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Treading Lightly Lecture Series: Bitterroot Valley Winter Eagle Project: The Rise of Scavengers and Citizen Scientists

February 19, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

$5 – $10

From time immemorial, humans have found ways to explore, learn from, and connect with the natural world. We do this in a variety of ways, some of which leave more footprints than others. This year, our lecture series explores how we can study and observe the natural world while doing our best to minimize our impact. Join us as biologists, philosophers, conservationists, and more share their work and their views on how to learn from nature while treading lightly.

Our first speaker is Eric Rasmussen, a field biologist with the avian science team at MPG Ranch. Eric received a B.S. in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana. Afterwards, he worked for nine years, mostly in western Montana, on bird-related research projects for the U.S. Forest Service. Eric was hired by MPG Ranch as the Bird Research Technician in 2010. During warmer months, Eric conducts breeding bird surveys, counts migrating raptors, and bands hummingbirds. In the winter, his work changes dramatically as he and his coworkers patrol the roadsides for carcasses for use in the Bitterroot Valley Winter Eagle Project.

Join us for Eric’s lecture, Bitterroot Valley Winter Eagle Project: The Rise of Scavengers and Citizen Scientists. MPG Ranch, along with the Raptor View Research Institute, has been studying overwintering eagles since 2011, deploying wing tags, numbered leg bands, or satellite transmitters on over 100 eagles. To increase the potential of re-sighting marked eagles and to look at eagles’ use of private lands, their team has placed camera traps on carcasses throughout the Bitterroot Valley. These cameras allow scientists to observe and study these large raptors without capturing or tagging them, functioning as a way to gather data with a lighter impact. Over the last several years, this project has lead observers and scientists down numerous paths on an epic scavenger hunt. Come learn about Eric’s work and the adventures involved in studying these amazing birds, and learn how you can get involved in the project, too!

Check out our full list of speakers and topics here.

Cost per lecture: $10; $5 MNHC members; FREE for high school and college students. Tickets available on January 1, 2020. Purchase tickets here.

Thank you to our Title Sponsor, the Good Food Store, and to the Dram Shop for sponsoring our lecture series!



February 19, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
$5 – $10
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Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory St.
Missoula, MT 59801 United States