The show must go on for Naturalist Nights speaker series |

The show must go on for Naturalist Nights speaker series

Environmental presentations will be held online rather than in-person this year

Staff report
Smoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire as seen from Missouri Heights on Aug. 10, 2020. A historical perspective on Colorado’s fire season will be among the Naturalist Nights presentations.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times

A speaker series featuring experts on environmental issues will continue in Aspen this winter but virtually rather than in-person.

Wilderness Workshop, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and Roaring Fork Audubon announced Monday the popular Naturalist Nights series will return beginning Thursday.

“While we can’t gather in-person, we’re still bringing a great lineup of experts to explore topics of the natural world with our community,” the announcement said.

Five virtual events will be held at 6 p.m. every other Thursday starting this Thursday and running through March 4. The presentations will be held live via Zoom. They also will be archived and available on the websites and YouTube channels of ACES and Wilderness Workshop. Presentations with a Spanish translation are available.

“For over a decade, Naturalist Nights has helped build and connect a community around ecological and environmental knowledge and learning,” Will Roush, Wilderness Workshop executive director, said in the statement. “In most years the rooms at Hallam Lake and the Third Street Center are filled to the brim. While we won’t be able to gather in person this year, I’m pleased we will be able to continue the series by taking the 2021 presentations online. Whether it’s Indigenous gardening practices or the 2020 fire season, I know our community is excited to learn about the natural world and protecting our public lands.”

This Thursday’s presentation will be “Community Science in the age of #Social Distancing” by Ted Floyd, editor of Birding Magazine by the American Birding Association.

One of the highlights will be “Colorado’s Record-setting 2020 Fire Season in the Context of the Past 6,000 Years” on March 4. Phillip Higuera, an associate professor of Fire Ecology, University of Montana, will put the disastrous season, which included the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon, into perspective.

Registration information for all events is available on the Wilderness Workshop and ACES websites.