© 2018 by Coastal Interpretive Center. 


This is Year Four of "Glimpses," a Fall/Winter Lecture Series, in Ocean Shores. Experts will speak on a variety of subjects related to the natural world, resources, or history.

This season the talks will be at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, October through March.


The location is Ocean Shores' own Home Port Restaurant banquet room, at 857 Point Brown Avenue, Ocean Shores. The Banquet Facilities entrance is on the south end of the building. Come early and have a great dinner!

The 2016-2017 season of "Glimpses" is brought to you by Oyhut Bay, A Seaside Village.

The Lecture Series is a fundraising event for the Center. Each lecture is $8, or all six (Season Ticket) for $40.


Tickets for each lecture may be purchased at the door. For a season ticket, get one at the door of the first or second lecture, or at Coastal Interpretive Center.

2016-17 Line-up

October 20:

Christie Barchenger, Director of Science Education, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport -

"Science at the Seaport: Another Strand in the ‘Line’ of Grays Harbor Community Science"

Christie moved to the Harbor about a year ago with her husband, Dr Ben Goold, of the Highland Family Medicine Clinic.  She grew up in southern Illinois and has always loved arts, science, and the outdoors. She has worked as an 8th grade science teacher, instructional coach and as the field director of an international education non-profit in Bangladesh. She moved to Seattle to pursue her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Education at the University of Washington. Currently, she is thrilled to be the Director of Science Education at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. She also works as an educational consultant doing professional development for science teachers and for the University of Washington as an instructor for new science teachers.  With most of her life spent in smaller towns and cities, Christie is happy to be in Aberdeen after 5 years in big city Seattle!

Grays Harbor County is a fascinating place of ecological importance and has a strong sense of community. The Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, long known for the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, is now working to bring science and community together with year-round programming at its Seaport Landing property in Aberdeen. In building a science program, the Historical Seaport is excited to join a wonderful network of citizens and science educators already hard at work in the Harbor.  Hear the newest in what’s brewin’ at the Seaport for all ages’  hands-on exploration of the world around us, and voice your thoughts as to what you’d like to see!

Photos graysharbortalk.com; historicalseaport.org

November 17:

Caroline Martorano, Botanist, Quinault Indian Nation - "Management By Fire"

The Moses Prairie Burn is a very exciting project on the Quinault Indian Reservation. It is thought that the prairie has not been burned in over 150 years. The story of this project encompasses many interesting topics including climate change, land management, mind-blowing biology, ethnobotany, and of course- FIRE! This talk will share the story of how the prairies came to be, why they are so amazing and important, and the revival of traditionally managing these areas with fire.

Caroline has been practicing plant biology since 2010 in Illinois, Oregon, California, and Washington. She studied plant biology, ecology and conservation at the University of Illinois.

While an undergrad, Caroline was involved with a palynology (study of pollen) lab in the Department of Plant Biology where she looked at fossil pollen to study plant migration over deep time. She left the pollen lab to do field work involving prairie restoration in Central Illinois. After college Caroline started working as a seasonal botanist for the Bureau of Land Management, performing a wide variety of botanical duties for the BLM including vegetation monitoring, seed collection, rangeland health assessments, invasive species work, habitat restoration, native plant propagation and more.


Caroline feels very fortunate to be entering her third year with the Quinault Indian Nation. She enjoys being able to apply all her previous experience to projects on the Reservation. One major project is improving salmon habitat by removing knotweed and planting natives. Another major project is the Moses Prairie Burn.

Photos courtesy Caroline Martorano

December 15:

Greg Johnston, Author & Photographer, King County Parks Specialist  - "Eight Amazing Places on the Washington Coast"

See and hear about these Washington coastal sites with lots of great images and discussion of how each spot's cultural and/or natural history makes it so special.

Greg Johnston is a Kirkland native, lifelong outdoors nut and journalist who has worked as a reporter for the Associated Press, the Daily World and Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspapers, and AOL’s Patch Media Corp. He now works as a parks specialist for King County Parks & Recreation. Greg has a long and intimate relationship with Washington’s 157-mile Pacific coastline. In a voice that is distinctive, passionate, often opinionated and clearly knowledgeable, he describes the coast’s abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in his new book “Washington’s Pacific Coast; A Guide to Hiking, Camping, Fishing and other Adventures.” Written from the perspective of the Washington Coast’s rich cultural and natural history, the books includes practical details, such as tsunami preparedness, “Leave No Trace” principles, weather, ocean beach precautions and more.

Photos courtesy Greg Johnston

Photos courtesy Dan Varland

January 19:

Dan Varland, Executive Director, Coastal Raptors - "The Peregrine Falcon - Hunter and Scavenger!"


Able to dive at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour in pursuit of prey, the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal on the planet! While it is common knowledge that peregrines are fierce hunters, many people are unaware that they also scavenge for food similar to Turkey Vultures and gulls. Dan Varland and colleagues have documented this behavior regularly during more than 30 years of raptor surveys on Washington’s coastal beaches.  In 166 observations of Peregrine Falcons feeding, nearly 30% was carrion, scavenged by peregrines for food. Carrion included a variety of species, among the most unusual being Brown Pelican and Harbor Seal. Dan will share photos of peregrine scavenging and discuss the unique qualities of the Pacific Northwest coast that make scavenging advantageous to Peregrine Falcons. 


Dan Varland was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Zoology from Eastern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University. He worked as a biology instructor at community colleges in Minnesota and Iowa for 11 years. Dan moved from the Midwest to Hoquiam, Washington and worked from 1993 to 2009 as wildlife biologist for the timber company Rayonier. For more than 20 years, Dan has been surveying and banding raptors on Washington’s coastal beaches, including the Long Beach Peninsula. In 2009, he founded and became the Executive Director of Coastal Raptors, a non-profit organization focused on research, education and conservation programs for raptors in coastal environments. Dan has over 10 scientific publications, two book chapters and an edited book to his name.


Photos courtesy of/by Tom Rowley

Photos by Tom Rowley

March 16:

Joe Buchanan, WDFW Natural Resource Scientist,  "Abundance, Distribution, and Migration of the Red Knot on the Pacific Coast of the Americas"

In contrast to other Red Knot populations, comparatively little is known about the population of Red Knots (Calidris canutus roselaari) that migrates along the Pacific coast of the Americas.  With an estimated population of about 22,000, this is the smallest of six Red Knot populations in the world.  The majority of the population uses Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay during spring migration.  The roselaari population appears to overwinter largely in coastal northwestern Mexico and breeds in northwestern Alaska and Wrangel Island, Russia.  The presentation will focus on what we have learned about the migration of Red Knots along the Pacific Flyway through surveys, direct observations of color-banded birds, and radio telemetry investigations.

Joseph B. Buchanan is a Natural Resource Scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and is a member of Cascadia Research Collective, a research organization based in Olympia.  Joe’s work with WDFW has largely involved conservation and management of a variety of species, including the Spotted Owl and numerous migratory bird species.  For over 30 years he has studied aspects of the ecology and behavior of shorebirds and falcons at coastal estuaries and beaches in Washington, with an emphasis since 2006 on the Red Knot.



February 16:

Tom Rowley - "A Photographic Visit with Grays Harbor's Shorebirds"


Drawing on 8 years experience of photographing local shorebirds, Tom Rowley will discuss these amazing birds and the importance of Grays Harbor to the entire Pacific coast shorebird population.

Tom Rowley is a retired physician from Hoquiam.  Since retiring, he has developed an interest in wildlife photography which naturally evolved into shorebird photography because of Grays Harbor's importance to shorebirds.  He has given several previous talks about shorebirds to local groups and was the photographer for the 2016 Coastal Raptor exhibit at the Polson museum in Hoquiam.