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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
The schedule for this season’s Perspectives series has been announced and will begin at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Tuesday, November 13. Set for 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month from November through May, the series will focus on research within the park.
All programs will take place at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 3002 Mount Angeles Road in Port Angeles. All are offered free of charge and are co-sponsored by the Friends of Olympic National Park. Seating is limited and attendees are urged to arrive early.
This year, an extra program about wildflowers has been added to the schedule and will be presented on Thursday, March 27. This special Thursday program will be co-sponsored by the Washington Native Plant Society.
“This year’s series of programs takes an in-depth look at the variety of scientific research being conducted within Olympic National Park,” said Superintendent Bill Laitner. “We are very pleased to welcome the many scientists who will be presenting this year’s schedule of programs and pleased to invite our friends and neighbors to come learn more about their park.”
Friends of Olympic National Park President Larry Stetson added, “Part of the Friends’ mission is to promote public understanding and enjoyment of the Park and we are pleased to co-sponsor this year's outstanding schedule of programs.”
November 13 – Fire in the Olympics: Past, Present and Future
Todd Rankin (Fuels Specialist) and Scott Gremel (Wildlife Biologist) of Olympic National Park, and Dr. Richard Fonda, Professor Emeritus Western Washington University
Dr. Richard Fonda and Olympic National Park staff will explore how past fires have shaped Olympic National Park’s forests and explain results from studies of the 2003 Griff Fire near Hurricane Ridge and early findings from this summer’s research burn near Deer Park.
December 11 – Olympic Marmots: Pleistocene Relicts in a Changing World
Sue Cox Griffin, PhD candidate, University of Montana
For the past six years, Sue Cox Griffin has led a comprehensive study to learn more about one of the Olympic Peninsula’s unique endemic species, the Olympic marmot. Her presentation will focus on the study results and what the future may hold for this special Olympic resident.
January 8 – Unraveling the Mysteries of the Marbled Murrelet
Dr. Martin Raphael, Wildlife Ecologist, US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Feeding on fish in the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Pacific Ocean, but nesting in the upper limbs of ancient trees, the unusual life history of marbled murrelets has long puzzled biologists. Dr. Raphael, who has studied murrelets for 15 years, will explore murrelet ecology, describe current research and discuss conservation of this threatened species.
February 12 – Watershed Restoration on the Olympic Peninsula
Mike McHenry, Fisheries Habitat Manager, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
Mike McHenry, Fisheries Habitat Manager will explain how the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe uses science to identify, prioritize and implement watershed restoration in Strait of Juan de Fuca watersheds including Salt Creek, and the Pysht and Elwha Rivers.
March 11 – Rainfall Across the Olympics: Forests, Carbon Storage, and Prospects in our Changing Climate
Dr. Steven Perakis, USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis
Dr. Steven Perakis will explain how precipitation and nutrient processes shape the peninsula’s diverse forest communities, from temperate rain forests on the Olympic’s west side to dry forests of the rainshadow, and explore the implications as our climate changes.
Thursday, March 27 – A Wildflower Primer: Sampling the Peninsula’s Plant Diversity
Janis Burger, Photographer and Naturalist
Co-sponsored by the Washington Native Plant Society
By late March spring flowers are starting to bloom in the lowlands, though the mountains are still wrapped in snow. The range of precipitation and topography on the Peninsula create a wide variety of habitats for wildflowers, many of which will be featured during this program.
April 8 – The Rare Olympic Pocket Gopher: An Underground Life
Corey Welch, PhD candidate, University of Washington, Burke Museum
Few people have seen a pocket gopher, yet glaciation and isolation made the Olympic Peninsula an ideal home for a unique kind of pocket gopher. Researcher Corey Welch will present an inside look at this small, rare animal that lives under meadows only in the northern Olympics.
May 13 – Peninsula and Huxley Colleges Present: Elwha Field Research Reports
Dr. Dwight Barry and Students
Dr. Dwight Barry, Peninsula College faculty member, and students of Peninsula College and Western Washington University’s Huxley College-Port Angeles will present findings from their environmental science research associated with the Elwha Restoration Project, one of the world’s largest dam removal and river restoration projects.