November 9, 2006
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 14. Set for 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month from November through May, the series will explore the diversity of Olympic National Park and surrounding areas.
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 and the Northwest Interpretive Association.
“This year’s series of programs takes an in-depth look at Olympic National Park and the Olympic Peninsula,” said Superintendent Bill Laitner. “I’m pleased to invite our friends and neighbors to come learn more about their park.”
Friends of Olympic National Park President Ted Mattie 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.”
An overview of each program is provided below.
Explorations for Deep-Sea Coral Communities off the Olympic Coast
Ed Bowlby and Mary Sue Brancato, Marine Biologists, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Even in perpetual darkness and near-freezing temperatures, colorful coral communities flourish offshore the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary marine biologists Ed Bowlby and Mary Sue Brancato will present a slide and video presentation about these fascinating but little-known deep water communities.
Migration Across Borders: Management and Conservation of Wild Salmon in Olympic National Park
Sam Brenkman, Fisheries Biologist, Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park protects one of the largest refuges for wild salmon, steelhead, trout, and char in the Pacific Northwest. The park contains 12 major rivers, 4,000 miles of stream, 31 native freshwater fish species, and about 70 populations of Pacific salmonids. Fisheries biologist Sam Brenkman will discuss Olympic’s diverse fish and how the park monitors and protects them.
The Ozette Dig: Unearthing the Past, Shaping a Future
Paul Gleeson, Chief, Cultural Resources Management, Olympic National Park
Over three hundred years ago a mudslide covered part of the Ozette Village, preserving a moment in time of the rich life of a Makah village, even while it crushed and destroyed buildings. Evidence of this tragedy surfaced in 1966, offering an extraordinary view of the past. Archeologist Paul Gleeson spent several years on the Ozette excavation and will share reflections on those exciting times and discoveries; artifacts from the Ozette Village site are displayed in the Makah Museum in Neah Bay.
Natural History of Roosevelt Elk in Olympic National Park
Dr. Kurt Jenkins, Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey’s Olympic Field Station
Dr. Patti Happe, Wildlife Biologist, Olympic National Park
In 1938, Olympic National Park was created, in part, to “provide permanent protection for the herds of native Roosevelt Elk”. Today the park is home to the largest population of Roosevelt elk in its natural environment in the world. Wildlife biologists Dr. Kurt Jenkins and Dr. Patti Happe offer a glimpse of what makes this elk population unique and will share what is known – and unknown – about the “Olympic Elk” and their role in the ecosystem.
Searching for Airborne Contaminants in Western Park Ecosystems
Dr. Dixon Landers, Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency
Bill Baccus, Physical Scientist, Olympic National Park
Pushed along by winds and storms, air pollutants can travel many miles from their source, winding up in some of the country’s most remote and pristine parks. By analyzing samples of winter snow packs, lake water, lichen, fish and sediments from high elevation lakes, experts are learning about persistent organic pollutants that may be contaminating some of the park’s watersheds. Join EPA scientist Dr. Dixon Landers and Olympic National Park Physical Scientist Bill Baccus as they discuss this ongoing project.
Climate Change and Olympic Peninsula Ecosystems
Dr. Dave Peterson, Research Biologist, U.S. Forest Service
Dr. Dave Peterson is a research biologist at the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station and a professor at the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington. He has spent most of his career studying the Pacific Northwest’s subalpine ecosystems and how they are affected by factors like fire and climate change. In this presentation, Dr. Peterson will discuss climate change and how it is expected to affect ecosystems on the Olympic Peninsula.
Elwha Field Research Reports
Dr. Dwight Barry and Students of Peninsula College and WWU Huxley College
Peninsula College faculty member Dr. Dwight Barry and students of Peninsula College and Western Washington University’s Huxley College-Port Angeles will present findings from their research on the Elwha Restoration Project. Students worked with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Olympic National Park, and universities to design and conduct unique research projects which will aid in the understanding of the world’s largest dam removal and river restoration project.