Anders Halverson is now online at the Wild Read Website. Friends will have books available at the lecture for $15.00 including a $5.00 donation to Friends. If you would like a copy of the book or more information before the lecture, check Amazon.com, or check out the Halverson website.
Anders Halverson is an award-winning writer with a Ph.D. in ecology from Yale University. He wrote this book, An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World, as a research associate at the University of Colorado's Center of the American West with a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Suppose that more than a century ago, U.S. government officials became concerned democracy itself was at risk because men seemed to be less virile. Suppose that to reverse this trend they decided to populate streams, rivers, and lakes with "an entirely 'synthetic' fish"-quarry with which Americans could rediscover their abilities to capture and kill animals. And suppose that, up to the present, these creatures were still being produced and distributed on a massive scale, sometimes even being trained like gladiators and pumped full of the same supplements as the best human athletes so that they would provide a better fight.
Such is the true story of the rainbow trout. Sometimes vilified for their devastating effects on the native fauna, sometimes glorified as the preeminent sport fish, the rainbow trout is the repository of more than a century of America's often contradictory philosophies about the natural world. Exhaustively researched and grippingly rendered by award-winning journalist, aquatic ecologist, and lifelong fisherman Anders Halverson, this book chronicles the discovery of rainbow trout, their artificial propagation and distribution, and why they are being eradicated in some waters yet are still the most commonly stocked fish in the United States.
Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. As a U.S. forester, he was instrumental in the creation of our first federally designated wilderness in the Gila National Forest. In 1935, he and his family initiated an ecological restoration experiment on a worn-out farm along the Wisconsin River outside of Baraboo, Wisconsin where they planted thousands of pine trees, and restored prairies.
A little more than a year after his death in 1948 Leopold's collection of essays A Sand County Almanac was published. With over two million copies sold, it is one of the most respected books about the environment ever published, and Leopold has come to be regarded by many as the most influential conservation thinker of the twentieth century. Leopold's legacy continues to inform and inspire us to see the natural world "as a community to which we belong."
Aldo Leopold - A Standard of Change is a one-man play written by and starring storyteller Jim Pfitzer. Set in one evening in and around the famous Wisconsin Shack that inspired much of his writing, A Standard of Change explores the influences and challenges that led Aldo Leopold to penning his widely popular book A Sand County Almanac.
As the lights come up, Leopold walks up the path. It has been 64 years since his death, and as many years since he has seen his now historic Shack. Awaiting him are surprises, memories, emotions, and stories to be shared. Leopold invites his audience to join him as he reacquaints himself with his beloved landscape, remembers influential friends and family, quotes from some of his most important writings, and ponders his legacy.
Storyteller, writer, and actor Jim Pfitzer has worked as a naturalist and river guide, lived in Redwood National Park, and traveled the country in an old Volkswagen bus. His personal stories range from too-close-for-comfort black bear encounters, to the significance of sweet tea in southern society. Pfitzer says "he would rather paddle a canoe than drive a car and prefers watching birds to watching television." He has performed and taught workshops from coast to coast...
No Tickets or Reservations are Required.
Published on the fiftieth anniversary of her seminal book, Silent Spring, Souder's just published book is an indelible new portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement. She loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world. Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the EPA and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides. Elegantly written and meticulously researched, On a Farther Shore reveals a shy yet passionate woman more at home in the natural world than in the literary one that embraced her. William Souder also writes sensitively of Carson's romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and of her death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.
William Souder has written for many prominent newspapers and magazines and is the author of A Plague of Frogs, a book about the investigation of outbreaks of deformed frogs across North America a decade ago, and Under a Wild Sky, a biography of John James Audubon and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. No tickets or reservations are required.
On Wednesday evenings, beginning June 6, 2012, the Friends of NCTC hosted a weekly, interpretive kayak paddle on the Potomac River in partnership with River and Trail Outfitters. These interpreted float trips, revealed the inter-relationship of human and natural history in the watershed. Paddlers and birders observed the diversity of wildlife along the river from turtles, fish, herons, waterfowl and the resident bald eagles. The biologist-led tour helped participants identify local flora and fauna by the river and raised awareness of the importance of the protection and restoration of our local watershed. We hope to see you on the river next Spring!
Team up with other Friends volunteers to support the Center's efforts to provide exceptional learning opportunities for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees and conservation partners. Learn about volunteer opportunities and how you can help conservation efforts! Learn more on our volunteer page!
Come to the new must-go-to event for the community: the 2011 duck stamp art contest. This is one of the of the Fish and Wildlife Service's most prestigious events, and marks the first time the contest will be held in the state of West Virginia. The event will bring to Shepherdstown nearly 200 pieces of waterfowl art from artists around the country. Art will be available for public viewing beginning on Friday, October 28th when the judges begin to whittle down the number of potential winning pieces. Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. and the judging is expected to conclude for the day at around 2 p.m.
A fun, family-friendly film called "Duck: A Duckumentary!" will be screened for the public in the auditorium on Friday at 7 p.m., and free popcorn will be handed out while it lasts.
On Saturday, October 29th, a free bird walk will be offered on campus beginning at 8 a.m. inside the Instructional West building, and the contest will begin at 10 a.m. in the auditorium. The winner, whose art will grace the 2012-2013 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or "Duck Stamp," will be announced around mid-day.
For this event, NCTC does have a limited number of rooms available for overnight guests on Friday and Saturday nights. To reserve a room, call NCTC Hotel Reservations at (304) 876-7900. Be sure to request a room that is part of the "DSC Event block."
For information about the Federal Duck Stamp Program and the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, go to: www.fws.gov/duckstamps.
Written in three parts, CHANGING PATHS: TRAVELS AND MEDITATIONS IN ALASKA'S ARCTIC WILDERNESS explores author Bill Sherwonit's long-running and life-changing relationship with the Central Brooks Range. It is his second literary nonfiction book to be published by the University of Alaska Press (fall 2009). The narrative is framed by a two-week, 50-mile solo trek that Sherwonit took through Alaska's northernmost mountain chain at age 50. Within that framework, he moves across space and time to explore both his own and our culture's evolving relationship with wilderness and, more generally, wild nature. Part I describes Sherwonit's introduction to the Brooks Range, his years as an exploration geologist, and the narrative's key scene or transforming moment: a discovery he makes in the Ambler River Valley. Part 2 takes the author deeper into the past, to explore his childhood roots in rural Connecticut and his recognition of wild nature as refuge. Part 3 follows Sherwonit as he becomes a nature writer and wilderness advocate, moving steadily deeper into the wilderness, both physically and spiritually. Here the narrative "opens up" to include reflections on the larger importance of wilderness to humans and the essential value of wild nature, in and of itself. The story also reflects upon Bob Marshall's wilderness-preservation legacy, the creation of Gates of the Arctic National Park, the Nunamiut Eskimo people who live here, the necessity of solitude, and much more.
Please join us for the Friends of NCTC Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm. in Room 111, Instructional East. Refreshments will be served and we may show One With Life, a film by Robert Owens of Eagle Rock Productions after the meeting.
Join the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) for a behind the scenes tour of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's historical archive followed by a sampling of habitat-friendly wines and cheeses on August 21, 2011. The tour will highlight historical treasures from America's conservation movement, including Rachel Carson's magnifying glass, the engraving used to print the first Federal Duck Stamp, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's pen used to sign the Federal Aid Act, and much, much more! Guests who become members of the Friends of the NCTC are invited to the NCTC Museum Archive Tour. Please meet historian Mark Madison in the lobby of the Byrd Auditorium at 2:00 p.m.
The Wine and Cheese Tasting will take place in the Commons building starting at 3 p.m. The tasting event is a free and open to the public. The Friends of NCTC actively support the training center's conservation programs in order to extend the reach of this state-of-the-art facility.
The movie is a unique and original mixture of three genres: mockumentary, documentary, and reality. It is the story of a scientist-turned-filmmaker (Olson) forced to team up with two fabulous but flaky Hollywood producers (comic actors Brian Clark and Mitch Silpa), who give him a crew that includes a global warming skeptic (comic actor Alex Thomas). Olson valiantly leads his ragtag crew through a series of interviews with top climate scientists as well as a half dozen major global warming skeptics. In each interview, his cameraman interrupts the discussion to argue with the experts about his beliefs that global warming is little more than a scam. After realizing his interviews fail to provide enough material for a documentary, Olson and his soundman (Ifeanyi Njoku) journey to New Orleans in search of "the human face of global warming," in time for the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. What they encounter in the Lower Ninth Ward provides a somber, stark contrast to the silliness of making a documentary feature, and calls into question whether even the wealthiest nation on earth is ready to deal with major climate events predicted by global warming.
Randy Olson was a humble, mild-mannered professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire. But then his brain sort of turned inside out and he shifted from scientist to artist. Despite his Harvard Ph.D., four years of post-doctoral research in Australia and Florida, and years of diving around the world from the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica, he tossed it all in, resigned from his tenured professorship and moved to Hollywood to explore film as a medium for communicating science. Today he is an INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER and no longer considers himself a scientist, but is now fluent in the two languages of science and cinema. Through his writings he has both related his journey, and continues his exploration into the role of storytelling in the mass communication of science.
Join us for this very special first screening of One With Life, a new documentary about the importance of the connection between nature and people, with an emphasis on children. This film is in cooperation with the Friends of the NCTC, Marj Frye, and The Nora Roberts Foundation and is beautifully filmed by Robert Owens of Eagle Rock Productions and Hagerstown Community College professor Audra Martenot. This event is free and open to the public. Join us in the Byrd Auditorium. For Friends members, dinner prior to the screening will be available at 5:30. Please notify us at email@example.com by June 12th if you will be dining at the NCTC.
The Children's Tree House is a non-profit child care development center that cares for and nourishes children from 3 months to 5 years of age. The center connects children to nature and their own food supply, through hands-on engagement in art, music, drama, and gardening using natural learning processes to prepare for lifetime learning, conservation, stewardship, and enjoyment of the big outdoors.$100 per couple or $60 per individual
Friends members, we hope that you will join us on May 5, 2011 for a reception and film screening of Alaska: America's Wildest Refuge! Please bring a prospective member to share your evening at the NCTC.
We think you will thoroughly enjoy this film with its sweeping views of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, its wildlife, and interviews with those that know it best. America's Wildest Refuge is an ecological and historical portrait of this corner of Alaska. Meet the key figures that first identified this area as worthy of protection and worked to preserve it through the National Wildlife Refuge System. Meet Alaskan Native residents that live near the refuge and rely on it to maintain their ancient subsistence way of life. Meet some of the refuge's wildest residents, including musk ox, caribou, and bears, and the scientists studying them.
We are looking forward to sharing it with you and your guest(s).
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, book lover, young conservationist, student, teacher, or Refuge friend, you are invited to join America's Wild Read community. Our essay discussions begin May 1, 2011! This discussion forum is provided to you by the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center. Visit America's Wild Read.
When Bill Weber and Amy Vedder arrived in Rwanda to study mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey, the gorilla population was teetering toward extinction. Poaching was rampant, but it was loss of habitat that most endangered the gorillas. Weber and Vedder realized that the gorillas were doomed unless something was done to save their forest home. Over Fossey's objections, they helped found the Mountain Gorilla Project, which would inform Rwandans about the gorillas and the importance of conservation, while at the same time establishing an ecotourism project -- one of the first anywhere in a rainforest -- to bring desperately needed revenue to Rwanda. Vedder's book, In the Kingdom of Gorillas, introduces readers to entire families of gorillas, from powerful silverback patriarchs to helpless newborn infants. Vedder take us with them as they slog through the rain-soaked mountain forests, observing the gorillas at rest and at play.
An expert in conservation and ecology, Dr. Vedder is Senior Vice President for Conservation at The Wilderness Society (TWS) in Washington, DC. She has worked for more than 30 years in dedication to wildlife and wildland conservation, applying ecological and social science to save biologically rich and threatened places. Amy Vedder is widely known for her pioneering studies of mountain gorillas in Rwanda during the late 1970s and as co-founder, with her husband Dr. Bill Weber, of the Mountain Gorilla Project. She is the author of several books, including In the Kingdom of Gorillas, which she wrote with Bill Weber, and is the subject of a biography written for middle school students titled, Gorilla Mountain.
On Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm. Filmmaker Tom Veltre will screen his newest film "Nature's Greatest Defender" (51 mins.) in the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV.
"Nature's Greatest Defender" tells the story about one mans passionate fight to save our world. Its a film about his unwavering dedication to the incredible wildlife that we must continually struggle to protect. George Schaller returns to the sites of some of his iconic studies to see what has happened to some of these extraordinary animals and their habitats. Along the way, we will meet some of the people he influenced and see how they have managed to carry the torch Schaller lit. George Schaller will also be at the film screening.
Pioneer conservation biologist George Schaller is a field biologist with Panthera and with the Wildlife Conservation Society. In 1959 the 26 year old Schaller conducted one of the first studies of the mountain gorilla spurring the subsequent research of Dian Fossey. Spending most of his time during the past half-century in Asia, Africa, and South America, he has studied and helped species as diverse as the mountain gorilla, tiger, and giant panda. These studies have been the basis for his scientific and popular writings, including The Year of the Gorilla, The Serengeti Lions, The Last Panda, and Wildlife of the Tibetan Steppe. He currently continues his research and conservation work on the Tibetan Plateau of China and in Tajikistan, Iran, Brazil, and other countries.
Filmmaker Tom Veltre brings more than two decades of media production experience to his role as proprietor of The Really Interesting Picture Company. Formerly in-house media producer for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Veltre writes, shoots, and edits in a wide variety of formats for a broad spectrum of venues, ranging from documentaries, news, and public affairs programming to interactive museum exhibits, instructional materials, and new media applications. As a producer/cinematographer, he has covered stories on four different continents, and his work has been broadcast by all the major North American commercial television networks, PBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, CNN, BBC, NHK (Japan), and Fuji TV (Japan).
The NCTC is located at 698 Conservation Way along Shepherd Grade Rd. in Shepherdstown, WV 25443 approximately 70 miles west of Washington and Baltimore. No tickets or reservations are required.
On Saturday October 23, 2010 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) will open the doors for their 13th annual Open House.
A full range of wildlife-oriented programs and family activities under the theme "Flock to NCTC's Open House -- It's for the Birds" will be offered on Saturday October 23 as the National Conservation Training Center holds its 13th annual community open house. Lively demonstrations and engaging activities for adults and children on migratory birds, global climate change, the colorful Federal "Junior Duck Stamp," and opening the world of birds to the blind and sight-impaired will highlight this year's observance. Wildlife showman Larry Battson will bring his live "critter show" from Indiana, and a variety of hawks, owls, and falcons will fly in with New York State's "Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience." Bird identification games, bird feeder building, and bird egg painting will entice youngsters into a greater appreciation for songbirds and the out-of-doors. "We offer a variety of programs and activities to the community to showcase the important work we do in the Fish and Wildlife Service and here at NCTC," says center director Jay Slack. "We're proud of our work. Come share it with us." Lunch will be available for sale in NCTC's acclaimed "Commons" dining hall. Directions to NCTC