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High Country Speaker Series

Wildlife in the Rocky Mountains

High Country Speaker Series presents: Wildlife in the Rocky Mountains: The hidden stories of conservation, recreation, and sharing our communities with charismatic fauna. Join the Eagle Valley Library District and Walking Mountains Science Center as we welcome a variety of experts and authors for a conversation about the interesting intersection between humans and wildlife.

The High Country Speaker Series is a partnership between the Eagle Valley Library District and Walking Mountains Science Center with the mission of encouraging environmental awareness, inspiring positive relationships with the natural world, and creating thought provoking dialogue in our community through FREE dynamic programming. 

These programs are FREE to attend, all ages welcome!

2019 Topics

Wildlife in Eagle County

Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 5:30pm & encore presentation on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 5:30pm
Presenter: Rick Spitzer
Location: Walking Mountains Science Center

Rick Spitzer headshotSpeaker Biography: Rick is a Colorado native and taught high school biology and photography for 24 years. His all-time favorite job was the 15 summers he spent in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rick has published several photography books and many of Rick’s images have appeared in the Vail Daily, Colorado Outdoors, The National Geographic website, and even Walking Mountains Science Center publications. Rick’s extensive background in science and photography and his unwavering interest in the documenting wildlife in the Eagle Valley has distinguished him as the preeminent wildlife photographer a citizen scientist in the valley.

Bear Basics from McNeil River, Alaska

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 | 5:30pm
Presenter: Tom Griffin
Location: Avon Public Library

Tom Griffin Headshot

Speaker Biography: Tom Griffin is the current Manager of McNeil River State Game Sanctuary in Alaska. He has worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and game at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary for the past 19 seasons. Tom has also worked at Anan Creek Wildlife Observatory in southeast Alaska for 3 seasons prior to his time at McNeil River.

Elk of Eagle County

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 5:30pm
Presenter: Bill Andree
Location: Avon Public Library

Bill Andree headshotSpeaker Biography: Bill Andree graduated from CSU with a B.S. in Fishery and Zoology and started working with the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1980.  He has been the District Wildlife Manager for the Vail District since 1981.  From 1989-1991 he supervised the study on Bighorn Sheep at Booth Creek and supervised the Colorado Lynx survey crew from 1991-1993.  He has been published in Wildlife Society Bulletin in 1995, and is one of the co-authors of The Effects of Ski Area Expansion on Elk.  Bill is a member of the Colorado Division of Wildlife Lynx Recovery Team.  In 1985 he received the award for Colorado Wildlife Officer of the year by the Shikar-Safari Club International, he was the 1991 Wildlife Professional of the year by Colorado Trappers Association, the 1992 Professional Achievement Award in Wildlife Management by Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and in 2007 he received the Wildlife Lifetime Achievement Award by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.  Bill officially retired from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife in July of 2018.

Wolf Land

Wednesday, March 13, 2018 | 5:30pm *CANCELED due to winter storm*
Presenter: Carter Niemeyer
Location: Walking Mountains Science Center

Carter Niemeyer headshotSpeaker Biography: Carter Niemeyer has been a trapper, hunter, and wildlife proponent his entire life. Wolves, he believes, add to the outdoor experience, and people who see or hear them should consider the experience thrilling. Wolves do not, as many believe, kill everything in sight, destroy their own food supply, or lick their chops at kids waiting at bus stops. They are simply predators like lions and bears, and anyone who believes otherwise is, well, wrong.

Niemeyer retired in 2006 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he was the wolf recovery coordinator for the state of Idaho. As an expert government trapper, he was a key member of the federal wolf reintroduction team in Canada in the mid-1990s. Carter is an Iowa native, but adopted the West as his home in the early 1970s. He has two degrees from Iowa State University and is a Wildlife Society certified biologist. In 2010 he wrote his first memoir, Wolfer. He published his second collection of stories, Wolf Land, in March 2016.

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