Public outreach and education for general and specific audiences is an important part of the business model of Leeward Solutions, LLC.

Recent presentations:

"Big River Connectivity: Rewilding Iowa by Reconnecting the Mississippi-Missouri Basin." Des Moines Izaak Walton League, Sept. 15, 2020

"Prairie Savannahs and Wetlands: Reconstructing Vegetation from Roadside Surveys." Univ. of Northern Iowa Tallgrass Prairie Center, Feb. 2020 (link to video at the Center's Seminar page)

"Phenology: Everyone Does It. Now You've Got a Word for It." Daylily Society of Central Iowa, Fisher Community Center, Marshalltown, Feb. 10, 2018.

"Scott County Roadside Vegetation Survey: An Overview." Public meeting, Eldridge Public Library, Nov. 2017; Board of Supervisors, Davenport, Oct. 2017.

"Native Plants in Your Gardens and Yard: Advantages, Ideas, and Planning." Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, Mar. 2017.

"The Roadside Vegetation Survey: Guiding County Programs and Seeing the Bigger Ecological Picture." Winter meeting, Assoc. for Integrated Roadside Management, Ames, Mar. 2017.

"Controlled Burning for Woodland Management." First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, Autumn 2016.

Leeward Solutions is available for free public presentations on general topics, as part of the company's contribution to its community and world. Please note that public presentations are not the same as consultations and client presentations, which usually entail an honorarium or consulting fee.

Leeward's owner, Leland Searles, is an experienced public presenter. Past topics have included:

  • plants, plant studies, & inventory methods:most plants are easily observable, and they exist in such diversity that learning them can be daunting. The best ways are to accompany an expert, become familiar with a field guide in a field setting, and continually add to your knowledge. The link here opens a presentation to the Association for Iowa Roadside Managers (AFIRM) on Roadside Vegetation Surveys in Marion and Scott Counties, Iowa, just one example of plant inventory methods:

                    The Roadside Vegetation Survey: Guiding County Programs (PDF file, downloadable; requires Adobe Reader)

  • the anthropology of the environment: human-ecosystem interactions, cultural notions of the role of environment in society, and "environmentalisms" or systems of belief and power concerning human responsibilities for and to the nonhuman world.
  • Iowa and Midwestern phenology: the dynamics of seasonal energy flow, species' life cycles, ecological interactions among species, and physical cycles that affect living beings. The blue link opens a March 2017 presentation to the OWLS Program of Polk County Conservation:

                    Phenology: The Rhythms of Life (PDF file, downloadable; requires Adobe Reader or similar software)

  • birds and birding: species, good birding locations, equipment, and techniques for successful birding. One important skill is to develop auditory awareness and recognition of birds' vocalizations. Experienced birds engage in "bird-hearing" about as often as they practice "bird-watching."

                    Birds, Ecosystems, and Ecological Change (PDF file, downloadable; requires Adobe Reader or similar)

  • gardening and landscaping with native plants.

                   Native Plant Gardening  (PDF file, downloadable; requires Adobe Reader or similar software)

  • pollinating insects and their niches in ecosystems.

Possible topics could include:

  • concerns about water quality in Upper Midwestern aquifers, groundwater, lakes, and streams.
  • the mounting evidence for dramatic climatic changes, from shifts in the population densities of winter birds and the success of invasive plants, to the appearance of live earthworms in early and mid-winter and increasingly unstable weather patterns.
  • non-European-American societies' understandings of the natural world and humans' places among other living things.

Please use the Contact Leeward page to ask about

these and other topics, and to make arrangements for a presentation, panel discussion, or other event.