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, weather 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.

Sacred Trees

with Doug Hulmes

What began as a curiosity about the traditions and folklore related to trees planted in the center of many farms in Norway, ‘Tuntre’, and Sweden, ‘Vårdträd’, led Douglas Hulmes, emeritus Professor of Environmental Studies and Education at Prescott College, to a recognition of a tradition that can still be observed in the cultural landscape today. Doug has been studying these traditions as they relate to the field of environmental education as an example of mythopoetic stories and folklore that influence moral and ethical regard for nature. Come to this Insights to the outdoors to learn how mythology and folklore of a culture influence their perception of place and how ecological knowledge of a landscape compare with ‘kjennskap’, or what is sacred in a landscape. Towards the end, you will get to discuss and answer the question “What do we consider to be sacred in nature in the US and specifically around Prescott?”. This class is offered twice and will be held in the Discovery Garden Ramada.

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

When: Postponed

Cost: $27 for members, $30 for nonmembers.
Volunteers who donated 50 hours in 2019, please call 928-776-9550.
Due to COVID-19 all education programming will be outside. Prepare to be comfortable outside, expect to practice physical distancing, and masks are required.

Past Programs

Raptors of Prescott

George Carpenter, biologist and teacher at Yavapai College, taught us about resident falcons, hawks, eagles, and ospreys.  In this class we learned how to identify features and behaviors of these local birds of prey. 

Healing Oceans: Tackling Plastic Pollution in Marine Ecosystems

ASU researcher Charlie Rolsky brought us a vibrant presentation on how microplastics have pervasive effects in marine and freshwater ecosystems. We discussed how to avoid certain plastics, and took a microscopic look at some of his lab’s ocean samples.

Grasses 101: Earth’s most versatile and dominant flowering plant

Liz Making introduced us to the beautiful, intricate, and often overlooked world of Poaceae (the grass family) through a presentation, microscope lab, and short field expedition.

Insects of Death: The Science of Forensic Entomology

Derek Uhey dove into the world of forensic entomology and learn about how insects can play an important role in solving complex murder mysteries.

Language, Culture, and Climate

Nikki Cooley discussed the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources in some of the country’s most vulnerable indigenous communities.

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

Dr. Nancy Steele and Dr. Maxwell Wilson focused on the Verde River, Arizona’s last free flowing waterway, and the dramatic contrast it has to Arizona’s rocky and dry expanses. 

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