Head Outside: Mark your calendar for December fun

by • December 3, 2015 • UncategorizedComments (0)210

See what’s happening this month in the great outdoors:

Dec. 4
Astronomy Series
7 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Terry Drake will present “New Horizon at Pluto and Space Exploration,” as part of the Eagle River Nature Center’s Astronomy Series, which meets the first Friday evening of each month through March. If 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 the astronomers. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (ernc.org)

Dec. 6
Winter Birds 101
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Naturalist and volunteer Liza Sanden will cover the basics of winter bird identification, and will talk about the coming Eagle River-Chugiak Christmas Bird Count, set for Jan. 3, 2016. Free, but parking is $5 parking for nonmembers. (ernc.org)

Dec. 9
Wildlife Wednesday: The Bison are Back
7 p.m., Alaska Zoo Gateway Hall
The free Wildlife Wednesday Lecture Series features a presentation on “The Bison are Back: Reintroducing North America’s Largest Land Mammal to Alaska.” Tom Seaton, wood bison biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, discusses the history of wood bison in Alaska and chronicles the story of restoring them to Alaska this past summer. The program is free with zoo admission. Questions? Contact Zoo Education director Stephanie Hartman at  slhartman@alaskazoo.org

Dec. 10
Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals
6:30-8 p.m., Alaska Avalanche School, Anchorage; and 6:30-8 p.m., Glacier Ranger Station, Girdwood
The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center hosts its Fireside Chats this winter in both Anchorage and Girdwood. Forecasters will present a different topic each night ranging from human factors to snowpack and avalanche formation. The event is free. (www.cnfaic.org)

Dec. 12
Lantern Making
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Make your own lantern for the center’s coming lantern walk. Bring an empty half-gallon cardboard milk carton; all other materials provided. Call 694-2108 to register. Free, but parking is $5 parking for nonmembers. (ernc.org)

Dec. 13
Photographing Polar Bears
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Join photographer and artist-in-residence Colin Tyler Bogucki as he shares his photos from Barter Island, Alaska’s premier polar bear viewing destination. In addition, Bogucki will share tips for planning your own trip to see the bears. Free, but parking is $5 parking for nonmembers. (ernc.org)

Dec. 15
MCA Holiday Party
6:30-8:45 p.m., Pioneer School House, 437 E Third Ave., Anchorage
The Mountaineering Club of Alaska hosts its annual holiday party with turkey for everyone. Bring a side dish to share, according to your last name: A-I:  dessert; J-S: salad; and T-Z: side dish. Be green and bring your own table setting; also bring five digital slides to share. For more info, go to mtnclubak.org.

Dec. 16
Fireside Chat Lecture Series
7 p.m., Campbell Creek Science Center
Spend the evening by the fire listening to a tale about science in real life. This month’s topic is “Refleshing the Bones,” about skeletons and what they tell us. University of Alaska Anchorage anthropologist Ryan Harrod discusses how our bones provide a record of life. He’ll describe how careful examination of skeletonized bodies reveals who a person was when he or she was alive. Complimentary hot drinks and cookies provided by Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center. The event is free.

Dec. 17
Avalanche: Human Factors
6:30-8 p.m., Alaska Avalanche School, Anchorage; and 6:30-8 p.m., Glacier Ranger Station, Girdwood
The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center hosts its Fireside Chats this winter in both Anchorage and Girdwood. Forecasters will present a different topic each night ranging from human factors to snowpack and avalanche formation. The event is free. (www.cnfaic.org)

Dec. 19
Annual Solstice Lantern Walk
6 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Join the Nature Center for its traditional candle-lit procession to celebrate the winter solstice. Bring your own lantern or borrow one of the center’s. Dress for being outdoors – meet on the back deck for lighting candles, surrounded by the magical light of ice lanterns. The lantern procession follows a short walk along a candle-lit trail to a bonfire and heated yurt. Free, but parking is $5 parking for nonmembers. (ernc.org)

Dec. 19
Avalanche Rescue Workshop: Turnagain
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Turnagain Pass motorized parking pot (Look for the blue CNFAIC Avalanche Trailer)
Join the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center for a free 1.5-hour program on avalanche rescue. Practice with your avalanche beacon, learn shoveling techniques and meet local forecasters. Free. (www.cnfaic.org)

Dec. 20
Guided Hike: Albert Loop Ski or Walk
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center
Join volunteer Stacy Flagg on the Albert Loop Trail (three miles total). Plan to ski, or walk if there is not enough snow. Limited to the first 12 people who register at 694-2108. Free, but parking is $5 parking for nonmembers. (ernc.org)

Dec. 21-Jan. 1
Christmas Closure
The Nature Center building will be closed Dec. 21, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2016. Trails are always open. Happy Holidays!

Dec. 27
Avalanche Rescue Workshop: Turnagain
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Turnagain Pass motorized parking pot (Look for the blue CNFAIC Avalanche Trailer)
Join the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center for a free 1.5-hour program on avalanche rescue. Practice with your avalanche beacon, learn shoveling techniques and meet local forecasters. Free. (www.cnfaic.org)

Jan. 3
Christmas Bird Count
Help the Eagle River Nature Center gather data for Audubon’s annual Winter Bird Count for Eagle River/Chugiak. Cover a predetermined area or record at your own bird feeder. Contact Liza Sanden at liza-s@rocketmail.com for details or to volunteer.

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