By JENNIFER MORRISSEY
The Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation is pleased to introduce OnTopic, a new series of online programs on topics related to Mission Trails. Our inaugural programs will be presented by MTRP volunteers and will impart knowledge that we can use as we explore the park and other natural areas. These online events are free of charge, but registration is required. To register, visit the MTRP homepage at www.mtrp.org.
‘Amazing World of Bats, Nature’s Tiny Fighter Jets’
6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29
Presented by Don Endicott
Bats! Those strange, mysterious creatures of the night. They feature incredible skills of flight and acoustic navigation. Bats contribute to our environment in many ways — catching insects, pollinating wild fruits, and helping reforest disturbed lands. Poorly understood and frequently feared, they are under threat worldwide. Bats need our protection as much as we need them in healthy populations. During this multi-media presentation, Don will demonstrate how we record and identify their ultrasonic echolocation calls used to navigate and find prey in complete darkness.
A retired research engineer and executive in Navy Communications and Network Technologies, Don discovered a second career as a volunteer naturalist. He is a NAI Certified Interpretive Guide, MTRP Trail Guide, and public educator for the San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Humane Society’s Bat Team. Don is co-author of “50 Best Short Hikes San Diego” with the late Jerry Schad.
Getting the Most from iNat
6p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5
Presented by Millie Basden
Learn how to be a more active participant in iNaturalist (iNAT) while improving the quality of your observations and identifications. The goals of this presentation are to encourage more active participation in iNaturalist, increase participation in app projects (Mission Trails Regional Park Biodiversity Project, San Diego Plant Atlas Project, City Nature Challenge) and to improve the quality of identifications on iNaturalist. The presentation will be most suitable for those who have some experience using iNat.
Presenter Millie Basden joined iNaturalist in early 2016 and through her participation (20,000 observations, 15,000 identifications for others, participation in 60 different projects), she has gained significant knowledge of its workings which she would like to share with others. Millie is a volunteer Trail Guide at Mission Trails Regional Park and a Certified California Naturalist.
Birds and Mammals on the Trail at MTRP
6p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19
Presented by Wendy Esterly
Mission Trails Regional Park is home to all kinds of birds and animals and this presentation includes examples that are often seen on the trail. Viewers will learn where and when they were seen, something interesting about them, and the birds’ call or song.
Wendy Esterly is a longtime volunteer at MTRP and an avid photographer whose stunning images of birds and wildlife have been used in publications and exhibits. She is on the training team for the Trail Guides and is the MTRP Nest Box Project’s co-coordinator, monitoring nest boxes during nesting season. Wendy is the author of “Coloring Southern California Birds” by Sunbelt Publications.
— Jennifer Morrissey is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.