Photo: Author and speaker Jack Nisbet.
 
The natural treasures of the inland Northwest as viewed by 1820s-era Scottish botanist David Douglas will be the topic of a lecture by prize-winning author Jack Nisbet at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in Heald auditorium, room G3.

The lecture is the first in a series of “museum chats” hosted by WSU’s Conner Museum, Ownbey Herbarium and the School of Biological Sciences.

“The Conner Museum is all about public education and outreach,” said Michael Webster, director. “This lecture series … gives us the opportunity to showcase modern understanding of science and natural history in a fun and engaging way.”

The leading zoological museum in the Inland Northwest, the museum houses 60,000-70,000 specimens of animals.

Douglas arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1825. He went up the Columbia, Snake and Okanogan rivers collecting and preserving specimens to send back to London. His adventures included broken bones, an encounter with a grizzly bear, a romance with an Indian princess and a mysterious death at age 35 in a pit trap for bullocks in Hawaii. 
He discovered or described more than 200 species of plants and animals, including the Douglas fir. His collection notes often included tribal information about the various species.

Nisbet is a conservationist and teacher who lives in Spokane. His books have won numerous awards. He is author of “Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson across Western North America,” “The Mapmaker’s Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau, 1800-1812,” and “Singing Grass, Burning Sage: Discovering Washington’s Shrub Steppe,” among others.

The lecture will be preceded by an open house at the Ownbey Herbarium in Heald G9 and followed by a reception and book signing in the Conner Museum on the first floor of Abelson Hall. All events are free to the public.