Insights to the Outdoors

Insights to the Outdoors is offered once a month on Tuesday mornings, March through November. Classes are held outdoors in our covered ramada in the James Family Discovery Gardens, whether permitting, and include a hands-on field and/or lab component. The number of participants per class is limited to ensure low student-teacher ratio.

Spider Pharm: Harvesting Venom for Research and Education

with Chuck Kristensen

Are you fascinated by venomous creatures? Catch this special presentation from Spider Pharm founder, Chuck Kristensen, on collecting, breeding, and harvesting venom from spiders and scorpions for antivenin. Learn what this process entails and about beneficial applications of these thrilling toxins. Kristensen has been featured on Dirty Jobs and Arizona Highways TV.

Where: Highlands Center for Natural History (1375 South Walker Road)

When: March 26, 2019 : 9am – 12pm

Cost: $30 for class, 10% discount for members

The Verde: Exploring Arizona's Last Wild & Scenic River

with Dr. Nancy Steele and Dr. Maxwell Wilson

Water is an increasingly precious commodity in Arizona’s harsh landscape. The Verde River, Arizona’s last free flowing waterway, provides a dramatic contrast to the rocky and dry expanses. Its green channels support myriads of plants and animals, water farms, ranches, and vineyards, and increasingly attracts visitors to swim, fish, kayak, and play.  And yet, this water source is in danger. In this interactive workshop you’ll learn more about the Verde River watershed and hear stories of people working to save the Verde.

Where: Highlands Center for Natural History (1375 South Walker Road)

When: April 16, 2019 : 9am – 12pm

Cost: $30 for class, 10% discount for members

Predator Killing Contests: The Hidden War on Wildlife

with Joe Trudeau, Betsy Klein, Emily Renn, & Matt Francis

There is a certain displeasure of finding an wild animal in an unwanted space: a mouse in a cupboard or a gopher in a garden. But what happens when the unwanted space is a town or county and the animal is a long-standing native? Recently, predator killing contests have made their way into Arizona news. Explore this heated topic with the Center for Biological Diversity’s Southwest Advocate, Joe Trudeau, by examining the impacts these contests have on wildlife populations and ecosystem health. Learn about the risks that they pose to ethical hunting laws and why there is a drive to ban these contests nation-wide.

Where: Highlands Center for Natural History (1375 South Walker Road)

When: May 14, 2019 : 9am – 12pm

Cost: $30 for class, 10% discount for members

Past Programs

Volcanoes in Action: Transforming the Landscape

with Beth Boyd

Come learn about our landscape at this interactive workshop with Dr. Beth Boyd, geology professor and discipline chair at Yavapai College.  Boyd will take participants on a journey through time as she discusses volcanism and the ways it has transformed the landscape of Central Arizona. Workshop will include a short uphill hike to the overlook at the Highlands Center to talk about Glassford Hill.

Where: Highlands Center for Natural History (1375 South Walker Road)

When: October 27

Cost: $25 for Adults; 10% Discount for Members

 

Ethnomycology Happy Hour

with Bob Gessner and Aimee Novak

Eat, drink, and learn at the Highlands Center!

This interactive workshop will teach you about wild mushrooms and the role of fungi in everyday cuisine.  Bob Gessner will discuss the history, the fungi involved, and the fermentation processes used in the production of foods and beverages prepared with fungi. Aimee Novak will discuss and demonstrate cooking gourmet meals with mushrooms and other fungal fermented foods.   We will taste her mushroom crostini and truffle popcorn and sample other fungal fermentation products. Tasting will include samples of beer and wine.

Where: Highlands Center for Natural History (1375 South Walker Road)

When: September 8 | 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

 
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