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Discover Nature’s Genius

Discover Nature’s Genius in California
April 3-8, 2017 | Occidental, California

Join us among the giant redwoods and coastal Bay Trees to explore the oak woodlands and intertidal zones of California during Biomimicry 3.8’s upcoming Discovering Nature’s Genius immersion workshop.

When it comes to practicing biomimicryapplying lessons from nature to your challengesimmersing yourself in nature and learning among a community is essential. This five-day exploration with our world-class instructors through these interlinking ecosystems provides a phenomenally diverse and fascinating backdrop to help introduce you to biomimicry, allowing you to discover, unpack, and be inspired by biological intelligence you can bring to your work.

Registration is Closed

Why Attend

The Discover Nature’s Genius Workshop in California will immerse you in the world of biomimicry, introducing you to innovation inspired by nature while you experience and (re)connect with nature in California’s stunning ecosystems during the height of spring.

Who Is It For

This workshop is open to professional- and university-level participants from all backgrounds and levels of experience with biomimicry. No matter your familiarity with the practice, you’ll learn to see the world through a biomimicry lens. The agenda is designed to give non-biologists a front door into the world of biology and show how to apply its lessons. Biologists will find value in the workshop by learning how to make biological intelligence accessible and relevant to a wide range of audiences.

Where Is It

The workshop will be held in and around the 70-acre wildlands preserve of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC), in the heart of Sonoma County, about 90 minutes north of San Francisco. This campus includes native oak and redwood forests, some of the most biodiverse grasslands in the nation, and nearby access to the wild Pacific coast and wine country.

PREVIEW AGENDA
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Discover Nature's Genius in California

What can you expect to experience while you Discover Nature’s Genius in California? Here’s a preview of what each day will include:

Day 1: Meet the group at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. Settle in at the Center and spend the afternoon getting oriented to biological wonders of acorn woodpeckers and gray squirrels in the oaks and meadows bursting with wildflowers, or wander down to the wetland and pond to see red-bellied newts and other organisms thriving there.

Day 2: Begin honing your observation skills of the Californian flora and fauna while diving into the world of biomimicry on OAEC’s 70-acre Preserve. Explore life’s resilience strategies in the mixed oak, fir, and redwood forests while connecting with Life’s Principles, a Biomimicry 3.8 tool that summarizes the rules for how life survives and thrives on Earth, and begin diving into the biomimicry methodology.

Day 3: Deepen your understanding of Life’s Principles on a kayaking tour through Bodega Bay and the intertidal zone. Discover red abalone, blue mussels, and life teeming within the bull kelp. Regroup back at the Center and discuss the experience of abstracting Life’s Principles in the field. After dinner, put on your headlamp and head out to look for bats, owls, and other nocturnal life thriving in the forests, meadows, and ecotones.

Day 4: After an early morning bird walk, assemble into small discovery teams to go deep into understanding the unique adaptations of local organisms in the Old Growth Redwood Forest that captures water from fog. Spend the evening sharing your team’s design ideas inspired by the day’s discoveries.

Day 5: Spend the morning exploring estuarine wildlife, migratory birds, and unique fjord-like views in Estero Americano Preserve. Spend the rest of the day on a continued journey of discovery into your selected organism and share with the group what you’ve learned and what ideas it has inspired. Give thanks to the wisdom found in this Mediterranean biome and celebrate the final evening of the workshop with the group!

Day 6: Experience a full morning of observing nature at OAEC. Discover function and strategies in California poppies, lupine, and oatgrass in the meadows or old man’s beard lichen and flickers in the Douglas fir forest. We’ll close the workshop after lunch for you to head back to the airport… or stay in California to continue traveling–either way, the next biomimicry adventure awaits!

Western skunk cabbage

Western skunk cabbage

The Western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is one unique plant found in wet northern habitats of California. This cabbage regulates temperature using ambient conditions, producing a kind of thermogenesis used to attract pollinators earlier than other species. Its leaves produce calcium oxalate crystals to defend against herbivory. (Photo credit: Flickr, J Brew)

Red-bellied newt

Red-bellied newt

The red-bellied newt (Taricha rivularis), which lives among California’s northern coastal ecosystems, is a wonderful mentor. Not only can it regenerate limbs following injury, red-bellied newts communicate using chemicals. When they are seen and disturbed, these newts pull their heads and tails back to reveal their bright-red undersides. This serves as a warning to potential predators, as red-bellied newts have enough of a neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin, in their skin to easily kill an adult human. (Photo credit: Flickr, John Clare)

Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion

The mountain lion (Puma concolor) is one animal that calls California home. Amazing adaptations we can learn from it include specialized paws with large footpads that silence movement, making it an excellent predator. (Photo credit: Public Domain)

"I've done many workshops in the past, from boardroom practices to management and business coaching, but the Biomimicry Immersion Workshops offered through Biomimicry 3.8 are the best I have ever experienced and worth every cent. The in-depth experiences, the like-minded newly-made network of friends, and the immersion into nature’s wonders make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience... but leaves you wanting even more!"

— Laura Stevens, Sr. Lecturer The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
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