The Conservation, Science and Education Committee presents programs based on the activities of the other committees of the Club and on any other conservations, scientific or educational material relevant to the interests of the Club.



You are cordially invited to attend our ExploraTalk programs. You do not have to be a member of the Obsidians to attend. You need only to bring your interest in the topic and your willingness to enjoy meeting and socializing with people in a lodge nestled among the trees.

ExploraTalk programs are normally held the third Tuesday of each month. They begin at 7:00 p.m. at our lodge.  Directions to lodge.

Questions about ExploraTalk programs?
Contact Jorry Rolfe - 541-206-9501


ExploraTalk Programs

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.



See you at the Lodge on the third Tuesday evening each month.




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