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Local writer/historical ecologist explores Sonoma before the Mission

Lecture by Arthur Dawson hosted in Sonoma Mission Chapel

Glen Ellen’s Arthur Dawson will present a lecture titled “Sonoma Before the Mission,” on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at 7 p.m. in the Sonoma Mission Chapel, 114 East Spain St., Sonoma.

Dawson is a writer and historical ecologist who enjoys exploring and celebrating the landscapes of Sonoma County, sharing a “sense of place” through art and science. As an historical ecologist he has collected oral histories from local elders and contributed field and archival research to local and regional restoration efforts. His unique approach integrates fieldwork, oral histories, and archival research to tell the stories of places and people at every scale, from small parcels to entire watersheds.

He has written two local bestsellers, The Stories Behind Sonoma Valley Place Names and On Foot in Sonoma (with Rebecca Lawton), as well as Creek Wisdom, An Ecological History of Sonoma Valley as Told by Local Elders. His column on Sonoma County place names appears monthly in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

His newest book, Where the World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Stories and Images, is a celebration of the natural history and cultural significance of this iconic landmark.

Currently an independent consultant, Dawson has worked on projects with the Sonoma Ecology Center, the Sonoma Land Trust, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and many other agencies.

The lecture is hosted by Sonoma Petaluma Parks (SPParks). Admission at the door is $10 for the general public, $5 for SPParks members, and free for docents and park staff.