Don McDougall's picture

The Mysteries of the Redwoods

Elliott Campbell leads a new scientific team that is studying coast redwoods using state-of-the-art sensors and computer simulations.  Named "The Summen Project," after the Ohlone word for redwood, this study seeks to answer fundamental scientific questions and apply new knowledge to sustainable forest management. At our docent meeting, Elliott will relate how the redwoods research might apply to the Point Lobos Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine. There’s much we don’t know about redwoods.  One of the remaining questions is one of the most basic: how do redwoods photosynthesize while enshrouded in fog?  Photosynthesis requires water, carbon dioxide, and light.  While redwoods have plenty of water, they are limited by how much light can penetrate their tall canopies.  How such a giant still makes its food in the dim understory is still a mystery. 

Elliott is an associate professor in the School of Engineering at UC Merced.  He completed a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa and a postdoctoral fellowship in biology at Stanford.  He received the National Science Foundation Career Award for his research.  His scholarship applies environmental modeling and information technology to understanding global sustainability challenges at the intersection of renewable energy, atmospheric sciences and global ecology. Interesting articles include "Sustainability through local food" and "Sustainability Studies at the Intersection of Energy, Water, and Food Systems."

For our short program, Don McDougall will cover the facinating Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, who observed the complex web of life and man's place in it. He criticized unjust land distribution , monocultures, indigenous work conditions. All powerfully celebrant today. He shares his love of nature, befriended Thomas Jefferson, and shared strategic information about Mexico with Jefferson. He sought to unify diverse branches of scientific knowledge and culture, which motivated a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity.

Administrative's picture

Mission Statements


To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Docent volunteers serve as a visible representative of California State Parks at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve promoting the California State Parks mission.  These four simple words -- preserve, protect, educate and interpret -- sum up the docent experience. 


Our mission is to protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks.

Docent Log-in

Docent led walks

  • Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:00am
    Entrance Station
    Carol Marquart
  • Fri, 05/26/2017 - 11:30am
    Information Station
    Randy May
  • Sat, 05/27/2017 - 10:00am
    Information Station
    Jonathan Briggs


point lobos logo

School Walks

To schedule a school field trip please contact Melissa Gobell, School Coordinator at:  (831) 625-1470

Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteers needed to be interpretive guides for visitors.  Interested?  For training schedule contact:  Melissa Gobell, Docent Coordinator  (831) 625-1470