Announcing 2019 Winter Lecture Series

Announcing 2019 Winter Lecture Series

We’re excited to announce the list of speakers for our 2019 Biology Winter Lecture Series at Yakima Valley College. This year’s series covers a breadth of native wildlife – from plants to fish to a furry riparian engineer. Join us to learn about the natural lives around us and how they’re intimately tied to our own.

All three talks are free to the public and will take place from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Yakima Valley College. The first two will be held at Glenn Anthon Hall Room (Building 4, Room 215). The third talk, on March 12, will take place in the Parker Room of the Deccio Higher Education Center. Details below!


Tuesday, January 15, 2019 – Terri Knoke: How I Fell for Lomatium and Ten Ways You Can Too

Terri Knoke, of the Washington Native Plant Society, will describe her own personal journey into the world of native plants, especially those of the shrub steppe of the Columbia Basin. She will relate how, at the age of sixty, she fell down the rabbit hole of botany and art and into the wonderland of native plants. The desert parsleys were her downfall. In tribute to them she will relate stories about ten species of Lomatium, both common and rare, living on Cowiche Canyon Conservancy lands. How are these plants connected to fish and grapefruits? Come find out at this presentation on the diverse and fascinating genera of native plants.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019 – Alex Conley: Bringing Back Salmon and Steelhead in Cowiche Creek

Like in many streams in the Yakima Basin, salmon and steelhead runs in Cowiche Creek disappeared when development blocked fish passage and diverted stream flows. In this talk, Alex Conley, Executive Director of the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board, will describe the partnerships that were built and the projects that have been completed to return salmon and steelhead to Cowiche Creek. It’s a great success story about restoring a creek and continuing to sustain the farms it runs through. He’ll also touch on the restoration work now happening in the watershed, and how climate change may affect streams like Cowiche Creek.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019 – Ben Goldfarb: Beavers: Their Landscapes, Our Future

*This talk will take place at YVC’s Deccio Higher Education Center, Building 8, Parker Room

Author Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and salmon lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers” ― including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens ― recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier than those without them. Ben’s talk will cover the extraordinary ecology of this influential species; describe how beavers transform landscapes; and detail how these remarkable rodents can help us fight drought, wildfire, biodiversity loss, and climate change.

Ben’s recent book, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, is receiving high praise. The Washington Post  included Eager on its list of 50 notable non-fiction books in


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