Speaker Series

San Diego Audubon speaker presentations are designed for civic and community service groups, garden clubs, and other volunteer organizations. The presentations are focused on engaging regional and world conservation issues, as well as on-going challenges to local wildlife and habitats. These 30 to 60 minute presentations are ideal for weekly luncheon meetings or monthly evening meetings. They include images, sounds and audience interaction and participation. All equipment needed to facilitate these events will be provided by San Diego Audubon. There is no fee, although donations are always appreciated and group size must be 20 adults or more.

If your organization is interested in scheduling a speaker, please contact our office at (858) 273-7800, or simply email the speaker listed below the presentation by clicking on their name.

Presentation Descriptions

mourningdove title withraven haloandbothhorns 128x94Nature's Ambassadors: The Birds of the San Diego Garden

Speaker: Mike Matherly

Description:  This fast-paced program illustrates the most common birds in a typical Southern California garden and how to keep them there to add song, color and animation to your flowered slice of heaven. Audiences will learn their names and how to identify them. Some of the best bird photography in Southern California is the highlight of the show, along with natural history explanations of why each bird is special and why it was drawn to your home. Like an old friend, who is the most faithful bird to visit your garden each day of its life? Which birds only visit seasonally, from as far away as the Arctic and Central America? Who's the most fearless, at the top of the pecking order? Which relentless hunter uses your greenery to maximize stealth and chances for an easy meal? It is an informative and entertaining glimpse at a world we often can't see because of the trees (and flowers and shrubs and ...).

Bird-Migration-Sunset-Wikipedia

The Long Journey: Marvels and Science of Bird Migration 

 Speaker: Mike Matherly

Description: An overview of one of the great wonders on earth and the latest research explaining why, how, and when billions of birds take wing in their search for the endless summer. Focusing on North America and San Diego, heavy emphasis will be on the geography and biology of migration, including the challenges and obstacles birds face crossing a rapidly changing continent.

mel hintons garden 128x91Healthy Backyard Habitat: The Native Plant Garden Cultivating a Natural World for Birds and Butterflies

Speaker: Mel Hinton

Description: Tired of that sterile, motel landscape around your home? Bring life and song to your yard and garden by using native plants and a wildlife friendly design. This presentation demonstrates how you can make your California garden become a slice of our natural landscape that requires minimal maintenance, conserves water and attracts wildlife.

The key lies in having the right mix of native plants coupled with the three things all birds need: food, water and shelter. By using native plants that are adapted to our climate you will have fewer insect and disease problems than with ornamentals and rarely will soil supplements be needed. Best of all, birds and butterflies are naturally drawn to these plants. This PowerPoint program, along with several informational handouts, will get you started on planning your own native plant garden - one that benefits both people and wildlife.

Global Warming 128x96Turning Up the Heat: Global Climate Change and San Diego Effects, Remediation, and Changing Habitats

Speaker: Dr. Phillip Pryde

Description: This illustrates the possible effects of global climate change for the San Diego region, and the likely implications for our county's natural environment and regional economy. Significant changes will be caused by the gradual increase in ocean levels, such as the inundation of low-lying coastal portions, accelerated loss of beach sand, and the undercutting of bluffs and bluff-top structures. Rising sea level will also drown portions of local estuaries, thereby adversely affecting species that utilize coastal salt marshes, such as the Clapper Rail.

Because most models of climate change suggest a drier Southwest, concerns for a reliable water supply will become paramount. San Diego is at the end of the water delivery pipeline from our principal sources in the Colorado River basin and northern California . Competition for dwindling supplies between urban and rural users and alternative sources of water re-use, conservation, and desalinization will be discussed.

Finally, increasing warmth and aridity will affect the plant life and wildlife in all regional ecosystems, and wildfire potential will increase. In addition to loss of salt marshes, we may also lose our mountain conifer forests, already stressed by drought, bark beetles, and fire. Importantly for those creatures that feed in those plant communities, bird migration patterns and wintering locations will be affected, perhaps adversely, endangering the food supply for breeding birds.

renewable energy 128x100Alternative Energy and the Environment: Choices and Crunch-time - Advantages and Drawbacks to Renewable Sources

Speaker: Dr. Phillip Pryde

Description: A summary of the mechanics, advantages, and problems of alternative energy sources is presented and illustrated in layperson terms. Solar energy is emphasized, for both heating and electrical applications, such as passive heating, photovoltaic, and heat-cycle systems.

One of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy, wind farms, will be reviewed, including its effects on bird and bat mortality. The positives and negatives of geothermal energy development in northern California and in Imperial County are analyzed. While hydroelectricity is controversial because of its adverse effects on rivers and fisheries, there are other types of hydro development that are less damaging to the environment. Finally, the oceans hold several potential methodologies for producing electrical energy, such as tidal power, wave energy, and thermal gradients; each is briefly described, and the reasons why wave energy might be the most promising are discussed. Current interest and development of non-conventional possibilities such as biofuels, oil shale, and nuclear fusion will receive attention.

water-faucet-small 128x100San Diego 's Future Water Supply Choices and Trade-offs

Speaker: Dr. Phillip Pryde

Description: When Mark Twain famously said "Whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting", he was being both humorous and prophetic. The American Southwest is scenic and appealing, but also mostly arid. Its inhabitants have always lived on the brink of water shortages. A few thousand Anasazi probably learned this the hard way. Many millions of contemporary Californians most likely are going to, also.

Why do water officials predict we will continually need water rationing? Doesn't San Diego have its own source? Will we have enough water in the future? How big a factor will climate change be? What possible new sources of water are available? What are the downsides to developing those new sources? What can we as individuals do?

In this illustrated presentation, you will get a wealth of information about what's happening in Southern California with this most essential of all our natural resources. You will see where our water comes from, what has changed in recent years, the present realities that the region faces, and the possible future sources for our domestic and agricultural water supplies.


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Contact Info

4010 Morena Blvd
Suite #100
San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 273-7800

Office Hours

Our office hours are
Monday-Friday
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
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