UM Lecture Series to Explore the Ins and Outs of Birds

January 16, 2015

MISSOULA – Lectures by five University of Montana faculty members and one alumna will discuss various aspects of birds during this year’s Community Lecture Series, “Birds: Inside and Out.” The six-week lecture series, now in its 17th year, begins Tuesday, Feb. 17.

This year’s speakers are experts in bird ecology, evolution, flight, song, endocrinology and taxidermy. Attendees will learn about topics ranging from stress responses in birds to the amazingly fluid body-surface that enables flight. They also will hear some examples of music inspired by bird songs.   

Lectures will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Feb. 17-March 24, in the University Center Theater. Each event will include a Q-and-A session. In support of the series’ theme, the program will begin with artwork and readings excerpted from “35 Zoological Lessons (and Other Didactic Poems),” featuring poems by UM Professor Eduardo Chirinos, and relief prints by UM alumnus David Miles Lusk.  

The schedule is:

  • Feb. 17: “Waxing and Waning of Wings: Ecology and Evolution of Avian Locomotion,” by biological sciences Professor Kenneth Dial.
  • Feb. 24: “Fluid Motion in Flight,” by UM Field Research Station Director Bret Tobalske.
  • March 3: “Stress: It's Not All Bad,” by biology and wildlife biology Associate Professor Creagh Breuner.
  • March 10: “A Bird's Eye View of Severe Forest Fires,” by biological sciences Professor Emeritus Richard L. Hutto.
  • March 17: “#WhyTweet? The Fantastic World of Bird Sounds - What They Say and Why,” by biology and wildlife biology Professor Erick Greene.
  • March 24: “What Good is a Dead Bird?” by “The Brain Scoop” host and writer Emily Graslie ’11. 

Tickets are $20 for the complete lecture series for the general public, $15 for UM Alumni Association dues-paying members, $10 for students and $5 at the door if seats are available. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the UM Office of Alumni Relations at 406-243-5211. Space is limited.

For more information call Angela Weisenburger, UM Alumni Association on-campus events coordinator, at 406-243-6439 or email; or call Linda Gillison, UM professor and the lecture series facilitator, at 406-243-2719 or email


Contact: Angela Weisenburger, on-campus events coordinator, UM Alumni Association, 406-243-6439,; Linda Gillison, UM professor and lecture-series facilitator, 406-243-2719,