The Conservation Lecture Series at NCTC
Writers, Scientists, Filmmakers, Conservationists, Historians Speak to the Public at NCTC


The National Conservation Training Center invites prominent conservationists, writers, historians, scientists, filmmakers, and educators to discuss their work to a broad and interested public. All talks are held at the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center.  No tickets or reservations are required, the public is encouraged to attend. If you would like more information on the speaker series contact: Mark Madison, 304-876-7276, These talks are co-sponsored by The Friends of the NCTC.




Linda Lear

Author, Biographer

"A Tale of Two Victorian Rebels: Rachel Carson and Beatrix Potter"

September 27, 2016 at 7:00pm

Byrd Auditorium

National Conservation Training Center

698 Conservation Way

Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Linda Lear is an environmental historian and the author of two prize-winning biographies: Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (2009) and Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature (2007). Dr. Lear is a noted scholar on Rachel Carson, having written the introduction to the 50th anniversary edition of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and edited an anthology of Carson's unpublished writing, Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson, in addition to her biography of Carson, which has been called definitive. Booklist said that her biography of Beatrix Potter was a “meticulously researched and brilliantly re-created life.”

Dr. Lear holds a history from George Washington University. She has served as a Senior Smithsonian Research Associate, a Beinecke Fellow, Research Professor of Environmental History at George Washington University and Senior Research Scholar in History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and as a consultant to Public Broadcasting Service’s “American Experience.”. She is Senior Fellow of the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives at Connecticut College where she is a Trustee Emeritus.

The presentation is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. It is part of The Conservation Lecture Series held at the National Conservation Training Center. For more information please contact Mark Madison at (304) 876-7276 or or visit





Sharon Schafer

Artist, Wildlife Photographer

Becoming Animal: Standing Witness for the Sentient Wild

Talk and Art Show

October 20, 2016 at 7:00pm

Byrd Auditorium

National Conservation Training Center

Shepherdstown, WV 25443








Sharon K. Schafer has a varied background ranging from painter and photographer, to wildlife biologist and river guide. Now as a full-time artist, she combines two loves -


Nature and Art.  She is a signature member of both the international Society of Animal Artists and Artists for Conservation. Her wildlife paintings are sought after by collectors and displayed in museums across the country. 


Throughout the world, Schafer shares her artistic talent and passion for the wildlands by teaching art and nature-related classes and lecturing extensively, and tirelessly, about the stunning beauty and amazing diversity of life on our planet.

She earned her degree in Wildlife Management at Humboldt State University, in northern California. Subsequently, she worked as a field wildlife biologist for the Soil Conservation Service, Pacific Gas and Electric, and the Bureau of Land Management.

In an effort to combine her interest in art and science, Schafer founded Skydance Studio in 1998. With her studio, she has dedicated herself to the creation of images that promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

Using her skills as both an artist and biologist, she has developed natural-resource-related educational exhibits and images for many organizations including the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Her sense of adventure and unflagging curiosity about the natural world has led her to every continent and to the very ends of the earth, where she has worked extensively as an artist, photographer, and videographer in the Arctic, Antarctic, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.




The 14th Annual American Conservation Film Festival

46 Films, Filmmakers, Speakers

October 21-23, 2016

Shepherdstown, WV