Alaska Outdoors: February happenings

by • February 3, 2016 • Calendar of EventsComments (0)1319

Feb. 5
Ethno-Astronomy: Stonehenge, Buffalo Jumps and Polynesian Voyages
7 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Ivan Hodes presents a program on astronomy in the center’s popular indoor and outdoor program. Every first and third Friday evening of the month, an astronomer will present a special topic (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours) and answer your questions. If the skies are clear, be ready to go outside and view the night sky, using your own binoculars or telescope, or share the ones set up by our astronomers. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 6  
Fifth annual Icy River Rampage
11 a.m., Eagle River Nature Center
This 20/10-mile winter bike race is a fundraiser for the Nature Center. Race will start and end at the center, with some riding on the frozen Eagle River. There will be an award ceremony, bonfire and barbeque after the race. Entry fee is $30 if preregistered, and $35 on the day of the race. This is part of the Chain Reaction Cycles Abominable Snow Series; details and registration at the Chain Reaction website,

Feb. 7
Miniature Birchbark Basket Making Class
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Learn how to sew small baskets and canoes from birchbark – all materials provided. Limited to 10 people, ages 15 and older, who register at 694-2108. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 10
Wildlife Wednesdays: Warm World, Hot Fires: Wildfire and Wildlife in Alaska
7 p.m., The Alaska Zoo Gateway Hall, Anchorage
The popular free science lecture series Wildlife Wednesdays returns to The Alaska Zoo for another season. This month’s topic is about wildfires. Landscapes affected by climate change and wildfires present unprecedented challenges and some opportunities for wildlife in Alaska and other western states. Rachel Loehman, research landscape ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center, will discuss the effects of changing climate-fueled fires on wildlife and describe management opportunities for critical habitat restoration. Contact Zoo Education Director Stephanie Hartman with questions at

Feb. 13
Special Author Visit: Astronomy Book Signing
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Have you ever looked at an astronomy picture and wondered, “Is this what it really looks like?” or “Are the colors real?” Travis Rector, professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of Alaska Anchorage, has just published “Coloring the Universe: An Insider’s Look at the Making Spectacular Images of Space,” which answers these questions and more. See spectacular images from space and hear how giant telescopes work, what scientists learn with them, and how they are used to make color images. There will be a book signing after the program. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 14
Prevention and Treatment of Cold Injuries
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Frostbite and hypothermia are serious injuries – learn the wilderness first aid skills you need to prevent, detect, and treat them. Deb Ajango, with Wilderness Medical Associates, will present valuable information that can potentially save life and limb. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 16
Mountaineering Club of Alaska meeting
6:30-8:45 p.m., BP Energy Center, 900 East Benson Blvd., Anchorage
The event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite nonmembers. Each month there is a special presentation that is climbing and mountaineering oriented. For more details, go to

Feb. 17
Fireside Chat: Traditional Ecological Knowledge in a Changing World
7 p.m., Campbell Creek Science Center
Climate change is causing Alaska to warm at twice the rate of the rest of the world and many indigenous rural communities find themselves on the front lines of this rapid change. What role will the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Alaska Natives have built over generations through close relationships to the land and sea play in understanding these changes? How will climate change researchers and policy decision makers incorporate TEK into their work? Join us as Danielle Stickman and Maryann Fidel of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council discuss the answers to these and many other questions.

Feb. 20
Junior Naturalist Program: Survival Skills for Kids
10 a.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Do you know how to stay warm, what to do when you’re lost, or how to build an emergency shelter? Learn from Michael “Gus” Gustafson how to be prepared for outdoor winter fun. Dress for going outside. Limited to the first 12 children (ages 6 and up) who register by calling 694-2108. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 20
Special Event: Night With the Stars: Pluto
5-9 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Tonight’s guest speaker is Omega Smith, University of Alaska Anchorage Planetarium manager, and catering provided by Two Sisters Catering, Alayna Cuddy and Naomi Everett. Harpist is Beth Baker. Tickets are $100 per person, and tables of eight are available. For reservations go to or call 694-2108.

Feb. 21
Armchair Travel Series: Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Straddling the equator, the country of Ecuador has an exceptional geographical diversity. Glen Keller will share experiences visiting the Galapagos Islands, the capital city Quito, an Ecuadorian highland cloud forest, and canoeing on the Cuyabeno River, one of the headwaters of the Amazon River. Sit back and relax by the wood stove while vicariously visiting faraway lands. If you are interested in presenting about your trip, contact Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 21
AMH Cup Sven Johansson Freestyle Ski Race
Noon, Kincaid Park
The AMH Anchorage Cup Citizen Races are seven ski races sponsored by the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage. Skiers of all ages and abilities are welcome. The goal is to have fun, ski on well-groomed trails, test your ability, meet new friends and see old ones. The Sven Johansson race is a 10K or 30K freestyle ski race. The 30K race is the famous “Tour of Kincaid.” There will also be a 2.5K timed fun race for youth (14 and younger) around the first half of the Mize Loop. (

Feb. 27
Whoooo’s There? Owls of Alaska
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
How many types of owls call Alaska home and where can you find them? Join volunteer Ginamaria Smith and her live great horned owl to discover some of the fascinating habits of Alaskan owls. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 27
A Photographer’s Four Seasons
6:30-9 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Join us in a reception for photographer and artist-in-residence Colin Tyler Bogucki ( Colin’s matted prints and canvas photographs will be available for purchase and discounted 20 percent during the event. Starting at 7:30 p.m., Colin will present a slideshow of the captivating images he has created over the course of a year at the Nature Center. From northern lights to landscapes and close-ups of local wildlife, his photographs bring this beautiful valley to life. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

Feb. 28
Family Snowshoe Outing
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Join Nature Center guides for a three-mile outing on snowshoes (if there’s enough snow; otherwise participants will walk). Bring your own snowshoes, or borrow a pair from the Nature Center – let the center know when you register at 694- 2108. Limited to 12 children and adults. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (

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