Speaker Series Will Explore the Natural World - Mar 14

From glaciers to butterflies, the Naturalist Committee set up another line up of expert speakers to guide you through environmental and biological wonders. All are welcome!
Placeholder Contact Profile Rose O'Donnell
Naturalist Speaker Series Coordinator
March 07, 2018

Each year, the Seattle Naturalist Committee provides a lecture series designed to delve into phenomena of the natural world. The events are open to everyone and no registration is required - just pay $5 at the door. Attendance is free for members of the Naturalist Study Group. Check out this season's talks!

What's the Matter with Worms? Our Favorite Soil Engineers have a Dark Side

Mar 14, 2018

Everyone knows earthworms and red wigglers are beneficial, right? In fact, worms have a dark side that appears when they’re introduced to places where they are not native. Earthworms are ecosystem engineers that have fundamental effects on the soil environment — including temperature, moisture, nutrient content, structure, and soilfoodweb biota. This can have cascading effects on natural ecosystem functions and processes. Are there native worms? Are there effective pesticides or treatment protocols for invasive worms? Is anyone working on this problem in the Northwest? 

Clay Antieau is a horticulturist, botanist and environmental scientist with Seattle Public Utilities, and lectures and leads tours throughout the Northwest. He is past president of the Washington Native Plant Society.

Event Details


Naturalist Course

If you're looking to take a deeper dive, we offer an Intro to the Natural World Course and corresponding study group. It's a great way for hikers, climbers, photographers, scramblers, and conservationists to learn more about the mountains they enjoy.

Past Speakers 2017-18

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Seabirds of Puget Sound: Where and When to Find Them

Nov 8, 2017

To find seabirds, you don’t need to drive to Westport or even go out in a boat. Joe Sweeney is a master birder who leads bird walks and teaches seabird ID. During the past few years, he has spent hundreds of hours studying and photographing seabirds along the waterfronts of Puget Sound. He will show you seabirds that live seasonally or year-round on Puget Sound. He’ll tell you the best months for watching, list the best viewing locations, and offer some identification tips. You do not need to be a bird expert to enjoy this presentation.


Loss of Glaciers in Washington's National Parks

Jan 10, 2018

For more than 30 years, Dr. Jon Riedel, a geologist with the National Park Service at North Cascades National Park, has researched the response of Washington’s glaciers to climate change, from the last ice age 30,000 years ago to modern glaciers. Jon established glacier monitoring programs at Olympic, Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks to track changes in more than 500 glaciers. He will show images of glacial change, share results of the monitoring program, and conclude with an example of how the loss of glaciers affects summer streamflow.

Event Details

Butterflies and Buckwheats

Feb 14, 2018

David Nunnallee is co-author with David James of the authoritative guide, Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies. David will focus on Washington’s buckwheats (genus Eriogonum) which feed a wide variety of adult butterflies, and are mandatory larval hosts for many of our smaller butterflies: the blues, hairstreaks and coppers. David has been studying butterflies in the Pacific Northwest for 15 years. Hundreds of his photographs are published in field guides, online, and in permanent public displays. He is cofounder of the Washington Butterfly Association.

Event Details