Cape Perpetua Speaker Series

Photograph by Laura Tesler, speaker on March 27, 2021.

Enjoy a variety of free educational presentations hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative. Guest speaker presentations will be held most Saturdays at 10 am, through March 27 (excluding holidays). Winter presentations will include a special focus on pinnipeds, beavers & climate change, a trail with cultural significance, old growth forest, humpback whales, juvenile fish and more! All events are free and held virtually on Zoom this season. The full series schedule can be viewed here. The scheduled webinars in the series include:

Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 10:00am
It’s Not All About Old Trees – An Introduction to the New Old Growth Forest
Join Vicki for an exploration of the history of forestry science and philosophy from the turn of the 20th century up through the current Siuslaw National Forest restoration efforts. A holistic, ecological approach to how we view old growth has led to dramatic changes in our understanding of this dynamic forest.
Presenter: Vicki Penwell, Director of Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, Siuslaw National Forest

Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 10:00am
Vulnerable Early Life Stages of Black Rockfish in Changing Ocean Conditions
Will Fennie, who recently earned his PhD from OSU, will discuss his research that examines how warming conditions affect the vulnerable early life stages of black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) to understand how their survival may vary in the face of changing ocean conditions. Will examines otoliths (fish ear stones) to capture patterns of black rockfish daily growth and uses these data to investigate the relationships between ocean conditions and black rockfish early growth and survival. Will’s research is part of a collaboration between students and scientists at OSU, the ODFW Marine Reserves Program, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium and is conducted in and around Otter Rock Marine Reserve.
Presenter: Will Fennie, PhD Grad, Plankton Ecology Lab at Oregon State University

Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 10:00am
From Desert to Coast, the Case for Dark Skies
For billions of years, night on Earth was lit only by the moon and stars, and life evolved under regular cycles of bright days and dark nights. All that has changed in the last 130 years, and night on this planet is now liberally colonized with artificial light. This has dire ecological consequences for plants, birds, fish, amphibians, mammals and other wildlife. Light at night also impacts human health, safety and culture. In this talk, we will delve into the importance of darkness for nocturnal wildlife, from migrating birds to sea turtles to intertidal invertebrates and nesting seabirds. We will explore some of the night’s wondrous mysteries and the local and international effort to preserve dark skies in both cities and wild places, from deserts to coastlines.
Presenter: Mary Coolidge, Audubon’s BirdSafe Campaign Coordinator

Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:00am
Where is home? Using DNA profiling and spatial predictive models to assess the breeding ground origins of humpback whales in the eastern North Pacific
In recent years, there has been a documented increase in the number of entangled humpback whales on the feeding grounds off the US West Coast. When in this area, humpback whales are subject to a tiered management strategy under both the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. This has made understanding which breeding ground the feeding humpback whales are from, and to what degree the breeding populations are mixing is essential for management. Archived tissue samples and associated individual sighting histories collected over thirty-two years, we assess both the fine-scale fidelity of individual humpback whales to feeding grounds and develop spatial population assignment models to predict the seasonal distribution of breeding populations on the feeding grounds.
Presenter: Karen Lohman, Graduate Research Fellow at Oregon State University pursuing a master’s degree with Dr. Scott Baker and the Cetacean Conservation and Genomics Lab

Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10:00am
Diving the Pacific Northwest: The Hidden Beauty
Join Laura Tesler as she takes you on an underwater safari starting in British Columbia and traveling south along the coastline all the way down to California. See what lies beneath the beautiful ocean waves and why it is worth braving the rough conditions and 40 degree waters to dive the coastal waters of the Pacific.
Presenter: Laura Tesler, Diver and Underwater Photographer