Astronomy at Fort Ross
Alexandra Genetti is visual and textile artist and science teacher, teaching astronomy at Waldorf inspired schools for nearly 20 years. In a program designed for sixth graders she leads them through a systematic understanding of what we see from where we stand on earth. Coming from a place of our immediate experience of the sky, the daily, yearly and monthly movement of the sun, moon and the background of stars, we can understand how what we see, a moving sun, the moon in its phases, is consistent with science fact.
- The Sun, the Moon and the Earth: How to Understand what we See
An astronomy class for grade schoolers (and adults!)
Beginning with the movement of the night sky and building on that with the movement of the sun we understand why the constellations we see in the night sky change throughout the year. We learn why the seasons change and where and when we can find the moon in its varying phases. We review the geometry of eclipses and answer the question of why there isn’t an eclipse every month.
An hour and a half – $150
- Star Gazing Evening ~ weather dependent, and best the two weeks surrounding the new moon
A (no telescope) laser pointer guided tour of the night sky. Includes science facts, star names, constellations and stories and handy mnemonic devices to remember what you saw when you get home.
An hour, plus ~ depending on visibility – $75
Contact Information – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, I’m Georgia Churchill, the Storyteller. My home is in Sebastopol, about an hour from Fort Ross, and I’ve been driving that beautiful, winding road to tell stories to school classes taking an over-night historical adventure/lesson for over ten years.
For 26 years I have been telling oral tradition tales from many cultures to people from ages 3 to 101. Studying mime, improv, various dramatic philosophies/techniques, and voice have taught me to bring the stories to life. The actual telling of the tales has taught me how best to engage my audience.
Fort Ross storytelling sessions usually take place between dinner clean up and bedtime, often by candlelight, wherever the teacher chooses. For about an hour Pomo Indian teaching tales, Eskimo stories from both sides of the Bering Straits, and of course Russian tales are told. Several of the Eskimo stories are of a length and type that are easily acted out: actors are chosen at random from raised hands and the story is again narrated while the children interpret words with action. I do try to give everyone who wishes to, a chance to act.
My fee is usually $150, because of the lengthy drive, unless the group is over 50 people and then the fee moves up to $200. Negotiations are possible. I’ll arrive whenever you wish to begin storytelling, but don’t worry if the time schedule is off a bit; I’ll wait by the fire and enjoy the students’ excitement.
I hope to see you at Fort Ross, an all together splendid experience!
Contact Information – (707) 874-1267
Reference Material –
This is a partial list of reference materials on Fort Ross, Russian America and the Native inhabitants of California and Alaska. Many more titles are available in the Fort Ross Library and Bookshop. Titles marked * are out of print but available in the library.
- Alaska Geographic Society. Russian America, Vol.26, No.4. Alaska Geographic. Anchorage. 1999.
- *Alekseev, A.I. The Odyssey of a Russian Scientist: I.G. Voznesenskii in Alaska, California and Siberia. Limestone Press, Fairbanks, Alaska.
- Arlen, Karen W. et. al. They Came Singing—Songs of California’s History. Calicanto Associates, 1995.
- Chaussonnet, Valerie. Crossroads of Alaska: Native Cultures of Alaska and Siberia. Arctic Studies Center. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1995.
- *Chernych, E.H. “Agriculture of Upper California.” The Pacific Historian, Winter 1967, 10-28.
- Chevigny, Hector, Lord of Alaska: The Story of Baranov and the Russian Adventure. Binford & Mort, Portland, Oregon. 1971.
- Chevigny, Hector, Russian America: The Great Alaskan Venture. 1741-1867. Binford & Mort, Portland, Oregon. 1992.
- Crowell, Aron L.; Amy F. Steffian; Gordon L. Pullar eds. Looking Both Ways, Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks. 2001.
- Dmytryshyn, Basil; E.A.P. Crownhart-Vaughn; Thomas Vaughn, eds. The Russian-American Colonies: 1768-1867. Oregon Historical Society Press, 1989.
- Duhaut-Cilly, Auguste Bernard. A Voyage to California, the Sandwich Islands, and Around the World in the Years 1826-1829. August Fruge and Neal Harlow, trans., eds. University of California Press. 1999.
- Essig, E.O.; Adele Ogden; Clarence John DuFour. Fort Ross, California: Outpost of Russian Alaska, 1812-1841. The Limestone Press, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1991.
- Fedorova, Svetlana G. Ethnic Processes in Russian America. Antoinette Shalkop, trans. Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum. 1975.
- *Fitzhugh, William W. & Aron Crowell. Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 1988.
- Ford, Corey. Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: The Epic Story of Early Naturalist George Stellar and the Russian Exploration of Alaska.Alaska Northwest Books, Anchorage, Alaska 1995.
- Fort Ross Interpretive Association. Fort Ross Cookbook. Fort Ross. 1994
- Fortuine, Robert. The Alaska Diary of Adelbert Von Chamiso: Naturalist on the Kotzebue Voyage 1815-1818. Cook Inlet Historical Society, Anchorage, Alaska, 1986.
- *Gibson, James R. Imperial Russia in Frontier America. Oxford University Press, New York, 1976.
- Gibson, James R. Otter Skins, Boston Ships, & China Goods: The Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast 1785-1841. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 1992.
- *Golovnin, Vasilii M. Around the World on the Kamchatka 1817-1819. Ella Lury Wiswell, trans. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1979.
- Heizer, Robert F. Seven Early Accounts of the Pomo Indians and Their Culture. Archaeological Research Facility, University of California, Berkeley. 1975.
- Heizer, Robert F. & Albert B. Elsasser. The Natural World of the California Indians. University of California Press, Berkeley. 1980.
- Istomin, Alexei A. The Indians at the Ross Settlement: According to the Censuses by Kuskov, 1820-1821. Fort Ross Interpretive Association. Fort Ross. 1992.
- *Khlebnikov, K.T. Colonial Russian America Reports, 1817-1832. Basil Dmytryshyn & E.A.P. Crownhart-Vaughn, trans. Oregon Historical Society, Portland. 1976.
- Khlebnikov, K.T. The Khlebnikov Archive: Unpublished Journal (1800-1837) and Travel Notes (1820,1822, And 1824). Leonid Shur, ed. John Bisk, trans. The Rasmuson Library Historical Translation Series, Vol. V. University of Alaska Press. 1990.
- Kroeber, A.L. Handbook of the Indians of California. Dover Publications, New York. 1976.
- Langdon, Steve J. Native People of Alaska. Greatland Graphics. Anchorage, Alaska, 1993.
- Lightfoot, Kent G.; Thomas A. Wake; Ann M. Schiff. The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Fort Ross, California. Vol. 1. Number 49. University of California Archaeological Research Facility. Berkeley, CA. 1991.
- Lightfoot, Kent G.; Thomas A. Wake; Ann M. Schiff, eds. The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Fort Ross, California, The Native Alaskan Neighborhood, A Multiethnic Community at Colony Ross. Vol. 2. Number 55. Contributions of the University of California, Archaeological Research Facility. Berkeley, CA. 1997.
- Litke, Frederic P. A Voyage Around the World, 1826-1829: Vol. I: To Russian America and Siberia, 1826-1829. Renee Marshal, trans. The Limestone Press, Fairbanks, Alaska. 1987.
- Margolin, Malcolm. The Way We Lived—California Indian Stories, Songs & Reminiscences. Heyday Books. Berkeley. 1981.
- Margolin, Malcolm and Yolanda Montijo. Native Ways—California Indian Stories and Memories. Heyday Books. Berkeley. 1995.
- Middleton, John. Clothing In Colonial Russian America: A New Look. The Limestone Press. Fairbanks, Alaska. 1996.
- *Ogden, Adele. The California Sea Otter Trade 1784-1848. University of California Press, Berkeley. 1941.
- Osborn, Sannie Kenton. Death in the Daily Life of the Ross Colony: Mortuary Behavior on Frontier Russian America. UMI Dissertation Services, 1997.
- *Oswalt, Robert L. Kashaya Texts. U.C. Press, Berkeley, CA. 1964.
- Paddison, Joshua, ed. A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush. Heyday Books. Berkeley, California. 1999.
- Pierce, Richard A. A History of the Russian American Company. Vol. 2, Documents. The Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. 1979.
- Pierce, Richard. A. Builders of Alaska: The Russian Governors 1818-1867. The Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. 1986.
- *Pierce, Richard A. Russian America: A Biographical Dictionary. The Limestone Press, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1990.
- Pierce, Richard A. Russian American Company—Correspondence of the Governors. Communications Sent: 1818. The Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. 1984.
- Rickman, David W. The World of Fort Ross a Picture Book. California History Center. Cupertino, CA. 1998.
- Schander, Mary L. Songs in the Air—Music of Early California. Hammers and Picks Productions, 1994.
- Shelikov, G.I. Voyage To America, 1783-1785. Marina Ramsey, trans. The Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario, 1982
- Smirnova, Galina. Fairy Tales Of Siberian Folks. (English and Russian text) Krasnoyarsk Vital Publishers. 1992
- *Smith, Barbara Sweetland & Redmond J. Barnett, eds. Russian America: The Forgotten Frontier. Washington State Historical Society. 1990.
- Smith, Barbara Sweetland. Science Under Sail—Russia’s Great Voyages To America 1728-1867. Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage. 2000.
- Sturtevant, William C. & Robert F. Heizer, eds. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 8 California. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 1978.
- Sturtevant, William C. & June Helm, eds. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 6 Subarctic. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 1981.
- Sturtevant, William C. & David Danas, eds. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 5 Arctic. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 1984.
- Sturtevant, William C. & Wayne Suttles, eds. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 7 Northwest. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 1990.
- *Tikhmenev, P.A. A History of the Russian-American Company. Richard Pierce & Alton S. Donnelly, trans. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 1978.
- Veniaminov, Ioann. Journals of the Priest Ioann Veniaminov in Alaska 1823 to 1836. Kisslinger, Jerome , trans. The Rasmuson Library Historical Translation Series, Vol. VII. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks. 1993.
- *Von Chamiso, Adelbert. A Voyage Around the World With the Romanzov Exploring Expedition in the Years 1815-1818 in the Brig Rurik, Captain Otto Von Kotzebue. Henry Kratz, trans., ed. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 1986.
- *Wrangell, Ferdinand Petrovich. Russian America Statistical and Ethnographic Information. Richard A. Pierce. ed. Mary Sadousk, trans. TheLimestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. 1980.
- The Vegetable Bibliography was compiled during background research on California’s agricultural history and through the development of the Ardenwood’s heirloom kitchen garden. The kitchen garden and Ardenwood Historic Farm are part of the interpretive program of the East Bay Regional Park District
- Bean, Walton and Rawls, James. California, An Interpretive History. 1983. This popular introductory text on California history gives an excellent overview of the subject.
- Berg, Donald, editor. The Kitchen Gardener’s Guide. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1987. This is a fun little book filled with good advice, fun facts and useful information taken from 19th century garden books, journals and seed catalogs.
- Fisher, Anne. Bears, Pirates and Silver Lace. 1944. A wonderful collection of stories written for children based on real-life events during the mission, rancho and settler periods in California
- Haughton, Claire Shaver. Green Immigrants: The Plants that Transformed America. New York: Harcourt Brace Janovich, 1978. A look at 89 plants, many of them vegetables, which have changed the American landscape. The book is filled with plant history and delightful information.
- Jelinek, Lawrence. Harvest Empire: A History of California Agriculture. 1979. A concise, thorough and easy to read account of the factors that shaped the development of California agriculture. Jelinek shows how early events in the mission, rancho and gold rush days laid the groundwork for California’s emergence as an agribusiness “empire”.
- Vilmorin-Andrieux, MM. The Vegetable Garden. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. Originally published in 1855, this book has become a classic reference for the heirloom gardener. It is filled with descriptions, histories and culture for hundreds of vegetable varieties.
- Whealy, Kent. The Garden Seed Inventory Decorah, Iowa: Seed Saver Publications, 1987. This book is an important reference for anyone looking for heirloom or non-hybrid vegetable seeds. It takes every vegetable, lists every variety and gives sources where they are available. This book saves you from going through 200 seed catalogs to find the variety you are trying to find.
Additional Online Resources –
- Learning from Each Other: On a History of Russian-Native Contacts in Exploration and Mapping of Alaska and Aleutian Islands (late Eighteenth – early Nineteenth Centuries)
Resources we often use –
Stitch In Time
PO Box 314
Cazadero, CA 95421
707 632 5245
Russian Deli and Café, Inc.
1475 Newell Ave.
Walnut Creek, CA 945967
925 210 0779
Frank’s Cane & Rush
7252 Heal Av.
Huntington Beach CA 92647
714 847 0707
San Rafael, CA 94902
Jas. Townsend & Son, Inc.
PO Box 415
Pierceton, IN 46562