General Meetings & 2020-2021 Events

When we meet:

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month from October through May, 11:30 am to 1:00PM. These general membership meetings typically feature a speaker or program, as well as light snacks. Our programs are open to members and guests.

Where we meet:

Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, virtual meetings will be held. Members will receive a Zoom invitation with an identification number to attend the meeting.

When life returns to normal, meetings are held at the beautiful  UCSC Arboretum, Horticulture Building II. Detailed  directions can be found on the UCSC Arboretum web site.

We support carbon neutrality:

In support of our own campus and systemwide goals of carbon neutrality by 2025, our Board decided we could do our part by reducing the waste resulting from our own meetings. So, we are asking everyone to bring their own lunch service (plates, silverware, cups, napkin). Let's make a difference!

50th Anniversary Slide Show


    Fall 2020

  • November 4

    Virtual Fall Gathering - Due to the Corona Virus, our first meeting of the school year will be held virtually. Members will receive an invitation to attend a Zoom meeting.

    Speakers:  Chris Johnson Lyons and Stephanie Rios of Watsonville Wetlands Watch.

    Chris Johnson Lyons is a current board member and past president of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.  She is a founder of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch and has served in many important roles for the organization over the intervening years.  Chris is a UCSC alumni and former Executive Director of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County.

     Stephanie RiosStephanie Rios is Education Programs Coordinator for Watsonville Wetlands Watch. Stephanie holds a degree from CSU Monterey Bay in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy. Before joining Watsonville Wetlands Watch in 2016, she worked for the City of Watsonville, and the non-profit Return of the Natives. Having grown up in California's Central Valley, she has enjoyed many outdoor adventures with her family, and loves to share her knowledge with others and encourage them to be more connected to nature.

    Topic:  They will present a brief overview of the organization and of the exciting education programs. They will explain how they are adapting to the constraints of Covid-19.

    Background:  Watsonville Wetlands Watch is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and fostering of appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley, especially involving members of the Watsonville community and the students of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. 

    Watsonville Wetlands Watch advocates for wetland issues, educates elementary, middle, and high school students, restores degraded habitats, preserves what remains whole, and teaches appreciation for the unique beauty and life of the Pajaro Valley wetlands. In cooperation with numerous other agencies, they support studies of and planning for these sites.

    View an edited version of this November 4th Zoom meeting. 


  • Winter 2021

  • January 6

    Virtual Speaker Program - 12 noon with Melani Amaris. Her topic - “Let’s get Motivated to Move - Creating Habits for Positive Change.”

    Members will receive an invitation to attend a Zoom meeting.

    Melanie AmarisMelani Amaris, owner and head coach of Coachmelswimbikerun, will share her passion for movement. She has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Physical Education, 35+ years coaching experience, and the desire to share ideas to get moving. Her presentation will take you on a journey to identify your own why’s and why not’s, while identifying simple habit changes that can help you on your journey.

  • February 3

    Virtual Speaker Program - 12 noon with Terrie M. Williams, Professor of Ocean Sciences, Long Marine Lab, UCSC 

    Title: The Dolphin's Smile: UCSC Marine Mammal science during a fire evacuated, locked down summer.        

    Marine mammal science is challenging in the best of times. This year proved to be a major test for the Marine Mammal Physiology team as fires and COVID-19 threatened to derail science at Long Marine lab.  Despite it all, the team prevailed and, in the process, discovered how diving marine mammals provide clues about reducing the effects of COVID-19 in humans.

    Members will receive an invitation to attend a Zoom meeting.

    Terri M. Williams Terrie M. Williams, PhD, is a comparative ecophysiologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the Director of the Center for Marine Mammal Research and Conservation at UCSC. For the past 30 years her research has investigated the physiology of large mammalian predators. Specifically, Dr. Williams and students are trying to understand “how animals survive” in a world that is constantly changing. By examining the functional relationships between animals and their environment, these researchers hope to understand the ecological significance of a species and the physiological adaptive changes that may be necessary for its survival. Her publication credits include over 100 scientific articles and a recent book, “The Odyssey of KP2” (Penguin Press) detailing her efforts to save the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.

  • March 3

    Virtual Speaker Program - 12 noon with Dr. Douglas Smith, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at CSU Monterey Bay

    Title: Another Dam Talk: A Review of San Clemente Dam Removal and Carmel River Response.

    Dams of all scales have been the traditional answer to water resources problems.  Now dam removal is a growing trend for both environmental and safety reasons.  San Clemente Dam was recently removed from the Carmel River—the largest dam removal in California history. The project was an adventuresome and bold departure from other large dam removal projects in several ways; it now provides a living laboratory for observing the intended and unintended consequences of large-scale dam removal. In this talk we will learn how Dr. Doug Smith and Cal State Monterey Bay students are using the latest drone technology to analyze the post-dam evolution of the Carmel River. 

    Members will receive an invitation to attend a Zoom meeting.

    Doug SmithDoug Smith is a professor in the Cal State Monterey Bay Department of Applied Environmental Science.   He teaches Geology, Geomorphology, and Hydrology in undergraduate and graduate courses. Doug’s recent research projects include using drone photogrammetry and other precise survey technology to quantify annual and catastrophe-driven landscape change. 


  • Spring 2021

  • The InterCampus Exchange Day is a yearly spring event attended by groups similar to the UCSC Women's Club. Participating campuses are UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz. The 2020 at UC Berkeley was canceled due to concerns with Covid-19.

    Watch the video of the March 2019 presentation at UCSC which included a panel discussion:

    "Women Leaders in Higher Education: Moving the Needle," with CP/EVC Marlene Tromp, Provost Elizabeth Abrams, Dean Lori Kletzer and Dean Kathryne Mitchell, and moderated by Chief Campus Counsel Lorena Peñaloza.

  • April 7

    Virtual Speaker Program - 12 noon with Dr. Bruce Lyon, Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz

    Title: Sparrows in the Mist: Complex Winter Social Behavior in a Little Brown Bird

    Bruce Lyon Ornithologists often study breeding birds, and as a result the winter ecology and social behavior of migratory birds is relatively understudied. For the past 18 years my students and I have been studying a population of golden-crowned sparrows that winter in the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum. Each sparrow is given a unique combination of color bands which allows us to identify individual birds in the wild and monitor their behavior and survival. Given that they survive migration and breeding, individual sparrows return winter after winter to the arboretum and flock together with the same individuals as in previous years. We use innovative social network methods to understand the patterns of social organization and have discovered remarkable social complexity in these birds that is similar in some ways to the societies of mammals, including primates. The sparrows also show tremendous variation in the size the black and gold crown patches that we naturalists use to identify this species. Various experiments show that the birds use these crown patches as signals of dominance to determine priority access to food without having to fight The signals are used for interactions between strangers but not friends that are familiar with each other. Sparrows also sing in winter—both females and males—and we are currently investigating the significance of this winter song. Our studies reveal that the winter lives of these modest little brown birds are surprisingly more complex than previously thought.

    Members will receive an invitation to attend a Zoom meeting.

    Bruce Lyon is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He teaches ecology, ornithology, and a behavioral ecology field course. Bruce's research focuses on social behavior and social signals in birds. For the past 18 years he has been studying the winter ecology and social behavior of migratory Golden-crowned Sparrows that winter in the UCSC Arboretum. Other studies include female reproductive strategies in birds, including within species brood parasitism in Wood Ducks near Davis, CA and American Coots in British Columbia. Other projects include studies of Lark Buntings on the Colorado prairies and Black-headed Duck, a duck with the lifestyle of a cuckoo, in the marshes on the pampas of Argentina. Bruce is also a passionate nature photographer.


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