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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.

The Roots of Music: Exploring Earth's Soundscapes

Friday, November 6th

OHA's indoor Highland Wonders series will resume with a unique presentation by George Halekas, entitled, "The Roots of Music: Exploring Earth's Soundscapes," on Friday, November 6th. 

In a compelling presentation that weaves together music and ecology, biologist George Halekas surveys the unique beauty of nature’s soundscape, and explores why Earth is considered a ‘sonic jewel’ and ‘singing planet.’  The vibrant musical heritage of humanity is a wonderful component of this rich soundscape diversity, and the conversation will begin by looking at the emergence of music in ancient hunter gatherer societies from an ecological perspective.  The focus will then shift to exploring Earth’s soundscapes from the large planetary scale, to investigating representative habitats like the rainforest and ocean, as well as listening to the fascinating details of individual bird and whale song.  Time permitting, we’ll come full circle and listen to contemporary music composers who take a more inclusive or interactive approach to making music with nature’s orchestra.  


Humpback whales by Brandon Cole

Feeding humpback whales synchronously emerge from their bubble net in Alaskan waters. 
(Photo used with permission from Brandon Cole)

This event is sponsored by Humanities WA.  Sponsored by Humanities WA

George Halekas, a former Wildlife Biologist with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest,  is captivated by the power and expressiveness of music and its ability to capture human emotions.  A lifelong conservationist, he is drawn to understanding the relationship between living organisms with their surrounding environment, especially through sound.  Since retiring as a biologist, he has served on a multi-year task force that advised the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in developing a balanced Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Playing a role in helping wolves return to Washington’s natural heritage and soundscape has special resonance for George. He records nature’s sounds and enjoys collaborating with visual artists, music composers, and biologists through his recordings. George currently lives near Deer Park.
George Halekas

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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 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. Please visit OHA's past events page to learn about other events that have been held in summers past. 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 this summer's events. 

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