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WAS Programs

All programs are FREE and open to the public.

Third Tuesday of the month, 7pm

GPNC Auditorium; refreshments follow the program

2019 - 2020 Program Schedule

September 17

Speaker: Rachel Roth, Great Plains Nature Center

Jurassic Lark: Why Birds Are Dinosaurs

From brooding behaviors to pneumatic bones, the similarities between modern birds and dinosaurs go well beyond feathers. In the last two, years huge leaps in research and hundreds of new fossils continue to paint a picture of ancient birds that blurs the line between "avian" and "non-avian." Rachel will explain why dinosaurs still exist; they simply took to the sky.

October 15

Speaker: Dr. Ryan Klataske

People and Wildlife: An Anthropologist's Journey to Namibia

African wildlife face an array of formidable threats, from habitat loss and fragmentation to human-wildlife conflict and illegal trafficking. Fortunately, in southern Africa, groups of people are working together to manage and conserve wildlife and natural resources in innovative ways. For the past decade, anthropologist Dr. Ryan Klataske has studied wildlife management and conservation in Namibia, documenting these important efforts and the intersecting issues of ranching, race, land, and livelihoods. This talk will provide a broad, publicly accessible introduction to Namibia, including its people, history, wildlife, and the lessons it can teach us about conservation and community in the Great Plains.

November 19

Speaker: Dr. Bill Langley

The Impact of Road Mortality on Wildlife

We have all seen dead animals along the road and wondered how often did this occur? My study described the road mortality for amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and birds along Highway K254 over a two-year period. A total of 88 species comprised the 4484 individuals found during this study. Hear about what I found and its importance.

February 18

Speaker: Jim & Patty Marlett

Australia: Adventures Down Under

Jim and Patty Marlett have made two trips to Australia, both times with Carol and Hal Cumberland. In 2015 they visited Queensland, Sydney, and Tasmania for four weeks. They returned in 2018 to spend three weeks in Victoria and South Australia, traveling from Melbourne to Adelaide. The wildlife in Australia was amazing, and like nothing in Kansas! They will show you everything from Emus and penguins to blue-tongued skink to Tasmanian devils.

March 17

Speaker: Bob Gress

Nature Highlights of Scotland and Ireland

From rugged coastlines to Caledonian forests to mountain highlands, the Scottish islands maintain some of the most pristine wilderness in the United Kingdom.  Wildlife thrives in much of this country of castles, lochs, moors, heaths, glens and firths.  The Emerald Isle’s physical appeal endures, but by no means is entirely green.  The gray limestone Burren’s in County Clare and black peat bogs of the Midlands accent this beautiful landscape.  This program highlights Scotland and Ireland’s traditional culture, landscapes, rural life and wildlife encountered on a month-long adventure during spring of 2019.

April 21

Speaker: Vickie Cikanek

Life History and Current Status of Prairie Chicken in KS

Greater and Lesser Prairie chicken are an iconic symbol of the Kansas prairie.  Their mating habits alone make them a must see when visiting the great plains, but there is so much more to their lives than what goes on in the spring.  They have been coined by some as umbrella species of the central plains, and it is because of that, there has been a lot of concern over their population statuses across their range over the last 10 years.  This program will give more details into all of this and more!

May 19

Speaker: Mark H. X. Glenshaw

Forest Park Owls: Hiding in Plain Sight

Mark H.X. Glenshaw is an award-winning naturalist who has closely observed and documented the lives of Great Horned Owls in Forest Park, a large urban park in St. Louis, Missouri, since December 2005. Mark’s work with Great Horned Owls involves extensive outreach as each year he gives dozens of talks across Missouri and Illinois (this is his first talk in Kansas!) and leads scores of owl prowls in Forest Park. Mark is a Missouri Master Naturalist and a volunteer for Forest Park Forever. Mark has his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in communications and journalism from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2006 the Academy of Science-St. Louis presented him the Citizen Scientist Award for his work with owls. Mark’s talk Forest Park Owls: Hiding In Plain Sight, will cover how he found these owls, basic facts about the species, and the different behaviors he has been able to see and document with photos and videos to illustrate these behaviors.