Laurel Peelle to Kick off New Speaker Series at ONRC

This Saturday, September 21, the Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) in Forks, Wash., is organizing a community potluck and evening program, which will highlight the research of Laurel Peelle, a graduate student at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS).

Laurel Peelle

Laurel Peelle and a captured lynx.

The program is the first in a new speaker series out at the ONRC campus. Each month, the plan is to have a graduate student or other regional expert give a public talk to engage members of the Forks and surrounding communities in exciting research projects throughout the state.

For this initial lecture, the Friends of ONRC group will be meeting before the program at 5:30 for a potluck dinner (ONRC will be grilling up barbecued ribs and providing potato salad, and attendees are encouraged to bring a side dish or dessert to share). Then, at 6:30 p.m., Peelle will give a talk about her ongoing research into the predation patterns on snowshoe hares by the endangered Canada lynx and other predators of Washington’s boreal forests.

Working with Professor Aaron Wirsing in the Predator Ecology Lab at SEFS, Peelle recently completed field work that included three years of snowshoe hare live-trapping, deploying radio collars on hares, monitoring survival, documenting predation events, measuring habitat features at kill sites, and attempting to identify the responsible predator species at each kill site using physical evidence, tracks and modern forensics. She hopes her research will help identify the features of successful lynx foraging habitat in comparison to the surrounding landscape, as well as in comparison to “kill sites” attributable to other predators (e.g., coyote, bobcat, pine marten and raptor).

If you happen to be in the area on Saturday, feel free to hop in and catch Peelle’s talk, which is open to the public!

For more information about the potluck and program, contact Ellen Matheny at ematheny@uw.edu or 360.374.4556.

About the Speaker Series
In addition to bringing speakers and interesting research out to ONRC, the series provides a great opportunity for graduate students to gain experience presenting their research to the public, and to a generally non-scientific audience. For participating speakers, ONRC will cover travel expenses and provide lodging for the night, as well as a stipend of $200. Future opportunities for SEFS graduate students are coming up in November, January, March and May; the day and time for each event is flexible and will depend in part on the speaker’s schedule. If you are interested in giving a talk or know someone who would be a great fit for this series, please contact Karl Wirsing!

Photos © Laurel Peelle.
Snowshoe Hare

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