Northern California Science Writers Association


Upcoming events

    • Friday, October 04, 2019
    • 10:00 AM
    • Sunday, October 06, 2019
    • 4:00 PM
    • Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve

    Come tent camping with NCSWA at Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve in Big Sur over a long October weekend. One of 41 sites in the UC Natural Reserve System, the Big Creek extends from a private beach up to the ridgeline of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Its lands include the southernmost population of coast redwoods, two adjacent state marine reserves, nesting California condors, and spawning steelhead. Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve isn’t typically open to the public. This is your chance to wander miles of scenic, well-maintained trails in scenic Big Sur without having to contend with tourists. The early October weather should be ideal, with no fog and comfortable daytime temperatures.

    We’re booked to stay at rustic Highlands Camp, a hillside site with running water, a pit toilet, and a storage shed for food. This is car camping at its best, with no noisy neighbors and only dark night skies for miles around. Pack your tent, your cushiest sleeping mattress, and layers to stay warm at night. To store and prepare food, bring a cooler and a Coleman or other camp stove. (Sorry, no campfires allowed at this time of year.) A high-clearance vehicle isn’t necessary, but will be easier to drive along the unpaved roads.

    Activities: hiking, beachcombing, birding, swimming (for the brave and neoprene-insulated). Hang out, walk, cook, and play board games in this relaxing environment while getting to know your fellow NCSWAns better. 

    Consider bringing a hat, sunscreen, and water sandals to wade in the creek or frolic in the waves along the beach. The water's cold, so a wetsuit is recommended for would-be swimmers. Reserve staff do an excellent job clearing poison oak from the trails, but stay away from vines/bushes with lobed, often reddish leaves in clusters of three (remember: “Leaves of three, let them be!”). Organizer will bring Tecnu, which offers some protection against the skin-irritating oil that makes the leaves shiny.

    Directions to the reserve, maps, and a description of Highlands Camp can be found here:

    • Thursday, October 17, 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Spark Social, Mission Bay, San Francisco

    Move over gut feelings. At least where appetite is concerned, neuroscientist Zachary Knight's lab at UCSF has found that the mouth is where it's at, upending textbook theories of how hunger and thirst work in the brain.

    Come put the new science of hunger and thirst to the test over a wide assortment of noshes and beverages at the popular Spark Social food truck park at Mission Bay, 601 Mission Bay Blvd. near Fourth St. Food options range from pizza to poke bowls, Korean barbecue to empanadas. Beer and Spark's famous sangria can be ordered from the bar.

    We’re trying something new this time: Attendance will be FREE for members, enabling you to use the dividends to purchase the culinary adventure of your choice. 

    Nevertheless, you and your guests must still register so that we know how many people to expect. Click on the register button to the left.



    6:00 p.m. - Gather for dinner and schmoozing.

    7:30 p.m. - Speaker

    Getting there: Check out Spark Social's FAQ page for suggestions on how to get there and where to park.

Past events

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 Catastrophic wildfires and the fate of the West
Saturday, June 15, 2019 Kayaking Big Break Regional Shoreline
Sunday, April 14, 2019 Earth Day: Volunteer to restore Codornices Creek
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 NCSWA Spring Dinner: MEDICAL EXAMS: THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
Saturday, January 19, 2019 Tour of St. George’s Spirits
Monday, December 03, 2018 NCSWA Holiday Dinner: What do ant colonies, the immune system and spam filters have in common?
Saturday, October 06, 2018 Insects and plants at UC Davis
Sunday, August 19, 2018 San Francisco Rocks
Monday, July 16, 2018 The fate of California’s wildlife in a changing climate
Saturday, April 21, 2018 Sutter Buttes hike
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 NCSWA Spring Dinner: Hacking Cells to Create Tomorrow's Medicines
Saturday, March 17, 2018 NCSWA Workshop — Career Planning for Science Writers: How to get from where you are to where you want to be
Sunday, March 04, 2018 NCSWA Field Trip — Oro Loma ecotone slope
Tuesday, December 05, 2017 NCSWA Holiday Dinner: Ancient DNA--A Path Toward De-Extinction?
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Little darlin’ ... There goes the sun: August's total solar eclipse
Saturday, April 29, 2017 NCSWA Workshop: Smartphone Photography
Saturday, April 22, 2017 NCSWA March for Science Meetup
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 When itch becomes a pain: the biology of touch
Saturday, March 04, 2017 Show and Tell: How to build stories with scenes and voice
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 California's redwoods in a changing climate
Sunday, October 30, 2016 Tour of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve
Saturday, October 08, 2016 NCSWA Workshop: Smartphone Photography
Tuesday, October 04, 2016 A Giant Step for Robots
Saturday, August 27, 2016 Walking Tour: Berkeley Rocks!
Thursday, August 04, 2016 The see-through brain
Saturday, April 23, 2016 NCSWA Workshop: Narrative Structure: Choosing the best way to tell your story
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 Open Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 Stiff, Spook, Bonk and More: Science Meets Humor
Saturday, February 27, 2016 Marine Mammal Center & Point Bonita Lighthouse
Saturday, February 20, 2016 NCSWA WORKSHOP: The Art of the Science Essay
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 Pluto’s “Spinning Top” Moons and other Discoveries
Thursday, October 08, 2015 NCSWA Movie Night: The Martian
Thursday, October 01, 2015 Your Aging Cells: The Fast Track to Disease?
Saturday, September 19, 2015 NCSWA Data Scraping and Visualization Workshop
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 How CRISPR gene editing is changing our world
Friday, June 26, 2015 NCSWA weekend at Hastings Reserve, June 26-28
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 Proof: the Science of Booze
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 How scary is Ebola?
Saturday, May 24, 2014 Underground tour of Black Diamond Mines
Thursday, April 03, 2014 Daniela Kaufer - Stress & the Brain
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Holiday dinner: Chasing volcanoes
Thursday, September 26, 2013 NCSWA Night at the Exploratorium
Friday, August 16, 2013 Camping trip to Sagehen reserve in the Sierra Nevada
Friday, May 03, 2013 How to Be a Science Writer
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 Spring Dinner: Hydraulic Fracturing, with Stanford's Mark Zoback
Saturday, January 12, 2013 NCSWA Data Journalism Workshop
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 NCSWA Holiday Dinner: Nerds on Wall Street (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
Thursday, October 11, 2012 NCSWA Fall Event: Cyber Crime (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 NCSWA Movie Night
Friday, August 24, 2012 Overnight trip to North Coast’s Angelo Reserve (FULL)
Saturday, July 14, 2012 Special tour of Buckminster Fuller exhibit (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, May 17, 2012 Spring dinner with Atul Butte
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 Resetting the Aging Clock
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 Intimate Aerials: Photography using Kite-Lofted Cameras
Tuesday, October 04, 2011 GAMING SCIENCE: Video Games and Scientific Research – Who’s in the Lead?
Monday, July 11, 2011 SETI: If We're Not Alone, How Will We Find Out?
Thursday, March 10, 2011 Building the brain in silicon
Saturday, February 26, 2011 Hike the "minor peaks" of San Francisco
Saturday, January 22, 2011 Hike the Pinnacles with a ranger
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Math whiz and Las Vegas card counting veteran Paul Stepahin
Saturday, November 20, 2010 Digital Photography Workshop
Thursday, October 07, 2010 Oil Spills and Microbes: Can Mother Nature Take a Punch?
Saturday, August 21, 2010 NCSWA Point Reyes Kayak Camping
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 David Relman & the Micro World of Endo-Ecology
Thursday, April 01, 2010 Dinner with Stephen Palumbi
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Holiday Dinner with Science Comedian Brian Malow
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 Let’s Get Really Small: A Report on Nanotechnology from Someone Ahead of the Forefront
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 The Hunt for Planets Like Earth
Saturday, April 25, 2009 WORKSHOP: New Directions in Science Writing
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