Hosted by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), Wilderness Workshop and Roaring Fork Audubon, Naturalist Nights, a free winter speaker series, kicks off today at 7:30 p.m. at ACES in Aspen.
The series includes 13 presentations running every Thursday night in Aspen, and every other Wednesday in Carbondale, through the end of March.
Tonight’s talk is titled “(Plant) Sex in the City (Park),” by Kelly Purvis, masters candidate, College of Charleston, S.C. Purvis will describe how good design can allow city parks to function as a network of habitats and corridors, linking parks to the surrounding natural landscape via pollinator activity.
She will discuss how these networks can create healthy urban ecosystems for people, plants and animals, and connect both people and the natural world in the midst of developed and fragmented landscapes.
Each presentation features a detailed look at an ecological or environmental issue facing the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado and beyond. Topics range from wildlife biology to geology, from climate science to environmental politics and even the spiritual aspects of wilderness.
Presenters are experts in their fields and each talk offers residents and visitors an opportunity to hear about new research and current issues affecting the natural world. As environmental issues such as oil and gas and forest response to climate change have a greater impact on the region, the Naturalist Nights series is designed to offer insights and new ways of understanding these complex issues.
This year’s speakers will focus on several of the key conservation issues on which the Wilderness Workshop is currently working. These include:
• Jan. 30, (Carbondale) and Jan. 31 (Aspen): “Reintroduction for Conservation: Experiences from Colorado’s Lynx Reintroduction” by Tanya Shenk, National Park Service ecologist and reintroduction pioneer.
• Feb. 13, (Carbondale) and Feb. 14 (Aspen), “Drill Rigs on Our Doorstep: Oil & Gas in the Roaring Fork Valley” by Peter Hart, Wilderness Workshop staff attorney.
• Feb. 27, (Carbondale) and Feb. 28, (Aspen): “From Death Comes Life: Recovery and Revolution in the Wake of Epidemic Outbreaks of Mountain Pine Beetle,” by Chuck Rhoades PhD., biogeochemist at the Rocky Mountain Research Station.
• March 13, (Carbondale), and March 14 (Aspen): “Can Colorado Contribute to Wolverine Conservation in the Face of Climate Change?” by Eric Odell, Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
For a full schedule visit www.wildernessworkshop.org/events , or call 970 963-3977.