A Watercolor Love Letter to California's Wilderness

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Obi Kaufmann fills his field atlas with watercolor paintings of California's natural features, flora, and fauna. (Paul Collins)

Wildlands, Wikipedia and wildfire reports. Catch up on the week's news.

1. How this author got "lost in a swoon for California"

Author Obi Kaufmann's new book is "The California Field Atlas."
Author Obi Kaufmann's new book is "The California Field Atlas." (Paul Collins)

One of the reasons I moved to California was because of the landscapes. I remember the first time I hiked in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. I could not believe the amount of natural beauty around me: towering redwoods, emerald green ferns and the breathtaking vistas of coastal California.

That’s why this piece reported by The California Report’s Sasha Khokha really spoke to me. We are transported to the East Bay’s Mount Diablo as Khokha hikes with Author Obi Kaufmann to find out the story behind his book of unconventional watercolor maps.

2. Our favorite online encyclopedia is gender biased

Editors hard at work at the first annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon hosted by Stanford's Bowes Art and Architecture Library in 2017.
Editors hard at work at the first annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon hosted by Stanford's Bowes Art and Architecture Library in 2017. (Courtesy of Gabrielle Karampelas)

Is information found on Wikipedia filtered through a male lens?

The answer is yes, with a capital "Y"… or rather make that an all-caps, bold-faced YES! According to the Wikimedia Foundation, less than a quarter of its editors are female. Luckily, there’s a group of Bay Area women working to change that. KQED’s Rachael Myrow dropped in on a “Edit-a-thon” with the group Art + Feminism.

3. A review of Sonoma County's response to last October's deadly wildfires is out

Flames consume a home in Glen Ellen as out-of-control wildfires move through the area on Oct. 9, 2017.
Flames consume a home in Glen Ellen as out-of-control wildfires move through the area on Oct. 9, 2017. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

We’ve heard countless stories from survivors of last fall’s devastating wildfires in the North Bay on the confusion over emergency alerts or, in some cases, the complete absence of any alerts at all. Well, now a new state report on Sonoma County’s emergency and evacuation procedures finds what many had already expected: County emergency staff were uncoordinated and ill-prepared to deal with a huge wildfire.

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Find more of KQED’s coverage of the North Bay Wildfires here.