Science Behind the Scenery Programs

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Date: June 20, 2009
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

Back by popular demand is the Thursday evening Science Behind The Scenery Series. These programs begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held in the auditorium at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park. They are free and open to the public. Expand your knowledge of the park by learning more about the research behind the scenes. Following is the schedule for this summer:

June 18, Humming Along: Rocky’s Hummingbirds

Find out what the park’s citizen scientists are learning about these charismatic birds. Presented by Fred and Tena Engelman, citizen scientists.

June 25, Elk Research

Ongoing research into the health of the park elk herd focuses on population numbers and chronic wasting disease. Presented by Jenny Powers, National Park Service Wildlife Veterinarian.

July 2, Beetles in the Forest: the Glass is Half Full

It is an exciting time to be a forester. The beetles are changing our forests—maybe for the better. Presented by Colorado State University’s Monique Rocca, assistant professor of wildland fire science, and Bill Romme, professor of fire ecology.

July 9, Water Blitz: 185 Water Samples in One Day

Last August, park staff, volunteers and researchers collected water from 185 sites throughout the park. While park waters are pristine, we found spatial variations in water quality.  Presented by Cheri Yost, McGraw Ranch Manager and Research Volunteer Coordinator.

July 16, Urban Bears

Urban growth is expanding into black bear habitat, and as a result, there has been a corresponding increase in bear-human conflict. Presented by Sharon Baruch-Mordo,PhD candidate from the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University.

July 23, Alpine National Park: Victoria, Australia

A visiting ranger from down under will share the beauty and mysteries of Victoria’s Alpine National Park.   Presented by Elaine Thomas, park ranger.

July 30, GLORIA: Global Alpine Research

This international initiative assesses, predicts losses in biodiversity, and identifies other threats to fragile alpine ecosystems that are under accelerating climate change pressures.  Presented by Isabel Ashton, biologist with the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring program.

August 6, Protecting Resources and Experiences: Managing Buses and People

Studies reveal the positive and negative effects of the shuttle bus system to park resources and visitors.  Presented by Peter Newman, assistant professor with the Department of Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at Colorado State University.

August 13, Butterflies of RMNP

It’s a blue butterfly day! This 15 year project monitors one of the park’s sentinel species for environmental changes.  Presented by Rich Bray, Stephanie Mason and Jan Kilgore, citizen scientists.

August 20, Longs Peak: Evolving Meaning and Values

At 14,259 feet, the mountain stands apart from any other summit in the region—the figurative and literal centerpiece of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Presented by Ruth Alexander, professor of history at Colorado State University.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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