2nd Tuesdays, November-April, 7pm via Zoom
Upcoming events: February 14, March 14, and April 11

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

Recordings will be available following the presentations.

Winter Perspectives Talks 2022-23

American Dipper

February 14
Salmon and the American Dipper
Christopher Tonra, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Avian Wildlife Ecology, The Ohio State University
Join Zoom Meeting

Christopher Tonra will talk about the influence of salmon and the nutrients they provide on the life history of the American Dipper. His team studied dippers along four streams in areas with and without salmon to determine the impact salmon have on the survival, reproduction, body condition, and behavior of this charismatic species of western streams. In addition, the team explored the impacts that the removal of two dams on the Elwha River had on dippers by sampling birds before and after removal of the Elwha Dam. This work has shown how salmon can have enormous impacts on wildlife populations beyond the water.

plant diversity

March 14
Plant Diversity in Olympic National Park
Dr. Catharine Copass, Copass Consulting (formerly NPS North Coast and Cascades Network)
Join Zoom Meeting

From coastal red alder bluffs to rocky dry alpine meadows, Olympic National Park hosts a stunning array of plant community diversity. Join ecologist Dr. Catharine Copass as she revisits her project to inventory, classify, and map the vegetation resources of the Park. The presentation will highlight results from the vegetation classification work, which described over 300 unique communities. Copass will introduce the Park’s newest vegetation map which combined the classification with state of the art mapping techniques to create a map at unprecedented resolution and accuracy. The presentation will explore the new map and provide new perspectives on familiar park landscapes.

Save the date for the final presentation in the 2022-23 series on April 11. Speaker and topic to be announced.

Rialto Beach

December 13
Geologic Mysteries of Rialto Beach
Kathy Goetz Troost, Ph.D., LG; University of Washington and Shannon & Wilson, Inc.

Kathy Troost will provide a snapshot of methods and findings from a UW-lead study at Rialto Beach. Rialto Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches within the Olympic National Park but it holds many secrets from a wild geologic past including glaciers, landslides, erosion, major wind storms, and earthquakes. Researchers have been trying to find all the puzzle pieces to unlock those secrets. In addition to the geologic history, it’s important to assess how climate change will impact the beach. The team is evaluating rates of erosion using trees, frequency and types of landslides, landslide triggers, and whether or not the land was uplifted during a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.


Photo by Sebastian Kennerknecht

Photo by Sebastian Kennerknecht

November 8
Olympic Cougar Project
Kim Sager-Fradkin, Wildlife Program Manager, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Kim Sager-Fradkin will discuss the Olympic Cougar Project, a collaboration of six Olympic Peninsula tribes and Panthera with the goal of understanding dispersal patterns of young cougars, cougar diets, cougar genetics, and habitat connectivity for all wildlife species on the Olympic Peninsula. She will discuss project objectives and preliminary results, and will share an array of enticing photos and videos to give the audience an insight into the lives of cougars on the Olympic Peninsula.

January 17
Lake Ozette: An Ecological Update
Patrick Crain, Fisheries Biologist, Olympic National Park

Join Olympic National Park fisheries biologist, Patrick Crain, for a presentation about the health and status of the Lake Ozette freshwater ecosystem. Home to a unique population of Sockeye Salmon listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and the endemic Ozette Mud Minnow, the freshwater ecosystem of Lake Ozette is under threat. Invasive clams, degradation of shoreline habitat, and changes in predator behavior are among the impacts that are being evaluated. Also, Pat Crain will be sharing some actions that the park and volunteers are taking to mitigate these impacts and help the lake.

This series is sponsored by Olympic National Park, the Friends of Olympic National Park, and the North Olympic Library System.