March 28, 2019

On a Silken Thread: Spider Fact and Fancy.

Dr. Paula Cushing, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

7:00 p.m.

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Love them or leave them, but at least learn to respect these top predators of the world of creepy crawlies. Spiders eat 400-800 million tons of insects per year and are thus a fine natural control on insect populations.  Dr. Paula Cushing, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since 1998, has been conducting research on spiders for more than 20 years. Since 1999, she has been surveying the spiders of Colorado through the Colorado Spider Survey

Join Dr. Cushing to get answers to those pesky spider questions that have plagued you for years, learn just how dangerous the infamous black widow can be, find out why the brown recluse is not a concern here in the West, and impress your friends and influence people with all your newly-gained knowledge about these fascinating creatures.

For more information visit;

Location: Salida Steam Plant Theater, 220 W Sackett Ave, Salida, CO 81201

Click here to download Paula’s poster.

April 25, 2019

Uncompahgre Utes: Then and Now.

Roland McCook

7:00 p.m.

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Roland McCook is a member and former chair of the Uncompahgre Band of the Northern Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation and a descendant of the historical Ute leaders Chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta. McCook was raised in the Ute traditional ways and will share his experiences growing up on the Ute Indian Reservation. He has been designated by his tribe as an official historian and will also discuss the history of the Utes in Colorado. He is current chair of Native American Cultural Programs (NACP) in Montrose, Colorado, and is on the Smithsonian Institution’s Native American Repatriation Review Committee, responsible for returning Indian artifacts and human remains to the native peoples of the Americas. He is a gifted powwow dancer and has been a consultant for local powwows.

For more information visit

Location: Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E. Main St., Buena Vista, CO 81211.

Click here to download Roland’s poster.

May 16, 2019

Cultivating Hope and Creating Community: A Compassionate Guide for Difficult Days

Pastor John Pavlovitz

Author of “A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic and Hopeful Spiritual Community.”

7:00 p.m.

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To be compassionate is to bleed, to feel deeply for the damage around you and to be moved to respond to it. This is a beautiful and invaluable instinct, but it is costly, too. There is a toll the trauma of the world takes on us when we seek to step into that dangerous space and to work for healing and justice. In days when so much need is at our doorsteps and on our news feeds, how do we attend to it all without becoming overwhelmed and consumed by it? How can we cultivate hope when it is hard to come by?

John Pavlovitz is author of A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community and Hope and Other Superpowers: A Life-Affirming, Love-Defending, Butt-Kicking, World-Saving Manifesto. Please join us for a time of authentic conversation on how to be safely burdened with the pain of this world and what to do when you have exhausted your resources.

For more information visit;

Location: Surf Hotel (Ivy Room)  1012 Front Loop, Buena Vista, CO 81211.

Click here to download John’s poster.

June 20, 2019

Understanding your DNA: The Past, Present and Future of Human Genetic Research

Dr. Michael Edwards CEO, Bioinfo Solutions LLC, a data analytics company

7:00 p.m.


Information contained in the ~6 billion bits of code stored in our DNA can be used to trace ancestry across the planet, to convict someone of murder, or to predict the potential for a terminal disease in later life. The cost of determining this genetic code for the average person has previously been prohibitive, but recent scientific advances have now made it feasible for many U.S. citizens to know their genetic makeup.

Dr. Edwards is the founder of the bioinformatics consulting company, Bioinfo Solutions LLC. He is active in teaching science and math at all levels, from instructing high school students in ‘big data’ analysis to holding workshops for clinical oncologists interested in using genomics in their cancer research. This lecture will attempt to summarize the current state of genetic research and to explain how all this information will completely change the way we do science and medicine in the future.

For more information visit;

Location: Surf Hotel (Ivy Room), 1012 Front Loop, Buena Vista, CO 81211.

Click here to download Michael’s poster.

August 1, 2019

Hot, Dry, and Smoky: What is the future of Colorado’s Forests in a Changing Climate?

Dr. William Anderegg

7:00 p.m.

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The fate of the forests of the western United States in the twenty-first century with rapid human-caused climate change is largely unknown. In the past twenty years or so, climate change-supercharged fires, droughts, and beetle outbreaks have prompted concern that forests might die off en masse across the West. Dr. Anderegg, assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah, grew up in Cortez, Colorado, and still spends his time hiking, backpacking, hunting, and fishing across the Colorado Rockies. His research centers on the intersection of ecosystems and climate change, especially the future of Earth’s forests in a changing climate. He has studied western forests for more than a decade and his investigation seeks to shed light on the future of Colorado’s forests. The aim of his research is to develop predictive tools to help forecast and manage the fate of western forests in this century.  

For more information visit;

Location: Salida Steam Plant Theater, 220 W Sackett Ave, Salida, CO 81201

Click here to download William’s poster

October 10, 2019

Biology and Buddhism: What I've Learned about Life during a Decade Teaching Science to the Dalai Lama's Monks and Nuns

Dr. Arri Eisen

7:00 p.m.

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The Dalai Lama invited Emory University to shape and lead the first significant change to his monastics’ academic curriculum in six centuries. Little did anyone imagine how profoundly this new direction would affect all involved with these changes! Dr. Eisen, who is the Nat C. Robertson Distinguished Teaching Professor of Science and Society has been teaching in biology, interdisciplinary studies, and the Center for Ethics at Emory for nearly three decades. He has been involved in the Emory Tibet Science Initiative since its inception. He will discuss with the audience unexpected insights gained in the project in relation to science and religion, teaching across cultures, and the process of thinking about and doing science in general. Dr. Eisen is the author, with Yungdrung Konchok, of The Enlightened Gene:  Biology, Buddhism, and the Convergence that Explains the World.

For more information visit;

Location: Surf Hotel (Ivy Room), 1012 Front Loop, Buena Vista, CO 81211.

Click here to download Arri’s poster.