Keith Aubry, who runs wolverine research for the Forest Service in the North Cascades, will give a talk next Thursday, September 19th, 7pm, at the Northwest Stream Center in McCollum Park, Everett, Washington. The talk will cover his seven years of work on wolverines in Washington, including last year’s discovery of the region’s first documented reproductive dens. Attending the talk requires advance registration and a ticket. Details can be found here.
My talk last week in Jackson went well – the Jackson Hole Bird and Nature club comprises a great group of dedicated naturalists and scientists, and it was a pleasure to talk to such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic audience. I also appreciated the fact that a number of people who showed up for a misadvertised geology talk stuck around to learn about wolverines instead.
Over the course of the past several years, Jason Wilmot, Jeff Copeland, Gianna Savoie, and Doug Chadwick have been periodically involved in a series of talks about wolverine science and conservation. Much of their effort focused on introducing the species to the public, talking about basic biology and ecology, coaching people on how to ID the animal and its tracks, outlining threats and conservation challenges, and emphasizing the climate change issues. As I put together my talk, I had to make some choices about how to balance the “This is a Wolverine and Here’s Why It’s Amazing” theme with the “Here’s What I Do in Mongolia, and Here’s Why It’s Important” theme. In an effort to assess how much background I needed to give, I gave the audience a quick quiz at the beginning of the talk. I was struck by the fact that they knew all the answers, which left me free to move on to the story of working on wolverines in Mongolia. Admittedly this was a group of naturalists, but I wonder whether we’ve now moved to a second phase in conveying information about the species. Maybe all those earlier efforts have paid off, and we have a more broadly educated wolverine constituency? I certainly hope so.
Many thanks again to all those who came to the talk.