Press ReleasePress Release

City of Laguna Beach
David Shissler, Director of Water Quality

505 Forest Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: (949) 497-0378
Fax: (949) 497-0771


Contact :Environmental Specialist Michael Phillips    949 497-0390

The City of Laguna Beach announces the first of four, free public lectures at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, November 16, 2017, entitled Appreciating Our Coastal Sage Scrub by biologist Richard Halsey of the California Chaparral Institute. The lecture will focus on the beauty and benefits of chaparral and living in a fire-prone environment.

Richard Halsey has given more than 400 presentations and written numerous papers and articles over the past ten years concerning chaparral ecology, how communities can adapt to fire-prone environments, and the importance of nature education. He also works with the San Diego Museum of Natural History and continues to teach natural history throughout the state. The second edition of his book, Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California, was awarded the 2008 Best Nonfiction-Local Interest Book by the San Diego Book Awards Association. He was also trained as a Type II wildland firefighter in order to better understand fire, and appeared on Huell Howser’s California Green PBS television series to discuss chaparral systems.

Halsey earned undergraduate degrees from the University of California in environmental studies and anthropology. During graduate work he received teaching credentials in life, physical and social science and a Master's degree in education. Halsey taught biology for over 30 years in both public and private schools and was honored as Teacher of the Year for San Diego City Schools.

The quarterly lecture series was recently approved by the City Council to focus on environmental issues. Future lecture topics include urban agriculture, youth and technology’s contributions to the future environment, and tide pools and kelp forests as indicators of ocean health.

The lecture will be held in the Community Room at the Laguna Beach Community Center at 380 Third Street. For more information, please contact Environmental Specialist Michael Phillips at (949) 497-0390.