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Astronomy Program

Join us in the 2018 Astronomy Lecture Series & Public Telescope Viewing at the Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre

FREE ADMISSION. Be on time for the start of the lectures. Park gate will close at sunset. You must exhibit a permit on your vehicle. Get your permit here: Mt. Tam Astronomy Permits

Dress in layers, bring a flashlight, and carpool if possible.

HOTLINE: 415-455-5370            

July 14, 8:00pm - Search for a Second Genesis of Life: Motive, Means, and OpportunityDr. Alfonso Davila, Research Astronomer, NASA Ames Research Center ---In this talk Dr. Avila will present the concept of a second genesis and how to search for it. With the recent discovery of habitable environments beyond Earth, including the subsurface oceans of icy moons in the outer Solar System, the existence of a second genesis of life appears now both possible and realistic. 

July 28, 7:30pm - MOVIE NIGHT Screening of the 1995 science fiction film APOLLO 13 ---1995 award winning film dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission. Screening followed by expose of “fake” science in the film by Jeffrey Silverman and Kishore Hari from Science VS Cinema.

Aug 18, 8:00pm - The Modern Origins Story - Eliot Quataert, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley ---Our story begins in the remarkably simple early universe, devoid of the complexity around us today. Come learn how the universe has evolved to its current state from simple beginnings: how gravity reigns supreme and builds up the planets, stars, and galaxies required for biological evolution to proceed.

Sept 15, 7:30pm - Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves - Jill Tarter, Research Chair, SETI Institute ---Are we alone? Humans have been asking this question throughout history. Since the middle of the 20th century, we have had tools that permit us to explore this question scientifically. As we look up and look out, we are forced to see ourselves from a cosmic perspective. This perspective is fundamental to finding a way to sustain life on Earth for the long future.

Oct 28, 7:00pm - Gravitational Waves and the Glow of Cosmic Gold - Dr. Adrian Liu, Research Associate Professor, UC Berkeley ---In October 2017, Earthlings detected gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space time — from the violent merger of two ultra-dense neutron stars. The signals showed that collision debris self-assembled into heavy elements, such as gold and platinum, providing an explanation for the cosmic origin of these special materials.

 

Guided Walks and Hikes

Join Mt Tamalpais hike docents for a hike along the trails of Mt Tamalpais. Enjoy outdoor exercise while learning about the cultural and natural history of the park. Hikes include a lunch/snack stop.

Come prepared! Wear good hiking shoes/boots. Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks.

Hikes are limited to 20 people per leader. Be on time to allow for parking and getting on the hike!

Hikes Rating
Easy 3 to 5 miles, slower paced hike. With less than a 1000' elevation gain.
Regular, moderately paced, about 5 to 7 miles, may have up to 1500’ elevation gain.
Moderate, 7 to 10 miles, quicker paced hike. Over hilly, rocky terrain. With up to a 2,200' elevation gain.
Challenging, moderately paced hike, 10-18 miles long, all terrain, with higher than 2,000 feet elevation gain.

No pets allowed unless otherwise stated.


August 2018

Evening Hike Wednesday Aug 1 @6pm from Laurel Dell ---Mt Tam History Robert Feist --- It's "Summer Days" on Mt Tam! Join us in seeing and enjoying the subtle and not so subtle changes that happen on the mountain this time of year! And longer days mean more time to explore! Regular

Evening Hike Wednesday Aug 8 @6pm from Mt Home ---Matt Davis, the man Sue Karp --- We will head up Troop 80 to Bootjack. Enjoy some meditative quiet time. Learn about Matt Davis' contributiion to Mt Tam. Regular

Free 2nd Saturday! Saturday Aug 11 @9:30am from Pantoll "Redwoods" with park interpreter Rosanna Petralia --- In occasion of the Save the Redwood League Free 2nd Saturday let's go into the redwoods! Meet at Pantoll trailhead and join park interpreter Rosanna Petralia for a walk through the Redwood community of Mt Tam. Discover how everything is connected in the forest. Unveil the presence of fish up on the trees! Yes, they are! You will walk among the redwoods and discover their amazing adaptations and the community they support. Distance: 3.2 miles. Elevation Gain: 450ft. No pets allowed.

Sunday August 12 @9:30am from Stinson Beach ---Matt Davis and his Friends with docent Lizzy Silverstein --- On this loop hike (Stinson Beach, Matt Davis, Dipsea, Steep Ravine), we will talk about Matt Davis and other inspirational TCC members and how Mount Tam was shaped by these individuals. Moderate

Evening Hike Wednesday Aug 15 @5:30pm from Pantoll ---Mindfulness in Nature with docent Alexandra Jurasin --- Explore your senses in nature while being guided through mindfulness practices. Finish the hike feeling like you've just had a cleansing shower for your mind. Easy

Saturday Aug 18 @9:30am from Rock Spring ---Cool Colier Spring with docent Ernie Castiaux --- We will enjoy walking among shaded trails on the cool North side out of the Summer heat. Learn about the wealthy eccentric who pretended to be a tramp for whom the Colier Spring and trail are named. Eight-nine miles / 800 ft elevation gain.. Moderate

Sunday Aug 19 @9:30am from Pantoll--- Bolinas Ridge View with docent Lori Febbo --- Enjoy some of the most beautiful views on Mt Tam, on a hike inspired by the landscapes of local artist Tom Killion. The hike will be regular moderately paced, about 5 to 7 miles with up to 1,500 feet elevation gain. Moderate

Evening Hike Wednesday Aug 22 @5:30pm from Bootjack---Edible and Medicinal Plants with docent Karen Sapper --- A summer evenings hike to the historic West Point Inn. Edible and medicinal plant information along the way, and some fabulous vistas! Distance: about 3.5 miles; 450ft elevation gain. Easy.

Saturday Aug 25 @9:30am from Rock Spring ---Mindfulness in Nature with docent Alexandra Jurasin --- Explore your senses in nature while being guided through mindfulness practices. Finish the hike feeling like you've just had a cleansing shower for your mind. Regular

Moonlight Hike Saturday August 25 @6:30pm from Pantoll with docents Catherine Orland and Joan Lamphier --- Walk along Old Stage Road to the West Point Inn and back (4 miles) to see the moonrise and great views of the Bay Area. We will share inspirational stories along the way. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Hiking poles recommended. Kids friendly. Easy

Evening Hike Wednesday Aug 29 @5:30pm from Pantoll ---Shinrin-Yoku 101 with docent Nancy Benjamin --- Take a Forest Bath on Mt. Tam! Enjoy a leisurely walk in the woods, clear your mind, engage your senses, and learn ways to deepen your connection with nature. Kid friendly. (approx 3 miles) Easy

September 2018

Saturday, Sept 2 @9:30am from Stinson Beach --"Sounds and Silence in Nature" with docent Rosalind Gottfried. Meeting point: Stinson Beach parking lot. Leading docent will have a sign on the roof of her car that say "Hike open to the public." Great workout and opportunity to see different habitats on Mt Tam, from redwoods to oak woodland, coastal scrub and grassland. There will be the opportunity to meditate on nature and practice walk for five minutes in silence among the redwoods. Distance: 6.9 miles. Elevation Gain: 1,788ft. Moderate to strenuous hike. No pets allowed.

Holiday Hike Monday Sept 3 @9:30am from Pantoll --Owls with docent Joan Lamphier --- We will talk about the northern spotted owl and its distribution in Marin County Easy.

Free Second Saturday Saturday Sept 8 @9:30am from Pantoll --Redwoods with park interpreter Rosanna Petralia --- In occasion of the Save the Redwood League Free 2nd Saturday let's go into the redwoods! Meet at Pantoll trailhead and join park interpreter Rosanna Petralia for a walk through the Redwood community of Mt Tam. Discover how everything is connected in the forest. Unveil the presence of fish up on the trees! Yes, they are! You will walk among the redwoods and discover their amazing adaptations and the community they support. Easy hike. Distance: 3.2 miles. Elevation Gain: 450ft. No pets allowed.
 
Sunday Sept 9 @9:30am from Laurel Dell --Mt Tam History with docent Karen Ulring --- Let's visit the Helen Markt trail with hike to Alpine Lake. We'll loop back up the Kent, Potrero and the Mickey O'Brien. About 7-8 miles, 1700' elevation. Moderate

Evening Hike Wednesday Sept 12@5:30pm from Mt Home parking lot--- Muir Woods with docent Karen Sapper --- A lush trail down to Fern Creek, and along the border of Muir Woods, coming back up on the Canopy Trail. A beautiful and shaded route. Distance 4 miles, elevation gain 820ft.

Hike Challenge! Saturday, Sept 15 @9:30am, Surf to Summit with park interpreter Rosanna Petralia and docent Maria De La Fuente --- Challenging---Join us in the ascent to Mt Tam's summit from sea level and back! This all-day hike will start at Stinson Beach, stops at Pantoll and West Point inn before reaching Mt Tam East Peak; it then loops back stopping at West Point Inn and Mt Theatre on the way down to Stinson Beach. Register through EVENTBRITE. Limited to 25 participants. Distance: approx. 18 miles. Difficulty: Strenuous. Rocky soil, steep incline. Elevation gain: 3,114ft. Average pace: 2.5 miles/hour.

Evening Hike Wednesday Sept 19 @5:30pm from Hwy 1 & Muir Woods Rd--- Mt Tam History with docent Robert Feist --- Autumn is just a few days away! We'll explore some of the lower Redwood Creek watershed - where fresh waters meet the Pacific Ocean at Muir Beach. Who knows what we might see!! Regular

Saturday Sept 22 @9:30am from Rock Spring ---Mindfulness in Nature with docent Alexandra Jurasin --- Explore your senses in nature while being guided through mindfulness practices. Finish the hike feeling like you've just had a cleansing shower for your mind. Regular

Moonlight/Autum Equinox Saturday Sept 22 @5:00pm from Pantoll. "Once Only" with park interpreter Rosanna Petralia and docent Catherine Orland --- Walk along Old Stage Road to the West Point Inn and back (4 miles) to see the moonrise and great views of the Bay Area. We will share inspirational stories along the way. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Hiking poles recommended. Kids friendly. Easy

Sunday Sept 23 @9:30am from Bootjack ---Plant Identification with docent Lizzy Silverstein --- On this loop hike (Bootjack, Bootjack Spur, Alice Eastwood Fire Road, Plevin Cut, Sierra, Troop 80, Troop 80 Spur, Bootjack) we will identify plants on the trail, learn about their stories, and uses. Moderate

Wednesday Sept 26 @5:30pm from Pantoll --Mt Tam Wildlife with docent Sue Karp --- Enjoy the last Wed eve on the mountain with friends.Take in the views.Bring a dish to share for our annual pot luck at Pan Toll. Easy

Sunday Sept 30 @9:30pm from Rock Spring--- It's Fall! with docent Robert Freinkel --- Let's walk and discover together how the plants are doing as we start the Fall season. Let's notice the subtle changes in the landscape, and the signs that announce the coming rains. Regular