2024 Webinars

February 8, Thursday, 4 – 5 pm The Basics of Soil and Renewable Energy


  • Olivia Peters, Soil Health Specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS-USDA), Area 3 (Fresno)

  • Rachel MacDowell, Soil Health Specialist, NRCS, Area 1 (Oroville)

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84355014859?pwd=NkVmOG1aWkU2bnYyLzBkSmZtd3BlUT09


  • Interdisciplinary nature of soil science/inherent and dynamic soil properties

  • Soil mineral composition and nutrient storage

  • Soil types for different land uses

  • Organic matter and carbon cycle/sequestration

  • Soil Classification

  • Climate change and soil health – Review from last year

  • Research articles, case studies, and current events

Study links

February 17, Saturday, 10:30 – 11:30 am Wildlife and Renewable Energy Development in the Desert

Presenter: Jeffrey E. Lovich, PhD, FLS, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, Flagstaff, AZ

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87470193147?pwd=S2RLa2pONWEzUEtUM25hU3d2bnoxUT09


Dr. Lovich will present his research on both wind and solar energy on wildlife with an emphasis on terrestrial non-avian species. He will summarize the state of scientific knowledge of the effects (positive, neutral, and negative) of renewable energy development on wildlife with attention on the desert tortoise ecology in an operating wind farm. Potential effects of solar and wind energy development include, but are not limited to, direct mortality: destruction and modification of habitat, including impacts of roads, habitat fragmentation, and barriers to gene flow.

Study links:









March 4, 4:00 – 5:15 pm (Double Webinars)
Bringing Back The Beaver: Partnering with Beavers for Restoration Success
Presenter: Garrett Costello, Restoration Specialist, Symbiotic Restoration
Despite our complicated early relationship with beavers, they are now revered for engineering wetland habitats that help fight climate change and preserve biodiversity. Dive into the restoration practices that aim to bring back the beaver.
Study links
Watersheds 101
Presenter: Marcos Perez, Management Analyst, US Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service
Students will learn how the watershed concept is used to manage water resources. The first step is delineating a watershed using a topographic map. Automated web-based tools are also helpful for delineating watersheds. The science behind water resources is called hydrology. Various hydrologic methods are used to calculate water budgets and flow.
Study links
Note: Teachers, in advance of this webinar, please print out the attached Contour Map document for your students to hand draw a watershed.
Contour Map

March 5, Tuesday, 4:00 – 5:30 pm Forestry and Renewable Energy


  • Jason Butcher, Wood Products and Bioenergy Program, CAL FIRE

  • Sutton Guldner, Head of Business Development, Arbor Energy

  • Farrah Powell, Senior Program Manager, Arbor Energy

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84021149070?pwd=cysvbzhMMjV4RnpEV2RaekExWDlDdz09


Students will learn about forest management considerations for renewable energy production, the economics of forest-based renewable energy, technology used to create forest-based renewable energy, funding mechanisms for implementing forest-based renewable energy, and education pathways for students interested in this topic.

Study links (note: more may be added)

March 13, Wednesday 4-5pm California Offshore Wind Energy

Synopsis: Offshore wind is an important part of the solution to meet California’s clean energy goals, but has potential negative impacts on the marine environment, especially to our incredible bird life. This presentation will briefly describe the offshore wind turbine technology planned for California, the California Coastal Commission’s regulatory authority, the bird life found in the planned wind energy areas, and how to mitigate the worst impacts to birds. We’ll look at real case studies in other parts of the world as well as modeled risk assessments to better plan for seabird-safer offshore wind in California. 

Presenters’ official titles:

Holly Wyer – California Coastal Commission – Senior Environmental Scientist
Whitney Grover – Golden Gate Bird Alliance – Deputy Director

Study Links:

Please review the follow study materials prior to the webinar

Additional optional study links for further reading:

Please visit California Envirothon’s YouTube Channel