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Previous General Meetings

To give you an idea of what types of presentations we have at the BASK general meetings, here are some of our previous speakers and their topics:

Date Speaker Title Description
Jul 25, 2018 Ben Botkin Bay Water Trail The Water Trail encourages people in non-motorized boats to safely enjoy the scenic, cultural, and ecological richness of SF Bay. Water Trail planner Ben Botkin provided an update on recent progress of the Water Trail, including grant-funded improvements, new facilities, maps, and website.
Jun 27, 2018 Mike Carlson USCG Vessel Traffic Service: Intro to Central San Francisco Bay Traffic and How to be Safe Mike Carlson retired from the US Coast Guard in 2010 after 24 years of military service. He served at several units, including one fast attack submarine, three Coast Guard cutters, and one Counter Terrorism Unit. Mike is currently a Vessel Traffic Management Specialist at VTS San Francisco.
May 30, 2018 Sarah Lummis Eelgrass Ecosystems: Natural History and the Impacts of Climate Change and Coastal Activities Eelgrass, the dominant seagrass species along our coasts, forms thick beds in areas with soft sandy bottoms and provides ecosystem services such as water filtration and sediment stabilization. A marine ecologist from UC Santa Cruz, Sarah described three eelgrass ecosystem projects, including one using monitoring drones.
Apr 25, 2018 Max Tarjan of the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) Thirty-five Years of Waterbird Conservation in the San Francisco Bay The San Francisco Bay Area provides important habitat for nesting and migratory birds despite having lost an estimated 90% of historic tidal marsh habitat to development. Since 1981, SFBBO has worked with Bay Area citizens to study and protect the area’s remaining waterbirds and their habitats.
Mar 28, 2018 Mike Higgins Haida Gwaii Last summer, four hearty BASK members (Cris Lewis, Ken Sund, John Somers, Mike Higgins) braved the Pacific Northwest to paddle the cold waters around Haida Gwaii. Mike spoke about how hard it was to get there, the amazing people they met, and the beautiful paddling they did.
Feb 21, 2018 Dick Ryon Sardinia: A Land and Sea Adventure Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Over the last 5,500 years, occupiers included Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Catalonians, and today, Italians. Along with Dick, Mike Edwards, Helene Baribault, Matt Denecour, Frank Zhang, and Debbie Hathaway comprised the first paddling group to make the crossing between Sardinia and Corsica.
Jan 31, 2018 Lyrinda Snyderman Paddling the Upper Missouri River Lyrinda and pals traveled the historic route of Lewis and Clark for 149 miles in Montana’s Missouri River Breaks National Monument. They encountered bighorn sheep and heard beavers gnawing at night. Great intrusive volcanic dikes punctuated the dramatically eroded white limestone cliffs.
Oct 25, 2017 Katharine Arrow & Steve Kasierski East Fort Baker Project Our speakers discussed the National Park’s plans for the marina/boatshop area and waterfront at Horseshoe Cove. Using historic waterfront photos, they showed how Fort Baker evolved into a military “working waterfront” and transitioned into the park era.
Sep 27, 2017 Melissa DeMarie, Kelly Henry, & Laura Zulliger Barriers to Entry: A Closer Look at Women in Paddlesports Fifty percent of the population is female. Is half of your paddling crew? Melissa DeMarie, Kelly Henry, and Laura Zulliger shared stories from their diverse paddling backgrounds and discussed their common effort to introduce more women to kayaking.
Aug 30, 2017 Joshua Ladau Paddling in Paradise: Sea Kayak Adventures to Remote Tropical Pacific and Caribbean Islands BASK member Joshua Ladau described his low-budget, guided and unguided adventures in five lesser-known tropical destinations: the Guna Yala (Panama), Sian Ka’an (Mexico), Exumas (Bahamas), Tetepare (Solomon Islands), and East Rennell (Solomon Islands), providing valuable information to others who might want to visit.
Jul 26, 2017 Kelly Henry & Laura Zulliger The Dao of Paddling in Taiwan Local sea kayak instructors Kelly Henry and Laura Zulliger spent an unforgettable six weeks teaching and paddling in Taiwan, then packed up their boats and explored over 200 miles of the remote and majestic eastern coastline, encountering welcoming locals and the ever-present Taiwanese Coast Guard.
Jun 28, 2017 Don Brubaker, Manager US Fish & Wildlife San Pablo Bay NWR Management and Restoration of the San Pablo Bay and Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuges Did you know over a quarter of all the estuarine habitat that existed in SF and San Pablo Bays occurred off the top of San Pablo Bay? San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge is undergoing restoration efforts to revert land back to estuarine habitat. Imagine kayaking there 125 years ago!
May 31, 2017 Lyrinda Snyderman & Ken Kelton Exciting Tales of Kayaking Exploits Frolicking with the sea lions at Año Neuvo…and why you shouldn’t do that. Ken recounted his encounter with a great white shark and the media feeding frenzy that followed. Lyrinda told of her encounter with feeding humpbacks, which she caught on video, and her experience of going viral.
Apr 26, 2017 Peter Brastow & Peter Summerville Ecology, Biodiversity, and Stewardship of Yerba Buena Island Our presenters described the natural environment of Yerba Buena Island and the City’s efforts to manage the island for local biodiversity. They discussed their efforts to develop a long-term ecological stewardship program and how that interfaces with the redevelopment of Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands.
Mar 29, 2017 Mark Manes Piloting in San Francisco Bay Mark Manes has piloted over 900 ships of all sizes and shapes including oil tankers, bulkers, naval vessels, cruise ships, container ships, yachts, and car ships. He introduced BASK to the challenges to piloting in San Francisco Bay, and some of the hazards that we can avoid as recreational boaters.
Feb 22, 2017 Kim Grandfield Sea Kayaking the Grand Canyon In April 2016, a group of mostly Bay Area kayakers joined Kim Grandfield for a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, paddling the rapids and exploring the landscape on many day hikes. In his film “Sea Kayaking the Grand Canyon,” Kim shared that adventure.
Jan 25, 2017 Adam Ratner Behind The Bark: Saving Seals and Sea Lions in California With 40 years of experience, the Marine Mammal Center has been able to give over 22,000 marine mammals a second chance at life with the support of the community and over 1,200 trained volunteers who conduct rescues, feedings, basic medical procedures, and education work.
Nov 9, 2016 Richard Lang & Judith Selby Lang One Plastic Beach Since 1999, Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been visiting Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, gathering plastic debris washing out of the ocean. By carefully “curating” the bits of plastic, they fashion it into works of art that show, with minimal artifice, the material as it is.
Oct 12, 2016 Ben Botkin San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail – Explore the Bay Area’s Largest Open Space The SF Bay Area Water Trail is a growing network of designated launching/landing sites around SF Bay. Water Trail Planner Ben Botkin explained how BASK members can get involved and help to further shape the future of water access on the Bay.
Aug 31, 2016 Bill Keener Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales of San Francisco Bay Golden Gate Cetacean Research biologist Bill Keener presented results of the latest research on the porpoises, dolphins, and whales of SF Bay. We learned about changes to the local ecosystem that played a role in bringing back porpoises to the Bay, and what this may mean for our coast.
Jul 27, 2016 Erin Blackwood Environmental Research in San Francisco Bay and Beyond Scientists and students at SFSU’s Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies have studied SF Bay and marine environments around the world since 1978. Erin shared current research on habitat restoration, harmful algal blooms, and the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification in coastal environments.
Jun 29, 2016 John Bourgeois Restoring the Wild Heart of the South Bay SF Bay has lost an estimated 85% of its historic wetlands. When complete, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project will restore 15,100 acres of former industrial salt ponds to a rich mosaic of tidal wetlands and other habitats, improve flood protection, and provide additional recreation opportunities.
May 25, 2016 Patrick Tierney Exploring and Protecting the Last One: The Free Flowing and Wild Yampa River We explored the wild side with Patrick Tierney, a veteran river rafting guide and former national park ranger. We learned why the Yampa river corridor is considered one of the richest in native flora and fauna, geology and history, as well as a scenic and fun rafting trip.
Apr 20, 2016 Barbara Kossy Birds, Kayak, Climate: Every bird has a story. BASKer Barbara Kossy is an active member of Sequoia Audubon Society and contributor to the annual bird counts, birding Princeton Harbor by kayak. She filled us in on what those birds are up to, where they’ve been, where they’re going, and how they might deal with climate change.
Mar 30, 2016 Lyrinda Snyderman, with Larry Moss & Nathan Moody Kayaking the Lower Colorado Lyrinda regaled us with LoCo tales of high winds and “tides,” caves, emerald waters, rainbow-colored hot springs, and hanging gardens. Nathan and Larry were lured up and down the LoCo by Hank Ni’s promise that every destination was “just around the corner…”
Feb 24, 2016 Keith Miller The State of the Kayaking Industry Keith Miller, founding BASK member and California Canoe & Kayak Jefe, discussed trends and usage patterns in our sport, suggestions on promoting safe introduction to kayaking, how “sea kayaking” is being re-defined, continuing trends of industry consolidation, and geographic challenges of being a west-coast business.
Jan 27, 2016 John Boeschen The Truth Abt Thursday Nites in Pictures John Boeschen recounted tales from 15 years of Thursday night paddles, paddling regardless of weather (gale, what gale?) Paddle, Photograph, and Report—the holy trinity of the Thursday Night Paddle. We heard the unvarnished truth about the Thursday night paddles as only John could tell it.
Oct 28, 2015 Will Travis Meeting the Challenge of Rising Sea Level As an expert on sea level rise adaptation, Will described the impacts that climate change will have on the Bay Area. He discussed what is being done to reduce these impacts and how climate change adaptation is being incorporated into the Bay region’s planning for economic prosperity.
Sep 30, 2015 Sejal Choksi-Chugh of SF Baykeeper Baykeeper Protects the Bay (and Kayakers!) from Pollution Sejal spoke about Baykeeper’s vision to make SF Bay the cleanest urban estuary on the west coast and highlighted Baykeeper’s science, advocacy, and litigation victories. She described ways that kayakers can help make the Bay safe and healthy for both recreation and wildlife.
Aug 26, 2015 Peter Donohue Whale Watching Peter, who has been whale watching from his kayak for over 10 years and has seen hundreds of whales, shared strategies for viewing grays and humpbacks in our local waters.
Jul 29, 2015 Mike Higgins R2AK—The Race to Alaska BASK's own Czar of the Left Coast returned to a hero's welcome fresh from an epic 750-mile race through the Inland Passage from Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK.
Jun 24, 2015 Entrepreneurial Kayakers Gear Swap With some eager to acquire that perfect kayaking accessory and others hoping to whittle down their inventory, BASKers engaged in a lively evening of bartering at the Aeolian Yacht Club.
May 27, 2015 Tom Colton Adventures on the Coast of Vancouver Island Over two summers, five BASKers explored remote islands, reassembled a sea otter skeleton, located a native burial cave, got lost in the fog, and saved a small plane from disaster.
Apr 29, 2015 Mark Berger and Winny van Veeren Kayaking Alaska’s Prince William Sound In 2011 Mark and Winny, along with paddlers Cris Lewis and Anne Kang, spent 16 days kayaking in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, with stops at Chenega and Nellie Juan Glaciers.
Mar 25, 2015 Dr. Thomas Nuckton Hypothermia Research Tom's research on immersion hypothermia, including studies of Alcatraz swimmers who swim year-round in San Francisco Bay without wetsuits, has been used to validate Coast Guard immersion survival tables.
Feb 25, 2015 Mai Maheigan Paddling in Sensitive Seabird Sanctuaries Mai works with the Seabird Protection Network to reduce human disturbance of marine wildlife in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and other areas along the California coast. (This was a repeat presentation of her September 2014 talk.)
Jan 28, 2015 Anne Kang Changing Plans in Sitka Anne, along with fellow paddler Cris Lewis, thoroughly planned a five-week kayak excursion in Alaska, then wisely opted to use their Plan B when inclement weather dictated a change.
Oct 29, 2014 Dean Peterson The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Dean serves as a naturalist with Team OCEAN on Monterey Bay, interacting with fellow kayakers and providing an on-water presence to help protect wildlife within the Sanctuary and beyond.
Sep 24, 2014 Mai Maheigan Paddling in Sensitive Seabird Sanctuaries Mai works with the Seabird Protection Network to reduce human disturbance of marine wildlife in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and other areas along the California coast.
Aug 27, 2014 Chris Amy Mothership Kayaking in Alaska Chris—accompanied by his wife Nancy, David Kroll, and Bill Rostenberg—enjoyed the luxury of hot showers, warm dry beds, and meals fresh from the sea aboard the mothership Abyssinia.
Jul 30, 2014 Sharon Fleming, Ron Gestler, Sally Tobin & Johnny Werbe Exploring the Green River and Glen Canyon Four BASK members teamed up for a rewarding 10-day, 120-mile paddle down the beautiful Green River in Utah, followed by a scenic kayak exploration of nearby Glen Canyon.
Jun 25, 2014 Gary Goldfinger Circumnavigation of Isla Ángel de la Guarda Gary, the nephew of BASK member Steve Goldfinger, kayaked around an isolated biological reserve in Baja California's Sea of Cortez, exploring its diverse wildlife and photographing its unique desert scenery.
May 28, 2014 Meg Marriott Wildlife Biology on the Bay As a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge specialist, Meg's duties on San Pablo Bay include ongoing restoration efforts on the Marin Islands, an effort frequently supported by BASK volunteers.
Apr 30, 2014 Bruce Rogers Sea Cave Development Bruce, president of Western Cave Conservancy and a former USGS field geologist, has a wealth of knowledge about sea caves throughout the country, including BASK's favorites on the Mendocino coast.
Mar 26, 2014 Matt Krizan Matt's Backyard Odyssey (part 2) Matt returned to finish sharing his incredible offshore adventure along the entire coast of California—including an exhausting 42-mile crossing in the Channel Islands—and the lessons he learned.
Feb 26, 2014 Matt Krizan Matt's Backyard Odyssey (part 1) Matt secured his place in local kayaking lore with his solo, 36-day journey from Oregon to the Mexican border, starting with a harrowing crash-landing after his rudder failed.
Jan 29, 2014 Barbara Kossy Seeing Sardinia by Kayak Barbara leads kayak trips around Sardinia—melding history, nature, and local culture—and offers suggestions regarding the pros and cons of using a guide versus taking a self-guided trip.
Oct 30, 2013 Lyrinda Snyderman Guerrilla Camping along the Inside Passage Lyrinda paddled with friends for two weeks, camping among the moss-covered trees of Tongass National Forest, where they saw bears, whales, and the Le Conte Glacier as they traveled.
Sep 25, 2013 Dick Ryon Big Sur Trips Dick participated in two kayak adventures along California's Big Sur Coast: one a leisurely rock-gardening paddle from Carmel to Bixby Bridge, the other from Stillwater Cove to Pfeiffer Beach.
Aug 28, 2013 Bill Keener Return of the Harbor Porpoises Bill, with Golden Gate Cetacean Research, has been documenting Harbor Porpoise behavior for years and is excited to witness their reappearance in San Francisco Bay after a decades-long absence.
Jul 31, 2013 Bryant Austin Photographing Whales Bryant has made it his mission to inspire understanding of the ocean's largest creatures through photography, often accompanying them for months in the water to capture incredible, close-up images.
Jun 26, 2013 Joe Petolino & Friends A Trip to Thailand Six BASKers traveled around southern Thailand, shopping for food in colorful outdoor markets, observing spectacular wildlife on land and in the water, and kayaking through amazing caves and lake scenery.
May 29, 2013 David Lindberg Gray Whale Survival Assisted by marine paleobiologist Nick Pyenson, David has undertaken historical research on gray whale diets since the Pleistocene to show how they have survived by adapting to changing food sources.
Apr 24, 2013 Reg Lake Patagonia Ice Field Exploration A legend in the world of kayaking expeditions, Reg shared a three-week journey amidst towering glaciers in the icy fjords of Chile's Patagonia with Outside magazine editor Grayson Schaffer.
Mar 27, 2013 George Wolfe Rock the Boat—Saving America's Wildest River George, a kayaker and satirical writer, organized an expedition down the entire 52 miles of the notorious Los Angeles River and became entangled in a legal controversy of national proportions.
Feb 27, 2013 Various Club Members Inventors Night Always eager to solve kayak-related problems or make things work better, BASKers proudly showed off their DIY drysuit/bootie driers, paddle camera mounts, mesh cockpit covers, and more!
Jan 30, 2013 Sergey Yechikov Kayaking from Sitka to Juneau Inspired by the tales of Jack London, Sergey took his sectional kayak to Sitka and spent 60 days—paddling alone for over 600 miles—experiencing Alaska's wildlife, scenery, and solitude.
Sep 26, 2012 David McGuire Saving Sharks David is the founder of Shark Stewards, an Earth Island Institute project dedicated to saving threatened sharks by creating ocean sanctuaries in addition to establishing the No Shark Fin campaign.
May 30, 2012 Maryly Snow & Barbara Kossy Kayaking Bulgaria and the Black Sea Maryly and Barbara paddled from near the Danube to northern Turkey in the shadows of the Thracians, enjoyed wonderful food and friends, and visited the burial site of a vampire.
Apr 27, 2011 Susan Euing Least Terns of Alameda Island Susan, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, monitors Northern California's largest colony of endangered Least Terns and knows where people can watch them in action from kayaks.
Jan 26, 2011 Kim Grandfield Kenai Kayak Expedition Kim traced the southern coast of Alaska's rugged Kenai Peninsula, from Homer to Seward, on a three-week, 250-mile kayak journey with Dick Lampman, Jerry Leugers, and Dick Ryon.
Sep 29, 2010 Ian Wren San Francisco Baykeeper Ian is a scientist with San Francisco Baykeeper, an organization dedicated to reversing environmental degradation and promoting strategies to protect the water quality of the San Francisco Bay-Delta watershed.
Jul 28, 2010 Jude Stalker Paddling in Sensitive Wetland Areas Jude works with the Marin Audubon Society, showing people ecological characteristics of the Bay's tidal wetlands and pointing out ways kayakers can avoid disturbing sensitive species that call them home.
May 26, 2010 Christopher Richard The Primeval Waterscape of San Francisco Bay The Curator of Aquatic Biology at the Oakland Museum, Christopher studies how San Francisco used—and abused—its many creeks and lakes as it grew into today's modern metropolitan center.
Apr 28, 2010 Dick Ryon Amazing Glacier Bay For six weeks, Dick paddled with Diana Van Konynenburg among humpback whales and ice from calving glaciers, exploring countless bays and inlets while covering 450 miles of gorgeous Alaskan scenery.
Mar 31, 2010 Barbara Kossy Birding from a Kayak Barbara's kayak offers her a unique viewpoint from which to observe a wide variety of seasonal coastal birds before she returns home to research where they go when they leave.