Islands of the Californias

Fremontia V.45 N.3 •  November 2017

From the editor

Fremontia V45 N3 is printed in English and Spanish.

After a childhood enchanted with island literature, aptly including Island of the Blue Dolphins, it took nearly 20 years to find myself on a real island. While teaching for the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School, I ventured to Santa Cruz Island in 1998 with ten other young, eager naturalists. Marooned for the weekend, we gained our first place-based experiences with island biogeography while hiking and kayaking.

On this adventure we witnessed island endemics including island scrub jay (Aphelocoma insularis) and island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Checking these and other species off our life lists, our appreciation for island time deepened over a sunset staring back at the mainland—our love for biogeography was burgeoning.

Around a campfire under the eucalyptus at Scorpion Canyon we pondered speciation events, biogeographic patterns, and the audacity of invasive species. Falling asleep that evening, I contemplated my study of Lord of the Flies in high school and further understood all the mainland offers an island.

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