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Adult Programs

Adult Nature Journaling

Embark on a captivating exploration of the miniature wonders in our ecosystem through a series of Nature Journaling Workshops at the Butterfly Pavilion. Led by an expert artist and environmental educator, each workshop unveils a new topic within the enchanting realm of invertebrates – from butterflies to spiders and beetles. Participants will learn to intricately capture these delicate creatures in their nature journals, combining art and scientific observation. Whether you're an experienced artist or a curious nature enthusiast, join us to delve into the fascinating world of invertebrates, gaining a deeper appreciation for their significance in maintaining the ecological balance. Don't miss the chance to ignite your creativity and understanding of nature in these hands-on, educational workshops.

About the Instructor - Catie Michel: Catie Michel is a seasoned scientific illustrator with a deep-rooted passion for capturing the intricate details of the natural world. With a portfolio that spans numerous publications, exhibitions, and collaborations with leading researchers, Catie brings both artistic finesse and scientific rigor to her instruction. Her ability to intertwine art and science creates an enriching learning experience that encourages participants to view the environment through a new lens.

Topics:

March 16 - Beetles

June 22 - Pollinators

August 24 - Color in the Natural World

October 26 - Spiders

Arachnology Course with Paula Cushing

Little Miss Muffet may have been afraid, but you won’t be as you learn about spiders and other arachnids such as scorpions, camel spiders, daddy longlegs, and ticks. Review the evolutionary history of arachnids, the natural history and biology of the different groups, and the medical and economic importance of these animals. Live guests may drop by for an eight-legged howdy do!

Biography: Paula Cushing received her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Florida. In 1998, she began her position as Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her research focuses on the biodiversity, taxonomy, systematics, and evolutionary ecology of arachnids, particularly spiders and wind scorpions, or solifuges. She has published numerous scientific articles as well as popular articles about spiders and insects. She is also very active with the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology and has served as President of both these scientific societies.

Syllabus:

Tuesday, October 1st

Introduction to Subphylum Chelicerata, Class Arachnida

· Pycnogonida and Xiphosura

· Palpigradi – micro-whip scorpions

· Opiliones – daddy longlegs or harvestmen

· Acarina – mites and ticks (begin, live guests)

Thursday, October 3rd

· Acarina – continued; microscope exercise

· Ricinulei – hooded tick-spiders

· Pseudoscorpiones -- pseudoscorpions

· Solifugae – camel spiders or wind scorpions

Tuesday, October 8th

· Solifugae – continued (sex video!)

· Scorpiones– scorpions (live guests)

· Schizomida – short-tailed whip-scorpions

Thursday, October 10th

· Amblypygi – tailless whip scorpions (live guest)

· Thelyphonida – vinegaroon or whip scorpion (live guest)

· Araneae – spiders (just a taste and live guests (but not a taste of live guests!)

Beetle Pinning Workshop

*This class is intended for adults but is suitable for 16+ with an adult in attendance*

Taught by The Terrorium Shop, Denver’s natural history store. In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to mount your very own Jewel Beetle Specimen.

This class will start off with a short lecture discussing the anatomy and lifestyle habits of the selected specimens. You will learn about relaxing chambers, the different types and how to make a quick, easy, relaxing chamber from household items. The last portion of the class will be hands-on pinning of your specimen.

Each person will receive one relaxed beetle, a mini relaxing chamber, their own pinning board, and their own set of entomology pins.

Beginner Macro Photography

*This class is geared towards adults but is suitable for 16+ with a parent in attendance*

Whether you’re a paparazzi or can’t figure out your camera or phone, join expert photographer Bob Krugmire for hands-on instruction that will teach you to maximize the potential of your camera! Leave with better skills, knowledge, and tons of fantastic close-up shots. Space is limited! Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

Butterfly Pavilion Rainforest Yoga

Experience a rejuvenating yoga class in our tropical rainforest. Led by one of our rotating instructors, classes provide an amazing opportunity to transcend the hustle and bustle of daily life as you practice amongst the butterflies in our conservatory.

 

Due to this program being in high demand no refunds or date change requests can be made for this program. All tickets are final purchase.

Butterfly Pinning Workshop

* This class is intended for adults but is suitable for 16+ with an adult present*

Taught by The Terrorium Shop, Denver’s natural history store. In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to mount your very own Morpho Specimen.

This class will start with a short lecture discussing the anatomy and lifestyle habits of the selected specimens. You will learn about relaxing chambers, the different types, and how to make a quick, accessible relaxing chamber from household items. The last portion of the class will be hands-on pinning of your specimen.

Each person will receive one relaxed morpho, a mini relaxing chamber, their own pinning board, and their own set of entomology pins. Please note the morphos do not have their thorax as they are removed due to grease of specimens.

Expert Lecture: Get Involved in Butterfly Conservation

Embark on a captivating exploration of butterfly conservation with Butterfly Pavilion’s Lepidopterist Shiran Hershcovich. Delve into the enchanting world of butterflies, discovering the vital role they play in ecosystems and their delicate balance in the natural order. Shiran will guide you through the fundamentals of butterfly conservation, sharing insights into their life cycles, habitats, and challenges.

Learn practical strategies for getting involved in butterfly conservation efforts, from creating butterfly-friendly gardens to understanding the importance of preserving natural habitats. Be empowered to make a positive impact on butterfly populations. Join Shiran in this inspiring class to become a steward of these beautiful creatures and contribute to the conservation of our delicate winged friends.

Bio: Shiran Hershcovich is an entomologist from Panama City, Panama. She earned her degree in Molecular Biology from the University of California - Berkeley. She joined Butterfly Pavilion in 2021, where she curates the conservatory’s living collections of butterflies. She’s passionate about understanding and conserving invertebrates and currently works on local and international research and conservation initiatives like field assessments on vulnerable butterfly populations in Mongolia and the construction of a sustainable butterfly farm in Indonesia. She currently serves on the board of directors for the International Association of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers (IABES). She believes in the power of community to increase accessibility and action in conservation and leads community science projects like the Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network (CBMN) and Butterfly Quest, a lepidopteran longevity study in the Wings of the Tropics conservatory open to all Butterfly Pavilion guests. Before her time at Butterfly Pavilion, she worked in invertebrate research at the Essig Museum of Entomology and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Expert Lecture: Get Ready, Get Set, Garden!

Spring’s here - are you ready to have your best gardening year yet? Learn about pollinator-friendly garden preparation and how to transform boring turf into a garden oasis that helps the planet. Butterfly Pavilion Horticulture Director Amy Yarger offers actionable advice, helps you to avoid common gardening pitfalls, and busts persistent myths about what, when and how to plant your pollinator habitat oasis.

 

Amy’s bio: Amy Yarger has worked in the public horticulture field since 1996. She received a bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, and then studied plant-animal interactions at the University of Michigan.  Amy currently leads Butterfly Pavilion’s local pollinator habitat initiatives, such as the Baseline Pollinator District™, Manitou Springs Pollinator District™, and the Urban Prairies Project, which restores habitat in urban and suburban natural areas.

Expert Lecture: Revenge of the Plants

We rely on plants for oxygen, food and medicines, but plants have a dark side, too. Butterfly Pavilion Horticulture Director will share the dangerous and often disturbing interactions that plants have with insects, and sometimes people! Learn about carnivorous plants, tricky orchids, and the wild world of plant toxins.

Amy’s bio: Amy Yarger has worked in the public horticulture field since 1996. She received a bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine and then studied plant-animal interactions at the University of Michigan.   Amy currently leads Butterfly Pavilion’s local pollinator habitat initiatives, such as the Baseline Pollinator District, Manitou Springs Pollinator District and the Urban Prairies Project, which restores habitat in urban and suburban natural areas.

Expert Lecture: The Mysterious Lives of Stingless Bees

Did you know there is a whole group of bees that cannot sting? They come in all colors, sizes, and shapes and are some of the main pollinators of the tropical and subtropical forests of the world. If you are interested in knowing more about these wonderful critters, please come and join this talk by Target Species Manager, Fransico Garcia Bulle Bueno on March 3rd.

Bio: Francisco completed a B.S. in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2017. He then completed a PhD on Entomology at the University of Sydney, Australia in 2021. Francisco’s main areas of research have been breeding, husbandry, reproductive behavior, and management of bees. He has successfully published six scientific papers on bee’s biology on peer reviewed journals. During his PhD, Francisco also worked with schools, universities, refugees, beekeepers and senior adults delivering science communication workshops with the aim of promoting environmental and sustainability in urban environments by teaching the importance of insects and their habitats in Australia. He was also the manager of a stingless bee program run by tone of the councils in Sydney where he managed and propagated over 100 colonies of stingless bees every year. After finishing his PhD and before the Butterfly Pavilion, Francisco worked on developing conservation projects in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico working with local people and raising awareness about the importance of bees and general biodiversity.

Expert Lecture: The Spindly and Wonderful World of Stick Insects

It is well known that stick insects are the masters of camouflage, but did you know that some of them can also spray acid or simulate a leaf swaying with the wind? If you are interested in learning more about these fascinating insects, please come and join this talk by Target Species Manager, Fransico Garcia Bulle Bueno on November 3rd.

Bio: Francisco completed a B.S. in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2017. He then completed a PhD on Entomology at the University of Sydney, Australia in 2021. Francisco’s main areas of research have been breeding, husbandry, reproductive behavior, and management of bees. He has successfully published six scientific papers on bee’s biology on peer reviewed journals. During his PhD, Francisco also worked with schools, universities, refugees, beekeepers and senior adults delivering science communication workshops with the aim of promoting environmental and sustainability in urban environments by teaching the importance of insects and their habitats in Australia. He was also the manager of a stingless bee program run by tone of the councils in Sydney where he managed and propagated over 100 colonies of stingless bees every year. After finishing his PhD and before the Butterfly Pavilion, Francisco worked on developing conservation projects in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico working with local people and raising awareness about the importance of bees and general biodiversity.

Natures Best Hope: A Webinar with Doug Tallamy

Join acclaimed ecologist Doug Tallamy in a transformative webinar on his book ""Nature's Best Hope."" Recent headlines highlight alarming declines in global insect populations and three billion fewer birds in North America, signaling a need for a shift in our landscape designs. Tallamy offers hope by emphasizing that these losses are not inevitable. Discover the power of selecting the right plants to address the biodiversity and climate crises. Tallamy will outline simple steps we can take to reverse decline and shift our relationship with nature. Register now for a sustainable and biodiverse future.

 

Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 112 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 43 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His books include Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, The Nature of Oaks, winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award. In 2021 he cofounded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari (HomegrownNationalPark.org). His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, Ecoforesters, The Garden Club of America and The American Horticultural Association.

On a Silken Thread: Arachno Fact and Fancy

*This class is intended for adults but is suitable for 16+ with an adult in attendance*

Spiders and arachnids - love them or leave them but at least learn to respect these top predators of the world of creepy crawlies. On Saturday, April 13th from 10 a.m. until noon Dr. Paula Cushing, the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will give a talk about these eight-legged creatures. Dr. Cushing has been conducting research on spiders and their relatives since 1986. She began her position at the museum in 1998. She has published scientific articles about spiders, scorpions, and solifuges (camel spiders). In this lecture she will introduce you to these extraordinary animals, to their life history, behavior, and importance as insect predators.

An arachnologist by the name of William S. Bristowe once estimated that a one acre field could be home to over two and a quarter million individual spiders. Spiders eat trillions of insects a year and are thus a fine natural control on insect populations. In desert environments, arachnids such as camel spiders (order Solifugae) and scorpions (order Scorpiones) are top predators, emerging from burrows at night to hunt insects and small mammals fool enough to get in their way. Learn just how dangerous the infamous black widow can be, find out why the brown recluse is not a concern here in the west, and impress your friends and influence people with all your newly gained knowledge about these fascinating creatures. Get answers to all those pesky spider and arachnid questions that have been plaguing you for years.

Biography: Paula Cushing received her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Florida. In 1998, she began her position as Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her research focuses on the biodiversity, taxonomy, systematics, and evolutionary ecology of arachnids, particularly spiders and wind scorpions, or solifuges. She has published numerous scientific articles as well as popular articles about spiders and insects. She is also very active with the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology and has served as President of both these scientific societies.

Photo Hour

Relish a quiet hour of morning light photography in the tropical rainforest before open our doors to the public. Snap photos of beautiful butterflies and exotic tropical flowers in the morning light. Sessions are offered monthly and begin at 8:00am.

Cost:  $10 for non-members, $8.00 for members. Note: This session is self-guided. Participants supply own equipment.

Pollinators Miniworld - Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

*This class is intended for adults but is suitable for 16+ with an adult present*

Learn how to build your own Preserved Miniworld in this exciting class.

Taught by The Terrorium Shop, Denver’s natural history store, you will learn how to assemble a beautifully preserved display showcasing elements of nature. Completely put your own spin on this itty bitty world and have it for years to treasure.

This class will start with a short lecture on native pollinators by the Butterfly Pavilion and then go into the art portion. The specimen we will work with is a Colorado native butterfly, Colias philodice.

Included is one 2.25""x 3.75"" glass dome with a cork base (pictured), 1 mounted sulphur butterfly specimen (Colias philodice), crystals, dried botanicals, and moss.

Scorpion Pinning Workshop

*This call is intended for adults but is suitable for 16+ with an adult in attendance*

Taught by The Terrorium Shop, Denver’s natural history store. In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to mount your very own scorpion specimen.

This class will start with a short lecture discussing the anatomy and lifestyle habits of the selected specimens. You will learn about relaxing chambers, the different types, and how to make a quick, easy relaxing chamber from household items. The last portion of the class will be hands-on pinning of your specimen.

Each person will receive one relaxed scorpion, a mini relaxing chamber, their own pinning board, and their own set of entomology pins. Please note the morphos do not have their thorax as they are removed due to grease of specimens.

Sensory Friendly Afternoons at Butterfly Pavilion

Here at Butterfly Pavilion, we know that things can get pretty hectic with busy butterflies, bees and bodies buzzing around during the day. Join us for a low-sensory morning before we open to the public that meets the needs of families that need to experience the Pavilion in a different way. With natural lighting, quiet tones, and limited admission – this experience offers your little one an enjoyable, low-key experience just for them.

Each Sensory Friendly Afternoon offers guided interpretation in each exhibit, optional activity guides, and an interactive Storytime program.

Swarms and Splits: A Workshop for Second Year Beekeepers

If you've gotten your beehive through its first winter in Colorado, congratulations! You're about to have a second-year hive! With a second-year hive comes all new adventures in beekeeping, one of the most important of which is swarming. When a colony swarms, not only does a beekeeper lose their valuable, experienced queen, but other issues, such as a failure to produce a new queen or swarms moving into dangerous locations, can occur. It is in a beekeeper s best interest to learn how to artificially create a swarm by doing a split to prevent their bees from becoming a community nuisance. It is also beneficial for new beekeepers to learn about swarm behavior and how they can get themselves free bees by becoming a swarm catcher.

 

In this workshop, we'll learn all about swarms, including signs that a colony is going to swarm, how to prevent your hive from swarming, how to make more hives by making splits, and basic swarm catching techniques.

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