In this presentation Laura Cunningham will discuss what northern California was like before European Contact: giant grizzlies, condors, salmon runs, and herds of elk. But more than that, the processes that shape California, such as climate, flood and fire. These processes are becoming ever more important as Californians grapple with how to live in the ever-changing Golden State. Laura will show what cities were like a thousand years ago in my oil paintings, what prairies, oak woodlands, sea coasts, and the Sierra Nevada were like long ago. Join her for an artistic tour of California’s amazing natural heritage of the past, and what we might expect into the future.
Laura Cunningham is an artist-naturalist and author who spent decades researching and exploring California’s history and prehistory that culminated in her book State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California. Cunningham was trained in paleontology at University of California, Berkeley, and natural science illustration at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her training led to creative projects for natural history museums, a career in the field of wildlife biology working, and currently working as a conservation director at a nonprofit.