Ask a Scientist Queries Douglas Long About San Francisco’s Ice Age

guest post by mikl-em

Douglas Long and friend

On Tuesday February 3rd, at Axis Cafe in San Francisco, Dr. Douglas Long holds forth on the Bay Area’s ultimate cold front…

Set your time machine back to the most recent ice age, 10-20,000 years ago, and you’ll find yourself in a San Francisco you would scarcely recognize. You might think you’d been transported to the African plains, a grassy landscape teeming with mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, camels, llamas, and lions. Our familiar local geography would be unrecognizable as well. While much ocean water was locked away in ice masses to the north, lower sea levels exposed miles of land off of our current coastline, and the Bay Area had no bay — in its place was a vast, lush valley with a massive river running through it. Join us on a trip backwards in time with the Oakland Museum’s Douglas Long at the helm.

The lecture series Ask A Scientist has been around since 2003, covering subjects ranging from “Life on Mars” to “101 Things You Can Do with a Corpse” and featuring expert speakers drawn from the likes of SETI and Sony Research and Development. A full list of past speakers is here (including the time Doug spoke on “Killer Animals: Fears, Facts, Statistics and Reality”).

The night will feature Dr. Long speaking, a showing of KQED‘s production Ice Age Bay Area, and the opportunity to (as the name says) interrogate the good Dr. Long.

Doctor Long used to be in the 'Collections' business

Seen above is a shot of Doug at his old gig, at the California Academy of Sciences as Collection Manager. That’s what he was doing in 2001, when he appeared in Laughing Squid’s Tentacle Sessions lecture series.

Nowadays Dr. Douglas Long can be found on the other side of the Bay as Chief Curator for the Department of Natural Sciences at Oakland Museum of California.

At the Galapagos Marathon finish line

photos via California Academy of Sciences


Actor, nerd, poet, producer, writer mikl-em made his name short so you wouldn't have to. In addition to his blog you can find his writing in "Hi Fructose" magazine and witness him almost life-sized in various plays at The Dark Room Theater in SF's Mission district.

He tends to write about theater, humor, San Francisco culture and history, and stuff that's just plain weird. He thanks Scott for sharing the keys to the Laughing Squid virtual HQ and promises to uphold whatever it is that the mirthful cephalopod would prefer to be uplifted.