NISQUALLY REFUGE: Lecture series addresses environmental topics

Staff reportJuly 7, 2013 

The summer lecture series at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge kicks off Wednesday with a program on the marine wildlife in Puget Sound.

This summer’s series titled, “Our Wonderful Watery World,” features talks on environmental issues covering a variety of topics, from ice worms on the glaciers of Mount Rainier to the artistic beauty found in feathers.

The free lectures are held every Wednesday in July and August.

The series will begin with a slide show of underwater wildlife living in the Sound, given by local scuba diver David Jennings. An avid birder, wildlife watcher, diver and underwater photographer, Jennings also is a member of the Pacific Northwest Advanced Assessment Team for Reef Environmental Education Foundation. REEF is an organization of recreational divers who conduct biodiversity and abundance surveys of fish and invertebrates during their dives. Jennings helps with surveys from the Salish Sea down to Monterey Bay in California.

In addition to some slides taken locally in Puget Sound, he also has some images captured in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

The lectures all begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the refuge visitor center auditorium. Each talk last about one hour and are followed by time for questions.

Attendance is limited to 100 people and seating will be issued starting at 6 p.m. on a first-come basis, and you must be present, said a refuge news release. The $3 refuge entrance fee is waived for those attending the lectures. On lecture nights, the visitor center will be open until 7 p.m. and again after the lecture. For more information, call the refuge office at 360-753-9467.

Summer speaker schedule

Wednesday: “Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound: Invertebrates in our Backyard” by David Jennings a local scuba diver.

July 17: “Elk and Deer: What Wondrous Species” by Michelle Tirhi a state Department of Fish and Wildlife district wildlife biologist for Thurston and Pierce counties.

July 24: “The Giant Pacific Octopus” by Kathryn Kegel a biologist at Seattle Aquarium.

July 31: “The Warming Ocean’s Role in Climate” by Greg Johnson an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Aug. 7: “Ice Worms: What They Tell Us About Glaciation” by Peter Wimberger a professor and director of the Slater Museum of Natural History at the University of Puget Sound.

Aug. 14: “Mountain Fever: Stories of the First Ascents on Mount Rainier” by Jim Ross a naturalist and outreach specialist at Mount Rainier National Park.

Aug. 21: “The Insect Safari” by Don Ehlen a naturalist.

Aug. 28: “Feathers: Biology and Beauty” by artist Chris Maynard.

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