2019 WTMC

Speaker’s Series

Saturday, January 26, 2019

1:00 pm at the White Tank Mountain Regional Library

For Goodness Snakes!

Presenter:  Chuck & Betty Mulcahy


The Sonoran Desert is synonymous with snakes and, while most people recoil at the sight of a rattlesnake, many other species are non-venomous and play an important role in desert life.  This interactive presentation will explore, not only the goodness of snakes, but will also provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with several non-venomous species (if you so choose), including Rex, the Kingsnake, and some of his scaly friends.


Chuck & Betty spent over 15 years as docents at the Denver Zoo and several years as naturalists at Colorado State Parks.  After 40+ years in Colorado, they sold their home and took to the road with their snakes!  They lived in remote locations on different National Wildlife Refuges around the country and visited schools, RV parks and campfires with their educational reptile program.  Now residing in Surprise for the winter, they volunteer for WTMC and offer their program to groups of all ages.



Betty & Chuck Mulcahy

Saturday, February 9, 2019

1:00 pm at the White Tank Mountain Regional Library

Avoiding Conflict and Coexisting with Urban Coyotes 

Presenter:  Linda Bolon, Project Coyote Program Assistant

Coyotes are members of the dog family and one of the most adaptable animals in the world, having adapted readily to the changes caused by human occupation. As more people move to the West Valley, “urban coyote” sightings are becoming commonplace in neighborhoods and on golf courses.  This informative presentation will explore the behavior, biology and the ecological importance of coyotes.  It will also discuss how and when to haze* coyotes, and most importantly, how to avoid conflicts.

*Hazing is a method that uses deterrents to move an area or discourages an undesirable behavior or activity.  Hazing demonstrations will be given.


Linda Bolon is a 14-year Project Coyote Program Associate.  Project Coyote is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to promote compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy. Linda first became involved in coyote related issues when neighbors in Goodyear, AZ rallied for removing coyotes from the community.  Linda founded the Wildlife in Neighborhoods program, which provides information about coyotes and how we can coexist with our wildlife neighbors.


Linda Bolon

Saturday, March 16, 2019

1 p.m. at the White Tank Mountain Regional Library

Unique Birds of Arizona and Where to Look for Them

Presenter: Karen LaFrance, Co-Chair, Sonoran Audubon Society


Whether you consider yourself a novice or an expert bird watcher, this presentation will provide guidance on how and where to discover unique Arizona bird species in West Valley locations.  Using photographs and explicit directions to “birding hot spots” in and around the West Valley communities, participants will be enthralled to learn all about some of the coolest species and places to visit.


Karen LaFrance is a long time member of National Audubon Society and has provided administration services to the local West Valley Chapter for many years. She helps with the Sonoran Audubon Board’s strategic planning efforts as well as program planning and creative collaborations.  She describes her bird-finding skills as “adequate”, having cut her teeth on the Christmas Bird Counts back east and in Arizona.


Karen LaFrance, Co-Chair,

Sonoran Audubon Society

Saturday, April 13, 2019

1:00 pm at the White Tank Mountain Regional Library

Scorpion Control and Prevention

Presenter:  Ben Holland, Founder, Scorpion Sweepers


Did you know that more than 50 species of scorpions call the Sonoran Desert home?  Usually dormant until late March, scorpions are the ultimate survivors, having evolved over 400 million years to withstand inhospitable conditions found in the desert, until they find a home in somebody’s stucco wall or pool deck, that is!  You will learn all about the behavior and habits of these pesky creatures and find out how to minimize your chances of being stung.  


Ben Holland has been studying scorpions in the Sonoran Desert for over a decade.  He grew up on an island off the coast of Maine and chose to attend Arizona State University to escape the cold winters.  He majored in biology at the College of Life Sciences and conducted research studies while an intern in the Arizona State Reptile Laboratory, some of which involved collecting scorpions from alleys in Tempe.  He graduated with a BS in Biology in 2006 and started Scorpion Sweepers the next month, using the techniques he learned in those alleys.




Ben Holland, Founder

Scorpion Sweepers