UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center to host ‘Science Speaks’ presentation series at Sunnyside

Submitted to the Tribune

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – The Tahoe Environmental Research Center of the University of California, Davis, will launch a “Science Speaks” presentation series on October 26 at Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge. This long-running monthly lecture series will provide the public with information on a variety of environmental topics including weather, wildfires, water quality, and more.

“Like every ecosystem, the Tahoe Basin is a changing landscape, and unfortunately, over the last five decades, increased human development has had a significant impact on the environment in this region,” said TERC Education Programs Manager Alison Toy. “This presentation series will equip the public with the knowledge needed to protect our beautiful Lake Tahoe.”

The presentations will be held once a month at Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge at 6 p.m. Attendees will receive an insider look at emerging science paired with engaging discussions and firsthand encounters from experts in various fields. Tickets can be purchased at All proceeds benefit TERC science education programs.

“We are proud to partner with TERC on this new educational initiative,” said Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge General Manager Derrick Morales. “As a longstanding member of the Tahoe community, we understand the importance of preserving this natural jewel. Thank you to UC Davis and TERC for helping us to better understand our impact on the environment and teaching us how we should care for it.”

The “Science Speaks” presentation schedule for the remainder of 2023 is listed below.

Thursday, October 26

Wildfire Impacts on Lakes

Speaker: Steve Sadro, UC Davis TERC Associate Professor 

Extreme wildfires now occur with increasing regularity in western North America and other parts of the world.  Lakes and ponds are affected by reduced light and ash inputs from wildfires which impacts the growth of plants and algae in aquatic ecosystems. This, in turn determines how much food becomes available for other organisms, such as fish, and can affect water quality. Steve Sadro seeks solutions to environmental problems and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems.

Thursday, November 9

Winter Predictions

Speaker: Chris Smallcomb, Meteorologist for the NOAA National Weather Service

Join Chris Smallcomb from the Reno office of NOAA National Weather Service for a look at the latest projections for this coming winter. He will also look back at the wild winter of 2023 and dive into what we witnessed both weather- and climate-wise.

Thursday December 7

Washoe Story-telling and Watching Science Catch-up

Speakers: Herman and Helen Fillmore

Join siblings Herman and Helen Fillmore, members of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada, as they share the legend of Washoe trickster brothers Puwecili and Damalali and the Tahoe Basin. Herman is the director of the Cultural and Language Resources Department for the Washoe Tribe. Helen has her master’s degree in hydrology and is one of the chemists at TERC.

Together they discuss how this story aligns with the natural history of the Tahoe Basin (spoiler: it involves a tsunami), and its implications on Washoe resilience, current day land management perspectives, and the underrated role of human experiences in scientific endeavors.

For information on future presentations and other TERC events, visit

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