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Now Reading: Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles
Wild LA Wednesdays Book Club is open to all, join us anytime! We’re meeting every 2 weeks May-September 2020, 7:30-8:45 pm on Zoom for Wild LA group discussions, guest speakers and fun activities. And if you’re in the LA area, we have a limited supply of free books! (details below) Our volunteer book committee (Dorothy, Machiko, Leslie, Melissa, Lupita, Xana & Bryan) plan easy reading assignments for each session, and we have more surprises planned for the coming weeks. Sign up on our Eventbrite to join the Book Club! See details below.
Reading & Book Club Schedule
Session 1: Wednesday, May 6, 7:30-8:30 pm
Wild LA: We’re full of nature!
- In advance, read Intro and Los Angeles is Full of Nature, pages 7-9 and 12-18. (30-45 mins). For Show & Tell, bring one photo of a favorite living organism (plant, animal, whatever!) – you can make it your Zoom background or share your screen. Agenda: We’ll introduce ourselves and the Wild LA Wednesdays Book Club, discuss the first reading section, have Show & Tell, explain book distribution and give you the next reading assignment. Call to action: Sign the petition!
Session 2: Wednesday, May 20, 7:30-8:30 pm.
Prehistoric LA & the Ice Age
- In advance, read La Brea Tar Pits Tell the LA Story, pages 19-28.
Videos: Check out the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum YouTube channel!
- Special guests: Lila Higgins, Wild LA author & Natural History Museum Community Science Senior Manager and Dr. Donald R. Prothero, Mammalian Paleontologist, Geologist and Author will be joining us! We’ll have group discussion of the reading, and our guests will chat with us about their work. Bring your questions!
Session 3: Wednesday, June 3, 7:30-8:45 pm
Science by the People + Insects and Spiders!
- In advance, read Science by the People, pages 72-79, and the first 10 species in Insects & Spiders, pages 106-117. And, get started with iNaturalist! Download the app, create your account, and start documenting LA’s biodiversity by snapping photos & contributing to community science! Can you observe any of the 10 species before we meet?
- For Show & Tell, bring one favorite iNat photo that you’ve uploaded. Make it your Zoom background or share your screen. Remember to document wild organisms (whether native or non-native plants, wildlife, insects, molds, lichen, etc., — no pets or cultivated/planted species even if native)
- Special guest Lila Higgins — Wild LA author, entomology geek & Natural History Museum Community Science Senior Manager — will join us again! We’ll chat about Community Science initiatives at the museum, cool public finds in the recent City Nature Challenge, bodacious bugs, and how we can contribute to research right here in LA!
Session 4: Wednesday, June 17, 7:30-8:45 pm
Water Writes the History of LA + Reptiles & Amphibians
- In advance, read Water Writes the History of LA and Reptiles & Amphibians.
Session 5: Wednesday, July 1, 7:30-8:45 pm
Fire, Past and Future + Plants
- In advance, read Fire, Past and Future and the first 11 species in Plants.
Session 6: Wednesday, July 15, 7:30-8:45 pm
Native Species + Plants
- In advance, read Native Species and the second 11 species in Plants.
Session 7: Wednesday, July 29, 7:30-8:45 pm
Exotic Species + Insects
- In advance, read Exotic Species and the second half of the species in Insects and Spiders.
— Schedule and reading assignments will continue to be updated here —
About the Book
If you’ve been wanting to learn about nature in LA, now’s the time! Wild LA is a fun new book published by community science and biology experts from our very own Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It is easy to read, accessible, and helps us learn that LA is full of nature — we live in a global biodiversity hotspot! — all we have to do is look. It shares relatable stories, has an identification guide and field trips across the County.
Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Lila Higgins & Gregory B. Pauly with Jason G. Goldman & Charles Hood
“Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it’s full of amazing wildlife. You just need to know where to find it! Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA has something for everyone. It looks at the factors that shape local nature—including fire, floods, and climate—and profiles over 100 local species” – Timber Press
“No matter how much one thinks one knows about L.A., this travel companion will shed new light on all that flourishes and flowers, or creeps and crawls in the vast urban-yet-still-wild sprawl of the city …” – Publishers Weekly
Get Started with the Book
- The first reading section is viewable on Google Books preview.
- Free books available: We still have some books available for participants who commit to the book club, courtesy of Altadena Library. After the book club, share the book with a new owner. Attend one of our sessions to get details.
- Wild LA is available digitally for checkout on hoopla (use your library card to log in; if you don’t have an Altadena library card, you can sign up for one!)
- Buy the book & support a local independent bookstore! – Vroman’s | Skylight Books | The Last Bookstore | Bookshop
Thank You Altadena Library
Many thanks to our community partner Altadena Library for the origin of this Wild LA book club idea, and for supplying the amazing free books for our participants! They’ve created activity and discussion packets which we are incorporating with our own ideas as well!