High Country Speaker Series continues in Avon Friday

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Gathering the Ice Festival in Peru.
John Calderazzo | Special to the Weekly |

If you go ...

What: High Country Speaker Series continues with Colorado State professor and celebrated writer John Calderazzo.

Where: Walking Mountains Science Center, 318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon.

When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Cost: Free.

More information:

AVON — We love where we live. Snowcapped peaks, unlimited recreational opportunities and seemingly unadulterated environments all influence individual decisions to build lives in the mountains. Creative writing professor and former freelance writer John Calderazzo will be in town Friday, Feb. 27 to talk about the effect that mountains can have on building culture and community.

Calderazzo’s presentation, titled “High Culture: Mountains & Our Minds,” will be an engaging and emotional testimony on the influence mountains have on those who call them home. His latest book, “Rising Fire: Volcanoes & Our Inner Lives,” saw him traversing volcanoes in Italy, Mexico, Montserrat and Hawaii to develop a personal travelogue that looks at ways in which volcanoes around the world have affected human culture. His international understanding will be supplemented by his familiarity with local Colorado landscapes and his experience living in Fort Collins during the 2012 fire season.

Calderazzo’s expertise as a non-fiction and creative writer make his approach to discussing the intangible qualities of the natural world accessible to all audiences. He has written a children’s book, a monthly column for Coastal Living magazine and has been funded by the National Science Foundation to produce YouTube and iTunesU videos for climate change classroom instruction. His interpretive approach to communicating science is a way of engaging the public and non-scientists in discussion on many of the environmental qualities and issues that affect our everyday lives.

Calderazzo lives in Bellvue with his wife and fellow CSU English professor SueEllen Campbell. Together they are co-founders of the innovative “100 Views of Climate Change” (, a multi-disciplinary approach of incorporating climate change into traditional curricula. His works have been included in Best Adventure Writing, Audubon, Orion, and his books include “Writing from Scratch: Freelancing,” “101 Questions about Volcanoes” and “Rising Fire.” He now teaches scientists traditional story-telling techniques to communicate better with the public. Since 1986, he has taught creative writing at Colorado State University where he won a Best CSU Teacher award in 1999. His nonfiction students have gone on to write hundreds of books, essays and articles, including a recent New York Times No. 1 bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize series of feature stories.

Walking Mountains Science Center and the Eagle Valley Library District are co-presenting the High Country Speaker Series. The 2015 series, Mountain Culture and the Environment, will also feature pioneering female mountaineer Jennifer Jordan on March 26 and local celebrity and world renowned photographer John Fielder on April 10. For more information, visit

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