Cooperation and Coevolution in California’s Oak Woodlands

Sunday Feb 08 2015   3:00 PM
Mendocino County Museum  400 E. Commerical St., Willits, CA  map

Kate Marianchild, author of Secrets of the Oak Woodlands, will give an illustrated lecture that will look at life in the oak woodlands through the lens of cooperation and mutualism rather than the more conventional competition model. Marianchild will begin her slideshow with stories and facts about California ground squirrels, acorn woodpeckers, coyotes, badgers, and lace lichen. She’ll then discuss two of most widespread symbioses on earth, telling a story that begins 1.3 billion years ago with fungi and primitive plants and continues to the present day in ways that humans are just beginning to understand. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Free and open to the public; for more information visit

Kate MarianchildWhen Kate Marianchild migrated to the oak woodlands of inland Mendocino County in 2001, she promptly fell in love with an ecosystem. After writing for Audubon and other nature-oriented nonprofits for several years, she began the research that led to the writing of this book. Marianchild studied Chinese language and literature at UC Berkeley and New Asia College in Hong Kong, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Berkeley with a degree in comparative literature. Following years of grassroots political activism, she moved to Mendocino County in 1980 and supported herself as a carpenter while founding and running Rising Tide Sea Vegetables, a company that is still thriving today under new ownership. For the past thirteen years she has lived in a cozy twenty-five-foot-diameter yurt with no indoor plumbing except a sink and a two-gallon hot water heater. In addition to watching wildlife, leading nature walks, and giving slide presentations, Marianchild sings with two community choirs, kayaks, swims, and participates in the events of her beloved community. (Kate Marianchild was known as Kathy Roberts before she changed her name to honor her deceased mother.)