High Country Speaker Series returns | VailDaily.com

High Country Speaker Series returns

Daily staff report
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Walking Mountains Science Center and the Eagle Valley Library District once again welcome a variety of authors, scientists and performers to the 16th annual High Country Speaker Series kicking off on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Free and open to the public, the theme for this year's series is "health and wellness in the high country." Presenters, ranging from Pulitzer finalists to record breaking through-hikers, will be presenting their take on what it means to be truly healthy in the high country.

Up first

Kicking off this year's series is Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction David George Haskell who will be speaking about his most recent book, "The Songs of the Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors." Haskell is a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South where his classes regularly receive national attention for combining community action with contemplative practice.

In "The Songs of Trees," Haskell repeatedly visits a dozen trees around the world, exploring the trees' connections with webs of fungi, bacterial communities, cooperative and destructive animals, and other plants. An Amazonian ceibo tree reveals the rich ecological turmoil of the tropical forest, along with threats from expanding oil fields. Thousands of miles away, the roots of a balsam fir in Canada survive in poor soil only with the help of fungal partners. These links are nearly 2 billion years old: the fir's roots cling to rocks containing fossils of the first networked cells.

Every living being is not only sustained by biological connections, but is made from these relationships. Haskell shows that this networked view of life enriches our understanding of biology, human nature, and ethics. When we listen to trees, nature's great connectors, we learn how to inhabit the relationships that give life its source, substance, and beauty.

Recommended Stories For You

For more information, visit http://www.walkingmountains.org/hcss or http://www.evld.org/hcss

High Country speaker series

Title: The Songs of Trees.

Presenter: David George Haskell.

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Location: Walking Mountains Science Center.

Title: Inspiration of Creation.

Presenter: Jennifer Pharr Davis.

Date: Monday, Jan. 29.

Location: Walking Mountains Science Center.

Title: Technology and Nature.

Presenter: Jess Davis of Folk Rebellion.

Date: Thursday, Feb. 8.

Location: Eagle Valley Library District, Avon location.

Title: Nature Rx.

Presenter: Justin Bogardus with Nature Rx.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Location: Eagle Valley Library District, Avon location.

Title: Your Brain on Nature.

Presenter: Florence Williams.

Date: Thursday, March 8.

Location: Walking Mountains Science Center.