Trip Signup Gallery
Members Area (hint)

Past Obsidian ExploraTalks:

Jump to Year:

2023   2022   2021   2020   2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009   2008   2007   2006  


Friday, November 17, 2023—Potluck/ExploraTalk-Marli Miller: Geology Roadside view of OR & WA

Assembling the Northwest: A roadside view of Oregon and Washington’s geology With its spectacular mountain ranges, lush valleys and tumbling rivers, the Northwest landscape attracts nature lovers and travelers from around the world. But the rain-soaked coast range, snow-covered volcanoes and expansive high desert didn’t appear overnight. They formed through a variety of geologic processes over millions of years. On November 17, geologist and photographer Marli Miller will outline the geology of Oregon and Washington as seen along our federal and state highways. Beginning with our plate tectonic setting, she will describe the process of continental growth that forms the underlying but diverse basement of the region, followed by a photographic “roadtrip” up the Columbia Gorge to illustrate younger features. You will leave the Lodge eager for your next road trip! Miller is the author of Roadside Geology of Oregon, 2nd Edition, Roadside Geology of Washington, 2nd Edition, which she wrote with Darrel Cowan of the University of Washington, and most recently Oregon Rocks! A Guide to 60 Amazing Geologic Sites. She is a Senior Instructor II in the Dept. of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon. Copies of her books will be available at the event. You do not need to be an Obsidian member to attend. All are welcome! Signing up here is not necessary, but it is helpful.

Friday, November 17, 2023—Marli Miller talks Geology - an ExploraTalk / Potluck presentation

Marli Miller is a senior instructor at UO in the Dept. of Earth Sciences. She always makes the science of geology understandable and fascinating as she did when she spoke at the Lodge most recently. Her 2021 book, "Oregon Rocks!', describes Oregon's wonderful geology. Since then, her online posts with photos demonstrate what a poetic and accomplished writer and photographer she is. Join us for the potluck at 6:30 PM and/or come to hear and see her presentation at 7:30 PM, as she will unearth our NW land features in a compelling way. You will leave the Lodge eager for your next road trip! Social time starts at 6:05 PM; Potluck at 6:30 PM; Presentation at 7:30 PM. You do not need to be an Obsidian member to attend. All are welcome! If you want to attend just the presentation, please arrive just before 7:30 PM. (Visit Potluck & Entertainment page for more information about the potluck portion.)



Tuesday, May 17, 2022—Holiday Farm Fire Aftermath - MRT

In person ExploraTalks at the Lodge are back! Christer LaBrecque and Brandi Ferguson with McKenzie River Trust will provide us with an update on the Finn Rock Reach floodplain restoration project as well as tell us about MRT’s role assisting with Holiday Farm Fire efforts. Please plan to join us! (Your online signup is optional.) State and local COVID protocols will be followed at this event.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022—McDermitt Creek Caldera & Lithium Mine

Topic: Two Obsidians, who are also ONDA members, will report on the history and ecology of the McDermitt Creek caldera and watershed as well as the environmental implications of the potential McDermitt Creek lithium mine. They participated in a trip at Trout Creek Mountains earlier in the month to learn about these issues and conduct field surveys. Please join us! (Online signup optional.)



Tuesday, October 19, 2021—Obsidian ExploraTalk

In this free online Zoom presentation, Hannah Alverson, Fire Ecologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Salmon, ID will discuss the importance of whitebark pine as a keystone species in high elevation ecosystems. She will address how climate change exacerbates current threats to the species including wildfire, white pine blister rust, and mountain pine beetle. In addition, she will describe what land managers are doing to restore whitebark pine. Hosted by Obsidian Angie Ruzicka. Instructions, including the line for the Zoom meeting will be sent by e-mail to all participants by Sunday evening October 17th. Questions may be directed to scied@obsidians.org In addition to the e-mail sent Sunday 10/17, here is the Zoom meeting information that could be copied and pasted: Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/95260652017?pwd=N2tYUUsrSXRXRnJtOFVIdGwxYXZCZz09 Meeting ID: 952 6065 2017 Passcode: 231590




Tuesday, January 21, 2020—The Intertwine: a conservation story

In 1982 Mike Houck was told by officials “there is no place for nature in the city”. Today, Metro, the regional government, owns 17,000 acres and local park providers own several thousand additional acres of parks and natural area. Mike will describe the evolution of The Intertwine, a Portland-Vancouver regional system of parks, trails, and natural areas. Together government and nonprofit organizations have worked for thirty years to protect biodiversity and watershed health across the urban and rural landscapes all the while ensuring the region’s residents have access to nature where they live, work and play.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020—The Geography of Adventure

‘Hike, Bike, Skate, Surf, Ski: The Geography of Adventure’ - UO’s Nick Kohler will present on how adventure endeavors, lifestyle sports, and outdoor recreation have transformed landscapes and cultures. He teaches a class that has students consider how people experience place through recreation and how geographical locations have been shaped by outdoor pursuits.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020—Forest Service Permits and Fees

Matt Peterson, Recreation Program Manager with the Forest Service, will provide information about the new Central Cascades wilderness permitting system to be implemented this year. Details will also be provided to members regarding reimbursing trip leaders for permit fees for club hikes at applicable trailheads from the Friday before Memorial Day to the last Friday in September.




Tuesday, February 12, 2019—Wilderness Strategies Project Update

Matt Peterson, Recreation Program Manager with the Forest Service will join us to address the new strategies to reduce impact and preserve the character of the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington and Three Sisters wilderness areas. Join us and bring your questions as Matt explains the impact of the strategies and what they will mean in planning future activities in these areas.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019—Restoring Riparian Areas

Restoring Riparian Areas in the Upper Willamette: Beavers and the Humans Who Act Like Them Join Elizabeth Goward and Daniel Dietz of the McKenzie River Trust as we explore the history of the Willamette floodplain and share how two keystone species, beavers and humans are helping to reshape floodplain restoration. We will examine riparian projects taking place in the upper Willamette that restore riparian floodplain processes and how working with, and acting like, beavers can help us to become better stewards of the land.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019—Wilderness Strategies Project Update

Matt Peterson, Recreation Program Manager with the U. S. Forest Service, will address the new changes and restrictions coming in 2020 to reduce impact and preserve the character of the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington and Three Sisters wilderness areas. Join us and bring your questions as Matt explains the details and impact of the new permit system and what they will mean in planning future activities in these areas.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019—Buford Park Habitat Plan

Habitat Management at Lane County’s Buford Park from planning to implementation: 2008-2035 Jason Blazer, Stewardship Director at Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah, will update us on the newly adopted plan to conserve the park’s wildlife and botanical resources. The plan envisions trail improvements as well as restored rare prairie, oak savanna and oak woodland habitats. Jason has been involved with stewardship of this large, strategically located regional park close to 20 years.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019—David Thompson, Explorer/Surveyor

Gordon Sayre, UO English Professor and Obsidian member, has a special interest in the exploration and cartography of North America. His explorer talk will feature David Thompson, a late18th/early 19th century man who, like David Douglas, recorded his findings. While Douglas was a botanist, Thompson surveyed, traveled and published maps of the Northwest. He navigated the entire length of the Columbia River in 1811. By the time of his death in 1857, David Thompson had covered nearly 80,000 miles on foot, on horseback and by canoe.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019—Mapping Yellowstone Wilderness

UO geographer, Jim Meacham, has spent the last two decades capturing data from the greater Yellowstone area. With that data he has created a series of maps and data-rich graphics. Jim has collaborated with wildlife biologists, geologists, historians and many other experts and researchers to publish a pair of atlases about the region. He will discuss his work and share a selection of maps and stories from these projects.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019—Ecology of Surprise

Michael Nelson, OSU Professor of Environmental Philosophy and Ethics and Lead Principal Investigator for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, will delight us with the “surprises that come to light during forest research.” Michael will also provide us with an overview of the OSU sponsored Andrews Experiment Forest, one of 25 major ecosystem research sites funded through NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research Program.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019—Hiking Oregon Ancient Forests

Oregon Wild's Chandra LeGue will talk about her new guidebook that covers Oregon’s rapturous old-growth forests. She will discuss where the forests are and who manages them, the threats they face, and an action plan for protecting what remains and restoring damaged forests so they may become the ancient forests of the future. She will further address forest ecology, flora, and fauna and also details 91 of her favorite hikes across the state.



Tuesday, January 16, 2018—Paradoxes in Measurement

We will look at a few historic examples of the mysterious connection between perception and conception in modern physics with Obsidian, Tom Rundle

Tuesday, February 13, 2018—Forest Ecology

Whitey Lueck will be showing slides from his master’s work on forest ecology at Oregon State University. He lived on Bachelor Butte in the Deschutes National Forest and studied the whitebark pine tree at its highest elevation. His interesting and amusing observations include the critical role and close relationship of the Clark’s nutcracker with the whitebark pine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018—Teaching Leadership Through Storytelling

Unfortunately, the March ExploraTalk, Teaching Leadership Through Storytelling, is cancelled. Our speaker has had a work commitment spring up for that evening and is disappointed he cannot make it. The next talk on geology will occur April 17th. Original escription - UO and NOLS (a nonprofit global wilderness school) instructor, Eric Boggs will talk with us about how to use storytelling as a powerful way to teach leadership. By reflecting on our stories, we will learn how to share each other’s experiences, channeling emotions to help shape lives and promote understanding, meaning, and gratitude in a more nuanced perspective. Since 2001, Eric has been working for NOLS and he is currently the director of the UO Lundquist College Honors Program.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018—Geology and Rocks

Obsidian Tom Rundle has a passion for geology and has taken time to collect many rocks over the years. He has led very interesting geology hikes for the Obsidians using geologic maps and talking about the geologic history of an area. For this ExploraTalk, we will look at rocks as indicators of tectonic geologic processes and terranes, or fault-bounded areas with distinctive stratigraphies and structures.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018—Lizards Tales

Tom Titus is a biologist, instructor, and author of the memoir “Blackberries in July: A Forager’s Field Guide to Inner Peace”. Tom will address how a pair of 12,200-year-old lizard mummies excavated from Paisley Caves, his University of Oregon course “Amphibians and Reptiles of Oregon,” and his popular writing coalesced into the grassroots and dirt-poor Sagebrush Lizard Genome Project. Along the way he’ll delve into the natural history of reptiles of the Northern Great Basin, how to sequence a novel genome, and the world of ancient DNA. Tom will conclude with a short reading from his spring 2017 Oregon Quarterly essay “Lizard Tales”.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018—Waterfowl

Local naturalist and Obsidian Rick Ahrens has birded on all seven continents. He always delivers a lively and informative slide show! This presentation will focus on ducks and geese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018—The Geology of the McKenzie River

Former river guide, research hydrologist, and “water guru” Gordon Grant will weave tales about the unique geology of the McKenzie River.




Tuesday, January 17, 2017—Making Positive Change

Making a Positive Change: Volunteer Conservation Opportunities Four Obsidians will be talking about their varied volunteer participation in outdoor service projects. The focus of the evening will be on the agencies with whom they volunteered, while not that much detail about all the service projects themselves will be addressed. Earthworks and Wilderness Volunteers are two non-profits to be discussed. Please come to learn about what and how you could get involved! The members of the panel include Nancy Hoecker, Judy Adamcyk, Chris Stockdale and Mike Smith, with Tom Rundle serving as moderator. Print materials and slides will provide glimpses into the work performed by these four conservation volunteers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017—Bold Acts of Strength

Making an Extraordinary Effort: Bold Acts of Strength Local Eugene Mountain Rescue volunteers will each talk about the experience of achieving a major feat of endurance--climbing Denali, completing the PCT, finishing the Race Across America. Slides and video accompany this fascinating discussion about what it takes to ensure success, driving us perhaps beyond what we think we are capable of.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017—Wilderness Management

Wilderness Management in Willamette & Deschutes National Forests Matt Peterson, Recreation Program Manager with the Forest Service in the Willamette National Forest, will discuss wilderness management. His agency jointly manages the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters and Diamond Peak Wilderness areas, in addition to Opal Creek, Menagerie, Middle Santiam and Waldo Lake areas, all which are popular destinations for our members. Some areas of these wildernesses have seen a tremendous increase in visitation over the last few years. Part of the presentation will include a discussion about potential management strategies that the Forest Service could consider to help protect these areas from being ‘loved to death”.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017—Conservation in Our Backyard

Investing In Conservation in Our Own Backyard: A Conversation with the Carnine's Doug and Linda Carnine will be telling us about how they worked with the Mackenzie River Trust and other organizations to protect their 294-acre property a few miles from Eugene. They purchased cut-over parcels of land around Lane County with a vision to turn them into thriving forests that clean the air and provide homes for native hawks, bees, cougars rattlesnakes and bears. A hiking tour on trails on their managed land will follow on Thursday, in which participants will observe wildlife habitat and native plants.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017—Colorado River Origins and Evolution

Reconstructing the Origins of the Colorado River: A Talk with Becky Dorsey, Professor of Earth Sciences UO geologist Becky Dorsey has studied the Colorado River for years. Researchers remain unsure of what controlled the start of the river. Under a National Science Foundation grant, Becky is leading a UO focus on the lower reaches of the river. She will discuss her group's initial findings and provide us with a roadmap of where her research may take us.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017—Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse: How to Ensure a Good Experience Obsidian member and expert on solar eclipses Mike Smith will give us the where, when and how to see the total solar eclipse that will occur on the morning of Monday, August 21, 2017. We in Oregon will be lucky to have the “path of totality” span our state. The last time a total solar eclipse darkened soil on the U.S. was back in February 1979. Come prepared to learn all about this celestial event from Mike who was bitten by the eclipse bug years ago!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017—Birding Without Borders

Birding Without Borders: Noah Strycker’s Big Year Noah Strycker set a record for a worldwide Big Year of birding in 2015; he saw 6,042 of the world’s 10,400 bird species that year on seven continents. Noah was born in Eugene, is an OSU grad, has written two bird books and hiked the entire PCT six years ago. He is totally addicted to birds and it is a real thrill to have him back at the Lodge to present about his observations and adventures from his global journey.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017—The Oregon Desert Trail

The Oregon Desert Trail: Hiking on the Dry Side Renee Patrick, the Oregon Desert Trail Coordinator, will talk about the Oregon Desert Trail initiative. A Bend resident, Renee brings 13 years of long-distance hiking experience with her as she helps shape the future of this 800-mile trail through desert in eastern Oregon. This introduction to the trail, which continues to be a work-in-progress, will include information about manageable sections you can hike now. Not to be confused with the Oregon High Desert National Recreation Trail, this trail traverses the state starting in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, and including the Fremont NRT, Paisley Caves, the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain and the Owyhee Canyonlands. Renee is also a packrafter and will share her story about a ‘water alternate’ option to the trail hiking route on the Chewaucan River.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017—The Best Rides in Oregon

How To Find the Best Rides in Oregon with Richard Hughes Obsidian member Richard is a influential proponent of the Willamette Scenic Bikeway and earlier this year was appointed member of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways Committee. He will explore with us not only how to find the best rides in Oregon, but also where to stay overnight, which restaurants to frequent and when bike events occur throughout the state.




Tuesday, February 16, 2016—Outskirts of the Universe

JOURNEY TO THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE UNIVERSE The first ExploraTalk of the 2016 season features long time amateur astronomer Larry Deckman. No matter how much you know or think you know about our world, you will learn something from Larry. This program will take you beyond Earth's atmosphere until you're seeing our home planet from 150 miles up. Ascending higher, you'll reach the Moon and the planets of our solar system. Then it's off to the stars and clouds of the Milky Way galaxy, followed by the clusters of galaxies at the edge of the universe. Illustrated entirely with beautiful photographs from NASA and the world's great telescopes, this 60-minute journey to the outskirts of the universe is genuinely consciousness expanding.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016—Adventuring in the Brooks Range

Adventuring in the Brooks Range: Mountains and Rivers Join river guides and outdoor enthusiasts Jason Rice and Tim Thoren on Tuesday, March 15 at the Obsidian Lodge for a slideshow and talk about the Brooks Range in Alaska. This vast area, above the Arctic Circle, is one of the most remote, wild, and undisturbed places in the United States. You will be fascinated with their stories and photos of the wildlife, rivers, and mountains of this unique area of the world.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016—Nutrition for Active Adults

Presented by Caitlin Goodman, BA Nutrition, Nutrition Operations Manager for the University of Oregon Athletic Department This presentation is geared towards avid outdoor enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their training and outdoor activities. Whether you are training for an extensive back country ski trip or are a weekend adventurer, this will provide you with the information you need to help you take your outdoor pursuits to the next level. The talk will focus on bone health, protein requirements, energy needs during physical activity and changes in caloric requirements at higher altitudes. Changes to your nutrition can change your life.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016—Butterflies of Lane County

Join local naturalist and Obsidian Rick Ahrens at the Obsidian Lodge on May 31 at 7:00pm for a fascinating look at our local butterflies. In a presentation illustrated by beautiful photographs he will examine most of the common species and a few rare ones - exploring life cycles, ecology, as well as where and when to look for these ephemeral winged wonders. Directions to the Lodge at www.obsidians.org

Tuesday, June 14, 2016—Coastal Tide Pools

COASTAL TIDE POOLS AND MUDFLATS. Join Biologist and Obsidian Tommy Young for the last Explora Talk until the fall at the Obsidian Lodge on Tuesday, June 14, at 7:00 pm. His presentation will be a comparison of Seal Rock Tidal Pools and Sarasota Bay Tidal Mud Flats, a beautifully illustrated slide show about the ecology of Sarasota Bay in Florida and our own Seal Rock.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016—Douglas Fir National Monument

The Joshua tree, saguaro cacti, bald cypress, giant sequoia, and coast redwood all have namesake national monuments. Join professional photographer David Stone for a slideshow and talk on the proposed Douglas-fir National Monument in Oregon Oregon at the Obsidian Lodge, Tuesday, Sept.27 at 7:00 pm.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016—Wilamut Natural Area

Wilamut Natural Area presented by Charlotte Behm

Tuesday, November 8, 2016—British Columbia Adventure

Nervous about the election results? They will not be announced until after our polls close! So attend this ExploraTalk presentation and plan your next vacation instead of biting your nails! Last summer, Richard Hughes, Lana Lindstrom and friends mountain biked the Kettle Valley Rails to Trails in southern British Columbia for a week. The 200 mile trail consists of both packed dirt and paved roads. The Myra Canyon trestles and tunnels are a highlight. We then explored Cathedral Provincial Park, staying at Cathedral Lakes Lodge, Canada’s highest full service hiking and fishing lodge. The scenery rivals the Alps and includes marmots, mountain goats, and picas. And both places are within a day’s driving distance of Eugene!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015—Solar Eclipses

Solar Eclipses and the Day that will Change Oregon

Tuesday, March 24, 2015—Wilderness Inventory

Dave Predeek will present "Wilderness Inventory With the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015—Backcountry of Denali

Charlie Loeb on back country travels at Denali

Tuesday, May 19, 2015—Guidebook Renaissance

Voyagers to the Americas encountered plants and animals that were radically new and unknown in Europe and Asia. How were these American species disseminated, given that the American colonies had few or no printing industries, and it was often impossible to ship specimens across the Atlantic? Longtime Obsidian and UO Professor of English and Folklore Gordon Sayre will answer this question and many more in a slide presentation about the development in the Renaissance of printed guidebooks and catalogues of plant and animal species. These new guidebooks replaced face-to­face transfer of information with high quality illustrations that made it possible for readers to match descriptions and images with species they found in the field.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015—Global Warming

The June 16 ExploraTalk will feature member Tom Giesen explaining that reductions in CO2 Emissions requires quick and decisive action. The program begins at 7 pm at the Obsidian Lodge.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015—Bear and Cougar Basics

Oregon is home to healthy populations of both bears and cougars. If you spend much time in the forests of Oregon you are likely often near these species even though you rarely see them. This is not cause for concern but there are few things about these animals you should know. Wildlife biologist Brian Wolfer will join us to provide advice for people that live or recreate in bear and cougar country. He will also share information regarding bear and cougar biology and management in Oregon. Brian Wolfer is the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s District Wildlife Biologist in the South Willamette Watershed District. He works with a wide variety of wildlife and habitat issues. Brian received his Wildlife Science degree from Oregon State University and has been with ODFW for the last 17 years.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015—Lewis and Clark in Oregon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015—To be determined



Tuesday, January 28, 2014—Global Warming

Obsidian Tom Giesen and his friend Tom Bowerman will discuss the foundations of global warming, and move on to the social and economic choices we have before us in order to minimize the highly likely disruption and degradation of our social, economic and ecological systems. Most scientists agree that global warming is a broad-scale socioeconomic process resulting from ever-increasing global use of fossil fuel energy. The two Toms plan to discuss: * The simple physics of global warming. * The history and interactions of energy, GDP (size of the economy) and global warming. * The social, economic and ecological consequences of warming. * The long-term (multiple century) consequences. * The state of public opinion regarding these issues. * The conflict between individual and social responses to warming. * An overview of some behavioral responses to this complex issue. Tom Giesen teaches global warming (PPPM 399) and natural resource policy (PPPM 443/543) at the UO. Tom Bowerman conducts human behavior research about climate change, including opinion surveys through Policy Interactive (PI). www.policyinteractive.org Lite refreshments provided. For additional information call Joella Ewing, Conservation, Science & Education Committee Chair 541-344-9197 Visit www.obsidians.org for directions.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014—Mountain Geology

Dr. Josh Roering, professor of geological sciences at UO will present slides depicting the exciting formation of mountains, including catastrophic landslides, ancient lakes, and big floods.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014—Conserving Oregon’s Environment

Past Sierra Club Director Michael McCloskey will show slides from his historically and locally significant new book, Conserving Oregon's Environment: Breakthroughs That Made History.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014—Footsteps of the Kalapuya

With Tony Farque, award winning Regional Interpreter/Educator of the Year for the Willamette National Forest, we will follow the historic footsteps of the Kalapuya Indians along the lower floodplains of the South Santiam river.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014—Down the McKenzie

We will take an armchair float down the McKenzie river with Dave Helfrich, grandson of pioneering river guide Prince Helfrich, and learn some possibly new stories about the connection between the river guides and our founding Obsidian forefathers.

Friday, June 20, 2014—Cascadia Cave Rock Shelter

This will be a guided hike into Cascadia Cave rock shelter site led by US Forest Service Archaeologist Tony Farque. We will follow an ancient indigenous travel route along the north bank of the South Santiam River. The rock shelter is located on private land. The only approved public access is with the US Forest Service personnel, permitted by agreement with the land owners. Cascadia Cave is one of the oldest documented sites in Oregon. Early excavations by UO icon Luther Cressman established a base line for comparative analysis. The site displays the largest and most complex rock art found in western Oregon. Discussion topics along the trail will include culture history, traditional cultural landscapes, restoration, rock art interpretation, and tribal stories.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014—Award Wining Cartography

David Imus's handcrafted map of the U.S won cartography's equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Picture at the Cartography and Geographic Information Society's competition. He'll show us how he did it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014—Beautiful Oregon

Tim Giraudier, Nature Photographer - Beautiful Oregon: A Heartfelt Walk Through the Home Country



Tuesday, January 15, 2013—Birds not seen in Oregon

Birds You’ll Probably Never See in Oregon Last March and April, Dave Stone took a road trip to the Texas Gulf Coast to find and photograph birds we can never hope to see around here. He visited ten birding hot spots in Texas and the southwest, including Padre Island, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Big Bend National Park, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and more. Along the way, he visited the rugged Red Rock country in Southern Utah, White Sands National Monument and several ancient petroglyph sites. He will show us the fruits of his trip at 7 p.m. at the lodge on Tuesday, January 15. Dave has been photographing professionally since 1988, with photos published by National Geographic, National Audubon Society and numerous regional publications. He teaches Nature Photography, Photoshop Elements, Travel Photography and a class called Making Friends with Your Digital Camera at Lane Community College.

Saturday, March 16, 2013—Upper North Fork/ Cayuse Cr.

We will be exploring the upper North Fork (of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River) to check out snow levels and determine trail conditions near and above Box Canyon (or how ever far we get). Hiking or snowshoeing depending upon snow level and trail access. If possible I will be GPS locating a few features near the confluence of Cayuse Cr and the North Fork.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013—Film Night

Kam Wah Chung (John Day) and Kolb  Brothers, Grand Canyon Pioneers Kam Wah Chung is the name of the restored general store and pharmacy in John Day, Oregon, where herbal doctor Ing Hay and businessman Lung On lived and worked in the late 1880s.  The PBS Oregon Experience film describes how the discovery of gold brought thousands of Chinese to eastern Oregon and how these two men became respected members of the John Day community.  Close-up views of the general store, now a museum filled with interesting artifacts, will show how it functioned in its heyday.  This will be of particular interest for those going on the Spring Basin/John Day extended trip in May. Film #2:  In 1903 Ellsworth and Emery Kolb set up a photography business on the Grand Canyon rim.  For 75 years they operated the Kolb Studio, where they displayed photographs and showed amazing movies of their raft trips down the Colorado River. Their restored studio is the red house at the beginning of the Bright Angel Trail.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013—Owyhee Canyonlands

Obsidian Sam Miller will introduce examples of the recreational opportunities and preservation efforts associated with the Owyhee Canyonlands. The vast expanse of high desert in the far southeast corner of Oregon is crisscrossed by deep, narrow canyons carved by wild and scenic rivers. It is one of the largest unprotected roadless areas in the continental United States. A place once described as the Great Unexplored Dessert, this diverse and fragile landscape is a remarkable region worth protecting. Attend this slide presentation to learn why and how. A member of the Obsidians since 1974, Sam Miller has led club hikes, climbs, and ski trips and has pursued a wide-range of outdoor activities. As a member of the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) and the Sierra Club, he has been involved with efforts to protect Oregon's high desert. Contact: Joella Ewing: scied@obsidians.org For directions to the Lodge, go to: www.obsidians.org/lodgemap.htm

Wednesday, May 22, 2013—What About Earth First?

Rob Castleberry

Tuesday, June 18, 2013—Hiking Astronomy

John Hartman

Tuesday, September 17, 2013—Swifts at Condon School

Tuesday, October 15, 2013—Tebenkof Bay Wilderness

The October 15 ExploraTalk, featuring southeast Alaska's extremely remote Tebenkof Bay Wilderness, will be presented by science writer Valerie Rapp, who explored it on a kayak expedition in June. Valerie was invited on the expedition to be a visiting writer in Alaska's Voices of the Wilderness program. Tebenkof Bay Wilderness, part of a larger wilderness complex of islands and straits sprawling across the waistline of the Tongass National Forest, is so remote that no more than 50 people visit it a year. There are zero miles of hiking trails, but it does have abundant sea otters, bald eagles, and humpback whales. Valerie will use the story of her trip to start a discussion about who will be the future constituency for Tebenkof and other little-known wildernesses, and what we want our legacies to be fifty years from now in terms of wilderness values. Valerie is the author of six books, including "What the River Reveals" (2008 ValGene Press), and numerous scientific publications. She has also collaborated with artist Jennifer Williams on educational installations using images and words to explore healing our wounded watersheds, ecological recovery at Mt. St. Helens, and the importance of salmon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013—TBA




Tuesday, February 28, 2012—Bringing Wolves Back Home To Oregon

Rob Klavins, wildlands and wildlife advocate for Oregon Wild will do a slide presentation on wolves for the February ExploraTalk. //Joella Ewing, Conservation/SciEd Chair// //Editor’s note: This talk, originally scheduled in January, was postponed due to a power outage at the Lodge.//

Tuesday, April 17, 2012—Hidden Treasures (little known trails at Buford Park)

//Speaker: Bruce Newhouse, Board Member of Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah, Field Ecologist, Botanist, Environmental Planner, Educator, Owner/Operator of Salix Associates// Spring is a glorious season at Mt. Pisgah. Temperatures are moderate and the air is fresh. The Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah have been enhancing habitat and recreation here for 23 years, largely through the efforts of thousands of volunteers. Thanks to their work, wildflowers carpet the slopes instead of weeds, birdsongs enliven the soundscape, and cougars and coyotes make a living here. It’s a spectacular natural treasure just fifteen minutes from town. Bruce Newhouse, Board Member, will show you how much more there is to love about Mt. Pisgah beyond the view from the top. He’s been studying, exploring and working in the park for over twenty years. He’ll share his secrets about the hidden corners you didn’t even know existed and where to look for the elusive creatures that call the park home. In conjunction with the talk, Bruce will also be leading a hike on Thursday, May 10, 9:00 AM, starting at the southeast trailhead off Ridgeway Road in Pleasant Hill. He’ll lead a small group up, over and around the mountain, exploring seven miles of back trails. To see the park through the eyes of a naturalist and for a really good hike, go to the Obsidians web site and click on Sign Up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012—Damsel and Dragon Flies

You see them in yards, gardens, and on your hikes—the dragonflies and damselflies live most of their lives underwater in a carnivorous nymph phase seeking prey, then as adults they dominate life over and near the water. Discover insects in Oregon whose ancestors were here before the dinosaurs, who can live for five years, fly 35 mph, and truly eat ‘on the fly’. Thirty-seven species have been recorded in West Eugene. Cary Kerst, an aquatic entomologist retired from a career in environmental sciences, will provide a photographic introduction to the life history, habits, and behavior of these fascinating insects. He and co-author Steve Gordon won the West Eugene Wetlands Partnership Award for their research and writing of Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Willamette Valley, Oregon: A Beginner’s Guide.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012—Mt. Pisgah Pedestal

Friday, October 12, 2012—Klamath Basin Overnight Trip

This overnight trip focuses on water rights and wetlands restoration in the Klamath Basin. We will stay in a private log cabin with dormitory-style sleeping, enjoy a potluck dinner Friday night and “dinner out” on Saturday. Some people may choose to put their sleeping bags and mats on the living room floor. Wendell Wood will be our guide for all 3 days. Included: canoe trip on Williamson River (optional); Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges and Lava Beds National Monument: and Wood River Wetlands. For additional information, see the article in the July, 2012 Bulletin. The cost of the trip is $65 per person payable to Oregon Wild within 5 days of signing up online. Mail to Lana Lindstrom, P.O. Box 5506, Eugene, OR 97405. The is also an additional $2 trip fee.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012—Wallowas Wild Flowers

Long-time Obsidian Dave Predeek will present slides of Wildflowers of the Wallowas on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the lodge. He will discuss the relationship of high elevation Wallowa Mt. flora with flora in the Arctic and other alpine regions in the northern hemisphere. Dave took botanical surveys for the U.S. Forest Service for many years and has been a member of the Native Plant Society of Oregon for more than 30 years, serving as its current president. A member of the Obsidians since 1977, he has hiked the Alps of Europe and backpacked in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Gates of the Arctic National Park.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011. Collier Glacier - Cody Beedlow of OSU


Tuesday, February 15, 2010.  Wildish Acquisition for Buford Park - Val Rogers, development director of Friends of Buford Park, will show slides of the area and talk about what this acquisition means to the park and how it will be managed by the Nature Conservancy.


Wednesday, March 16. William (Bill) Russell of Bandon, a co-founder of Shoreline Education for Awareness (SEA), will do a slide presentation on Whales, concentrating on the Gray Whale since it is seen most on the Oregon coast. SEA has been helping people understand the wildlife of the Oregon coast for over 20 years. This presentation will precede a whale watching trip planned for Sunday, March 27.


Tuesday, April 19. Slide presentation on Forests Health: Stream and River Preservation by fellow Obsidian Tom Musselwhite, conservationist.

Thursday, June 16. Devon Comstock, coordinator of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, will make a slide presentation on the Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuges, including the antelopes and other wildlife native to those areas.

September. TBA - Program to complement following guided
canoe/kayak trip.
Tuesday, October 18. TBA








Tuesday, January 19, 2010. TBA




Tuesday, February 16, 2010. Saving Oregons Wild Places by Chandra LeGue of Oregon Wild Women
Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Backyard Bugs! Obsidian naturalist, Rick Ahrens will take take us on a tour of our own back yards for the Tuesday, May 18, ExploraTalk put on at the Lodge by the Conservation, Science and Education Committee. Beginning at 7 p.m. Rick will tell us all kinds of interesting things about the creatures we see, and some we may not, as we work in our gardens or just enjoy our personal surroundings. Are the helpful? Are they harmful? Are they natural to this area? And how do they contribute to the web of life?



Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Costa Rica Lana Lindstrom will share her photos from her most recent adventure, “Criss-Crossing Costa Rica” from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the volcanoes to the beaches. This small country, with 0.1% of the earth's surface, has dedicated more of its land to national parks than any other country on the planet. Learn more about this beautiful, environmentally diverse Central American nation from an Obsidian world traveler, whose shows are always popular.


Thursday, September 16, 2010. The Kiger Mustangs and Other Natural Wonders of Steens Mountain. Bob Petit, local nature photographer, will talk about his adventures photographing the wild and rugged beauty of Steens Mountain and his special passion for the Kiger Mustangs whose history dates back to the discovery of the New World by the Spanish Conquistadores. They were thought to be extinct for a hundred years but were rediscovered in the 1970s. Their blood line is remarkably pure compared to other wild horses, mainly because they are extremely elusive and live in the remote Steens Mountains of Southeast Oregon.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010. Raptor Migration - Kit Lacy, education director of the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, will show slides and speak on the natural history and migratory habits of local raptors at the Tuesday, October 26 ExploraTalk. Sponsored by the Conservation, Science and Education committee, the program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Lodge.

Kit will also describe the work of the CRC, which is a non-profit Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital in South Eugene, specializing in raptors. This community supported and volunteer driven organization has been rehabilitating wildlife and educating the public for 20 years. With over 60 non-releasable birds of 33 native species, RC’s nature center has an unparalleled ability to engage visitors of all ages from around the world. CRC works with approximately 200 raptors each year in its hospital. Kit has an M.S. in biology, taught at LCC and is now leading the CRC’s Education Team.









Tuesday, January 20, 2009. Klamath Basin Migratory Birds. Please join Oregon Wild’s Klamath Campaign Coordinator, Ani Kame’enui, on Tuesday, January 20, at 7 p.m., in exploring the beauty and diversity of an Oregon wonder. Tucked into the southern reaches of the state, the Klamath Basin plays host to a myriad of migratory bird species every year. This is a place where snow geese congregate in the tens of thousands, American White Pelicans dip their slender beaks in search of fish, and bald eagles gather in their largest numbers in the continental United States.

In this slide presentation, we will rediscover the bold beauty and harsh challenges faced by these crown jewels of the West. Come share in the spectacular images of professional photographer Brett Cole as we tour the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year as the oldest migratory waterfowl refuge in the nation.

Ani, daughter of Obsidian member Brenda Kame’enui, will travel from her Portland headquarters for our program. Ani says that Oregon Wild’s role in the Klamath Basin is critical to see that management is done to the highest environmental standard possible.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Carolyn Stein of BRING will do a power point presentation on the scientific and environmental preservation aspects of recycling.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009. Cross Country Bike Tour by Lyn Gilman-Garrick, Bill Aspegren and Royal Murdock.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009. A DOUBLE FEATURE: Adventure and Restoration. Two presenters on diverse topics will be featured.

HOOKED ON ADVENTURE: Empowerment in the Outdoors. Why adventure? Instead of painting or reading, we spend our weekends experiencing such natural wonders as bug bites, hypothermia, gastrointestinal issues. And regardless of past discomfort and cost, we still set out the next free weekend, needing nature like one needs air.

As part of a Psychology thesis project, City of Eugene River House Outdoor Program instructor Heather Brule asked outdoors people what got them hooked on adventure. In this presentation of their responses, she will explore the idea of perceived control and how adventure promotes personal empowerment. Heather recently completed UO’s Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Program.

McKENZIE RIVER TRUST and AUDUBON’S TEN MILE CREEK SANCTUARY. Joe Molle, executive director of the McKenzie River Trust, will give us a close-up view of the McKenzie River Trust’s activities. He will feature a new Trust project restoring historic riverine environment to its natural state on an Oregon Coast site adjoining Portland Audubon’s Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary near Yachats. Joe came to the McKenzie River Trust from Montana, where he worked with grizzly bears. This portion of the program is sponsored by our Conservation Committee.

Obsidians will have a rare opportunity to walk or hike the restoration site and the Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary on June 27 when two Obsidian Conservation hikes will be led by Paul Engelmeyer, Audubon’s Sanctuary manager and a McKenzie trust representative. Neither property is usually open to the public.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009. Eric Moberly, Salmon, Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) biologist for ODFW will do a slide presentation on stream and river ecosystems.


Sunday, May 31, 2009. Amphibian hunt/hike led by UO professor Tom Titus at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009. Jim Pierce will take us on a “Romp Through Wondrous California Scenery” (including Lassen).



Tuesday, September 15, 2009. “Swifts”: a Field trip/lecture on swifts by Rick Ahrens at Condon School parking lot as we wait for the swifts to swirl into the chimney.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009. Owyhee slide show - Lana Lindstrom



Tuesday, November 17, 2009. “How to Use Your GPS” by Dale Schaper, who teaches GPS classes
Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Saving Oregons Wild Places by Chandra LeGue of Oregon Wild Women Rescheduled for Feb. 16, 2010






Tuesday, January 22, 2008.  Whered Eugene Come From? In the last several years a group of local scientists has been making some fascinating discoveries about the origin of the unique soil found in the Willamette Valley. It is this soil that makes the West Eugene Wetlands habitat what is it today.

Join Liz Myers of the West Eugene Wetlands Education Center at the Lodge Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. as she presents a program on the newest theory that relates the wetlands to a very famous Oregon landmark. Her slide presentation, entitled “From Mountains to Meadow-larks” will provide you with new information about what nurtures Willamette Valley flora and fauna.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008.  “Birds, Bergs, and Beauty”—Alaska’s Copper River and Prince William Sound In spring of 2005, Jim and Charlotte Maloney spent two weeks taking in the beauty and grandeur of the Copper River Delta and Prince William Sound in Alaska. They participated in the Copper River shorebird Festival and then spent eight days cruising, hiking, and birding the waters and islands of the Sound. They will share their images of birds, glaciers, icebergs, whales, plants, and other scenic beauty.

You may remember Jim’s SciEd program last spring on wind power. Until his retirement at the end of January, he served as EWEB’s alternative energy specialist. In his retirement, Jim is joining the ranks of OSU students as he pursues a degree in his first educational passion, biology.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008. The BLM'S Western Oregon Plan Revision: Implications and Alternatives Jay Lininger, Executive Director of the Cascadia Wildlands Project, will give a 45 minute slide presentation Tuesday, March 18, on the Bureau of Land Management’s revision of the Western Oregon Plan and how it will affect ecological systems and local economies. The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the lodge.

Jay will also discuss the history of the O&C lands managed by the BLM in western Oregon, current forest management policy on O&C lands, forest policy changes contemplated in the revisions, alternatives including pending legislation, and what we can do.

Cascadia Wildlands has been instrumental in educating the public about the negative effects of the changes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008. Bruce Klepinger, president of IBEX Expeditions, will show slides on “Exploring the Himalayan Arc”. He says “Walking through a place and experiencing its people on a one-to-one basis provides insights about—and a tangible and visceral connection to—the land, the people who reside there, and the interaction between land and people that is obtainable through no other means.

“One of the world’s great natural laboratories is the Himalayan Arc, which drapes across Asia from deep in Afghanistan on the west to Burma and Yunnan and Sichuan on the east, a span of more than 3000 miles. This immense arc includes the 1500 mile Great Himalayan Range, the historically critical Hindu Kush and Hindu Raj, the awesome Karakorum, the unknown Tien Shan and the many ranges of the Trans-Himalaya.

“In the course of this visual presentation, you’ll have the opportunity ‘to walk and explore’ the length and breadth of these mountains, seeing images collected over nearly four decades. You’ll glimpse Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and many others in the locale that has led them to flourish. You’ll be able to trace ancient trade routes that cut across the great barrier and witness how the exchange has transformed places. You’ll observe how isolation and the land itself have influenced tribal customs, architecture and virtually every facet of life and vice versa. You’ll see that the Himalayas still play a critical role for the remainder of Asia.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Charlie Quinn, Associate Director of Development for the Nature Conservancy in Eugene Willow Creek Preserve will present a slide show entitled “Nature Conservancy Projects in the Southern Willamette Valley”. He will include information about the Willow Creek and Coburg Ridge Preserve and update us on the Wildish property acquisition efforts.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008.  Adam Mims, facilities director with the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, will discuss, with slides, the 15 different species of salamanders and frogs nurtured by the preserve’s forest of Douglas firs, western hemlocks, and red cedars just west of Salem. He will also provide information about the Center’s education programs and the historic lodge at Jawbone Flats within the preserve that houses participants during multi-day workshops.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008. Joella Ewing, SciEd Chair

Tuesday, October 21, 2008.  Photographer and policy analyst James Johnston will show slides that explore the wild heart of the Oregon Coast Range, featuring owls, old-growth and the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008. Chris Orsinger, Executive Director of the Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah will speak on Protecting and enhancing native ecosystems and compatible recreation in the Mt. Pisgah area.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008.  Cancelled  Obsidians Lyndell Wilken, John Hegg and Sue Wolling will take us on some of their exciting, exhilarating and (exhausting for people like me) bicycle expeditions.



Tuesday, January 9, 2007.  Ice-age Fossils Tell Story. Obsidian member and geologist Peter Rodda will present a fossil story.  Twenty-five thousand years ago, during the last glacial period, what is now San Francisco Bay was a broad, well-watered valley teeming with large, now extinct, animals - mammoth, bison, ground sloth, sabretooth cat, etc. A long episode of global warming changed all that and over thousands of years produced the present environment.  Fossils, found on-land and offshore, are keys to unraveling this history.  One important piece of evidence, from an excavation in downtown San Francisco, was made available only through some undercover work--a bit of paleontological skullduggery.
    About Peter: Ph.D. in Geology from UCLA; 13 years as research geologist for the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin; 26 years as Curator of Geology at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; retired in 1997 and moved to Eugene; continuing research on California and Oregon fossils.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007.  Switzerland.  John and Janet Jacobsen will present a slide show on their trip last year to Switzerland. Included will be their unique experience in the Swiss National Park during the fall red deer rut. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. Perspectives on  Global Warming. If you think you've heard enough about global warming, retired OSU marine geologist, Dr. Vern Kulm, may give you some new things to think about. In his digital slide presentation, Dr. Kulm will discuss the history of natural climate change and how it relates to the modern changes we are seeing. He will amplify aspects of the Gore film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and examine what Oregon and California are doing to redress human impact.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. Gait Analysis. Wear your favorite walking or running shoes to the Tuesday, April 10th, SciEd program at the lodge and get an on-the-spot visual gait analysis. Kit and John Olsen from A Step Beyond walking and running store will discuss the technology behind shoes and how they are created. They will also provide information about how correct shoes can prevent injuries and show various demonstration models. Then, you can have your own walking or running gait analyzed by these professionals.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007. Wind Power. Jim Maloney, the alternative energy specialist at EWEB, will present our May SciEd program on Wind Energy on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m.. Please note the change from our usual second Tuesday date, which falls at the same time as EWEB’s monthly board meeting where Jim will also make a presentation.

Jim will talk about wind energy, in general, and zero in on its application in the Pacific Northwest. He will also discuss State Senate Bill 878, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (government speak for renewable energy standards), developed by a working group appointed by the governor. In addition, Jim’s power point program will consider the right way to implement wind power without a negative impact on birds, bats and other wildlife.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. Yellowstone 101 Erupting geysers, dramatic waterfalls, acres of lush meadows, and a spectacular display of plants and wildlife make Yellowstone National Park a true ”wonderland.” Join former Yellowstone Park Ranger and current Environmental Education Coordinator for WREN (Willamette Resources and Education Network), Holly McRae for an introduction to the world’s first national park, and learn some of the stories behind the scenery.

This SciEd Tuesday presentation will be a good prep course for those attending Camp Pegg, this year's Summer Camp, near Yellowstone Park.

Please note the date change from the regular 2nd Tuesday. Because of a conflict for the speaker, the program will be held on Tuesday June 19 at the lodge at the usual 7 p.m. time.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006. The October program will be about the country of Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon, presented by Obsidians Pema Chhophyel, who is from Bhutan, and John Jacobsen, who is not. Tuesday, November 14, 2006.  Historical Eugene Outdoors - a slideshow by Rick Ahrens.
What did area outdoors enthusiasts do for excitement years ago? Come find out at Rick Ahrens' slideshow presentation on the history of the Obsidians, climbing and other outdoor activities of early Eugene.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 (canceled)

Saturday, December 16, 2006 - Tragedy on Denali.  Slides and talk by Joe Wilcox. 
Joe Wilcox was the leader of a 1967 expedition on Mt. McKinley. Two of the seven who died on the climb were Obsidian members.  Joe is the author of White Winds, his account of what happened on that climb. He is presenting this program to commemorate our rededication of the McLaughlin-Clark Memorial Wall at the Obsidian Lodge.  His book, now out of print, will be for sale. 



Copyright © 2000-2023   Obsidians, Inc.