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Blue Dot 215: California's Weird, Wonderful Sea: Mono Lake

Squirrel Tail Barley at Mono Lake's South Tufa Area.
Dennis Flaherty
/
Mono Lake Committee
Squirrel Tail Barley at Mono Lake's South Tufa Area.

Dave takes us on an aural field trip to one of his favorite places, Mono Lake in Eastern California, near Yosemite National Park. The saline lake is home to a fascinating ecosystem based on brine shrimp and alkali flies.

It's also a significant rookery for Califonia gulls who fly from the coast over the Sierra Crest to raise their young.

Predawn color and silhouetted Tufa Towers at Mono Lake, CA.
Dennis Flaherty
Predawn color and silhouetted Tufa Towers at Mono Lake, CA.

Dave talks to two representatives from the Mono Lake Committee based in Lee Vining. Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston discusses the weird and wonderful natural history of the lake, including its famous Tufa towers -- chemical rock structures that look like fairy castles looming over the alkali waters.

Pink twilight at Mono Lake, California.
Dennis Flaherty
Pink twilight at Mono Lake, California.

Then Geoffrey McQuilkin, Executive Director for MLC, shares insights into the historic and ongoing environmental battles to save the lake from water diversions by the city of Los Angeles to encroaching development.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.