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Published on May 16, 2015
Imagine vernal pools, protected lagoons, grassy hills rich in bunchgrasses and, where the San Francisco Bay is today, ancient bison and mammoths roaming a vast grassland. Through the use of historical ecology, Laura Cunningham will walk us through these forgotten landscapes to uncover secrets about the past, explore what our future will hold, and experience the ever-changing landscape of California.
Combining the skill of an accomplished artist with passion for landscapes and training as a naturalist, Laura has spent more than two decades poring over historical accounts, paleontology findings and archaeological data. Traveling with paintbox in hand, she tracked the remaining vestiges of semi-pristine landscape, seeking clues that revealed the California of past centuries.
Laura Cunningham, an artist and naturalist, studied paleontology and biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked at various field biology jobs for the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other organizations, getting to know such species as the Owens Valley pupfish, the southern California steelhead trout, the Yosemite toad, and the Panamint alligator lizard. Laura’s book, A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California, is available at Amazon and other bookstores.