The museum brings a diverse array of experts and advocates to lead conversations about scientific, cultural, and social justice topics. Check out our upcoming talks here.

Please note: the talks below have all already taken place. If we are able, we have linked to a virtual recording of the talk.



 Thursday, February 1 | 6:00 p.m.

A sunflower sea star

Sunflower Sea Stars and the Health of Kelp Forests

Sea star wasting disease killed 90% of Oregon's sunflower sea star population. Without their natural predators, the sea urchin population exploded and kelp forests collapsed. Join Dr. Sarah Gravem for a discussion of her work to understand sunflower sea star recovery and help the kelp.

Speaker: Dr. Sarah Gravem

Click here to see the recording.

Thursday, March 14 | 6:00 p.m.

A clipping featuring longhaired people and the text Stonewall Day, 1977, U of O

Outliers & Outlaws Storytelling Series: Queer at the University of Oregon  

Decades of dynamic LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff made a big impact on the University of Oregon campus and in Eugene. Come hear former and current UO faculty and students reflect on their efforts to create community and fight discrimination, and how those efforts are reflected in campus life today.

Moderator: Judith Raiskin 
Storytellers: Sarah Douglas, Lynn Pinckney, and PJ Rees

Click here to see the recording.



Thursday, September 14 | 6:00 p.m.

Documentary makers and Julie Raiskin sit around a computer

Outliers and Outlaws Documentary Preview

Join the filmmakers of the documentary Outliers and Outlaws for a sneak peek of the in-progrss film and hear about their process of bringing stories of lesbian Eugene to the screen.

Thursday, October 12 | 6:00 p.m.


Dramatic cliffs and mountain landscape

Tribal Collaborations in Archaeological Fieldwork

This past summer, archaeologist Gabriel Sanchez returned to California to continue excavations at Hastings Natural History Reservation in collaboration with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County. Join us for a discussion of the project and hear how the Tribe's perspective informs the understanding of the legacies of Native people and their relationship with the environment.

Thursday, October 19 | 6:00 p.m.

Oregon Origins logo

Oregon Origins Project II: Seven Wonders

Join composer Matthew Packwood and a string quartet of musicians from the Oregon Symphony for a performance of Oregon Origins Project II: Seven Wondersa musical journey through Oregon’s wild places. Following the live performance, geologist Ian Madin will give an illustrated presentation of the breathtaking locations that inspired the project. Co-sponsored by the Department of Earth Sciences and the School of Music and Dance.


Thursday, November 9 | 6:00 p.m.

Steph Craig

Oregon Culture Night: Traditional Weaving of the First People of Southern Oregon

Seventh-generation Indigenous basketweaver Stephanie Craig (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) and Dakota Zimmer (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) demonstrate and discuss stick and root baby baskets from the Rogue River and Umpqua region of southern Oregon. Learn about harvesting, preparation, and storage of indigenous plants and the cultural values, lessons, and ancestral relationships that are woven into this vibrant tradition.


Thursday, November 16 | 6:00 p.m.

Wedding day between two women

Outliers & Outlaws Storytelling Series: Celebrated Vows: Lesbian Marriage Then and Now

The road to marriage equality was long and bumpy. Our storytellers share what same-sex marriage means to them, including those who lived most of their partnerships without these rights and today's generation who can get married legally.

Moderator: Beatrice Dohrn
Storytellers: Janet Anderson, Martha Pitts, Adie Steckel

Click here to access the recording.

Spring 2023 TALKS

Thursday, April 13 | 6:00 p.m.

Several women reading copies of women's press

Printed with Purpose: Women's Presses and Print Shops

In a culture disinterested in women's perspectives, Eugene's lesbian community defied invisibility with women-run presses and print shops. Come hear from the women who ran the presses and discover how they provided outlets for the women's and lesbian movements.

Moderator: Annelise Heinz
Storytellers: Kate Conley, Jane Gibbons, Connie Newman, Kate Thompson

Thursday, April 20 | 6:00 p.m.


Dramatic cliffs and mountain landscape

Climate Change, Dynamic Landscapes, and Evolution


Over deep time, changes in landscapes and climate stimulate changes in animal diversity through adaptation, speciation, and extinction. A panel of scientists explore how understanding changes in animal diversity can help conservation efforts in mountainous regions, which provide climatic refuges during periods of global warming.

Moderator: Edward Davis
Panelists: Catherine Badgley, Dana Reuter, Maya Stokes, Rebecca Terry

Click here to access the recording.

Thursday, May 18 | 6:00 p.m.

Sally Sheklow marches waving a Pride flag and wearing a "No Hate" shirt

O&O Panel: Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills, Then and Now

In the 1980s and 90s, a series of hateful and homophobic political measures rocked Oregon. Renewed attacks on civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community today—especially on the trans community—use similar tactics and echo the same harmful language. Hear reflections on the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement from those who lead the fight, then and now.

Moderator: Alison Gash
Storytellers: Debora Landforce, Harriet Merrick, David Fidanque, Max Skorodinsky

Click here to access the the recording.

Winter 2023 TALKS



Thursday, March 16 | 6:00 p.m.

Cropped book cover for Northern Paiutes of the Malheur

Northern Paiutes of the Malheur—High Desert Reckoning in Oregon Country

Following the 1878 Bannock War, the U.S. government stripped Paiutes of their ancestral lands and reservation. For more than a century, a false narrative has blamed Paiute Chief Egan for inciting the war. Join author David Wilson as he reveals government officials' misinformation campaign blaming the Paiutes for the injustices they suffered at the hands of these men.

Book signing to follow the talk. Copies of Northern Paiutes of the Malheur—High Desert Reckoning in Oregon Country is available in the museum store.

Thursday, March 9 | 6:00 p.m.

Several white women with short hair identifying as lesbians lean against a white Toyota pickup truck. There are four dogs in the image.

Alternative Economies: Eugene's Lesbian Collectives

For decades, lesbians in Eugene enriched the city with innovative and successful collective businesses. Come hear narrators from the Eugene Lesbian Oral History Project reflect on how they created an alternative to capitalist, male-dominated social and economic systems.
Moderator: Annelise Heinz
Panelists: Judy Goldstein, Susie Grimes, Gladys Campbell, Christine Frazier, Marilyn Picariello

Thursday, February 2 | 6:00 p.m.

A black and white photo of women holding a banner marching in a parade. The banner reads Soromundi: Lesbian Chorus of Eugene

World-Making: Eugene's Lesbian Arts & Culture Scene

Come discover Eugene's unique lesbian arts and culture scene from the 1970s–1990s. Hear how Eugene lesbian artists built a world of art, song, theater, and dance, and how they experienced art as an outlet for self-expression, community building, and political protest.
Moderator: Judith Raiskin
Panelists: Debby Martin, Linda Rose, Lisa Hellemn, Enid Lefton

Thursday, February 16 | 6:00 p.m.

John Day painted hills


Rodents, Dynamic Landscapes, and Evolution—30 Million Years of Change

Species diversity is greater in regions that are more geographically complex—but why? A scientists discuss how mountain-building and climatic history has influenced the evolution and diversity of rodents in western North America over the last 30 million years.

Moderator: Edward Davis
Panelists: geomorphologist Rebecca Dorsey, biologist Greer Dolby, paleontologist Samantha Hopkins, geomorphologist Brian Yanites
Fall 2022

Thursday, October 13 | 6:00 p.m.

Headshot of David Lewis, an Indigenous man with long hair tied back

Kalapuya Environments and History in the Southern Willamette Valley

This is Kalapuya land. Join anthropologist David Lewis as he explores original Native cultural stewardship of the Valley, the removal of the Kalapuya Tribes to the Grand Ronde Reservation, the radical changes white settlers made to the land, and current work to decolonize and restore the Valley.
Lewis is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and a descendant of the Takelma, Chinook, Molalla, and Santiam Kalapuya peoples of western Oregon.

Friday, October 21 | 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Gold bejeweled canon

Prudence and Curiosity in the Early Modern Collection—A Public Symposium

Join a suite of historians from across the U.S. as they explore the political relationship between statecraft, art, and the culture of collecting through the lenses of both the histories of art and the histories of science.

Cosponsored by the University of Oregon's College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, and the Oregon Humanities Center.

For more information, visit

Thursday, September 15 | 6:00 p.m.

A graphic of a woman with a ponytail runs or leaps forward with wings spalyed behind her. UO logo is on her chest and the Roman numeral 9 or IX is under her like a hurdle.

Women in Sports

June 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Join us as we celebrate the anniversary with a panel of legendary female athletes. Peg Rees, Bev Smith, Grace Golden, and Willette White will reflect on their experiences as athletes, coaches, and advocates for women in sports. 


More about the panelists: 
Peg Rees was a three-sport athlete and coached volleyball at the University of Oregon before becoming the director of Physical Education at UO. Bev Smith is a three-time Olympian and former UO Women’s Basketball player and coach. Grace Golden is a former Oregon Track & Field athlete and is the Program Director and Clinical Research Coordinator for the Graduate Athletic Training Program, UO Department of Physiology.  Willette White coached women’s basketball for 30 years including positions at four PAC-12 schools.

Thursday, September 29 | 6:00 p.m.

Wood cutout dating from Renaissance depicting a man spewing a liquid (wine perhaps?) into three separate wine glasses from his mouth.

What was Natural Magic and What Does it Have to do with Science?

Join UO historian Vera Keller as she explores the magics of medieval and Renaissance Europe. Unlike other forms of magic that called upon supernatural powers, natural magic practitioners tried to harness the "hidden" powers of nature for magical use. Come discover how the early development of experimental sciences owes much to the practices of natural magic.


Thursday, April 21 | 5:30 p.m.

A chinstrap penguin stares at the camera

Chinstrap Penguins of Elephant Island

Join scientist, photographer, and all-around good birder Noah Strycker for a visit to Antarctica’s windswept Elephant Island, a stronghold for thousands of nesting Chinstrap Penguins. In 2021, Strycker and a team of scientists set sail to count penguins breeding there—a feat that had been done only once before. Reservations are required for the presentation, but the book signing is open to the public.

Presentation: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Book Signing: 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

The presentation has passed, but we still have Noah Strycker's books for sale in our museum store!

Thursday, May 12 | 6:00 p.m.

Linda Hardison holds two volumes of Flora of Oregon

What Grows Here? Exploring Oregon’s Plant Diversity

More than 4,700 different plant species grow in Oregon, and OregonFlora—recipient of the museum's 2021 Oregon Stewardship Award—provides information about all of them. Join botanist and OregonFlora director Linda Hardison to discover the why and where of plant diversity in our state.

This event has passed. Copies of Flora of Oregon are available in the museum store.

Thursday, May 19 | 6:00 p.m.

Broken teacup with red Chinese-style design

Longevity: The Archaeology of a Chinese Business in Eugene's Market District

Recent excavations have revealed an early twentieth century Chinese restaurant and gift store in downtown Eugene. Join MNCH archaeologists Jon Krier, Marlene Jampolsky, and Chris Ruiz for a glimpse into how the business successfully operated amidst racist laws and a predominantly Euro-American community. Cosponsored by the Oregon Historical Society.

This event has passed. Please read more about the project here.