Fall Wonderlust Events
Wonderlust is back at the Belgrade Community Library thanks to our sponsor First Interstate Bank! Four free community events this time, each with a brand new social time prior to the event. Register by calling 406-994-6550 or by going to montana.edu/wonderlust
Join us at 5:30 for social time and refreshments prior to the events from 6:00 – 7:30PM on:
October 3, 2019
The North American Prairies: an Introduction to a Little Known Ecosystem
Wildlife biologist Beth Madden will lead us in an exploration of the history, ecology, plants, and animals of one of North America’s least understood and most threatened ecosystems. What exactly is native prairie? How does it operate as an ecosystem? What are our challenges in maintaining prairies – and what kind of efforts are underway to protect and conserve them? In this side trip, we will become acquainted with the organisms that make the prairie their home, and the natural disturbance regimes that keep it functioning and healthy. We will explore how various animals have adapted to prairie life.
October 10, 2019
Montana’s Mountain Goats: Portrait of a Wilderness Icon
Bruce Smith’s two years living among mountain goats in Montana’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area began a 45-year fascination with North America’s premier mountaineer. Most recently, he collaborated on a statewide status review of mountain goats, synthesizing the past 55 years of population data from across Montana. He’ll share the results of that work, which reveal starkly different fortunes of Montana’s native and introduced goat populations, and the conservation challenges that face this alpine icon. He’ll accompany his discussion with dramatic photographic images from Life on the Rocks: A Portrait of the American Mountain Goat, which won the National Outdoor Book Award.
November 7, 2019
Beartooth Highway: History, Biology, and Geology of America’s Most Scenic Highway
The Beartooth Highway was completed in 1936, providing new access to Yellowstone National Park. It traverses one of the best examples of alpine environment in the country. The rise in elevation, which includes legendary switchbacks, is from about 5600 feet in Red Lodge to the top of Beartooth Pass, over 10,000 feet high. Glaciers, mostly during the last Ice Age, sculpted spectacular features, including U-shaped valleys, cirques, matterhorns and glacial lakes. Because of wind and flat topography on the plateau, trees and plants exhibit unique timberline features and beautiful alpine meadows. Join ecologist Sharon Eversman for an overview of one of America’s most stunning roadways.
November 21, 2019
Life History of the Mountain Bluebird
Sacajawea Audubon Society President Lou Ann Harris will present a fascinating talk on the life cycle of the Mountain Bluebird and the history of the bluebird trail project in the Gallatin Valley. Participants will learn about breeding, nesting and feeding behaviors, plus field identification of the Mountain Bluebird.