Pikas, Prairies, and the Climate Crisis

A photography exhibit about saving our wildlife

Image of bison on a Southern Plains Land Trust preserve in the background, courtesy of Sean Boggs for Environmental Defense Fund with a photograph of a pika on talus in the foreground.
Bison photograph courtesy of Sean Boggs for Environmental Defense Fund
When: October 22, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Where: Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder CO

Using stunning field photography and video this exhibit explores the surprising connections between Colorado’s shortgrass prairies and the American pika. Pikas, a cold-loving species that live in the high-altitude mountains, are threatened by warming temperatures and diminishing snowpack. Their survival may depend on our ability to protect a place hundreds of miles from their alpine home — the Great Plains.

Visitors will learn about conservation efforts to connect the dots between these two diverse areas, as well as ways that they can become involved in protecting pika, prairies, pronghorn, and more. 

Opening Reception

When: October 21, 2022, 6 pm – 9 pm
Where: Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder CO

Meet the artists and scientists behind the exhibit, and hear their stories about working to protect pikas and prairies. Explore the photos, search for pika using virtual reality headsets, adopt your own plush pika, and learn how you help save pikas and prairies through the Colorado Carbon Offsets Partnership. Doors open at 6 pm, comments at 7 pm. Light refreshments including beer and wine will be provided.

Featuring photography and video by: 

A photograph of James in front of a forest and a photograph of Lana in front of a snowy pine tree.

James and Lana Beissel — James is a Colorado-based wildlife photographer on a quest to photograph all of Colorado’s 130 species of mammals. He combines photography with adventure travel into an activity he calls “crittering.” His work has been featured in Climbing, Rock and Ice, Colorado Outdoors, and National Wildlife Magazine. He and his wife, Lana, have recently started Just Float Films which specializes in 360-degree virtual reality films for wildlife conservation. 

Lauren in front of a forest

Lauren Buchholz  Lauren is an expedition photography instructor and photojournalist whose work has been featured in over a dozen publications, including Outdoor Photographer, Orion, and Landscape Photography Magazine. She has been supporting American pika research in the Rocky Mountains since 2010. In 2020, she documented the Colorado Pika Project’s work in the White River National Forest in western Colorado, culminating in the “Protecting Colorado’s pikas” StoryMap for ArcGIS.

A black and white portrait of Kristi

Kristi Odom Kristi is an internationally acclaimed photographer, Nikon Ambassador, and Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her work has appeared either online and/or in print for the following clients: National Geographic, Nikon, Forbes, Rollingstone, Microsoft, and Outside Magazine. In 2021, her photos of the Colorado Pika Project were published in a digital story for National Geographic and one image from that story was named one of National Geographic’s best Animal photos of 2021.

Rich holding a butterfly on his finger

Richard Reading, PhD Rich is Vice President of Science and Conservation at the Butterfly Pavilion. He has conducted or overseen conservation projects in dozens of countries, working primarily on grassland and arid ecosystems on six continents, including the Great Plains of North America. He has spent extensive time documenting and photographing the species in Colorado’s shortgrass prairies. 

The Pikas, Prairies, and Climate Crisis exhibit is a joint project of the Colorado Pika Project (a partnership between Rocky Mountain Wild and the Denver Zoo) and the Southern Plains Land Trust.