March 12, 2014. If you wonder where the growing chorus if peeps, howls, quacks and cries comes from as spring gains hold of the mountains, come to Dr. Steward Skeate’s program, Nature of the Elk Valley, at Lees-McRae College on March 20 at 7 p.m. Part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia’s Lecture Series, Skeate’s informative presentation will take place at Evans Auditorium an is free and open to the public.
Dr. Skeate is a well-known authority on the natural history of the area. In addition to his years of teaching about the ecology of the region, he has explored the mountains, valleys and coves since the 1980s. From rare mountain bogs to high elevation spruce/fir forests he has tramped across Northwest North Carolina educating himself and his students about the rich environment of Southern Appalachia.
He has focused his efforts on the Elk Valley where he and his students study the flora and fauna of the Elk Valley Preserve and Field Station, Lees-McRae’s 70-acre nature preserve on the Elk River. Few ares of Southern Appalachia have been inventoried and examined as closely over many years as this rich ecological site.
In addition to his field work, lectures and teaching, Skeate has published a guidebook to the natural history of the region. His book, A Nature Guide to Northwest North Carolina, provides a comprehensive look at the different habitats that make this area of Southern Appalachia one of the most biologically diverse sections of the planet.
“Stewart Skeate is the expert on the wildlife of our area,” said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia. “His years of experience have given him unmatched insight into the intricate web of life that fills the Elk Valley. We invite everyone to join us for this exciting program.”
Skeate’s program will begin at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center on the campus of Lees-McRae and is free and open to the public. For information, call Megan Hall, director of communications, at 828-898-8729.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 900 students hailing from 35 states and more than 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning with an emphasis in leadership and service. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.