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Astronomy Program

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

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

HOTLINE: 415-455-5370            Free Parking Passes available at www.friendsofmttam.org/astronomy.html

April 21, 8:00PM - A UNIVERSE OF UNIVERSES?  Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley ---Many Scientists now think that there might be more than a single universe. Our universe may be just one example in a far larger "multiverse", but an unusually complex one that is conductive to the existence of life. Come learn about the relevant lines of reasoning and their profound implications.

May 19, 8:00pm - Astrophotography for Everyone - Jay GaBany, President & CEO, Advanced Imaging Conference ---Advances in recent decades have allowed amateur astronomers to produce deep space and planetary pictures that rival those taken by professional observatories. This presentation will provide an overview of off-the-shelf instruments and methods anyone, with perseverance and patience, can use to take amazing astronomical images.

June 16, 8:00pm - MISSION: MARS  - Pascal Lee, Planetary Scientist, Mars & SETI Institutes ---We are making progress globally — from the Arctic to Antarctica, from basement labs to the International Space Station — to achieve the first human voyage to Mars. Come explore the what, why, how, when, and who of our first journey to the Red Planet.

July 14, 8:00pm - Life in the Goldilocks Zone - Natalie Batalha, Research Astronomer, NASA Ames Research Center ---Discoveries by NASA’s Kepler Mission suggest there are billions of potentially habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. What has the study of planets within and beyond the Solar System taught us about our own planet Earth? And what’s next in the search for life beyond the Solar System?

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

No pets allowed unless otherwise stated.


APRIL 2018

CANCELLED - Saturday, April 7 @9:30 from Pantoll trailhead. "Birds" led by docent Joan Lamphier. --Mt Tam's diverse habitats support a variety of bird species and lifestyles. Walk with Joan to learn about the variety of habitats on the mountain and how that are used by different species. Easy (2-4 miles). This walk is offered in collaboration with the Healthy Parks Healthy People Bay Area program.

CANCELLED - Saturday, April 7 @9:30am Rock Spring parking lot. "Water" led by docent Marie Bush. --Climb Ben Stein and then follow the water in the Cataract creek, pass the water fall and back. Rather short 5 miles, but somewhat challenging for novices. Meditate on the sound of water and silence the chatter in your head. Regular. 

Sunday, April 8 @9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot. " Health and Happiness" by docent Tracy Stuart. --Enjoy your endorphin high and share it with other hikers while exploring a landscape of Ferns, Sargent cypress trees, Serpentine Rock, Douglas Fir and Free flowing creeks. Meet New Friends! Dog friendly hike. If you have a dog, CLICK HERE TO obtain a permit from park staff. Regular. 

Wednesday, April 11 @5:30pm. Evening Hike from Mt Home parking lot. "Fern Creek" withdocent Karen Sapper. From Mt Home down into the lush canyon of Fern Creek. Spring Waters and Wild Flowers. A delight to the senses. Moderate.

TRAILHEAD CHANGE! Saturday, April 14 @9:30am will start from Pantoll parking lot instead of Stinson Beach. "Silence and sounds of nature" led by docent Rosalind Gottfried. --Mindfulness in nature will be explored, especially in relationship to the sounds, and silences, on the trail. Meet in Pantoll parking lot, near bathrooms. Dark green Camry, will have a sign indicating Friends of Mt Tam hike. Moderate.

Sunday April 15 @9:30am from Bootjack trailhead. "Nature's Reciprocity" by docent Marie Bush. --We will explore the theme of Nature's Reciprocity. In our exploration, we will consider the ways in which death or 'waste' is essential to nourished, vibrant life. As we walk, we might discuss topics such as mushrooms, algae, bacteria, and even the human's role in all of this. Moderate.

Evening Hike Wednesday, April 18 @5:30pm from Pantoll trailhead. "Lichens" with docent Sue Karp. --What are Lichens? Where do they grow? Come along and explore their mystery. Easy.

Saturday April 21 at 9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot. "Mindfullness in Nature" led by docent Alexandra Jurasin Experience all of your senses in nature, while being guided through mindfulness practices, and finish the hike feeling like you've just had a shower for your mind. Regular.

Sunday April 22 @9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot. "Colors and Patterns of Nature" led by docent Deborah Coburn.  --We are surrounded by genius! After 3.8 billion years of R&D, Nature has figured out what works, what lasts. Walking along, we will look carefully to see some of Nature’s color and design strategies in action. We will discuss how these strategies accomplish what they have evolved to do. Easy.

Sunday April 22 @11am from Pantoll trailhead. "Mt Tam Artists and Visionaries" led by docent Cate Zovod. --Mt Tam Artists and Visionaries Since the early days of travel to Mt. Tam, the area has inspired artists. It is a wellspring of creative and spiritual renewal. This session will introduce you to the communities of artists and visionaries who have drawn inspiration from its slopes, and whose work comprises Mt. Tam’s cultural legacy. Guided exercises will help you tap into your own creative side - and research shows hiking gets your creative juices flowing. No artistic background or skill required. Open your mind on this Earth Day and let mountain speak to you and guide your hand as it has for so many before you. Easy.

Evening Hike Wednesday, April 25 @5:30pm from Mt Home parking lot. "Mt Tam Camps" with docent Sue Karp.  --Listens to the evening sounds of nature. Break at one of Mt Tams noted camp sites. Take in the changing light of the evening. Moderate.

Saturday April 28 @9:30am from Mt. Home parking lot. "Redwood Trees" led by docent Maria de La Fuente. --We all need strength and balance to live a good life. We can find some great examples in nature. Let's walk and find some of these meaningful connections between us and the surrounding trees. Regular.

Moon Hike! Saturday April 28 @ 8:30pm from Pantoll trailhead. "Pink Moon" by park interpreter Rosanna Petralia  Walk along Old Stage Road to the West Point Inn and back (4 miles) for great nocturnal views of the Bay Area. We will share inspirational stories along the way. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Kids friendly. Easy.

Sunday April 29 @9:30am from Dias Ridge trailhead. "Wildflowers" by docent Lizzy Silverstein. --Come join me on a search for iris, poppy, lupine, monkey flower, shooting star, buttercup, ithuriel's spear, footsteps of spring, cobweb thistle and hollyhock! And of course we will talk about the abundant chapparal. Moderate.

 

MAY 2018

Evening Hike! Wednesday, May 2 @5:30pm from Pantoll trailhead, "Mt Tam History" with docent Robert Feist --Take a break during the middle of your work week and reduce your stress by being out in nature on this beautiful mountain!  We'll keep an eye out for any flora or fauna we may see during this Springtime hike. You may even be surprised by learning some Mt Tam history that you never heard before!    Regular

Saturday May 5 @9:30am from Pantoll trailhead. "Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing" with docent Nancy Benjamin --What is Shinrin-Yoku? First developed in Japan, learn more about the practice and healing benefits of "forest bathing" to engage your senses with a gentle, guided hike to the Mountain Theatre. Please pack a brimmed hat, a small towel or mat for sitting, and water. Easy

Saturday May 5 @ 9:30 from Rock Spring parking lot. "Bolinas Ridge Views" 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. Regular

Sunday, May 6 @9:30am from Rock Spring trailhead, "Health and Happiness" with docent Tracy Stuart ---Enjoy your endorphin high and share it with other hikers while exploring a landscape of Ferns, Sargent cypress trees, Serpentine Rock, Douglas Fir and free flowing creeks. Meet New Friends! Dog friendly hike - RSVP only. Regular

Sunday, May 6 @11am from Rock Spring trailhead. "Spirit and Nature" with docent Tina Menig. ---Nature provides many spiritual benefits that can help us in today's frantic world. Discover the mystery of nature...how it can awaken our senses, quiet our minds and open our hearts. Explore the sacredness of MT. Tam as the Miwok Indians did centuries ago and as the animals do today. Easy

Evening Hike! Wednesday, May 9 @5:30pm from Pantoll trailhead. "Mindfulness in Nature" Alexandra Jurasin. ---Experience all of your senses in nature, while being guided through mindfulness practices, and finish the hike feeling like you've just had a shower for your mind. Easy.

Saturday, May 12 from Pantoll trailhead. "Redwood Trees" with docent Maria de La Fuente ---We all need strength and balance to live a good life. We can find some great examples in nature. Let's walk and find some of these meaningful connections between us and the surrounding trees. Regular

Sunday, May 13 @9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot.  "Mother's Day Pancakes" with docent Shahryar Shahsavari ---Join us as we celebrate Mother's Day on the mountain. We will enjoy an easy 5-mile loop with a stop at West Point Inn to enjoy the pancake breakfast. Bringing your mother is encouraged, though entirely optional! Regular

Evening Hike! Wednesday, May 16 @5:30pm from Bootjack trailhead. "TCC Trail" with docent Karen Sapper ---An early evening walk. Through forests, ferns and Redwoods. Coming to beautiful vistas. Easy

Hike Challenge! Saturday, May 19 @8am from Mt Home parking lot. "Mt Tam: the Circumambulation" with park interpreter Rosanna Petralia, and docents Marie Bush & Alexandra Jurasin ---Let’s retrace the steps of Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg’s historic Circumambulation. We’ll stop at 10 inspirational locations to share poems, stories and awareness. The hike is about 18 miles long and requires excellent form and stamina. RSVP only: EMAIL HERE. Challenging

Sunday May 20 @9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot. Hike with docent Santi Abascal. Route: Connector to Mountain Theater, Rock Spring, Nora, Matt Davis, Old Mine. Regular.

Evening Hike! Wednesday, May 23 @5:30pm from Bootjack trailhead. "Mountain Play History" with docent Sue Karp ---Unwind from your day. Enjoy the quiet of the evening. Listen to the sounds of nature. Easy

Saturday, May 26 at 9:30am from Stinson Beach parking lot. "Sounds and Silence in nature" with docent Rosalind Gottfried ---Explore the natural environs of Mt Tam with special attention to the sounds and silences on the trail. Meet in Stinson parking lot, Dark green Camry, near bathrooms, will have a hike sign on top of the car. Moderate

Moon Hike! Saturday, May 26 @8:30pm from Pantoll. "Flower Moon" with park interpreter Rosanna Petralia ---Walk along Old Stage Road to the West Point Inn and back (4 miles) for great nocturnal views of the Bay Area. We will share inspirational stories along the way. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Kids friendly. Easy

Sunday, May 27 @9:30am from Mt Home parking lot. "Muir Woods History" with docent Madelyn Misite ---Hike through Muir Woods and learn about William Kent and the preservation of this National Monument. Moderate

Holiday Hike! Monday, May 28 @9:30am from Pantoll trailhead. "Owls" with docent Joan Lamphier ----Learn about the owl species that live on Mt Tam. Among them is the endangered Northern Spotted Owl! We will discuss where and when the owls are seen and how they are doing. Easy

Evening Hike! Wednesday, May 30 @5:30pm meeting location and topic TBD 

 

June 2018

Saturday, June 2 @9:30am from Pantoll trailhead. "Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing" with docent Nancy Benjamin ---What is Shinrin-Yoku? First developed in Japan, learn more about the practice and healing benefits of "forest bathing" to engage your senses with a gentle, guided hike to the Mountain Theatre. Please pack a brimmed hat, a small towel or mat for sitting, and water. This walk is offered in collaboration with the Healthy Parks Healthy People Bay Area program. Easy

Saturday, June 2 @9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot. "West Point Inn and California State Rock" with docent Pat Ernsberger ---We will have a loop hike along Rock Spring trail, Old Stage,and Bootjack or Easy Grade back. We will show and talk about our state rock - the lovely serpentine rock featured in some of the most dramatic landscapes on the mountain. Regular

Evening Hike! Wednesday, June 6 @6pm from Rock Spring parknig lot. "Wild Azaleas" with docent Karen Sapper ---A favorite trail along Cateract Creek. A rest at Bart's Retreat. Enjoy the scented Wild Azaleas. Moderate

Saturday, June 9 @9:30am from Stinson Beach Parking lot. Hike with docent Santi Abascal. Moderate.

Evening Hike! Wednesday, June 13 @6pm from Mt Home parking lot. "West Point Inn" with docent Franklin Young ---Hike up to West Point Inn and talk about its name and its history. We'll take the Railroad grade back to Mt Home Regular

Saturday, June 16 @9:30am from Bootjack trailhead. "Muir Woods" with docent Franklin Young ---Hike down to Muir Woods and talk about historical events that have occurred in this special setting. Moderate

Sunday, June 17 @9:30am from Mt Home parking lot. "Mountain Views" with docent Tom Dewey ---Hike to the top of Mt Tam with views of San Francisco, Mt Diablo and the Pacific Ocean along the way Moderate

Evening Hike! Wednesday, June 20 @6pm from East Ridgecrest Blvd at the intersection with Miller trail. "Last Evening of Spring" with docent Brendan Hickey ---Circling two peaks and pausing at Inspiration Point. Let's take a lovely walk into dusk, to listen and reflect and drink it all in. Easy

Saturday, June 23 #4 from Rock Spring parking lot. "Nuts About Woodpeckers" with docent Brendan Hickey ---Let's explore the patently weird social mores of the Acorn Woodpecker and trade tales of its massive cousin, the Pileated. We'll get in a nice 5-hour hike on some lesser-trod trails in this first-weekend-of-summer hike. Moderate

Moon Hike! Saturday, June 23 @ 8:30pm from Pantoll trailhead. "Strawberry Moon" with docent Lizzy Silverstein ---Walk along Old Stage Road to the West Point Inn and back (4 miles) for great nocturnal views of the Bay Area. We will share inspirational stories along the way. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Kids friendly. Easy

Sunday, June 24 @9:30am from Rock Spring parking lot. "Mt Tam Microclimates/adaptive native plants" with docent Robert Freinkel ---Explore a variety of microclimates and magical moments among the many pathways of Mt Tamalpais. Enjoy new knowledge of variety of endemic and adaptive species found on our magic mountain. Regular

Sunday, June 24 @11am from Rock Spring trailhead. "Spirit and Nature" with docent Tina Meinig ---Nature provides many spiritual benefits that can help us in today's frantic world. Discover the mystery of nature...how it can awaken our senses, quiet our minds and open our hearts. Explore the sacredness of MT. Tam as the Miwok Indians did centuries ago and as the animals do today. Easy

Evening Hike! Wednesday, June 27 @6pm from Mt Home parking lot. "Redwoods" with docent Sue Karp ---We'll journey into Muir Woods. We'll explore the root system of the Redwoods. We'll take a meditative walk Regular

Saturday, June 30 @9:30am from the Quarry Parking Lot.  "Mt Tam Plant Communities" with docent Brendan Hickey ---So much diversity in such a compact footprint! We'll pay witness to some of Mt. Tam's bounty as we move from grassland to chapparal to Coastal Redwood to oak stands. Bring your walking shoes, as we hope to cover a fair stretch of terrain. Quiet north side, lotsa shade. Moderate