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Summer Speaker Series Continues

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Date: July 29, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

July 29, 2011

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A series of special presentations that began in June will continue throughout the month of August in the new auditorium at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Starting Wednesday, August 3, local residents and park visitors can join a captivating group of speakers to learn about western culture and folk music, climate change and Teton weather, as well as the intriguing story of Sacajawea. All talks are free to the public.

Lectures will be presented by various experts who will share their knowledge and perspectives on a range of topics. The speakers will also lead discussions about Grand Teton National Park's natural and cultural resources. The scheduled August lectures include:

August 9 - 6:30 p.m.
Lead Poisoning in Wildlife & Non-Lead Program
Join Bryan Bedrosian, avian program manager with Craighead Berengia South, for a discussion about his research related to the presence of lead in the environment from hunting and fishing activities and how that affects wildlife. Bryan worked for Teton Science Schools before volunteering for Berengia South to conduct studies on raptors and ravens. His research data indicates that lead levels in the blood of bald eagles, ravens and other scavengers elevates during the fall hunting period. As a result of his study, a non-lead program was begun.

August 17 - 6:30 p.m.
Climate Change: Observed Trends and Future Impacts on North American Climate & Weather
Join National Weather Service Meteorologist Arthur Meunier for a presentation about large-scale changes in weather and observed climate trends. Meunier will describe how global changes may affect or influence the plants, animals and other resources in Grand Teton National Park, and across the State of Wyoming and the Intermountain West. A discussion will follow on climate change, mitigation strategies and effectiveness.

August 22 - 6:30 p.m.
Sacajawea
Listen to author and storyteller Ken Thomasma as he recounts the fascinating tale of Sacajawea, the fifteen-year-old Shoshone woman and wife of a French-Canadian fur trader, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition of 1804 -1806. Thomasma has been an educator for over 44 years and is the three-time winner of the Wyoming State Children's Book Award. He is the author of several books about remarkable Indian children, and regularly captivates audiences with his wealth of historical knowledge.

August 24 - 6:30 p.m.
Local Folk Music and Western Culture
Listen to local musician and school teacher Dan Thomasma as he shares his knowledge of folk songs and the creative process of making music. Thomasma has been writing original songs for decades and creating a local following in Wyoming and across the country. His love for Grand Teton and western history radiates through his music, especially through original songs such as Teton Waltz. Thomasma will share both his music and his knowledge of the western culture that exists in Jackson Hole, often coined the 'Last of the Old West.'

August 30 - 6:30 p.m.
Teton Weather
Attend a presentation by National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Jones who will bring to life how the unique topography of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole influences weather patterns. Through a multimedia presentation designed to explain the "whys" behind Grand Teton's weather, Jones will talk about water, wind, lightning, fire and how they all play a role in shaping the landscape.

For more information about the lecture series, call the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594, or the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399.

Did You Know?

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Did you know that Uinta ground squirrels, sometimes mistaken for prairie dogs, hibernate up to eight months a year? These animals leave their burrows in March or April to inhabit the sagebrush flats, but may return by the end of July.