Free Environmental Events at San Francisco Public Library

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers

(415) 557-4282;

February 18, 2011

Free Environmental Events at San Francisco Public Library


The San Francisco Public Library offers free environmental events this spring as part of its Green Stacks initiative to encourage all library users to live a more eco-friendly life. From informative Earth Day programs to provocative science discussions; from an inspiring art quilt exhibit to live falcon visits, the San Francisco Public Library continues to be a source of environmental education and entertainment.

Home Preparedness in Earthquake Country

Thursday, February 24

6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room

Matt Springer, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF, will give a talk and slideshow about precautions that can be taken to lessen the damage from an earthquake at home and work. His presentation includes many photos of preparations in his own home and suggests measures ranging from simple to complex to prepare for the next temblor. Don’t miss this chance to learn what you can do to protect yourself and your home during the next earthquake.


Stairway Walks of San Francisco with Author Adah Bakalinsky

Wednesday, March 2

6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room

Author Adah Bakalinsky, the queen of San Francisco’s majestic and quirky stairways, will appear to delight us all with her updated edition of the classic Stairway Walks in San Francisco. The new and updated 7th edition, charts neighborhood changes, explores public gardens, local markets, and the stories behind the buildings at the top of your favorite street.  Book signing follows the event.

Sponsored by the Stegner Environmental Center. A Green Stacks Program.


Primal Green - Environmental Art Quilts

March 1 - July 30, 2011

Main Library, Fifth Floor

These art quilts, created by members of the group Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists, range from very small to very large and reveal each artist’s unique approach to thinking about the environment.

Related Program: Artist Reception - Sunday, April 17, 1 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room, Lower Level, Main Library

Sponsored by the Stegner Environmental Center. Supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.


Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth - Mark Hertsgaard in Conversation with Healy Hamilton

Wednesday, March 23

6 - 7:30 p.m.

Main Library Koret Auditorium

Healy Hamilton, the director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Informatics at the California Academy of Sciences, talks with freelance science journalist Mark Hertsgaard about his latest book Hot: Living Through The Next 50 Years on Earth. In this conversation you will hear about how climate change is altering weather patterns around the world and how it will impact localized weather related events in unique and unexpected ways. Hertsgaard’s book takes an optimistic look at how we can adapt to the altered state of life that comes with climatic changes. Learn about how plants and animals, including humans, are already beginning to shift in response to the changing world around them.

Reservations: This is a free event held at the San Francisco Public Library – Main, located at 100 Larkin St. Seating is limited. Reserve a space online at the California Academy of Sciences or call 800-794-7576 to ensure your seat today. Book signing to follow.

Co-sponsored by The California Academy of Sciences and the Wallace Stegner Environmental Center.


Primal Green - Environmental Art Quilts - Art Quilters in Conversation: Program and Artist Reception

Sunday, April 17

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room

In connection with Earth Day, this program will discuss the art quilt techniques used to create the quilts on display on the 5th Floor of the Main Library (from March 1, 2011 - July 30, 2011). The program will be followed by an artist reception. Music will be provided by renowned Bay Area jazz musicians, including Wally Schnalle and Jeff Massanari.

Sponsored by the Stegner Environmental Center. Supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.


Falcons in a Changing World

Wednesday, April 20

6 - 7:30 p.m. 

Main Library Koret Auditorium

Glenn R. Stewart of the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group will discuss the peregrine population recovery and falcons in a changing world. Falcons that once nested in remote cliffs are now nesting in cities on man-made structures such as buildings and bridges. In 1970 there were only two known nesting pairs of peregrines in California; today the population has recovered to over 250 known nesting pairs including several in the Bay Area.

Co-sponsored by the Business Science and Technology Center and the Wallace Stegner Environmental Center.


Into the Great Wide Open? The Potential Role of Geoengineering to Combat Climate Change.

Thursday, April 21

6 – 7:30 p.m.

Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room

Climate geoengineering is defined by the National Academy of Sciences as “options that would involve large-scale engineering of our environment in order to combat or counteract the effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry.” These methods include ocean iron fertilization, stratospheric sulfate injection, marine cloud seeding, air capture, and the use of planetary sunshades, all of which have the potential to substantially improve, or reverse, current warming trends. At the same time, all of these schemes could have serious negative ramifications, including adverse regional impacts with momentous implications, such as shutting down monsoons in Southeast Asia, depletion of the ozone layer, and reduction of agricultural production in many regions of the South, including Asia and South America.

This panel discussion will assess the potential benefits of climate geoengineering, as well as the potential negative impacts. The panel will explore how geoengineering research and potential deployment should be governed, including the potential role of international institutions, or alternatives, including voluntary scientific codes of conduct or unilateral deployment. The panel will also discuss ethical issues, including whether geoengineering could create a “moral hazard” problem, i.e. divert attention from reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Panel members include with Wil Burns, Dan Whaley (Planktos), Ken Caldeira (Carnegie Institute, Stanford University).

Sponsored by the Stegner Environmental Center.


The Watchman's Rattle

Friday, April 22 - Earth Day

12 – 1:30 p.m.

Main Library Koret Auditorium

Why does it feel as if our most challenging problems today—worldwide recession, global warming, fast-spreading viruses, water and food shortages, poverty—aren’t getting solved? What if our brain has limits that prevent it from solving such complex problems? If ancient civilizations collapsed because they, too, hit a cognitive limitation, are we headed to a similar collapse? Can it be prevented?

These are the questions Rebecca Costa dares to confront—and offer a solution to—in her intriguing and game-changing book, The Watchman’s Rattle. The author will speak about these issues with a panel of experts. Book signing to follow.

Sponsored by the Stegner Environmental Center. A Green Stacks program.


Carnegie to Contemporary: Building San Francisco Libraries

Wednesday, May 18

6 – 8 p.m.

Main Library Koret Auditorium

From historic to contemporary building practices, San Francisco Public Library has been a leader in serving its communities from the ground up. This panel discussion will discuss the architecture and design of San Francisco Public Library branches including LEED and sustainable design. Panelists include Alice Carey, Owner and Founder of Carey and Company; Gary Hoy, City Architect, Department of Public Works; Charles Higueras, Program Manager at Department of Public Works and former President of the Library Commission; and Karin Payson, Karin Payson Architecture + Design. This panel discussion will be moderated by Peter Wiley, publisher, author and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Board Member.

Related exhibition: Public Library: An American Commons, a photography exhibition by Robert Dawson on view April 9 - June 12, 2011, Jewett Gallery, Lower Level, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.

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