High Desert Speaker Series

Michelle Alvarado

Hear from speakers with deep knowledge to share on intriguing aspects of high desert science, culture and recreational opportunities. Our 2020 High Desert Speaker Series events in Bend and Portland will be announced soon.


Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

“I find enjoyment in the peaceful wide open spaces, geology, and rich history of Oregon’s high desert,” says Mary. Reflecting on volunteering, she continues, “If you have the ability and desire, it’s important to do something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be big, because every little bit helps.”


Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

“ONDA stewardship trips inspire me. I get to learn new things and see new places, and in the process perform important work that improves the wildlife habitat.”


Sarah Graham, Sage Society Member

Sarah Graham, Sage Society Member

“I contribute to ONDA monthly because it adds up to a larger annual gift than what I’d be able to comfortably afford if I were to do a simple one-time donation annually. I’m able to give more to ONDA this way and have greater impact which is important to me, and my dog Polly.”

Past Bend Events

January 15, 2019

Supervolcanoes and Flood Basalts
Daniele McKay, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon

February 18, 2019

Hart Mountain Revealed
Jeremy Austin, Hart-Sheldon Coordinator at ONDA

March 26, 2019

The Upper Snake River Tribes take on a Changing Climate
Jason Kesling, Environmental Program Manager at Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation

April 9, 2019

Survival Strategies for Desert Species
Ron Larson, Dennis Albert and Steve Sheehy
Experts on fauna, flora and lichen of the high desert


All Bend series events will be held at Worthy Brewing’s Hop Mahal room at 495 NE Bellevue Drive. Thank you, Worthy Brewing, for being Presenting Sponsor of the 2019 High Desert Speaker Series: Bend!

Bend’s January, February and March events will start at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The April Speaker Series event will begin at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m.

Past Portland Events

February 11, 2019

Tribes and Treaty Rights in the Columbia River Basin
Aja DeCoteau, Watershed Department Manager at Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

March 11, 2019

Sex Lives of High Desert Plants and Animals
LeeAnn Kriegh, author of The Nature of Bend

April 8, 2019

Hart Mountain Revealed
Jeremy Austin, Hart-Sheldon Coordinator at ONDA


All Portland series events will be held at the First Congregational Church at 1126 SW Park Avenue in downtown Portland.

All events will start at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

A Look Back on the 2018 Series in Eastern Oregon

August 2018 – Burns

Are Beavers the Key to Vibrant Desert Rivers?
Jefferson Jacobs, ONDA Stewardship Coordinator
Erica Maltz, Burns Paiute Tribe Natural Resources Director
Nick Weber, Eco Logical Research

August 2018 – Ontario

Explore the Owyhee’s Wonders
Tim Davis, Friends of the Owyhee
Corie Harlan, ONDA Owyhee Coordinator
Steve Stuebner, author of The Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide

September 2018 – Mitchell

Exploring the Economic Future of Wheeler County
Damon Runberg, Regional Economist for the State of Oregon