As organizers of the new lecture and seminar series Orcas Currents, we are heartened by and deeply grateful for the tremendous response it has received. During its first full year, we presented eight events that attracted a total audience of well over a thousand participants — including the young, elderly, and young at heart. This encouraging response bears out our intent to keep events free of charge, open to all interested parties.
Another aim was to feature a good mix of local, regional and nationally recognized authorities on science, technology and culture. Prominent figures such as Rusty Schweickart, Naomi Oreskes, Roy Schwitters, Cliff Mass and Dan Kammen graced our stage, while islanders Gary Greene, Thor Hanson and Roger Sherman demonstrated the strong local talent in these areas.
We are also fortunate to have had the support of our event cosponsors Coates Vineyards, Eastsound Water Users Association, Friends of the San Juans, Northwest Straits Foundation, OPALCO, Orcas Food Co-op, Orcas Island Public Library, San Juan Islands Conservation District, and our web designer Cloud 52 — as well as of individual donors too numerous to mention here. Without their generosity, we would never have been able to bring such excellent speakers from as far away as Berkeley and Boston. Special recognition goes to Research Now, which serves as the 501(c)(3) organization under whose umbrella we operate.
We are in the midst of preparations for the 2016 season to begin early next year; it looks to be as exciting as 2015, if not even more so. Having focused on science and technology this year, we intend to expand our cultural offerings in the next and thereby balance out the overall Orcas Currents program. And we’re always looking for more sponsors and volunteers.
So thank you, Orcas Island, for your enthusiastic support. It encourages us to try to do even better next year.
Greg Ayers, Bob Dash, Marilyn McGuire, Michael Riordan and Roger Sherman