August 7, 2022

RTP Estuary Center Hosts Virtual Program on Butterflies; All Welcome, Registration Required

A monarch butterfly takes a momentary rest. Photo submitted.

OLD LYME — This evening at 6:30 p.m., the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) presents Butterflies: Monarchs, Migrations, and Conservation, when Robert Michael Pyle, Ph.D., conservation biologist and author of The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, will be interviewed by Evan Griswold.

This interview is part of the 2021 Connecticut River Lecture Series offered by the RTPEC. The program is free but registration is required at to obtain the Zoom link.

Pyle is one of the world’s leading experts on butterflies and other invertebrates.

He is the founder of The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, an international organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of butterflies and all invertebrates and their habitats.

Dr. Robert Michael Pyle

A prolific author and renowned raconteur, Dr. Pyle has written 22 books, including The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, Wintergreen, winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing, and Sky Time in Gray’s River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place, winner of the 2007 National Outdoor Book Award.

He is also the author of a book about the origins of the Sasquatch legend that became the subject (fictionalized) of the major motion picture The Dark Divide. 

In addition, Dr. Pyle has published four books of poetry and his newest book, Nature Matrix, a collection of essays about a life immersed in the natural world, has been nominated for the 2021  PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.

Dr. Pyle grew up and learned his butterflies in Colorado, earned a Ph.D. in butterfly ecology at Yale and worked as a conservation biologist in Papua New Guinea, Oregon, and Cambridge, England.

Dr. Pyle will be interviewed by Evan Griswold, a former Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and a prominent Connecticut conservationist, who was also a classmate of Dr. Pyle’s at the Yale School of the Environment/School of Forestry. Their discussion will focus on Dr. Pyle’s life’s work on invertebrates and monarch butterfly migration and conservation.

Included with participation in the lecture is a special offer: a dinner available for pick-up on the day of the event prepared by renowned chef Ani Robaina, formerly chef at the Microsoft Conference Center and the Pond House in Hartford, and currently owner and chef at Ani’s Table. The cost for the dinner is $75.

For additional information and Zoom registration, visit or call 860-598-4218.

The RTPEC’s Connecticut River Lecture Series is celebrating its seventh year with these Zoom presentations – each featuring a prominent scientist focusing on a critical environmental issue.

The third in the series on April 29 will focus on The Secret Life of Plankton: The Base of the Marine Food Web. All of the programs are free, but space is limited and registration is required.

Named for the internationally and locally renowned artist, scientific illustrator, environmental educator, and conservation advocate, the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is known for its work in environmental education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

Throughout the past year, the Center has continued to serve young people and adults across the region, offering small group programs like bird walks and owl prowls, a virtual Connecticut River ecology course, seasonal nature crafts for children via Zoom, and more.