Naturalist Nights: Forest Disturbance by Bark Beetles in Colorado

Dan West, Forest Entomologist for Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University

Stream now!

Thursday, Feb. 10, 6pm | Hallam Lake in Aspen

In this lecture, Dr. Dan West will discuss Colorado’s major bark beetle species and a recent history of beetle epidemic locations shown from an Aerial Detection Survey. Did you know that weather plays a crucial role in insect and disease activity in Colorado’s forests? As temperature and precipitation regimes change, so do the defenses in trees. Bark beetle response to tree defenses, or lack thereof, is directly related to temperature and precipitation regimes. Dr. West will discuss how trends in weather affect the health of our forests. He will also dive into bark beetle biology and tree defense mechanisms (relative to outbreak populations of beetle infestations.) 

About Dr. Dan West

Dr. West serves as the State’s Forest Entomologist with the Colorado State Forest Service: CSU. He works on all forested lands, focusing on state and private forests, providing educational opportunities on emerging pest issues and best practice treatment options within the state. Dan conducts annual aerial surveys over 24 million forested areas of the state, researching emerging and ongoing forest disturbances. He also teaches at Colorado State University, and serves as a resource for insect-tree interactions. He received his Bachelor’s in Forestry and his Master’s and Doctorate in Entomology from Colorado State University. Previous to his role at the CSFS, he worked for the US Forest Service and US Geological Survey, surveying insect disturbances and ecological interactions within western forests suffering from bark beetle-caused mortality. Dan has extensive experience diagnosing urban tree health issues and western wildland forest tree damage.

About Naturalist Nights

Each winter, ACES partners with Wilderness Workshop and Roaring Fork Audubon to co-host the popular Naturalist Nights speaker series, bringing a great line-up of experts to explore topics of the natural world with our community. To learn more about this series and view previous lectures, click here.

COVID-19 Protocols

To help keep our community healthy, attendees ages 13 and older will be required at check-in to show proof that they have received the complete Covid-19 vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test on a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours prior to the event. Photo ID will also be required for verification. No information will be stored or copied to ensure privacy is protected. 

For proof of vaccination you can use:

  • CDC Vaccination Card. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.
  • Vaccination Record or other official immunization record, including from your healthcare provider. A digital photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.

For proof of a negative test you can use:

  • Written proof of a negative Covid-19 test from a licensed healthcare provider that includes the date and time of the test as well as the result. A digital photo or photocopy is also acceptable.

Individuals who do not have proof of vaccination or a negative test result will not be permitted entrance. Masks are required regardless of vaccination status. All individuals age two and older are required to wear a mask indoors when within six feet of another person at all times except when temporarily eating and drinking. Mask wearing will be strictly enforced.

With questions or comments about this program, please contact Phebe Meyers, ACES Community Programs Senior Manager, at or call 970.925.5756.

Naturalist Nights: Forest Disturbance by Bark Beetles in Colorado


Free for members, suggested $5 donation for non-members.

Watch on YouTube
February 10, 2022 from 6–7pm




Hallam Lake