Olympic National Park’s Perspectives Winter Speaker Series is hosted by NOLS in person and on Zoom. The free talks begin at 7pm on the second Tuesday of each month from January through April. No registration is required.

Watch the Livestream:

Recordings will be posted on this page within 48 hours of the presentation.

The series is made possible through the work of Olympic National Park, the North Olympic Library System, Discover Your Northwest, and the Friends of Olympic National Park.

Winter Perspectives Talks 2024

January 9
The History of Skiing in Olympic National Park
Dr. Roger Oakes, retired physician; founder and past president of the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club.

Roger Merrill Oakes is a founder and past president of the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club, which operates a small ski area within Olympic National Park. This presentation will highlight the history of recreational skiing in the park that Dr. Oakes researched to create his book, Skiing in Olympic National Park. This book was completed with support from the cultural resource group at Olympic National Park and with the cooperation of many local skiers.

February 13
In Search of the Rarest Plants on the Olympic Peninsula
Patrick Loafman, Biological Technician, Olympic National Park
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Follow Patrick Loafman as he hikes to the mountain tops, sloshes through bogs and kayaks lakes in a quest to find the rarest of plants in the Olympics. The presentation will be full of close-up pictures of plants, including many you might have never seen before.

March 19
Olympic Hiking Trails and Tales
Craig Romano, Author
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Come take a slideshow hiking tour around the Olympic Peninsula, Grays Harbor and Long Beach Peninsula with award winning guidebook author Craig Romano. Drawing from his bestselling Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula Second Edition, Craig will introduce you to a diverse array of trails on the Olympic Peninsula. Craig hiked more than 2,000 miles researching this book from easy nature trails to wilderness romps. This completely revised volume contains 136 hikes, including many found in no other guidebooks. Many of the hikes from the previous edition have been greatly expanded providing for even more hiking opportunities.

Romano is one of the most prolific trails writers in the Northwest having penned more than two dozen books covering the region. His Columbia Highlands: Exploring Washington’s Last Frontier, was recognized in 2010 by Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed and State Librarian Jan Walsh as a Washington Reads book for its contribution to Washington’s cultural heritage. Romano has hiked more than 33,000 miles in Washington alone and is an avid ultra runner recently completing the challenging Cuyamaca 100K Adventure Run.

April 9
Bat Research on the Olympic Peninsula
Rebecca McCaffery, Research Biologist, USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

Bats are a key part of our Pacific Northwest ecosystems, yet relatively little is known about how they are using forest, mountain, and coastal habitats. Bats are also under threat due to the spread of a fungal pathogen called white-nose syndrome, and are challenging to study because they are small, nocturnal, and cryptic. In this talk Dr. McCaffery will discuss efforts to overcome these challenges in the Pacific Northwest, and present results from studies conducted in and around Olympic National Park.

Image credits: Historic skiing photo from the National Park photo archives. Other photos are courtesy of the speakers.