This year’s annual pre-conference field trip on October 24 will take us to the other end of the Salinas River to the Elkhorn Slough in Monterey County. The Elkhorn Slough, seven miles inland from Monterey Bay, is the second largest estuary in California, and is known for its biological diversity: more than 550 species of invertebrates, 100 species of fish and 340 species of resident and migratory birds have been identified in the watershed. Escorts knowledgeable about Salinas River issue will accompany the vans from San Luis Obispo and provide information on the trip up. Dr. Grey Hayes and George Merilatt will take our party through the reserve’s nature center, which with award-winning exhibits, critter cams and an introduction of the Unseen Slough, is a hub of activity and hosts programs that promote education, research and conservation in Elkhorn Slough. We will take a walk through the Reserve and tour its education facility, which hosts a model school nature program for children. Participants will have hands-on opportunities to search for invasive crab species and examine plankton and other denizens of the estuary under microscopes in the Reserve’s well-equipped laboratory. Lunch in the conference center is included. This field trip sells out every year, so make your reservations early.