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Yosemite and UC Berkeley: Partners in Research

Saturday, October 26th, 5-8:30pm

Courtyard and 2050 of the Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley

A special FREE, PUBLIC event celebrating Yosemite National Park hosted by Doug McConnell of "Bay Area Backroads"
with a presentation by Dr. James Patton, UCB museum curator and emeritus professor, and special guest Lisa Murphy, Interpretive Supervisor at Yosemite National Park.


MVZ image 484: Mirror Lake, Yosemite National Park. Photo taken by Joseph Grinnell in 1911.


5:00 - 6:45pm:  Reception

  • Behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University and Jepson Herbaria, and the Essig Museum of Entomology
  • Displays of historical interest and current research tied to Yosemite National Park and UC Berkeley
  • KQED Quest's "Resurveying California's Wildlife 100 Years Later" video presentation
  • Scientific illustration demo by Katie Bertsche
  • UC Berkeley scientists and Yosemite National Park staff mingle with the public
  • Beverages and light refreshments

6:45 – 7:00pm: A Toast to Partners in Research
Meet Lisa Murphy, Interpreter, Yosemite National Park

7:00 – 7:10pm:  Welcome and Introduction
Doug McConnell, Honorary National Park Ranger and Host of Bay Area Backroads

7:10 – 8:00pm:  Featured Talk

"A Legacy of Joseph Grinnell:  A Century of Change in the Natural History of Yosemite National Park"

James L. Patton, Curator and Professor Emeritus, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) and Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley

Description: Dr. Patton’s talk will focus on the original vertebrate surveys of the park undertaken by Grinnell (the founding director of the MVZ) and the resurvey work over the past decade. Patton will also address Grinnell's role as a mentor to some of the founders of the NPS and its early science-based focus, including key players such as Horace M. Albright and George Melendez Wright, both Berkeley graduates influenced directly by Grinnell and his teachings.

8:00 - 8:30pm
Q&A and final mingling/display viewing.
Event ends promptly at 8:30pm.


Featured Speaker: James L. Patton, PhD

Jim Patton
Evolutionary biologist and mammalogist James L. Patton is emeritus professor of Integrative Biology and curator of mammals at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley. Dr. Patton has made extensive contributions to the systematics and biogeography of several vertebrate taxa, especially small mammals. He is best known for his pioneering works on the evolutionary cytogenetics and systematics of rodents, especially pocket mice and pocket gophers, the diversification of rainforest faunas, and the impact of climate change on North American mammals. Patton has one genus of neotropical tree rat (Pattonomys), two species of neotropical rodents (Proechimys pattoni and Phyllomys pattoni), one species of fossil porcupine (Neosteiromys pattoni), one species of neotropical bat (Lonchophylla pattoni), one species of pocket gopher louse (Geomydoecus pattoni), and one species of Madagascar snake (Liophidium pattoni) named in his honor.

Event Host: Doug McConnell 

photo credit Dan Herz
For more than 15 years as the host of KRON TV’s Bay Area Backroads, television journalist Doug McConnell gave viewers an opportunity to learn more about the unique places and out-of-the-way adventures that make the San Francisco Bay Area area so special. More recently, Doug hosted OpenRoad with Doug McConnell, Exploring the West on KQED, a weekly public television series focusing on the entire West. He has been honored by the Marin Humane Society as “Humanitarian of the Year,” by the San Francisco Bay Trail Project as “Volunteer of the Year,” by California State Parks as “Honorary Ranger of the Year,” and by the National Park Service as “Honorary National Park Ranger.” Doug has also received many regional Emmys and other broadcast awards during his long career in television. In addition, he was awarded the prestigious Harold Gilliam Award for environmental reporting and storytelling in Northern California.

Special Guest: Lisa Murphy, Interpretive Supervisor at Yosemite National Park

Lisa Murphy
This year Lisa is celebrating 20 years living and working in the high country of Yosemite National Park.  She is keenly connected to the natural history and cultural history of the area and enjoys sharing it with the millions of park visitors.  As the Mather District Interpretive Supervisor, Lisa has developed a special interest in Steven T. Mather and the early years of the National Park Service.  Collaborating with author/historian Don Scott, Lisa has presented workshops that illuminate the connections between the early National Park Service and the early University of California.

This event is part of the Bay Area Science Festival and is made possible jointly by Science@Cal, the UC Berkeley Natural History Museums, and the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley.

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