Upcoming ACM Programs

Unless otherwise noted, all program meetings are held at Beth El Synagogue, 5224 W. 26th Street, St. Louis Park, 55416. Programs start at 7:00 PM on the first Tuesdays of the month. All programs are free and open to the public.



 FEB 6th    OWLS vs HAWKS      by John Authur Anderson

This presentation will compare and contrast Great Horned Owls and Coopers Hawks.  It will focus upon a range of characteristics and behaviors such as reproductive cycle, habitat, and eating habits.

BIO: J Arthur Anderson – Is an avid nature photographer.  His work has been featured in various publications including the Star Tribune, Minnesota Birding, Capture Minnesota and North Dakota Outdoors.   In 2015, he was the “Overall Winner” for the Watchable Wildlife Photography Contest sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Fish and Game.    His work also appeared in the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards Top 100.    J Arthur is known best for his owl photography which spans the past 10 years.   He has had the opportunity to create a longitudinal record of the annual reproductive cycle of a handful of owl families located in the metro twin cities area.

 MARCH 6th    RED HEADED WOODPECKER RESEARCH at Cedar Creek 2017-2018                 by Dr. Elena West

Presentation on the Red Headed Woodpecker (RHWO) research accomplished and in progress at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in East Bethel, MN. during 2017 and continuing in 2018.  Discussion will center on the 35 adult and nestling RHWOs that had transmitters attached during the summer of 2017.  Discussion will include what we learned and expect to learn as recaptures occur in 2018.  There will also be information about the citizen science projects that are in progress to help this research.  Program will include close up photographs of RHWOs and the research process.

BIO:  Dr. Elena West is an avian ecologist and conservation biologist with broad research and teaching interests in animal foraging and movement behavior, and quantitative wildlife population ecology. Elena completed her M.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management at the University of Michigan where she also received a graduate certificate in GIS and Spatial Analysis. Elena completed her PhD in Integrative Biology (formerly Zoology) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she examined the influence of anthropogenic food subsidies on the behavior and ecology of Steller’s jays in California state parks. Elena began work with the Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project (Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis) in 2016 and will begin a postdoctoral research position with Audubon, the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Henry Streby (University of Toledo) in 2018 on the annual cycle demography, habitat associations, and migration ecology of red-headed woodpeckers in Minnesota and Ohio.

APRIL 3rd         WRENS & FRIENDS  by Keith Olstad         

Minnesota regularly hosts four wren species, but they are sometimes hard to distinguish by sight or sound, if one can find them at all.  Another three species show up here occasionally.  Beyond the wren family are several species quite similar in size and behavior.  Come learn more about Minnesota’s wrens and their friends.

BIO: Keith Olstad, a retired Lutheran pastor who has been birding and photographing birds most of his life, serves on the board of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis.  He is the convener of the research team for the ACM-sponsored Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project, and annually leads eco-tours to Nicaragua to explore migratory birds and economic development issues between our countries.


The new Bell Museum will open in July 2018. This update will focus on the new permanent exhibition gallery and the dioramas. I’ll discuss the planning process that led to the new museum, some of the major features of the new building, and the themes and objectives for the new exhibitions. The move and restoration of the dioramas will be presented in some detail. By May, many of the new exhibits will be installed and I’ll give a sneak peak at how the new gallery is taking shape. The plan for the gallery has a strong environmental theme that combines Astronomy, Earth Science, Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology.

BIO:  Don Luce, Curator of Exhibits, Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota

Don Luce has worked in the museum world for over three decades. He earned a degree in Zoology and a master degree in Medical and Biological Illustration from the University of Michigan. At the Bell Museum of Natural History, he has combined his interests in science, art and nature to produce over thirty original temporary and permanent exhibitions. Exhibition topics included art and nature, ecology, evolution, animal behavior, endangered species, and current University research. Many of these exhibitions tour nationally as part of Bell Museum’s Touring Exhibition Service.

As curator of exhibits, he also curates the museum’s collection of art, which includes many works by Francis Lee Jaques who painted the museum’s dioramas, a complete set of John James Audubon’s original Birds of America folio, and many other historical and contemporary works of wildlife art.  Don is the author of the book Francis Lee Jaques: Artist-Naturalist and recently curated the exhibition Audubon and the Art of Birds.

For nearly a decade, Don has worked on plans for a new Bell Museum. The new building is now nearing completion on the University’s St. Paul campus. The project includes the move and restoration of the museums historic dioramas, and the design of new permanent exhibition galleries. The museum will open in summer 2018.

Don has also remained active as an illustrator and artist. He illustrated books such as Minnesota’s Natural Heritage by John Tester, and has been an artist-in-residence with the National Park Service. A retrospective exhibition of his art and illustrations, A View from a Canoe, showed at the Bell Museum this fall.

The Program Chair who helps arrange Speakers for Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis is Sher Curry. We are always looking for program ideas. If you have any suggestions, please email Sher at sherfreebird@usfamily.net.