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.)
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.