PULLMAN, Wash. — Conservationist, naturalist and award-winning author
Robert Michael Pyle will deliver Washington State University’s fourth E. Paul
Catts Memorial Lecture. His talk, “Conservation Biology: Chasing Monarchs,”
is planned for 8 p.m. April 6 in the Compton Union Building Auditorium.
In fall 1996, Pyle began a two-month, 9,462-mile journey to follow and tag
monarch butterflies along their migratory route from northern British Columbia
to Mexico. He learned about their habits and habitats and witnessed threats to
their survival from overgrazing, suburban and ranchette development,
chemical-intensive agriculture, herbicides and highways.
Pyle also discovered that some western monarchs go to Mexico as well as to
California, debunking the long-held assumption that all western monarchs
winter along the California coast. He also came to know the people and the
land of the 10 states and provinces through which he tracked the monarchs.
Pyle’s experience was chronicled in his 1999 book, “Chasing Monarchs:
Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage.” He has written some 15 books,
including “Where Bigfoot Walks” and “Wintergreen,” which won the John
Burroughs Medal for the best natural history book of 1986.
Pyle is recognized internationally for his conservation efforts and is the
founder of the Xerces Society and the Monarch Project. He received the 1997
Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Conservation Biology. He
also has served as a consultant in Papua New Guinea and for The Nature
A silent auction and dinner are planned before Pyle’s lecture at 6 p.m. in the
CUB Regency Room. For more information, contact Rebecca Redinger in
WSU’s entomology department, 509/335-5505, email@example.com. Dinner
reservations will be accepted until April 1. Pyle also will sign copies of his
books at 7 p.m.
The entomology department established the Catts Lectureship to honor the
former department chair and popular faculty member. The lectureship series
showcases biological scientists who excel in communication.