Winter Talks Return to Yakima Valley College

Free Talks Offer Perspectives on Local Lands and Life

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy (CCC) is partnering with Yakima Valley College (YVC) to offer free talks about the life and science happening in our local shrub-steppe. After three years hosting talks exclusively online, both organizations are excited to again offer live talks to the Yakima community. YVC and CCC have been partnering to offer this community engagement opportunity for over a decade.

This year’s talks will cover diverse subjects on the history of our local landscape, human relationships with elk, and cutting-edge research on restoration. The 2024 Winter Talks lineup:

  • Tuesday, February 13, 7pm – “Ice Age Megafloods of the Pacific Northwest,” by Bruce Bjornstad (Geologist and author)
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 7pm – “Elk, Then & Now: The History of Elk in Yakima County and Current Perspectives on Management,” by Greg Mackey (Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife)
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 7pm – “The Roots of Restoration: Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions in Native Plant Restoration,” by Tanya Cheeke (Washington State University)

All talks are free to the public and will be hosted at Yakima Valley College’s Conference Center
(1704 W Nob Hill Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902). Talks will also be livestreamed on YVC’s YouTube channel ( Talks are between 40 to 60 minutes followed by time for questions and responses.

For more information about individual talks, go to

Quotes about the Winter Talks series

“These talks are an invitation for our community to learn about shrub-steppe life and also the processes of science that help us understand this life and how to better relate to it.” – Cy Philbrick, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator with Cowiche Canyon Conservancy

“YVC prepares STEM students for careers in many disciplines. In the CCC-YVC Winter series students learn about new career possibilities from natural resource professionals. And the discussions are a great way for YVC students to observe the application of science to local and regional conservation challenges.” – Matthew Loeser, Yakima Valley College Biology Instructor  

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy is a local non-profit organization conserving shrub-steppe habitat and connecting people to the land through recreation and education programs. CCC owns and manages 7,000 acres of land and offers over 40 miles of trails for non-motorized recreation. For more information, go to or contact CCC at (509) 248-1065 or

Yakima Valley College is a public, two-year institution of higher education dedicated to strengthening our communities by providing opportunities for economic mobility, personal enrichment and sociocultural engagement. YVC offers five bachelor of applied science degrees, 55 associate degrees and more than 100 certificate of achievement programs at campuses in Yakima and Grandview and learning centers in Ellensburg and Toppenish. YVC students can enroll in programs in lower division arts and sciences, professional and technical education, adult basic education and English Language Acquisition. For more information about Yakima Valley College, go to

Press Release Contacts
Cowiche Canyon Conservancy Contact: Cyrus Philbrick
Education and Community Outreach Coordinator
(509) 248-5065 /

Yakima Valley College Contact: Dustin Wunderlich
Director of Community Relations
(509) 574–6870 /