Natural History Classes

Adult Programs

The Highlands Center offers programs and events for community members throughout the year on and offsite regarding the natural history of the Southwest. Some examples are our Community Nature Study Series, HCNH Book Club, and Happy Hours. For our full list of upcoming events, please view our calendar.

White-nose Syndrome in Southwest Bat Populations

with Jeff Foster

October 25th from 7 pm-8:30 pm

FREE on Zoom

Jeff Foster is an Associate Professor at the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University. He works on pathogen genomics and disease ecology, including work on White-Nose Syndrome in bats for over a decade. As part of this work, his team has extensively sampled bats in the West (including Arizona, California, and New Mexico) looking for infection by the White-Nose Syndrome fungus. His talk will be on the background of the disease, its recent spread into the western US, and its effects on bat populations. See more of his work on his lab website:

City of Prescott Water Smart

Highlands Center Book Club

In partnership with Peregrine Book Company, the Highlands Center for Natural History launched a book club. This book club is for adults eager to learn more about the natural history of the Southwest and connect with others who are as well. The book for summer is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  Join the book club meetings on Friday October 1st and Friday November 5th from 11-12pm for discussions of the book outside in the Highlands Center Discovery Gardens.  Click the blue title to learn more about the book and purchase it. 


Fall Colored Pencil Drawing Series

Fall is when foliage is turning and fauna is foraging at the Highlands Center for Natural History. It is a fantastic time to come explore and observe changes in nature. If you have ever been interested in drawing what you observe in the natural world, then you should attend this program! Join local illustrator and author, Diane Iverson, for the fall drawing series. Learn and practice colored pencil drawing and leave with finished pieces. It will be held in the Kieckhefer Classroom, where fresh air and inspiration are just outside.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday November 8th-19th from 9 am-12 pm

$22.50/class for members, $25/class for non members

Diane Iverson is the author and/or illustrator of over 20 books. Her illustrations are in the permanent collections of the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in Fresno, California and the Mazza Museum of International Art from Children’s Books.

Wreath Workshop

If you have ever been to the Highlands Center around the holidays, then you are sure to have seen the lovely wreath we hang by our store every season. This November, we are offering you the opportunity to learn from Sue Clabby, the creator of our wreath, and take home your very own made with your own hands. In this two-hour class, we will provide all the materials you need to create your own grapevine wreath and discuss how to collect and prepare materials. By the end of the class, you have a finished simple wreath and have the knowledge to add more or make another. Children are welcomed to attend with their guardian.

Supplies are provided, but you are welcome to bring your own decorating materials too.

$27 for members, $30 for nonmembers

$10 for members, $12 for non-member for children 13 and younger.

Offered twice on November 13th, 10 am-12 pm and another from 12:30-2:30 pm

Color of Birds: The Physics Behind Different Feather Colors

Many birds are often sought out by birders for their beautiful feathers. Ryder Moreno, a recent Embry Riddle Graduate and Highlands Center Intern, will discuss the various ways that birds achieve the color patterns present on their feathers, and the physics involved in these processes. The coloration of birds’ feathers is one of their most stunning and recognizable features, from the vibrant reds and yellows of the Western Tanager to the deep blues and blacks of the Steller’s Jay. In this presentation, you will learn about the different methods of coloration in birds, including chemical and structural coloration, and the combination of both. 

Monday, November 15th, 7-8:30 pm

Free on Zoom


Workshops at the Highlands Center has included wreath making and a 3 day program called “Sense of Place” workshop where participants learned more about the natural world we live with. 

Happy Hour

Happy Hours at the Highlands Center are classes that include a tasting with a presentation. Some examples of past Happy Hours are mushroom, chocolate, and cider tastings. 

Trips and Tours

Trips and Tours with the Highlands Center are typically day long adventures with an experienced guide. Trips have been offered as far as Phoenix and Flagstaff.

Art Classes

Art Classes with the Highlands Center include our Colored Pencil Drawing Series taught by Diane Iverson. It is offered as a 6 class series and will be returning in Spring 2021.

Natural History Classes

Natural History Classes at the Highlands Center are taught by professionals in their fields. These are offered throughout most of the year.

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