The Life & Times of Methow Mammals
13th Annual Methow Conservation Course
Monday evenings, February 6 – March 13
Plus, bonus field sessions

Photo by Victor Glick & Libby Schreiner
Photo by Libby Schreiner

From tiny shrews to big black bears and desert-adapted pocket mice to boreal species like the Canada lynx, the Methow Valley is home to a diverse assemblage of native mammals. Being mammals ourselves, the lives of our furry neighbors are of great interest and curiosity to humans and our mutual futures.  Join this year’s “Methow Conservation Course” to learn more about the evolution of mammals and the unique adaptations and ecological niches of our native mammalian taxa. Course content will provide an overview of every family of mammals found here while exploring select groups and species of significant conservation or ecological interest in more detail, including current research on certain species, and how climate change and other local factors like wildfires are affecting animals and their habitats.  Lectures and optional outdoor field sessions will also cover methods for studying mammals in the field including wildlife tracking, camera trapping, live capture and release, and direct observation.  The course should provide participants with both broad and specific information about our local, wild, mammalian world, and encourage more observation of and connections with native mammals while engaging class members as advocates and partners in long-term conservation.

Just like our previous conservation courses (13 years of them now!), numerous wildlife biologists and educators in the Methow and around the state are participating to make this course on Methow Mammals a stellar educational experience.  There are over 70 mammals in the Methow watershed and while we may not showcase all of them, we hope to introduce you to most of them and cover many of them in some depth!  The line-up of speakers includes:

Feb 6:  Mammal taxonomy and evolution with Dave Moskowitz
Feb 13:  Canids with Scott Fitkin & Bears with Dr. Bill Gaines
Feb 20:  Ungulates with Sara Hansen & Jeff Heinlen
Feb 27:  Felids & Mustelids with John Rohrer
March 6: Rodents & Lagomorphs with Dr. Kris Ernest, plus the Methow Beaver Project with Torre Stockard
March 13: Insectivores plus hands-on time with the Slater Museum specimen collection with Dr. Peter Wimberger.  The 10 Decades Project with Kent Woodruff

Photographer Teri Pieper
Photo by Teri Pieper

Bonus fee-based classes include outdoor wildlife camera and wildlife tracking sessions on Feb 5th and March 12th, and on March 11th, from 3:00-5:30pm an indoor lesson on mammal tracking, foot morphology, locomotion, gait patterns and more with Marcus Reynerson

The course runs for six weeks from February 6th to March 13th with one class per week on Mondays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Winthrop Barn. Tuition is $170*.  Need-based scholarships, in the form of a reduced fee, are available to a limited number of people who are able to provide volunteer help with the course.  The course is similar to a college-level seminar, with optional reading materials, extracurricular field sessions, and a limited class size.
Space in the course is limited to 50 people is nearly full.  Contact Course Coordinator Mary Kiesau at or 509-996-2870 for questions about the course or to register.

If you can’t attend the course, don’t worry!  You can follow along with weekly notes and a videoed class session on our blog.  Stay tuned to the blog starting shortly after the first class.

Course Short Syllabus

Course Full Syllabus

Course Documents

*Our Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel or leave a fee-based course for any reason:
Full refunds will be given if the request is received two weeks or more before the day of the program (class, workshop, field trip, etc.).  If the cancellation is made less than two weeks before the start of the program, the Methow Conservancy will give a full refund only if we are able to fill your spot.  If you cancel 24 hours or less before the start time of the program or after the class has started there will be no refund of the program fee.  Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a program.  In this case you will receive a full refund.
315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870