Tree swallows

ASC Monthly Speakers

October 21, 2021 – 7:00 PM

Julia Corbett
“Seeing Nature”

Have you ever wondered why we perceive “nature” differently depending on where it is? Or, about society’s desire to cultivate the perfect lawn, or why we view some animals as “good” and some as “bad”? In this fresh and introspective collection of essays, Julia Corbett examines nature in our lives with all of its ironies and contradictions by seamlessly integrating personal narratives with morsels of highly digestible science and research. Each story delves into an overlooked aspect of our relationship with nature—insects, garbage, backyards, noise, open doors, animals, and language.

Julia Corbett is a Professor Emerita (Department of Communication and Environmental Humanities Graduate Program, University of Utah) who relocated to Corvallis this past summer. She authored three other books: Communicating the Climate Crisis: New Directions for Facing What Lies Ahead (2021), Seven Summers: A Naturalist Homesteads in the Modern West (2013) and Communicating Nature: How We Create and Understand Environmental Messages (2006). Before receiving her PhD at the University of Minnesota, she was a park naturalist, reporter, and natural resources information officer. She summers in the mountains of western Wyoming.

Currently, our October presentation will be virtual on Zoom. If that changes prior to October 21, it will be listed here. More info


Julia Corbett book Out of the Woods
Read about concrete strategies that help break the inertia that blocks social and cultural transformation. (ScribD)


How to Connect to Video Presentations

The ASC Board will decide whether each  monthly meeting will be an in-person meeting or a virtual webinar on Zoom. If the meeting will be on Zoom, ASC members who provided their email address with their membership dues will receive an invitation and instructions the day before the webinar. Members can view the presentation on their computers or phones at home. It will begin at 7:00 PM and be followed by the ASC Business Meeting when needed. Meetings are open to the general public but are space limited. If you are not a member, please contact for information about accessing the program.

Author Julia Corbett
Author and communicator Julia Corbett sees nature everywhere, even in her backyard
Communicating the Climate Crisis
This book provides concrete strategies that help break the inertia that blocks social and cultural transformation.

Past Video Presentations

The ASC Board has decided to provide a link to the recorded presentation for the immediate month, but not to continue linking to the previous presentations for the past year. Former ASC Vice President Mark Baldwin has recordings of the 2020/2021 speakers, but we are unable to archive them on our website. Contact for more information.

May 2021

At the beginning of March 2020, ASC members Mark, Carla, Matt, and Sue embarked on a Kenya safari in March 2020, which was led by Chege Wa Kariuki, owner of Birdwatching East Africa and an expert in the flora and fauna of the region. From the first day of the tour, they were overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity of animals in this East African country, which straddles the equator between Ethiopia and Tanzania. They photographed 44 species of mammals and nearly 300 new species of birds. These included bustards, hornbills, bee-eaters, sunbirds, and weavers, which belong to families unrepresented on this side of the Atlantic. As their tour progressed, the COVID-19 outbreak developed into a pandemic, forcing a premature end to the safari and a harrowing rush to return home before all airports closed.


Saddle-billed Stork
Saddle-billed Storks are found in sub-Saharan Africa. They hunt catfish and other prey in rivers and wetlands.
Mt. Kilimanjaro and elephant herd
Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is an awesome backdrop above the grazing elephants in Kenya.

April 2021

USGS Biogeochemist Steve Perakis presented a friendly talk about very important, complex processes that work in the soil – hidden from human eyes. His research focuses on cycling of life-sustaining elements (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) in ecosystems – especially in forests. Natural and human factors, such as fire, disturbance, climate change, affect nutrient availability and soil fertility, and Steve studies how they influence plant growth, ecosystem development, and carbon storage.

red alder trees
Red alders fix nitrogen in the soil, which fertilizes plant growth. But, soil calcium appears to be depleted, which has implications for terrestrial ecosystems.
A female leopard emerges from the brush in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya.

Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Rollers are often found on prominent perches in open woodlands. The family is named for their fide-to-side rolling flight.

Jackson's Hornbill
Jackson’s Hornbill (Tockus jacksoni) is endemic to northwest Kenya and northeast Uganda.


Anna's hummoingbird
This Anna’s Hummingbird is not at all happy about Covid and its effects on “normal life.” Join the crowd….