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Speaker Series

Each winter season kicks off our High Country Speakers Series offered in partnership with the Eagle Valley Library District. Together, we bring noted speakers to the valley to inform, entertain and enlighten audiences about regional nature, science and history.

This winter, Walking Mountains continues its partnership with the Eagle Valley Library District to present the 11th annual High Country Speaker Series.

Each year we address an aspect of life in our unique high country environment by bringing passionate and notable speakers to our community.  This years series “H2Know”, will focus on water.  We are collaborating with the Eagle River Watershed Council to bring four knowledgeable speakers to our area.

These evening presentations are free and will be hosted at the Avon Public Library and Walking Mountains Science Center.

The Lineup:

An Entirely Synthetic Fish
A presentation by Anders Halverson
Wednesday, January 30th, 5:30pm
Avon Public Library

Halverson is an award-winning writer with a Ph.D. in ecology from Yale University.  He is the author of An Entirely Synthetic Fish, an exhaustively researched and grippingly rendered account of the rainbow trout and why it has become the most commonly stocked and controversial freshwater fish in the United States.  Ultimately, the story of the rainbow trout is the story of our relationship with the natural word – how it has changed and how it startlingly has not.

Colorado River District
A presentation by George Sibley
Tuesday, February 12th, 5:30pm
Walking Mountains Science Center

George Sibley is the author of Water Wranglers: The 75 Year History of the Colorado River District.  Sibley’s book is far more than the history of the Colorado River District, because it has to be.  One cannot write about the River District without offering good perspective on the likes of Northern Water, Denver Water, the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project – and for that matter – the history of Colorado.

Down the Colorado
A presentation by Zak Podmore
Wednesday, February 27th, 5:30pm
Avon Public Library

Zak Podmore grew up in Glenwood Springs near the Colorado River.  In 2011, he and Will Stauffer-Norris snowshoed into the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming.  They carried with them plenty of gear and a simple goal: to paddle a river from source to sea.  As they reached the Gulf of California 113 days later, they discovered that there was nothing simple about that task.  The 1,700 miles they paddled in sea kayaks and packrafts produced a story, which they’ve turned into a documentary film.

Water Issues Confronting Western Slope Residents
A presentation by Jim Lochhead, CEO/Manager of Denver Water
Monday, March 11, 5:30pm
Walking Mountains Science Center

 Jim Lochhead was appointed Denver Water’s Chief Executive Officer/Manager in 2010. Denver Water is Colorado’s largest and oldest water utility, serving 1.3 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs with a budget of $350 million. Lochhead previously served as the governor’s representative on interstate Colorado River operations, and he was appointed by the governor to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Upper Colorado River Commission, Great Outdoors Colorado and Colorado’s Roadless Area Task Force.

An award-winning author, Susan J. Tweit was working as a field ecologist, studying grizzly bear habitat, wildfire patterns and sagebrush communities when she realized that she loved telling the stories behind the data more than collecting those data. Her twelve books explore what Aldo Leopold called "the community of the land" and humans' place in it. She has just finished narrating her most recent book, the memoir Walking Nature Home, A Life's Journey--which Barry Lopez called "lovely, brave, inspiring" for the audio book version.


Tweit's essays and articles appear in magazines and newspapers as varied as Audubon and Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times and High Country News--as well as in Fine Gardening and on the Martha Stewart Living Radio Network. She teaches writing and awareness workshops at colleges, universities, and writing festivals across the country and is a popular speaker for audiences popular and technical, ranging from mathematicians and teachers of reading, to landscape professionals and birdwatchers. She coaches individual writers, reviews manuscripts for university presses, serves as nature/environment editor for Story Circle Book Reviews, the largest site for reviews of books by and for women in the internet, contributes to "The Perch," the blog of Audubon Magazine, as well as her own "Walking Nature Home" blog, called "widely admired" by a journal editor describing Tweit's work and audience.


Her work has been honored with awards including a Colorado Book Award, a Colorado Author's League "Top Hand" Award, An EDDIE Award (one of the top awards in the magazine industry), several blogging awards, and fellowships and residencies including a Terra Foundation writing fellowship and a residency at the Mesa Refuge. She is a member of Women Writing the West, Story Circle Network, and Colorado Author's League.


Tweit and her husband, sculptor Richard Cabe, partner to restore and "re-story" blighted urban and industrial landscapes, returning nature and heritage plants, and re-weaving the community of the land in artful ways that reconnect people with nature and history in the places where we work and live. Their work has been featured in the Rocky Mountain News, Zone 4 Magazine, and on national and regional garden tours. They have recently been awarded a two-year working residency to envision a large interpretive garden at The Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch in northwest Colorado. They live on a reclaimed industrial property in a house heated by the sun in Salida, Colorado.

      p.o. box 9469
318 walking mountains lane
        avon, co 81620

  970.827.9725 p 970.827.9730 f


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Walking Mountains operates under special use permit from the White River National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider.  All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Walking Mountains Science Center™ is a 501(3c) nonprofit that provides place-based education in natural and environmental science through science programs for Eagle County schools, summer science day camps and overnight camps, adult and family excursions that take place across Vail, Colorado and Eagle County, Colorado. Graduate fellows can apply to be environmental educators and intern naturalists. Our educational programs enhance scientific literacy, build environmental awareness, and inspire stewardship in children, adults, residents and visitors to the Vail area and Rocky Mountains. The science center recently achieved LEED Platinum Certification for the Buck Creek Campus from the U.S. Green Building Council.