Olympic National Park’s Perspectives Winter Speaker Series, free presentations held at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month through April, is set at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.
Sponsored by Olympic National Park, the Friends of Olympic National Park and the North Olympic Library System, this free series kicks off on Tuesday, Nov. 13, with “Sea Otters” with Jessie Hale, PhD candidate at the University of Washington.
Hale and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a discussion on the history of sea otters in Washington and research investigating otter diets, and what that might tell us about the health of sea otter populations.
Other topics this season include:
• Dec. 11 — “Pacific Martens on the Olympic Peninsula” with Betsy Howell, Olympic National Forest wildlife biologist
Since 2008, federal partners have been working to better understand the conservation status of Pacific martens, small carnivores in the weasel family, on the Olympic Peninsula. In the past 30 years, only 10 verifiable records of the species have been counted — all in high, remote locations. The survey effort involves a number of partners and a number of methods, including remote cameras and scent-detection dogs.
• Jan 8 — “Wolves, Elk, Rivers, and Trophic Cascades in Olympic National Park” with Dr .Kurt Jenkins, United States Geological Survey wildlife biologist
Just how potent was the wolf in controlling riverine ecosystem structure and function in Olympic National Park? In this presentation, Jenkins will explore evidence for a trophic cascade of ecological effects that may have affected the park’s riverine ecosystems as a result of wolf eradication nearly a century ago.
• Feb. 12 — “The Edge of the Sea: Scales of Change on Olympic Coast Beaches” with Dr. Ian Miller, Coastal Hazard Specialist/Washington Sea Grant
Learn more from Dr. Miller’s recent studies on Rialto and Kalaloch beaches, and investigations of sea level change on the Olympic Coast.
• March 12 — “Predators and Prey: Columbian Black-Tailed Deer and Cougar Research on the Olympic Peninsula” with Kim Sager-Fradkin, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe wildlife biologist
Sager-Fradkin shares results of a four-year study examining patterns of fawn and buck mortality on the north Olympic Peninsula, and provides preliminary results on a study designed to answer questions about cougar population genetics, movement patterns and prey selection.
• April 9 — “A Witness to Change” with Janis Burger, Hurricane Ridge Interpreter and Olympic National Park
Burger will share photos and experiences gleaned over a 37-year career as a seasonal biological technician and longtime Hurricane Ridge interpreter.