An Insider’s View of Everglades National Park with OLLI-UO

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Explore the magnificent landscape of the Everglades with Central Oregon’s OLLI-UO.

You can attend this program online or in person. To take part online, register here:

Everglades National Park, located in the southern tip of Florida, spans 1.5 million acres of unique and vibrant tropical swamp. This magnificent landscape is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including the American crocodile, the endangered Florida panther, and the gentle manatee. Because of its close proximity to Miami, the Park faces a range of challenges, including threats to its fishing, birding, and water resources, as well as those from the presence of oil wells and other industries. Additionally, the park must navigate complex relationships with neighboring state, county, and federal parks.

Ben Morgan dedicated 30 years of his life to service as a National Park Service ranger, with 25 of those years spent at Everglades National Park. He was highly regarded by his peers as a true representative of the “old breed” of rangers, known for his exceptional range of specialized skills, including law enforcement, search and rescue, natural resource management, firefighting, aviation, and air-boat operations, to name just a few.

Get ready for a unique journey through Everglades National Park with Ben Morgan as your guide. Ben will showcase the park’s vastness and its importance to both Florida and the nation. Immerse yourself in the diverse ecology of the Everglades and explore the intricate relationship between the park and the surrounding south Florida landscape. With 19 years of experience residing in Everglades National Park with his family, Ben has many tales–overcoming Hurricane Andrew, fighting forest fires, capturing the first Burmese python in the park, trapping troublesome alligators, and even sliming the Secretary of Interior on an airboat ride.

Ben Morgan graduated from Colorado State University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management. Along with his long years as a National Park Service ranger, Ben worked in other National Parks and Forests on a variety of short-term assignments, including a National Wildfire Team and a National All-Risk Management team. He now lives in Redmond, Oregon, and is attempting to retire after three previous attempts. His hobbies include outdoor sports, sampling local beers, and travel.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon (OLLI-UO) in Central Oregon invites community members to participate in our First Friday Talks in partnership with the Deschutes Public Library. OLLI-UO is an intellectual and social community of engaged adult learners, connecting members to university faculty and professionals in respective fields. A six-month or yearlong membership allows participation in a variety of lectures, courses, peer-led study and discussion groups, educational tours, field trips, and social events.

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