By about the end of January, many Central Oregonians start dreaming about warmer temperatures, longer days and the arrival of spring and more time outdoors. But alas, as most of us know, spring won't be here until June—OK, maybe May—so we have to dream about spring while making it through the rest of winter that is still to come. Enter the Deschutes Land Trust and its annual winter Nature Nights series. It hosts free, monthly presentations from January through March on nature-related topics given by experts in their field, which provide the perfect nighttime diversion to help speed winter along. This year Nature Nights are once again virtual, so you don't even have to get out of your sweatpants! Mark your calendar, grab your favorite beverage and some popcorn, and settle in for these upcoming talks:
January 26: A Low-to-No Snow Future
Mountain snowpacks have historically acted as large, natural reservoirs of water, as well as providing awesome recreational opportunities. In recent decades, however, snowpack has declined—another sign of a changing climate. If our climate continues to warm, snow loss will be exacerbated across the Western U.S., termed a "low-to-no snow future." Join the Deschutes Land Trust, Dr. Alan Rhoades, and Dr. Erica Siirila-Woodburn to learn about the possibility of a low-to-no snow future in the Cascades. Rhoades and Siirila-Woodburn will offer proactive solutions to both mitigate the extent of and adapt to the changing conditions of a low-to-no snow future. Learn how you can help make a difference in our (hopefully!) snowy future. This presentation is free, but you must get your ticket online.
March 2: Is Climate Anxiety Bad for the Planet?
"The chronic fear of environmental doom" is how the American Psychological Association defines eco-anxiety, and it is on the rise around the world, as communities increasingly experience the effects of climate change. Join the Deschutes Land Trust and Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray as we take a look at climate anxiety. Drawing on her recent book, Ray will explore climate anxiety, who feels it and how it affects our ability to address climate change. She'll share details on how climate anxiety is leaving many immobilized and/or apathetic, and offer some emotional skills to help us all navigate this era of climate crisis. Learn how you can manage your climate anxiety and become a stronger advocate for climate action. This presentation is free and ticket sales open one month prior to the event.
March 30: American Pikas and Climate Change
You might know the America pika as a fuzzy little creature that chirps and runs away with grass in its mouth while you're hiking in the mountains, but they are oh so much more than that! Join the Deschutes Land Trust and Dr. Matt Shinderman, director of the Human and Ecosystem Resilience and Sustainability Lab at Oregon State University-Cascades, for a talk on these intriguing creatures and how they are adapting to major challenges like climate change. Shinderman will share the results of a five-year study of American pikas in the Pacific Northwest that suggests that they can persist in lower elevation landscapes in our high desert, despite their moniker as a high alpine species. Matt will also include lessons learned from other long-term monitoring efforts, and offer solutions for how we can all help pikas thrive into the future. This presentation is free and ticket sales open one month prior to the event.
The Land Trust has been hosting Nature Nights since 2011. All Nature Nights are free, but a ticket is required. Register online: deschuteslandtrust.org