proJECT spaceWalks
A series of Exploratory Writing Walks in the Marin Headlands

Inspired by the interactive environment of the Headlands Center for the Arts Project Space, these writing walks extend out into the Headlands landscape. Walks are led by guides who have an intimate knowledge of the Marin Headlands, or in areas of inquiry they bring to bear on the landscape. The walks are free and open to the public. All are welcome. For further information, write to geninelentine (at) earthlink (dot) net.

Sunday, April 26th!

Brian Fisher, Curator of Entomology, California Academy of Sciences
Sunday, April 26, 2:00 – 4:00

Dr. Fisher has published research on ants since 1986. His specialty within entomology is the diversity and evolution of ants. He has published over 70 peer reviewed articles in scholarly journals and books and discovered over 800 new species of ants. He has recently published Ants of North America with Stefan Cover. His principal research is in Madagascar where he has recently opened the Madagascar Biodiversity Center. He is currently Associate Curator of Entomology at the California Academy of Sciences and adjunct professor of biology at both the University of California at Berkeley and at San Francisco State University. He has appeared in a number of BBC, Discover Channel, and National Geographic films and has been profiled in Newsweek and Discover magazine. Dr. Fisher received his PhD in Entomology from UCDavis in 1997 and then held a Postdoctoral fellowship at the South African Museum, Cape Town.

Kaylah Sterling, L. Ac., Acupuncturist
Sunday, March 15, Noon – 2:00 Cancelled for weather~ We will try to reschedule this walk

Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that the patterns found in nature reveal patterns of human health/harmony as well as human dis-ease/disharmony. Come take a walk and look at the patterns of water, sand/earth, wood/trees, metals, and fire and see how these relate to your body, your psyche, your health, your pain, and ultimately, your growth.

Kaylah Sterling is an Acupuncturist specializing in Mental Health, Palliative Care, and Internal Medicine. Since 2004, she has served as Director of Integrative Medicine Jewish Home for the Aged. She is also Professor of Chinese Medicine at the American College of Traditional Medicine, where she has taught since 1995, and where she served as Clinic Dean from 1995-2004.

Past Walks:

Paul Haller, Co-Abbot, San Francisco Zen Center
Friday, March 20, 2:00 – 4:00

thoughtless, careless and useless–
potentially startling or delightful–
altogether reckless and disordering
with seeing, hearing, smelling, touching as a guide

From Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paul Haller left home in 1971, lived in London for a year, then traveled throughout Europe, the middle east, Russia, and Afghanistan, finding his way to Japan where he lived for a year and was introduced to Zen. He then traveled throughout Southeast Asia and was ordained a Buddhist monk in Thailand, where he spent six months sitting in a remote cave. In 1974, he moved to Tassajara Zen Mountain Center was ordained as a priest in 1980. Founder and formerly Director of Outreach at SFZC, Paul is interested in finding ways of expressing Buddhist practice in society, both as compassionate service and making it available to as many people as possible. He became abbot of Zen Center in 2003.

Ian Mynatt, Geologist

Sunday, March 22, 2:00

The excellent exposure and accessibility of the Marin Headlands make it both a well-studied and often visited site for geologists. The Headlands, like much of coastal California, are the result of the currently active tectonic margin of the Bay Area. This activity has resulted in a fascinating amalgamation of rocks and geologic structures, of which many examples may be seen at Rodeo Cove on Rodeo Beach. Our hike will take us to multiple outcrops which contain clues about both the history of Earth generally, and the unique geologic circumstances that created the immediate landscape in which we live.

Dr. Ian Mynatt is a graduate of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University and has been teaching geology professionally and just for fun for the past four years.

Dave Kavanaugh, Senior Curator, Department of Entomology, California Academy of Sciences
Wednesday, March 25, 2:00 – 4:00

We’ll take a leisurely walk down toward Rodeo Beach, looking for whatever insects we find along the way–all very temperature and wind-dependent! Once we’re at the beach, we’ll look for insects there, particularly under driftwood and any accumulations of seaweed on the beach, etc. This is a very exciting interface: the land meeting the sea. The only place on earth that insects haven’t really exploited–dominated–is the sea, and yet, here we find products from the sea cast up on the land and being used by insects. If the tide’s low enough, we might even look for intertidal insects; there are a few.

Dr. Kavanaugh became Assistant Curator of Entomology at the California Academy of Sciences in 1972, and since 1988 has held the position of Senior Curator. In addition, he is an adjunct Professor at Sonoma State University and at UC Berkeley, as well as Research Professor at San Francisco State University. His research interests include: systematics, biogeography, evolution, and natural history of carabid beetles (Coleoptera Carabidae); biogeography, ecology, and evolution of high-altitude, montane organisms and fauna. His current principal projects include a Biodiversity inventory of the Gaoligongshan, western Yunnan Province, China.

Florence Caplow, Field Botanist
Tuesday, March 31, 2:00 – 4:00

What is the relationship between seeing and naming? Between naming and intimacy? On this walk at the height of wildflower season, we will explore the intersection between the world of plants and our world of language. Please bring a magnifying glass and any wildflower guides if you have them.

Florence Caplow is a botanist, writer, and Soto Zen priest. Every spring and summer she can be found in the western mountains and deserts in search of rare plants. The rest of the year she\’s practicing meditation and writing essays about spirituality and the natural world.

Ben Metcalf, Full Moon Hiker, and Anton Willis, Civil Twilight Collective
Wednesday, April 8th, 7:00 – 9:00
Ever gone for a hike under the full moon (and left your flashlight at home)? The brilliant light of the full moon paired with the Headlands’ open landscape makes for an easy nighttime hike. We’ll hike for about a half-hour each way with a break in the middle for reflection and a short presentation on work currently underway to better utilize available moonlight — rather than to overwhelm it — in order to save energy and mitigate light pollution.

Ben Metcalf has led over 100 full moon hikes in different locations throughout the bay area and across the country. Civil Twilight is a Design Collective working to implement lunar-sensitive streetlights. These streetlights sense and respond to ambient moonlight, dimming and brightening in accordance with the moon phase. Their work received the 2007 Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition.


Healy Hamilton, Director of Biodiversity Research, California Academy of Sciences
Friday, April 10, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Setting out into the Marin Headlands, a landscape especially beloved to me, we will inquire into biological diversity, integrating art, science, and nature. Through observation, discussion, reflection, and readings, we will focus on biodiversity, the different levels of which it is composed, how much we are a part of and dependent upon biodiversity, and how we might cultivate deeper recognition of this relationship.

Dr. HEALY HAMILTON is a biodiversity scientist at the California Academy of Sciences, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography at San Francisco State University. She is the founding director of the Center for Biodiversity Research, a program that integrates biological and geospatial data for biodiversity research, conservation and education. The Center’s focus is on the developing field of Conservation Biogeography, which investigates geographic patterns of biodiversity in the past, present, and future for science-based conservation planning. Current research projects are aimed at developing methods for projecting species range shifts induced by climate change for the design and implementation of large landscape wildland networks, which represent the cornerstone of efforts to support biodiversity adaptation to climate change. Another set of projects in the Hamilton lab apply comparative DNA sequence analysis to questions about the evolution and conservation of certain groups of aquatic organisms, including river dolphins, seahorses, pipefish, and octopuses.

Dr. Hamilton received her masters degree from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. For both degrees she conducted extensive field research in Latin America, and she continues expedition research today across a range of marine environments. Dr. Hamilton is a former U.S. Fulbright Fellow and a Switzer Foundation Environmental Leadership Grantee.

Elizabeth Bradfield, Poet and Naturalist
Monday, April 13, 2:00 – 4:00

Think of it as an onion: Layered and pungent. History (uses and stories of the Headlands), biology (mostly birds, always with one eye turned to the sea), and the vast. This walk is a naturalist\’s foray, which means we\’ll stop, listen, look (bring binoculars if you have them). And of course we\’ll write.

Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2008) and the founder of Broadsided ( Her poems are forthcoming in The Believer and Orion and her second collection, Approaching Ice, will be published in late 2009. Currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, when not writing, she works as a naturalist in Alaska and beyond. More at


Inspired by the interactive environment of the Headlands Center for the Arts Project Space, these writing walks extend out into the Headlands landscape. Walks are led by guides who have an intimate knowledge of the Marin Headlands, or in areas of inquiry they bring to bear on the landscape. The walks are free and open to the public. All are welcome. For further information, write to geninelentine (at) earthlink (dot) net.

Shaun O’Dell, Artist
Monday, April 20, 2:00 – 4:00

We will set out into the Headlands landscape, our walk punctuated by readings from research favorites at certain sites around the Headlands that may have very literal references. For example, puritans come west and say earth and people of it are evil, so richard slotkin and regeneration through violence, moby dick, daniel boone at the missile silo with no shining city coyotes hunted for money rise in population run across white house lawn disenchantment, mechanization, broken social relations collapse romance revolution and american french falcon matings, eye of horus downtown pyramid site line, miwok ohlone stories and the monterey pine tree upside down 100 feet long on the mission blue butterfly mountain fault line lavender sedimentation of the mind john mcphee heron throat of gopher gunnery range washout and secret oscillation guests in the tunnel.

Shaun O’Dell makes drawings, videos, music and sometimes sculpture. His work explores the intertwining realities of the human and natural orders. O’Dell has exhibited his work at many venues, including Susan Inglett Gallery in New York, the Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Whitebox in New York, and the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. His work is held in the permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA, M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum. O’Dell received his MFA from Stanford. He is the recipient of the 2006 Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship from the San Francisco Art Institute, 2005 Artadia Award, 2004 SECA Award from SFMOMA and a 2002 Fleishhacker Foundation Award. He is currently teaching at UC Berkeley and CCA and is the co-organizer of The New New Masses, a lecture series on Art and Politics.

Paul demonstrates his contiguity with the coastal bluffs

Paul demonstrates his contiguity with the coastal bluffs

Where are these people going?

Where are these people going?

seeing for two

seeing for two

Jim, Daria, Paul, and the Earth practice walking

Jim, Daria, Paul, and the Earth practice walking

Thank you to Susan from Whole Foods!

Thank you to Susan from Whole Foods!

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