From feathers to seeds to bees

JIMMY HALL
JHALL@PTLEADER.COM
Posted 9/25/18
It is the little things that make the world an interesting place, according to Thor Hanson, this year's guest speaker for the Huntingford Lecture. Throughout his remarks, Hanson will talk about …

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From feathers to seeds to bees

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It is the little things that make the world an interesting place, according to Thor Hanson, this year's guest speaker for the Huntingford Lecture.

Throughout his remarks, Hanson will talk about the little things making up nature, from the tiniest seeds to what can be found in any given spice cabinet, to feathers that float onto the ground. Hanson said he was impressed by the lecture series and who it featured before his own appearance, including Sherman Alexie, Jess Walter, Anchee Min and Nancy Pearl, among many others.

Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, Switzer Environmental Fellow and award-winning author and biologist. His published works include "Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees," "The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History," "Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle" and "The Impenetrable Forest: My Gorilla Years in Uganda." He also penned "Bartholomew Quill: A Crow's Quest to Know Who's Who," a children book. Hanson became interested in writing children's books for his 9-year-old son, recalling how his young face lights up when he teaches him about all things nature.

Hanson's experience is expansive from his years of research and conservation endeavors that has taken him to faroff lands. He studied trees and songbirds in Central America, nest predation in Tanzania, as well as the feeding habits of African vultures. Through his work with the U.S. Peace Corps, he served in Uganda helping to establish the mountain gorilla tourism program in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and assisted in the management of a brown bear tourism project in Alaska for the U.S. Forest Service.

His studies have earned him the John Burroughs Medal, the Phi Beta Kappa Award, the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize and two Pacific Northwest Book Awards. He has also appeared on NPR's Fresh Air, PRI's Science Friday, The Current on CBC, and Book Lust with Nancy Pearl.

"We are very excited to have Thor Hanson as our Huntingford lecturer this year," said Jefferson County Library District Director Tamara R. Meredite. "He has a great reputation as a dynamic speaker and distinguished scientist, and we're very pleased to have someone who has written for both adults and children. The fact that he's from the Pacific Northwest is an extra bonus for us."

The Huntingford Humanities Lecture series was founded in 2001 in memory of Sara L. Huntingford, who was a supporter of the Jefferson County Library and helped form it in 1978. As a teacher and mother, she opened the doors of learning to people in isolated, rural areas, bolstering the library services to those residents.

The lecture will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road in Chimacum.

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