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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures and speakers from area events and conferences, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, Wilderness Workshop, Hurst Community Initiative, Aspen Words, Aspen Music Festival and School, Aspen Center for Physics, Equity Speaker Series, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

Naturalist Nights: Forest Disturbance by Bark Beetle in Colorado with Dan West

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This event was recorded on February 10, 2022 as part of the 2022 Winter Naturalist Nights Series, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

Dr. Dan West discusses Colorado’s major bark beetle species and a recent history of beetle epidemic locations shown from an Aerial Detection Survey. Did you know that weather plays a crucial role in insect and disease activity in Colorado’s forests?

As temperature and precipitation regimes change, so do the defenses in trees. Bark beetle response to tree defenses, or lack thereof, is directly related to temperature and precipitation regimes.

Each winter, Wilderness Workshop, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), and Roaring Fork Audubon partner to co-host the popular Naturalist Nights speaker series; nature specialists from around the country were invited to talk about their studies for a special opportunity to inform the public on the nature around us, and give insight into the science that can potentially affect the way that we interact with our environment.

Dr. Dan West serves as the State’s Forest Entomologist with the Colorado State Forest Service: CSU. He works on all forested lands, focusing on state and private forests, providing educational opportunities on emerging pest issues and best practice treatment options within the state. Dan conducts annual aerial surveys over 24 million forested areas of the state, researching emerging and ongoing forest disturbances. He also teaches at Colorado State University, and serves as a resource for insect-tree interactions. He received his Bachelor’s in Forestry and his Master’s and Doctorate in Entomology from Colorado State University.