other campuses and communities within the Sierra College district.

Admission to this event is free and all ages are welcome. The lecture and workshop take place on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. at Sagehen Creek Field Station on Highway 89 North. Find a pdf file with map and directions at or meet at Sierra College’s Pioneer Center by 12:30 p.m. to carpool. For more information, call Frank DeCourten at (916) 789-2933.

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