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Sat, Aug 10


Venue TBD

Love, Grief, and Octopuses in the Monterey Bay

In this event we’ll explore the depths of the Monterey Bay Canyon and all that we don't know about our own minds and capacity for learning. With neuroscientist

Love, Grief, and Octopuses in the Monterey Bay
Love, Grief, and Octopuses in the Monterey Bay

Time & Location

Aug 10, 2024, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Venue TBD , Monterey/Santa Cruz

About the event

How do we hold climate grief and our love of beautiful places we call home at the same time? Can psychedelics play a role in a reset for humans on this planet? Are we destroying ecosystems and the creatures that rely on them before we even know that they exist?

In this event we’ll explore the Monterey Bay Canyon, which is as long and deep as the Grand Canyon -- and yet many of the people who live nearby know very little about it due to the depths that have made it impossible for humans to visit it. Robots have been exploring and filming the depths, and they discovered an astonishing “octopus garden” with over 20,000 octopi tending their nests.

We also understand very little about the workings of our own minds.

Neuroscientist Gul Dölen led a team researching the effects of MDMA on octopus and found they respond much as humans do – on this drug, they become unguarded, open and affectionate, which is not normal for octopi. This is part of her research into “critical periods” where our brains have the elasticity to change, such as our young minds that could learn languages and how to walk with ease. “There is a window of time when the mammalian brain is far more susceptible and open to learning from the environment,” says Gül Dölen, M.D., Ph.D., “This window will close at some point, and then, the brain becomes much less open to new learning.”

Luke Pustejovsky will bring these ideas together with a talk about climate grief and the potential of psychedelics to not only cope with it, but also to open ourselves to more love and affection for each other, ourself, and our planet.

Musical by Brian Wood Capobianchi. Brian's career in music spans 20+ years. His work has been featured on national television, on international stages in 15+ countries and at numerous major music festivals throughout the US. He has shared the stage with many inspiring acts such as Thievery Corporation, Michael Franti, The Roots, Femi Kuti, Madame Ghandi, George Clinton, Slick Rick & Soulive. He’s part of the duo, driftr, based in Santa Cruz.

Menu: Monterey Canyon Menu, Based on cookbook Forage. Gather. Feast by Maria Finn

Monterey Canyon starts at Moss Landing Beach and forks its way along the bottom of the bay, stretching 292 miles and descending into a 2.5 mile deep alluvial plain. It rivals the Grand Canyon in size and grandeur.  When storms hit, they push silt and seaweed from shore and the sea surface deep into the canyon, tumbling past the rocky walls and gentle slopes, until it deposits in the deep, deep alluvial plains. This nourishes sea creatures that dwell in the depths. It’s also a “carbon highway” as carbon sequestered by bull kelp is deposited in the deep sea where it remains buried indefinitely. World-wide, an estimated 200 million tons of carbon dioxide are being sequestered by macroalgae like bull kelp every year. The terrain of this deep canyon, combined with prevailing winds, creates an upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water that feeds the abundance of sea life found there, including black cod, who live at depths of down to 9800 feet, and squid, who can exist in the twilight zone of the canyon walls.

Grazing Table with smoked and pickled mushrooms, seaweed and smoked anchovy butter with local breads, local cheeses with candied pine cones and syrup, porcini and pine tip crackers, seaweed seed and nut bread, seaweed aioli with crudite

Seaweed Salad with Mulberry-Kombu Vinaigrette

Squid and harissa flatbreads / Wild greens & green garlic flatbreads

Smoked Black Cod Chowder

Dessert: Octopus Trifles with candy cap whipped cream and berries (It’s a cake mold!)

Vegan/Gluten Free options available

PLEASE NOTE: In order to make these events accessible to people in different financial situations, the prices are tiered. Please consider what you can comfortably pay and please pay that and leave the less expensive tickets to people who work in professions like the arts, education, journalism, non-profits and boot-strapped start ups. Thanks for helping us expand our community of curious people.


  • General

    From $75.00 to $250.00
    • $75.00
      +$1.88 service fee
    • $125.00
      +$3.13 service fee
    • $250.00
      +$6.25 service fee



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