ONP program runs from river floor to mountain

Olympic National Park's Perspectives Series

Olympic National Park’s Perspectives Series offers free programs at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month through May at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles. Seating is limited and attendees are urged to arrive early.

The programs are co-sponsored by the Friends of Olympic National Park.

Dec. 8 – "Fossil Sea Star Reveals Clues to Olympic’s Geologic Past," Elizabeth Nesbitt, Burke Museum-University of Washington; Steve Fradkin, coastal ecologist, ONP.

An ONP visitor made an interesting discovery and reported it to a park ranger. The discovery, a fossilized sea star, is the only sea star known from the Hoh Formation and one of very few from the Pacific Northwest. Nesbitt and Fradkin speak on insights the specimen might reveal on Olympic’s paleoenvironment.

Jan. 12 – "From Headwaters to Sea: Riverscape Snorkel Surveys to Assess Fish Populations in Olympic National Park," Sam Brenkman, fisheries biologist, ONP.

Over the years, fisheries biologists have donned drysuits and snorkel gear to survey hundreds of miles of icy, glacier-fed rivers from the perspective of a fish. Brenkman will share their findings.

Feb. 9 – "An Olympic Poet and Naturalist," Tim McNulty will read from and discuss his book "Olympic National Park, A Natural History."

Twelve years after the book’s initial publication, many new studies have added to knowledge about the park. McNulty’s recently revised edition includes new research on glaciers, marmots, black bears, fishers, salmon and climate-driven changes in river dynamics. McNulty lives in


March 9 – "Dam, Salmon and Nutrients: Freshwater Ecology of the Elwha River Restoration Project," Jeffrey Duda, research ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Dam removal and restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem raise a host of interesting questions. How will resident fish populations above the dams respond to returning salmon? How will the freshwater ecosystem change after 100 years without the nutrients provided by salmon? Duda will describe research projects for answering these and other questions.

April 13 – "They Went Where?! Archeology from the River Valleys to the Mountaintops," Kim Kwarsick, archeologist, ONP.

Over the past 25 years, the search for archeological sites has expanded into almost every corner of Olympic National Park. These new findings are revealing how Native Americans once thrived in areas now considered remote wilderness. This presentation will discuss what archeologists believe Native Americans were doing at a variety of sites from the high country to the forested river valleys.

May 11 – "Lake Ozette Mercury Studies," Chad Furl, Washington State Department of Ecology

A multiyear study revealed high concentrations of mercury in fish taken from Lake Ozette. How could a remote lake like Ozette be contaminated by elevated levels of mercury? Additional studies have sought clues to explain the elevated levels of mercury and identify the sources. Furl will present the latest research findings.