Lighthouse Lecture Series

A big Lighthouse Thank You to Kitty Wolfe for putting together the last several years of fantastic Lecture Series presenters and for stepping up again in 2022 now that we can resume this popular program!  We have a schedule of lectures for the remainder of 2022, and as always the Lecture Series will be presented on the 3rd Saturday of the month in the Fog Signal Building Museum.  Summer lectures begin at 5 p.m., lectures the remainder of the year begin at 4 p.m.  Admission is $5 per person.

2022 Lighthouse Lecture Series

Saturday, August 20 at 5 p.m. – Mark Hancock on 5 7 Years on the Light Station – PRESENTED
Saturday, September 17 at 4 p.m. – Katy Tahja on An Eclectic History of Mendocino County – CANCELLED
Saturday, October 15 at 4 p.m. – Sara Bogard on Beyond Safe Havens 
November 19 at 4 p.m.  – Scott Sewell on Point Arena and the Mendocino Coast: How to See and Shoot the Coastal Landscape
Saturday, December 17 – Scott and Tree Mercer on HOW DO WE DO IT. WHY DO WE DO IT: Our Whale Monitoring Program from the Point Arena Lighthouse Peninsula

Saturday, October 15 at 4 p.m.

Sara Bogard – Beyond Safe Havens

Sara Bogard’s presentation of  “Beyond Safe Havens” is a visual journey and accounting of the inhabitants, both resident and migratory, from her 2018-2022 surveys of the Point Arena Lighthouse and Stornetta Public Lands.

Sara is an ocean conservationist and citizen scientist. She shares her observations and photography with the community at large. As a volunteer, she collects data for the organizations she works with and is on call to assess and/or rescue marine mammals. Along with many volunteers on the coast, her goal is to support other marine conservation organizations to promote health and sustainability of pinniped populations in Northern California. She aspires to increase public awareness of the effects of human and current environmental factors which affect these populations and other marine life.

Her volunteer work spans across several organizations including:

The California Central Regional Harbor Seal Monitoring and Inventory Program coordinated with Point Reyes National Seashore

The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary – Beach Watch Program

The Marine Mammal Center: Assessment, Rescue, Education, Public Relations

The Point Arena Lighthouse/Stornetta Public Lands: Weekly surveys

The Sea Ranch: Harbor Seal Docent during pupping season

She  also reports and photographs her sightings of live and/or dead marine mammals to other organizations which monitor marine mammals along the California coast such as the California Academy of Sciences, NOYO Center ’s Stranding Network, Golden Gate Cetacean Research, California Killer Whale Project and the Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study.

Saturday, November 19 at 4 p.m.

Scott Sewell – Point Arena and the Mendocino Coast:  How to See and Shoot the Coastal Landscape

Winter’s Afterlight

Scott is an enthusiastic and talented photographer whose love of the land is woven throughout his work.  He will be sharing his approach to shooting the coastal landscape:

Introduction: a fantastic and unique landscape

Shooting conditions and tools: the weather, sun, tides, waves and apps to gauge them

Where to shoot, how to get there and what to expect

Your Eye: the keys to good landscape photography

The Finished Product: how to improve your shots after you’ve taken them

Scott Sewell is a photographer in love with the Pacific Coast, the High Sierra and Black and White photography. He is a fourth generation Californian whose grandfather was a forest ranger in the Central Sierra during the Great Depression. His mother, who grew up there, introduced him and his siblings to the natural beauty of the California mountains and coastline through years of family vacation travels. He has been hiking, riding and shooting both as an amateur and a professional for most of his life. His work is on sale at Point Arena Lighthouse and on the web at

Garcia River runs to the Sea

Misty Afternoon


Saturday, December 17 at 4 p.m.

Scott & Tree Mercer – HOW DO WE DO IT. WHY DO WE DO IT: Our Whale Monitoring Program from the Point Arena Lighthouse Peninsula

Scott and Tree Mercer are familiar landmarks on the Lighthouse peninsula outside the Light Station gates from around September through May each year.  In 2014 they founded the Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study to document the occurrence, diversity, and behavior of marine mammals along the coast from Northern Sonoma County to Southern Mendocino County.  They present their data and findings at many local and international conferences. In 2021, the Mercers were featured in an extensive article in the Los Angeles Times about the Unusual Mortality Event of gray whales.  In 2022 they were included in a documentary film about gray whale research created by the UC Berkeley Department of Graduate Journalism. In this presentation Scott and Tree will discuss their motivation and process for observing, documenting and reporting on the variety of marine mammals that inhabit, frequent or migrate past the Mendocino coast.

Scott began studying marine mammals in 1974 in Monterey Bay with an extended study of the feeding ecology of sea otters.  After relocating to his native New England, in 1978 Scott founded New England Whale Watch, Inc. as an opportunity to offer first hand ocean life education to the public, and for him to collect data on the whales being observed.  Scott was recently interviewed, for his role as a pioneer in Atlantic Coast whale watching,  by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of a history of the whale watching industry in New England.  Hi is also cofounder of the Brier Island Ocean Study, a research station in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He has led offshore and overnight excursions to the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf,  in the Caribbean, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada. In 1982 Scott coauthored The Great Whale Book, for 14 years he taught a marine mammal class for the University of New Hampshire’s Continuing Education, as well as science classes for the Southern Maine Community College.

Tree has a Masters Degree in Science Education, and taught Biology, Life Science, and Physics in Long Island, New York for 38 years, as well as coaching three varsity level sports for as many years. Tree coordinates and organizes the data she and Scott collect. She designs their power point lectures for in-person and ZOOM lectures, as well as their research presentations at conferences.