The Conservation Lecture Series at NCTC
Writers, Scientists, Filmmakers, Conservationists, Historians Speak to the Public at NCTC


The National Conservation Training Center invites prominent conservationists, writers, historians, scientists, filmmakers, and educators to discuss their work to a broad and interested public. All talks are held at the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center.  No tickets or reservations are required, the public is encouraged to attend. If you would like more information on the speaker series contact: Mark Madison, 304-876-7276, These talks are co-sponsored by The Friends of the NCTC.


Robert Pyle

Butterfly Expert, Author

The Monarch of the Americas: Chasing, Saving and Understanding our Most Iconic Insect

Thursday March 12, 2015 at 7:00pm

Byrd Auditorium

National Conservation Training Center

Shepherd Grade Road

Shepherdstown, WV

ROBERT MICHAEL PYLE was born on July 19, 1947 in Denver and raised in nearby Aurora, Colorado. His B.S. in Nature Perception and Protection (1969) and M.S. in Nature Interpretation (1973) from the University of Washington were followed in 1976 by a Ph.D. from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 1971, during a Fulbright Fellowship at the Monks Wood Experimental Station in England, Pyle founded theXerces Societyfor invertebrate conservation, and later chaired its Monarch Project. Bob has worked as an assistant curator at Yale's Peabody Museum, as a butterfly conservation consultant for Papua New Guinea, Northwest Land Steward forThe Nature Conservancy, and guest professor or writer at Portland State, University of Alaska, Evergreen State, and Lewis & Clark College. He has lectured for scientific, literary, and general audiences in many cities and countries, taught numerous field courses and creative writing seminars, been on the faculties of Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory as well as participating in the Port Townsend, Pacific Northwest, Sitka, and Desert writing conferences, and has appeared on NPR's E-Town. He received a 1997 Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology. In 1979, Pyle moved from Portland, Oregon to the rural community of Gray's River, on a tributary of the Lower Columbia in far southwest Washington. It was a deliberate migration, in the Thoreauvian sense, toward the requisite setting for confronting life's bare essentials and to see what effect that may have on the creative act of writing. AsMichael Pearsonhas commented: "For a man trained in natural history, science, and conservation much more than in literature, the transformation from scientist into full-time writer was a daring step intoterra incognita,a metamorphosis reminiscent of the butterflies he studies." As a professional writer, Pyle has published hundreds of papers, essays, stories, and poems in many magazines and journals in addition to 14  books

Description: over of mariposa roadDescription: over of tangled bankDescription: ky time coverDescription: igh ridge coverDescription: onarchs cover

Published Books:
Evolution of the GenusIris
2014. Lost Horse Press, Sandpoint.

The Tangled Bank: Writings from Orion 2012. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.

Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston.

Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place 2008. Mariner Books, Boston.

The Butterflies of Cascadia: A Field Guide to All the Species of Washington, Oregon, and Surrounding Territories 2002. Seattle Audubon Society.

Nabokov's ButterfliesEdited and annotated by Pyle and Brian Boyd2000. Beacon Press, Boston.

Walking the High Ridge: Life As Field Trip  2000. Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis.

Chasing Monarchs: A Migration with the Butterflies of Passage 1999. Houghton Mifflin.

The Thunder Tree: Lessons from An Urban Wildland 1998. Lyons Press

Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide 1995. Houghton Mifflin.

Insects: A Peterson Field Guide Coloring Book 1993. Houghton Mifflin.

Handbook for Butterfly Watchers 1992. Houghton Mifflin.

Wintergreen: Listening to the Land's Heart 1987. Houghton Mifflin.

Butterflies: A Peterson Field Guide Coloring Book(With Sarah Anne Hughes and Roger Tory Peterson).1983. Houghton Mifflin.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies 1981. Knopf.