Guest Speakers

Lewis and Clark and Cataclysms on the Columbia

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop is pleased to announce the next In Their Footsteps free speaker series event.This program is Lewis and Clark and Cataclysms on the Columbia presented by Jim O'Connors on Sunday, May 17, at 1:00 p.m. in the Netul River Room of the Fort Clatsop visitor center.

Geological cataclysms affecting the Columbia River Gorge include the gigantic ice-age floods thousands of years ago. Others involve more human timescales. In addition to shooting through the narrows at The Dalles of the Columbia, perhaps a remnant of the great ice-age floods, the Lewis and Clark Expedition members drifted past a submerged forest and portaged Cascade Rapids, the results of a huge landslide only 350 years before their exploration. At the downstream end of the gorge, they walked on rich bottomlands partly formed by Mount Hood volcanism fewer than 25 years earlier. This talk weaves Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's first maps and observations of these three areas into a narrative of modern geological thinking about landscape formation, particularly for the Columbia River Gorge.

Jim O'Connor is a Pacific Northwest native with a long interest in the processes and events shaping the remarkable and diverse landscape of the region. He pursued these interests with a B.S. in Geological Sciences at the University of Washington and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Arizona. Since 1990 he has studied regional rivers and landscapes, for the last 18 years with the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland, Oregon.


In Their Footsteps Lecture Series

On the third Sunday, September through May at 1 p.m., this speaker series is an opportunity to meet scholars, authors, and artists. Join the conversation and be inspired by history, people and culture. This forum is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark National Park Association and presented in the Netul River Room of Fort Clatsop's visitor center, and is free of charge.

Photo of kayakers on the Columbia River

Kayakers on the Columbia River

Bryan Aulick

Lower Columbia River Trail Adventure

In October 2014, travel writer Charlotte Austin and several friends and colleagues took an incredible seven day kayaking journey along the Lower Columbia River Water Trail, a 146-mile route stretching from Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean. Their plan was simple: follow the river to the ocean. Beginning at Beacon Rock, they paddle through the stunning Columbia River Gorge, past the Portland/Vancouver metro area, along and through several National Wildlife Refuges, to their final destination in Astoria. While folling the paddle strokes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, they saw eagles and salmon and sea lions, camped on uninhabited islands, explored urban waterways, weathered a few storms, and met some delightful strangers who are now friends. Charlotte and her traveling partners will tell stories from the river, share photos and video, and show off the scars from their blisters.

Charlotte was the writer-in-residence at the Oregon State University's H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest as part of the Long Term Ecological Reflections program. In 2014 she led a panel on transmedia storytelling techniques at the Association of Writers & Writing Program in Seattle, and attended a month-long artist residency at Jentel in Wyoming. When she is not writing, Charlotte works for international Mountain Guides, leading climbing, mountaineering, and hiking expeditions around the world.

Upcoming Nature Matters Conversations:
Join us in the fall at Fort George Brewery + Public House for the next conversation.


Nature Matters: Where Nature and Culture Meet

A lively monthly conversation about the intersection of nature and culture, takes place on the third Thursdays of the month, August through May, at the Fort George Brewery + Public House in Astoria, Oregon. The series delves into the many ways that human beings look to the natural world for inspiration, sustenance and survival - the intersection of nature and culture. The collaborative series is hosted by Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Lewis & Clark National Park Association and the North Coast Watershed Association in partnership with the Fort George Brewery + Public House and is free to the public.

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