RU professors to present at summer nature series


A girl holds a snake during a program of the Wildwood Park's Outdoor Classroom Summer Lecture Series titled "Snakes Alive!"

Radford University faculty and students will be among the experts to lend a load full of nature knowledge this summer during Wildwood Park’s Outdoor Classroom Lecture Series.

The Radford City park for years has been host to the program, which features presentations by local naturalists, photographers and educators.

The series will take place every other Thursday, beginning June 26.
Karen Powers, RU associate professor of biology, will kick off the series with a hands-on, conversational presentation about bats. Powers will dispel some of the common myths about the winged creatures, talk about the recent crisis that Virginia cave bats are facing and educate the public about what they can do to help. Specimens of taxidermied bats will be on display, and Powers will also demonstrate some of the capture (nets) and detection techniques (echolocation recorders) common in the field of bat biology.

"The Wildwood Park Summer Lecture series is a great way to get the public educated about and interested in a wide variety of natural history topics," Powers said. "It's a great opportunity for the faculty of Radford University to extend their knowledge outside of the typical classroom and interact with a broader audience."

Other RU presenters include: S. Jane Fisher, RU alumna and volunteer with the Museum of the Earth Sciences; Robert (Bob) Whisonant, Geology Department; Matt Close, Biology Department; and Matti Hamed, an RU biology major, will cover topics such as bats, amphibians and geology.


A group explored Adam's Cave in 2013 as part of the Wildwood Park Outdoor Classroom Summer Lecture Series.


A big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) hangs from a tree in Wildwood Park in Radford.

2014 Summer Nature Series

  • June 26: "Going Batty Over Bats!"
    Karen Powers, Department of Biology, Radford University
  • July 10: "Geology of Wildwood Park: Talk and Walk!"
    S. Jane Fisher, RU alumna and volunteer with the Museum of the Earth Sciences, Radford University; and Robert (Bob) Whisonant, Geology Department, Radford University
  • July 24: "Leaf Litter Lookouts: Hidden Reptiles and Amphibians on the Forest Floor!"
    Matt Close, Biology Department, Radford University; Matti Hamed, Radford University
  • August 7: "Boogie in Your Bed; Boogie in Your Cot; You're Gonna Boogie with Some Bugs, Like It or Not"
    Dini Miller, Urban Pest Management Specialist, Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech
  • August 21: "Falcon Teeth and Hawk Talons!"
    Lee Chichester, Master Falconer

All events are free and will take place in the park's Outdoor Classroom beginning at 7:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the lectures will be held at the Radford Recreation Center.

Jun 24, 2014