Welcome to Virtual Mind Walks! In March of 2020, COVID-19 restrictions forced us to cancel our lineup of annual Mind Walks lectures. Holding in-person lectures in a crowded room was no longer a safe option. Fortunately, we live in a time when technology allows us to meet virtually and join in the discussion without leaving our homes.
Since then, California State Parks, in collaboration with the Central Coast State Parks Association, have brought a new type of learning right to your living room: Virtual Mind Walks. These free, online presentations feature a variety of subject matter from experts covering topics aimed at stretching the mind of the avid lifelong learner.
This lecture series offers twice monthly educational opportunities devoted to recreational, natural, and cultural history topics as they relate to the Central Coast. The Mind Walks Program is underwritten by the Thomas E. and Mary Kathryn Eltzroth fund and supported by the Central Coast State Parks Association.
See below for upcoming lectures and for links to past recordings.
October 15, 2021
Central Coast Native American Overview with SLO Coast District Archaeologist Chad Jackson
An overview of Northern Chumash and Salinan Cultures on the Central Coast. Tribal histories, Archaeology, ethnohistoric accounts, and anthropological research will be summarized.
November 5, 2021
Searching for Fossils – Paleontological Sites of San Luis Obispo County with Naturalist Steve Schubert
Take a virtual field trip locally, traveling eastward along Highway 58 in San Luis Obispo County. The route follows a geological transect spanning tens of millions of years, a ‘slice in time’. Reconstruct ancient shorelines of an inland sea and subsequent mountain uplift of the granitic and sedimentary rock formations along fault zones within the present day Coast Ranges. Examine shell fossils embedded in ancient marine sandstones and shale outcrops along the field trip route, and evidence of the Ice Age mega-fauna that roamed this area long ago.
November 19, 2021
Whaling History in San Luis Obispo County with State Park Historian II Amy Hart
Description and Sign-Up Link Coming Soon
December 3, 2021
A Walk Through the Seasons with the Plants and Flowers in the Elfin Forest with Vicky Johnsen, Elfin Forest Docent
Join Vicky Johnsen for a virtual tour along the boardwalk that focuses on a year of “visual treats”: month-by-month.
December 17, 2021
Sharing Space with Sea Otters: A Case Study of Coexistence in a Crowded World with Sea Otter Savvy founder Gena Bentall
Sea Otter Savvy founder and director Gena Bentall tells the story of the return of sea otters to a human-occupied California coast and the challenges of balancing the needs of wildlife and people in a changing world. Rescheduled from September 17th.
STAY TUNED FOR THE 2022 SCHEDULE!