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Highland Wonders ~ Upcoming

Highland Wonders is a monthly education series featuring the natural history of the Okanogan Highlands and surrounding areas. Come and meet some new people and enjoy refreshments; leave with a better understanding of your watershed.

The indoor series runs on the First Friday of the month, from November through May (skipping December). The outdoor series is offered during summer, and the schedule varies.

Stream Ecology
Friday, March 6, 2015
at the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket

~ with Dr. Mark Oswood ~

"No bugs, no fish!"

On Friday, March 6th, OHA’s Highland Wonders series welcomes back a highly popular speaker from last summer’s outdoor events: freshwater ecologist and emeritus professor Dr. Mark Oswood.

Mark Oswood Indoor Presentation

The audience at OHA's summertime Stream Ecology event was pleasantly surprised to discover how captivating aquatic entomology can be when taught by a charismatic instructor who is passionate about his field of study. Combining a keen sense of humor with a well-prepared PowerPoint presentation, Mark Oswood held the group’s attention and increased the community’s awareness of, as he quoted E.O. Wilson, “the small things that run the world.” He went on to say, “Many of you are bird watchers. But these small things are the nuts and bolts, and the cogs in the machinery, that make life on earth happen. What I want you to get out of this is that you could do this as a hobby, as an avocation, just like bird watching.”


Mark Oswood Indoor Presentation

Mark shares from a book that he co-authored about macroinvertebrates.

Mark Oswood Kick Sampling Myers Creek
Mark Oswood lives in the Wenatchee area, retired from the department of Biology and Wildlife and the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with a research specialty in freshwater ecology. Mark focused mainly on running waters (streams and rivers), with an emphasis on aquatic entomology (the scientific study of insects) and trophic structure of stream ecosystems. He has taught limnology (freshwater science), ecology of streams and rivers, aquatic entomology, as well as introductory biology. Most of his research was on ecology of stream insects, especially biogeography, and decomposition of organic matter. Mark has applied experience studying the effects of heavy metals from mining on streams, and has a side specialty in statistical analysis. 

Throughout his career, Mark has taught a wide variety of “introduction to stream ecology” events in classrooms, Elder Hostels, and for government agencies, fly-fishing groups, and conservation organizations. “Seeing the diversity of invertebrates that live in streams can be analogous to a first experience looking at tide pool organisms,” he says. “Plus, aquatic insects are a stream’s way of turning green algae and brown leaves into fish food."

The event takes place at the Community Cultural Center (CCC) of Tonasket, beginning at 6:30 pm, with a dinner benefiting the CCC at 5:15 pm. The dinner will be $7.50 for CCC members and $8.50 for non-members; there is no charge for the presentation.

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What's coming up for the 2015 indoor Highland Wonders season? Find out:

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To begin or renew your OHA membership and be first in line to register for the summertime events, please visit, or contact OHA for more information. To sign up for this event, email or call 509-476-2432. The starting time and location will be provided upon registration.

The 2012 Summertime Highland Wonders season brought Cedar Ecology, The Magic of Wetlands, and a school bus tour highlighting the Geology of the Okanogan Highlands. The 2013 outdoor season brought Seeing the Forest Among the Trees, Watershed Functioning, Plant Ecology and Stream Processes, Geology of the Okanogan Highlands, and Grassland Ecology and Grass ID. Each of these events was jam-packed with information tailored to the sights, sounds, and natural history of the highlands. The events are often full to capacity. Be sure to begin or renew your OHA membership for priority in signing up for next summer's events. 

The 2014 outdoor season brought Viva la Naturaleza for Spanish-speaking families in May, Stream Ecology in July, and Geology of the Okanogan Highlands on August 16th. 

Questions? Contact OHA's Conservation Coordinator, Julie Ashmore: