Sawtooth Forum and Lecture Series
Beginning in 2008 the SA has sponsored the annual Sawtooth Forum and Lecture Series. These programs provide visitors and locals the opportunity to hear experts in local history, fish and wildlife, geology, environmental issues, and the arts share their work and latest research results related to this magical Sawtooth-Salmon River country. What fun to learn more about the special critters, characteristics and culture that make this a very, very, special place! Past presentations have included pronghorn antelope, rare flowers and plants, Whitebark Pine ecology, fire ecology, wolverines, wolves, salmon, and raptor ecology featuring live birds of prey. Geologists have explained how the Sawtooth Valley was formed and about the recently discovered Sawtooth Earthquake fault! Historians have shared the history of the conservation movement in the West, Native Americans, and of the early settlers, miners, ranchers and scientists in the Sawtooth country. Local writers and poets have shared their work as well.
These fascinating programs are free of charge (donations accepted!). They are held every Friday in July and August at 5pm at the Stanley Museum. This fascinating and wide ranging lecture series is sponsored by SA and would not be possible without the generous community support of Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, Sawtooth Society, Redfish Lake Lodge, National Environmental Education Foundation, the Val A. Browning Foundation, and other individual donors. We cannot thank these generous organizations and individuals enough for their essential financial support! We look forward to seeing you at these fascinating and informative presentations.
In 2018, the 11th year of the FLS, the Series will focus on expanding our understanding and appreciation of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. We hope you will enjoy the Series this summer. Please let us know what you think of the Series and sign up to be on our mailing list to get updates on upcoming programs.
The Scorpion, the Archer and the Swan: Stars of the Summer Milky Way
On December 28, 1986, Tim Frazier signed his first contract with Idaho State University beginning a career he initially thought would be short lived. After 27 years, he retired a Professor Emeritus from the Mass Communication Department in 2013. His undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, he has published papers on eclipsing binary and earned his MFA from the University of Florida. There he studied under Jerry Uelsmann, Evon Streetman and Duane Michals. He taught at Fred Picker’s Zone VI photography workshop in Vermont for 18 years. He was selected as an Idaho Living Artist in 1991. In addition to his fine art work, he was the faculty sponsor for a NASA unded, high altitude balloon project. He served in this position for six years. This project launched experiments and cameras to altitudes in excess of 90,000 feet. In 2009, Frazier headed a team from ISU that built an experimental capsule which was launched into space by NASA. He is also an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, woodworker, amateur astronomer and telescope maker.
Steve Leavitt and Larry StClair
The Secret Lives of Lichens: What They Reveal About Air Quality and the Ecological Health of Central Idaho
Larry StClair – Emeritus Curator and Professor of Biology
Larry spent most of his younger years traveling around the country and the world with his family. He met his wife, Rieta, during his first year at Ricks College, then continued to travel serving a mission in Japan for his church. Larry graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Botany in 1974, and has worked at BYU since 1976. Larry then went on to get his PhD in 1984. Over the 42 years of teaching at BYU, Larry has taught over 70,000 students in over 20 different courses. Larry has also conducted research in the general area of cryptogamic botany with an emphasis on algae, cyanobacteria, and lichenized fungi. For more than 30 years, he served as curator of the Herbarium of Non-Vascular Cryptogams in the M.L. Bean Life Science Museum. His research efforts involved the use of lichens as bio-monitors of air quality and the ecology and restoration of biological soil crust communities. Larry has published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, authored more than 40 technical reports based on my research, and authored/edited 4 books including “A Color Guidebook to Common Rocky Mountain Lichens” which was published in 1999.
Steve Leavitt – Assistant Professor and Curator of Herbarium of Non-vascular Cryptogams
Steve has a life-long fascination with nature and spending time outdoors. Having grown up in the Intermountain West, he grew a deep appreciation for the wild landscapes, diverse habitats, and incredible critters (and plants) in this region. Steve’s research focuses on fungal symbioses, specifically lichens, to better understand ecological and evolutionary patterns in symbiotic systems. Lichens are among the most iconic examples of symbiosis; and understanding diversity and interactions among lichen symbionts provides important insight into the overarching importance of symbioses in general. Lichens are commonly overlooked components of many habitats in the Intermountain West, yet play important roles in ecosystems, including indicators of ecological health. Steve is a strong proponent of scientific education and outreach, and helping people engage with nature is an important role for him as a scientist. His personal experience includes: teaching university courses, creating public outreach programs, supervising students at all educational levels, and curating one of the largest lichen collections in the Intermountain West.
Mark Moulton – Retired Forest Service Fisheries and Watershed Program Leader
Working with Water – landscape repair within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Mark Moulton recently retired from the Sawtooth National Recreation Area where he served as the fisheries and watershed program leader. Mark came to the National Recreation Area in 1991 — the same year sockeye salmon were first listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Three more native fish species were added to the list shortly thereafter, providing substantial challenge within his assigned duties. However, emerging from the scrutiny that was given to all management actions and infrastructure at that time was an eventual recognition of the need for change, and the opportunities present to do so. As a result, over the next 20+ years, numerous changes to the landscape were made in an effort to restore natural functions where they had been lost through damaging uses or practices of the past. Mark will relate this history through a sample of the past projects.
Nils Ribi – Photographer
Capturing and Enjoying the Dark Sky in the SNRA
Nils Ribi first traveled through the Stanley basin in 1961 with his family from Montana on their way to Sun Valley, and has been back almost every year since. He has called Sun Valley home since 1988. He and his wife Patti spend all their free time at their cabin in at the base of the Boulder Mountains. An entrepreneur, business investor, and recovering elected official, Nils uses his passion for photography as an opportunity to help non-profit and governmental organizations with their photography requirements. His photos have appeared in a number of national publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Outside Magazine, Travel + Leisure, and numerous Idaho publications. Nils has also photographed for the Associated Press. You can find an example of the variety of Nils’ photography at: NilsRibiPhotography.com
Brian Cluer – Fluvial Geomorphologist at NOAA Fisheries
The Clean Water Mountain Meadow Endangered Salmon Connection
Brian Cluer grew up in Idaho farming alfalfa and grain, and drilling wells and designing irrigation systems for the family farm. Following his M.S. degree in geophysics and groundwater from Northern Arizona University, and a B.S. degree in geology from Idaho State University, Brian earned his Ph.D. at Colorado State University in 1997. He is a Fluvial Geomorphologist with 30 years’ experience. Dr. Cluer came to National Marine Fisheries Service in fall 2000 from the National Park Service’s Water Resources Program where he worked on stream flows to protect physical processes and ecology downstream from large federal dams in the West. He helped plan the Elwha dam removal projects in Washington State, and participated in monitoring the ecosystem response. He was an expert witness on Klamath River hydropower relicensing in the first-ever Trial Type Hearing. He co-developed sediment transport software (DREAM) to assist in dam removal decision making. Brian co-authored the RiverRAT book, a manual for river restoration planning and assessment, in collaboration with US and International scientists and leaders in the fields of ecology and geomorphology. Recently, Brian has turned his attention to ecosystem linkages with geomorphology and habitat forming processes. The best example of that work is his 2014 paper in River Research and Applications titled a Stream Evolution Model Integrating Habitat and Ecosystem Benefits, shifting river restoration from focusing on channels to incorporating valleys.
Executive Director of Birds of Prey Northwest Raptor biologist Jane Veltkamp has a lot to celebrate. Not only has she won the AAAS/Subaru prize for her first book Beauty and the Beak, coauthored with award winning children’s author Deborah Lee Rose, 2018 is the 25th anniversary of the nonprofit raptor education and rehabilitation center Jane founded. From her Birds of Prey Northwest site in Northern Idaho, Jane has rescued, treated and released back into the wild thousands of bald and golden eagles, owls, osprey, hawks, and falcons. Her most important mission is to educate the public, including with some 20 nonreleasable educational birds of prey, to spread her raptor conservation message. She has just launched a major partnership with Idaho STEM Action center, to bring conservation education programs with live raptors to schools throughout the state. She is also the eagle expert for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Native American eagle aviary. This is the first such project in the Western states involving Native Americans in the ongoing care of non releasable eagles, for the purpose of providing eagle feathers for tribal ceremonial purposes. A trained nurse, a falconer, with a Master’s degree from Purdue University, she remains passionate about raptor conservation.
Alex Desmet – NOAA Meteorologist
Climate change in Central Idaho: Past, Present and Future. What might this mean for you?
Alex is a native of Southeast Michigan who developed a fascination of Weather at an early age. He made his first forecast in 3rd grade and was briefing teachers and students on impactful weather as early as 7th grade. This fascination for Weather continued through college. Alex attended Central Michigan University for Meteorology with an emphasis on Climate and Geography. He then got his first real job with a private weather forecasting company in Grand Forks, North Dakota and became all too familiar with Blizzards. While working in North Dakota, Alex developed a knack for risk communication and forecast communication to Department of Transportation decision makers. This understanding of how weather impacts decision makers and how to best communicate it landed him his dream job with the National Weather Service in Pocatello, where Alex has been stationed since 2014. His roles include risk communication and decision support for key Weather Service partners, climate forecast interpretation, climate studies and traveling around Southeast Idaho training volunteer weather observers and maintaining and repairing weather equipment.
Kevin Lewis – Executive Director of Idaho Rivers United
Idaho’s Wild and Scenic Rivers: 50 Years and Counting
Kevin Lewis joined the Idaho Rivers United staff in 2004 – first as Conservation Director and more recently taking over the Executive Director role. Kevin has over 25 years of river advocacy experience in a broad array of issues from relicensing hydropower projects to federal management of rivers and lands. A lifelong river runner, Kevin has firsthand experience of the tremendous impacts that dams have on rivers and their fragile ecosystems. Protecting America’s Wild and Scenic Rivers is a personal goal for Kevin and an organizational priority of Idaho Rivers United.
Heidi Ware – Education and Outreach Director for the Intermountain Bird Observatory
Songbirds and Stars
Heidi is the Education and Outreach Director for the Intermountain Bird Observatory at Boise State. She graduated from Boise State University in 2014 with a Master’s Degree in Biology, where she studied the impacts of traffic noise on migrating songbirds. Heidi’s work with IBO focuses on integrating hands-on science experiences for K-12 and university level students with various Intermountain Bird Observatory research projects.