Speaker Series

Natural History Institute Speaker Series inspires, informs and engages audiences with a wide range of topics.

The goal of the Speaker Series is to enrich understanding and appreciation of the importance of natural history and to encourage exploration of our diverse world. Speaker Series talks are free to the public and can be attended in-person in our beautiful historic building in downtown Prescott or online via livestreams on the NHI Youtube Channel.

Check out this Youtube playlist of past Speaker Series.

Upcoming Speaker Series and Webinar Events

Past Events



  • January 14, (Online) Thursday, 5:30pm (AZ/MST): Snakes of Arizona – Andy Holycross  Video
  • January 28, (Online) Thursday, 5:30pm (AZ/MST): A New Vision for Environmental Learning – A Conversation with Mitch Thomashow  Video
  • February 18, (Online) Thursday, 6pm (AZ/MST): Poetry & The Wild: A Reading and Conversation with Jane Hirshfield  Video
  • April 1, (Online) Thursday, 5:30pm (AZ/PDT): Wolves, Wildfire, and Climate Change: A Conversation with Jon Trapp  Video
  • June 3, (Online) Thursday, 5PM (AZ/PDT): Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating Life in a Time of Extinction, a conversation with Kathleen Dean Moore  Video
  • October 21, (In-Person) Thursday, 7pm: Collaborating with Place – Shawn Skabelund. Video
  • November 18, (In-Person) Thursday, 7pm: The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art – Wynne Brown.  Video
  • December 2, (Online) Thursday, 5:30pm (AZ/MST): Ways of Seeing: The Practice of Observation in Natural History and Art – Lynn Alleva Lilley and Tom Fleischner.  Video
  • December 9, (In-Person) Thursday, 7pm: The Fascinating Life of Javelinas and Other Peccaries: Ecology, Natural History, Behavior and Conservation – Mariana Altrichter.  Video



  • February 6, Thursday, 7pm: Passion, Devotion, Intimacy: Art and Natural History – Melanie Campbell-Carter  Video
  • July 16, (Online) Thursday, 4pm PDT/AZ: Not Just Birds, Not Just Science, Not Just Politics – Susan M. Gaines, Ana Luz Porzecanski, Scott Slovic, and moderated by Tom Fleischner  Video
  • July 22, (Online) Wednesday, 6pm PDT/AZ: Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World – Tyson Yunkaporta  Video
  • August 4, (Online) Tuesday, 4pm PDT/AZ, Story and the Ecological Imagination – Julia Corbett, Tom Fleischner, Susan M. Gaines, Cylita Guy, J. Drew Lanham, Nalini Nadkarni, Richard Nevle and Stephen Trimble  Video
  • August 20, (Online) Thursday, 5pm PDT/AZ, Conversation on the Edge: Wildness, Reconciliation, and Love of the World – J. Drew Lanham  Video
  • December 10, (Online) Thursday, 5:30pm MST/AZ, Fire and the Future of Piñon-Juniper Woodlands – Lisa Floyd-Hanna  Video



  • January 17:  Honey Bee Natural History and Conservation – Jordan Twombly Ellis  Video
  • February 7: Slave Raiding Ants of Prescott: Natural History of the Ants, Their Slaves, and the Parasites That Attack Them Both – Peter Sherman  Video
  • February 27: The Biocultural Riches of the Gulf of California – Lorayne Meltzer  Video
  • March 7: Frog Stories: Natural History as an Amphibian Decline Research Tool – Andrea Adams  Video
  • March 21: Scallywags, Gloryhounds, Visionaries and Conservationists: Stories from the Arader Collection – Melanie Campbell-Carter  Video
  • April 4: Saving Seeds, Saving Ourselves, Saving the Earth – Bill McDorman  Video
  • April 25: A Tale of Two Pikas: From the Rockies to the Roof of the World – Andrew Smith  Video
  • May 2: Three Decades of Science on Polar Ice: A Personal Perspective – Steve Munsell  Video
  • May 9: Where Have All the Turtles Gone, and Why Does It Matter? – Jeff Lovich  Video
  • July 11: Biomimicry: Observing and Learning from Nature’s Genius – Lily Urmann
  • August 8: The Intersection of Art and Conservation – Walt Anderson  Video
  • September 5:  Fire History and Historical Stand Reconstruction of the Mogollon Highlands Ponderosa Pine – Lisa Floyd-Hanna, NHI, and Dave Huffman, Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI)
  • October 24:  Alpenglow: The Practice of Art & Natural History in the Range Of Light – Brian Scavone, Eric Smith and Ryan Alonzo  Video  
  • October 25: The Biophilia Hypothesis Comes to the Periodic Table – Deborah Ford  Video  
  • October 31:  Ancient Arizona – Wayne Ranney  Video  
  • November 14: Cuatro Ciénegas: An Oasis of Biodiversity in the Chihuahuan Desert – Matt Valente  Video



  • January 11: Ladybugs and Big Data: Tracking Harmonia axyridis in Space and Time – Jordan Twombly Ellis
  • February 1: The Gulf of California: A Natural History Treasure – Lorayne Meltzer
  • February 15: Lighting the Fire: A Natural History of Story – Bob Ellis
  • March 5: Restoration Ecology: Goal Setting, Climate Change, and the Significance of History – Bill Throop
  • March 29: The Mogollon Highlands: A Frontier of Field Ornithology – Felipe Guerrero
  • April 26: Feathers and Beaks, Bars and Streaks: Form and Pattern in Birds – Mark Riegner
  • May 7: Grand Canyon: A Geologic Puzzle Extraordinaire – Lon Abbott
  • September 13: Tracking Wildlife in the Verde River: Using Environmental DNA, A New Tool for Biodiversity Assessment – Katie Benson, Hillary Eaton and Matt Valente
  • September 27: Food from Radical Center: Healing Our Lands & Communities – Gary Nabhan (in partnership with the Peregrine Book Company)
  • October 4: A Thinking Person’s Guide to America’s National Parks – Bob Manning
  • October 18: Natural History, Healing and Reciprocity – Panel discussion with Anna O’Malley, Laura Sewall and Sarah Twombly, moderated by Tom Fleischner
  • November 1: Heartwood to Bedrock: Artistic Intimacy with the Mogollon Highlands – Rebecca Davis and Roger Asay
  • November 15: Awe-some – A Buddhist look at Awe, Conservation, and the Natural World Will Duncan
  • December 13: One Building, 90 Years, Many Stories: The Natural History Institute in Prescott – Bill Otwell