Upcoming Meetings

NOTE:  In Person Meetings will be specified in the Specific Meeting Announcement. 

Our monthly Austin Sierra Club meetings will be online via Zoom from 7-8:30pm. You will need to go to the Austin Sierra Club Outings Meet Up page and click attend in order the get the sign in information. Link to the Austin Sierra Cub Outings Meetup.  

We'll start off with Announcements on current events. 

Zoom Link:
FREE & open to the public.


Monthly Meeting of the Austin Regional Sierra Club

Zoom Link:     FREE & open to the public

Join like-minded friends and neighbors at the

Monthly Meeting of the Austin Regional Sierra Club

Zoom Link:

FREE & open to the public

Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Monthly Meeting of the Austin Regional Sierra Club

Zoom Link: FREE & open to the public



Championing Coral Reefs

with Science Writer Juli Berwald

Author of Spineless and Life on the Rocks

Monthly Meeting of the Austin Regional Sierra Club

Zoom Link:     FREE & open to the public

Coral reefs are a microcosm of our planet: diverse, interconnected, full of wonders, and threatened by our actions on land. Owing to their profound symbiosis with algae, coral are also responsible for the world’s largest green-powered construction project. Berwald’s most recent book, Life on the Rocks, is an inspiring ode to the reefs and the undaunted scientists working to save them against almost impossible odds, intertwined with her own daughter’s struggle with mental illness. She explores fighting battles with uncertain outcomes and the beauty of small victories.

Science writer Juli Berwald is a lifelong student of the ocean, obsessed with jellyfish, passionate about coral. She received her PhD in ocean science from The University of Southern California. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Texas Monthly, The New York Times and more. She is the author of many science textbooks, Spineless - a science-memoir about jellyfish, and her latest book - Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs. She lives in Austin with her husband and two children.

Find many of her articles and talks at

Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs (2022). Finalist, LA Times Book Award.

Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone (2018).


Consider watching, before or following Juli’s presentation … The film “Chasing Coral, streaming on Netflix. Between 2014 and 2017, a team of divers, photographers and scientists documented the most severe bleaching event in recorded history. During those years, 75% of corals suffered or died from heat stress brought on by climate change. It is predicted that if nothing changes, by 2034 there will be severe bleaching events every year and by 2050, 90% of reefs could be lost. Juli will update us on the current status of the world’s reefs.

Previous Meetings

Inspiring Conservation Through Birding

with Travis Audubon’s Executive Director

Nicole Netherton

     Birds tell us a lot about habitat health and environmental change. But in what ways are they showing us our environmental future? What human-caused threats do they face, and how can we help improve their—and our—odds of survival? Join Nicole Netherton, Executive Director of Travis Audubon on September 13 to discuss these connections between humans and birds in Central Texas and all along the central flyway. We'll discuss the magic (and perils) of migration, the importance of pollinator-friendly plants, and simple things you can do to both learn about and protect bird species in our area.

     Nicole Netherton is the Executive Director of Travis Audubon, an independent chapter of the National Audubon Society. Founded in 1952, Travis Audubon is the oldest conservation organization in Austin. Nicole has been ED since 2018, but has been a member of TAS since she moved back to Austin in 2009.  She always noticed birds as a child, but got really interested in birds and birding while living in New York City in the early 2000s.  Her favorite bird is the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher or Carolina Wren, depending on the day. A Native Houstonian, she was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and had a long career in marketing for a book publisher before moving to the nonprofit world in 2016. Nicole is also a Capital Area Master Naturalist and member of the Central Texas Mycological Society.



Assuring a Clean Energy Future in Austin and Texas:

The Austin Energy Rate Case, the Public Utility Commission

Sunset Process, and You


Cyrus Reed, Ph.D. 

Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club

     Cyrus Reed will cover two big topics that will impact the future of Texas and Austin. First, Austin Energy has proposed significant changes in their rates and rate design that could undermine efforts to build a clean energy future in Austin, and close the Fayette Power Plant. Fortunately, no decisions will be made until later this year, and we can make a difference. 

Second, following the catastrophic winter storm Uri, and the failure of the ERCOT grid, the Legislature has tasked the Public Utility Commission with making changes to our energy market, while also putting the PUCT, ERCOT and the Office of Public Utility Counsel through sunset, meaning a unique opportunity to influence what our electric future will look like in Texas. Two big chances to get involved in your future!


Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Lone Star Sierra Club 

     Cyrus has served as Conservation Director for the state chapter for the last 15 years. He has a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on water policy and the dispute over the Rio Grande water with Mexico. Reed serves on several committee at ERCOT, is the state chapter’s main lobbyist during legislative sessions, and also serves on the City of Austin’s Electric Utility Commission. 

     Prior to becoming conservation director, he served as Sierra Club's lobbyist on energy and air quality issues during the 2005 and 2007 legislative sessions, and directed the Texas Center for Policy Studies, an environmental policy and advocacy organization based in Austin, for five years. He is presently working on energy issues and their impacts. Cyrus has also worked as a journalist and has spent considerable time in Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Reed also has been a Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader as well as a volunteer soccer coach. He is married with three children, only one of whom is still at home.



Please consider biking, carpooling, or taking Cap Metro via Route 30 ( ) to the event. Drivers may need coins or credit card for parking meters.

Previous Meetings

The Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership:

19 years of Change along the Colorado River

with Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. 

Center for Environmental Research @ Hornsby Bend 

 This presentation will look at past and present efforts to foster the goals of the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership and look towards the future as Teslandia and other development expands along the Colorado River corridor.   

     In February 2003, the Austin Water Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend hosted a meeting to discuss the future of the Colorado River corridor downstream of Austin along the 90-miles of the Colorado River from Longhorn Dam to Smithville in light of the announcement that eastern Travis County was the “Desired Development Zone” for the growth of Austin. That meeting was the start of the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership, which is not a non-profit organization, but rather an informal partnership of governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, landowners, and concerned citizens committed to advancing a shared vision for the river corridor. 

     For 19 years the ABRCP has worked to foster a common commitment to seeking positive, cooperative opportunities to promote a healthy river corridor ecosystem and to enhance public awareness of the Colorado River as a unique natural, recreational, and economic resource for the Austin-Bastrop County area. The first meeting began a planning process that would include multiple public workshops, monthly meetings, river trips, and eventually lead to the “vision plan” laid out in the 2007 report Discovering the Colorado: A Vision for the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor. This report defined the mission of the Partnership to be supporting sustainable development and a healthy riparian ecosystem along the Austin to Bastrop River Corridor through collaborative efforts and the four goals of the Partnership: 

  • Public Awareness: To raise community awareness about issues affecting the future of the river corridor over the next twenty years of rapid development.
  • Sustainability: To promote economic and recreational use of the river corridor that supports long-term ecological health and social equity.
  • Riparian Management: To promote actions that conserve and maintain a healthy riparian system along the Austin-Bastrop Colorado River Corridor.
  • Riparian Restoration: To assist with restoration of riparian habitats along the river corridor. 


     Over 19 years, these goals have all been advanced by the work of partners and citizens through public land acquisition, access park development, river monitoring trips, bi-monthly meetings, regulatory changes, land use plans, and more. At the same time, the explosive growth along the river corridor is occurring both at the Austin end with Tesla’s Gigafactory and housing developments and at the Bastrop end with film production studios and…more housing developments. 


     Dr. Kevin M. Anderson has been the manager of the Austin Water Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend since 2000. His environmental career began on a Pennsylvania farm, and it has since ranged from running an organic farm in Potomac, Maryland to helping start a river conservation foundation in Northeastern Hungary as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He received his Master’s degree in Philosophy from Ohio University. He was beginning his Ph.D. dissertation in Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin in 1995 when he met some UT geographers who encouraged him to switch programs; he completed his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation entitled: Marginal Nature: Urban Wastelands and the Geography of Nature. His research interests include urban ecology, rivers and riparian ecology, urban waste recycling, sustainable agriculture, environmental history and, 

still, philosophy.




Discovering the Colorado report online here -




Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership on Facebook - 


Join like-minded friends and neighbors at the

Monthly Meeting of the Austin Regional Sierra Club

Zoom Link:

FREE & open to the public


























Previous Meetings

January 11th, 2022: Rewilding Zilker Park. Robin Rather, Elizabeth McGreevy

Click Here to view their excellent Power Point Presentation "Rewilding Zilker Park". 

Click Here to view the Zilker Neighborhood Association archieve of Community Meetings regarding Zilker Park


Feb. 9, 2021. Tiny Transit: You Shouldn't Have to Own a Car.  

Susan Engelking, Executive Director, Institute for Community MicroMobility.

   Cars are expensive, dangerous, and they're killing our planet. There is an alternative: Tiny Transit. A few cities are proving that people will use small electric vehicles in droves if they can be made safe. The key is a protected network for low cost, low speed modes like little electric cars, scooters, pedicabs, along with improving safety for active modes. Learn how Austin can develop an infrastructure valued at >$1 Billion, cut >500,000 metric tons of CO2 by 2027, and improve health and equity — for a fraction of the cost of major transportation projects. Let's really "build back better." 

   Susan Engelking is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Community MicroMobility, a nonprofit promoting low speed, low cost, low emission mobility alternatives to conventional-size vehicles. She is the author of Tiny Transit: Cut Carbon Emissions In Your City and the forthcoming Resilience: The New Livability Playbook for Mayors. She was project manager or senior editor for three long range economic development plans for Austin. She organized a panel selected for SXSW 2020: Six Ways Micromobility Revolutionizes Design.

   Susan was named Austin Communicator of the Year, served three terms as president of the Austin Children’s Museum and was instrumental in its evolution to become the Thinkery. She was treasurer for Nan McRaven's four winning campaigns for ACC Trustee. Susan holds an MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.                                                                                               


If you have not used Zoom before to join online meetings, it's recommended to get a free account at . It's a good idea to test your phone or PC prior to the event. Turning on your microphone and camera (to be heard and seen during the meeting) is entirely optional. The URL to click on and join the meeting will be displayed after you RSVP. 



The Austin Regional Group now meets on the SECOND Tuesday of every month (except holidays) .

  • All Meetings are now on Zoom. 

These Meetings will also be posted on the Austin Sierra Club Meetup Events Calendar.



January 12, 2021 

The Austin Sierra Club presentation by Sandra Kwak is now available on the Austin Sierra Club Youtube channel at It is titled: " Sandra Kwak Talks about her climate work: 10Power, Climate Restoration, and Extinction Rebellion."

September 8, 2020.  Electric Vehicle & Battery Reuse & Recycling. A ZOOM meeting with Environmental Engineer Maria Kelleher of Toronto

View a Video of the presentation. 

Types of batteries, their uses, and how they are recycled will be addressed before Maria focuses on batteries from electric vehicles, outlining cutting edge efforts addressing EV battery recycling and reuse options.

   Electric vehicle sales are expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. EV batteries are all lithium based, and significant effort is being expended by governments, private companies, universities and research institutes to develop better battery chemistries and find ways to reuse and recycle EV batteries through energy storage and other applications.

   Maria Kelleher, an Irish-Canadian environmental engineer who specializes in waste management and energy research projects, graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from University College, Cork, Ireland; a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1982; and a Diploma in Environmental Health from McMaster University in 2000.

   Kelleher Environmental serves a wide variety of clients including industry associations and not-for-profit corporations, law practices and consulting companies, government and non-government organizations.

June 9, 2020. Carol Whitaker, Ethical Choices in Modern Agriculture. Via ZOOM

Do you worry about climate change and what’s happening to our natural world? Ever wondered how food, food production and our food choices impact our planet? Have you watched COWSPIRACY or WHAT THE HEALTH documentaries (on Netflix)? Curious about which foods are the most planet-friendly? Want to learn more and get your questions answered? Join us for a thought provoking presentation about how our food choices can heal or harm our planet!

- Learn how food production has changed in the last 100 years.

- Explore and compare the environmental impacts of producing different types of food.

- Learn about the latest meat and plant-based food science technologies.

- Learn what the water and carbon footprints of your eating habits are!

- Explore food producing/consuming solutions, and see which ones are the most planet-friendly.

Carol Whitaker has an MBA from the University of Dallas, an MS in Management Information Systems from NOVA Southeastern University and was an IT Program Management Professional for 34 years. Her love of the natural world, years of community service to help environmental causes, and her personal health struggles (and subsequent transformation) led her to uncover the connection between human health and the environment. She has since earned her Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell and works with the non-profit Educated Choices Program, helping others understand how what they put on their plates really matters.

Feb. 11, 2020. Project Connect – Public Transportation Update from Randy Clarke, President and CEO of Capital Metro, the public transit provider for Austin. Jackie Nirenberg, Community Involvement, and Robert Borowski, Sustainability Officer, will also be present.

   A modern transit system is a vital part of the solution to ease traffic and give us more options to get where we're going. Project Connect, Capital Metro’s plan to expand transit options, will offer Central Texans more choices, linking people, neighborhoods and employers. Our entire region will be better connected! The Project Connect Vision includes:

•    Transitways that move Orange Line and Blue Line vehicles out of traffic

•    Better bus service with more MetroRapid & MetroExpress options

•    Expanded and improved commuter rail

•    A zero-emissions fleet

•    New transit hubs that better connect residents to regional activity center

•    100+ stations with real-time tracking

•    Greater frequency of service and the capacity to carry more passengers

 Prior to his current role, Randy Clarke held key leadership positions in public transportation in both Boston and Washington, D.C. He earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine. Under Randy’s leadership at Capital Metro, transit ridership has been on the rise following the 2018 redesign of its bus network, along with multimillion dollar investments to the system and a renewed focus on improving customer experience. Randy enjoys traveling and competitive running with his wife, who he met while riding a train.

January 14th, Climate Change film by Bruce Melton

 Climate Change Across America - Inglorious Events (44 minutes)
A film by Bruce Melton, the band Climate Change, and the Climate Change Now Initiative

A pre-release screening. Nominated for award at Austin Indie Film Festival 2019. From South Texas to the North Slope of Alaska, climate change impacts are far more extreme and extensive than publicly understood, mired in misinformation and the perceived debate, and practically hidden in remote and difficult to reach areas.

   In 16,000 miles of filming, we witness vast and unprecedented changes in nature that include: aggressive beach erosion on South Padre Island, ecological collapse in Big Bend National Park, saguaro impacts in Southern Arizona, native beetle-caused forest collapse from Texas to northern Alaska, including Yosemite and Jasper National Parks, the increasingly unprecedented fires in California with the Tubbs and Camp Fires in Santa Rosa and Paradise, unburnable sequoias killed by fire in Sequoia National Monument, glacier retreat in British Columbia and Alaska, impacts in Denali National Park, pandemic leaf miner attack in northwestern Canada and Alaska, and profound permafrost melt in Canada and Alaska that is releasing so many greenhouse gases that the entire state of Alaska has flipped from a carbon sink to a carbon source emitting more carbon than it absorbs.  

   This film introduces a new right brain climate change adventure narrative outreach strategy that uses music from a little band in Austin to carry the message, because traditional left brain analytical learning strategies have not worked out so well for the last 30 years. 

 Bruce Melton is a civil engineer, environmental researcher, filmmaker, climate science outreach specialist, and author. He is the director of the Climate Change Now Initiative, founded in 2005 - the oldest independent climate science education organization in the world. His career as a professional engineer has focused on critical environmental issues related to land development. His primary research was in nonpoint source stormwater pollution treatment.

   Bruce served on the Austin Group ExCom from 2010 to 2018, and the Lone Star Chapter ExCom 2013 to present. For the last nine months he has participated, with a small team of climate experts and the national Sierra Club Deputy Executive Director, in creating a new climate change policy suite, now in leadership review. You can see his climate science reviews, music and films at

November 12, 2019. Austin 2030 with Chris Riley. Inclusive, green, and car-lite: Some aspirations for Austin.  View Chris Riley's Presentation

 With the planet heating up, and discussions on the Land Development Code heating up too, it’s a good time to think carefully about the path we’re on as a city. Chris will offer some thoughts and data on how we’re doing at working toward some goals that many of us share.   

   Chris Riley served on the Austin City Council from 2009 until 2015. He has since earned a master’s degree in Urban Placemaking & Management from Pratt Institute. Chris currently serves as president of the board of Bike Austin, and also serves on the boards of a number of other non-profits, including the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, Austin B-Cycle, and the local chapter of Congress for the New Urbanism. He’s also working on developing a small multifamily infill project in Downtown Austin.

   Previously, while working as an attorney, Chris co-founded the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association and served as its president for five years. He also served on numerous city boards and commissions, and chaired both the Planning Commission and the Downtown Commission.

Oct. 8, 2019. Jay Banner: Planet Texas 2050. UT has a new multi-departmental effort focused on climate change for Central Texas. Jay will be introducing this program, plus whatever else he might find worthwhile. This is part of an explicit effort by Austin-SC to strengthen our climate science ties with academia

August 14, 2018. Equity & Environmental Justice Issues. 

We Need It All – A Path to a Healthy Planet with Bob Hendricks, co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Austin and State Climate Change Committees, member of the Executive Committee of the Austin Sierra Club, a Group Leader and Congressional Liaison for Citizens Climate Lobby, a member of 350 Austin’s steering Committee from its formation in 2016 until February, 2018, and an organizer for ATXEJ.
Using Paul Hawken’s Drawdown and James Hansen’s latest climate models, Bob Hendricks will provide perspective on what actions we can and should take to not only reverse our catastrophic increase in greenhouse gases but to restore a healthy climate with CO2 levels of 350 ppm or below. He will also review the Sierra Club’s new plans and current activities to fight climate change with justice and fairness, both the national plans and the work of Austin’s Climate Change Committee. Whether you have only a few minutes a week or several hours a week to contribute to this threat, perhaps the greatest ever facing mankind, he will show you how you can effectively contribute.

Bob Hendricks gave an excellent and encouraging presentation on climate change at our last general meeting at Scholtz'. We can do something about climate change but the solutions today are different than they have been in the past. We still need to stay on our current path, but because of delay we must add new strategies. Motivation is the key. You can do your part by sharing this presentation and even better, posting about it. Social media has the capacity to make a very large difference. Talking about this simple pollution, and understanding that climate change is just climate pollution, and then connecting these thoughts to our challenges and successes with pollution in the past will allow us to think more deeply about the challenges and solutions. This deeper thought has the capacity to overcome the guilt and fear that mark climate change so profoundly. And thanks to Al Braden for putting this together!
Presentation Link:

February 10, 2015. "Zero Net Water: A sustainable water development concept for the Texas Hill Country -- and beyond" with David Venhuizen, a professional engineer and licensed irrigator who has been practicing in the water resources field for over three decades. David has championed – and practiced – innovative strategies aimed at enhancing the sustainability of our water resources. These include rainwater harvesting as a broad scale, development-wide water supply strategy and the “decentralized concept” of wastewater management. David asserts that a fundamental transformation of our water resources infrastructure model is required for us to attain a more sustainable future.

September 9, 2014. More Rain, Less Water: The Climate Change Enhanced Drought in Central Texas with Bruce Melton.

Join us for a new drought presentation about National Weather Service and Lower Colorado River Authority data that flies in the face of the logic of our old climate. This photographic tour of the Highland Lakes watershed in Central and West Texas describes how in the last five years we have had 30 to 60 percent more rain than the worst five years of the drought of record in the 1950s, but with only half the water flowing into our reservoirs. A little bit of warming creates a lot of evaporation. Scientists call this a non-linear relationship. It’s like a population explosion. It starts out slowly but builds rapidly as the population builds. The heaviest one percent of rainfall is also happening 16 times more frequently in our region. But still, because of drying, inflows into the Highland Lakes are only half of what they were during the worst five years of Texas' drought of record in the 1950s. In combination, these things are creating a climate change surprise where drought can be perpetuated even as an area sees increasing rainfall.

Help Mother Earth... Ride the Bus!

Been intending to take the bus, but you can't remember the schedule?

No longer a good excuse. The nearest bus, #20, runs along Red River, two blocks away.

A bike lane runs up Trinity.

FOLLOW THIS LINK to get the most current 

Capitol Metro Bus Schedule

Take your bike on the bus! Most busses have bike racks on the front for your bike.