Cafe Botanique, September 6, 6:30-8 p.m.

(Animas Mine Spill 2015, photo courtesy of NBC News)

Abandoned Mines across the West: Impacts on Water Quality and Current Restoration Efforts
Lauren Duncan, Abandoned Mine Restoration Manager, Trout Unlimited 

Lauren Duncan describes the extent of abandoned mines across the West and how abandoned mines impact water quality. Lauren will highlight Trout Unlimited’s Abandoned Mine Lands program and share her current projects focused on restoration of abandoned hard rock mine sites across Colorado.

Founded in 1969, Colorado Trout Unlimited (TU) is the state’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization providing a voice for Colorado’s rivers to protect, conserve and restore our waters. TU’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
Café Botanique
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Denver Botanic Gardens – Gates Hall
6:30-8 p.m.

Cafe Botanique, April 12, 6:30-8 p.m.

Designing Flood Resiliency
Cecily Mui

The power of water is still a vivid memory for many who experienced the Front Range Flood in 2013. Immediately following the flood, communities mobilized to bring people back to their homes and quickly repair flood damages. However, resiliency to future floods requires comprehensive planning and public education. Cecily Mui will share with you some of the long term flood recovery and resiliency efforts communities have taken to minimize future flood damages. These techniques include bioengineering, floodplain benching, and overflow channels. These recovery efforts also create opportunities to repair river systems that have long been impaired.

Cecily Mui is the Watershed Coordinator at the Saint Vrain Watershed Coalition. There she uses her skills in natural areas management and restoration to manage and facilitate flood recovery projects.

Reserve your seat by clicking here

Cafe Botanique, March 1, 6:30 p.m.

(Image by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm)

Graphic Novels Present a New Perspective on Scientific Concepts
Illya Kowalchuk, M.Ed

Graphic novels present an interesting opportunity to introduce readers to challenging scientific ideas. Combining text with images creates an easy to understand platform that appeals to a wide variety of learning styles. Illya Kowalchuk will discuss how graphic novels can enjoyably explain topics such as fantastically powered beetles, DNA and even nuclear fission.

Illya Kowalchuk, M.Ed, is the Director of Education and co-founder of Pop Culture Classroom and co-founder of Denver Comic Con. Currently, Illya designs and oversees educational programming in schools, events and correctional institutions.  
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall

Cafe Botanique, February 1, 2017

Travels of a Darwin Groupie
Michon Scott, NSIDC, Boulder

"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family," Charles Darwin's dad once told him. Darwin failed to become a doctor, but he succeeded in changing how we see life on Earth. Darwin developed the theory central to understanding biology, all the while trying to live down the reputation of his quirky, libertine grandfather. Michon Scott will share her experiences on Galapagos Islands and also talk about evolution, Charles Darwin’s life, and about his grandfather Erasmus Darwin.

Michon Scott is a science writer for and a web designer at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). In her spare time, she maintains a site about the history of paleontology and biology at

Wednesday, February 1, 6:30-8 p.m.

Gates Hall

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Cafe Botanique, November 2, 6:30-8 p.m.

The Inspired World of Beatrix Potter
Connie Ryle Neumann

This year celebrates the 150th birthday of Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), the famous creator of the British children's classic "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and other little books, penned over 100 years ago. However, there was much more to the shy but observant Victorian lady whose pursuits in botanical illustration and Lakeland farm conservation broadened her literary legacy. Potter documented the natural world of England and Scotland in her journals, her letters, her little "bunny books" and her vast portfolio of fungi, woodland animals, gardens and landscape paintings. Through slides and readings Connie Neumann will introduce the inspired and imaginative world of Beatrix Potter.

Connie Ryle Neumann served as a school teacher and librarian for over 30 years in Texas, Germany and Colorado. She is a member of the international Beatrix Potter Society and has traveled and studied British children's authors and illustrators since the 1980s.
Wednesday, November 2, 6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall

Cafe Botanique, October 12, 6:30 p.m.

Story Hats
Leslie Molen

Colorado textile artist Leslie Molen shares the story of the unique hats she has designed while interpreting Chinese folk art. These textile creations are filled with the symbolism and legends of ancient Chinese culture.

Leslie Molen has been an internationally known textile artist for the last 25 years. She is a member of the National Institute of American Doll Artists (NIADA).

Café Botanique is a program within the School of Botanical Art and Illustration and is open to everyone. The 30-40 minute talk starts at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a discussion. Café Botanique generally meets on select Wednesdays, each time with a different topic relating to Denver Botanic Gardens’ Botanical Illustration curriculum. 
Wednesday, October 12, 6:30-8 p.m.

Gates Hall 

Cafe Botanique, September 14, 2016

Color and Light in the Landscape
James Gurney

The subject of color often seems like an abstract science, but it really comes to life when it is related to light and atmosphere, the central tools of any realist painter. I’ll cover most of the standard geography of color: hue, value, and chroma; as well as limited palettes, warm and cool color, with many new insights about visual perception from the modern science of neurobiology.  I’ll share clear examples of familiar problems faced by every outdoor painter, including  reflections, rainbows, clouds, dappled light, sunbeams, and subsurface scattering.

James Gurney is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Dinotopia book series. He designed the World of Dinosaurs stamps for the U.S. Postal Service and has worked on over a dozen assignments for National Geographic magazine, painting reconstructions of Moche, Kushite, and Etruscan civilizations. He has won the Hugo, Chesley, Spectrum, and World Fantasy Awards. Solo exhibitions of his artwork have been presented at the Smithsonian Institution, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Norton Museum of Art. He has recently been named a “Grand Master” by Spectrum Fantastic Arts and a "Living Master” by the Art Renewal Center. His book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painte was Amazon’s #1 bestselling book on painting for over 150 weeks and is based on his daily blog.

September 14, 6:30-8 p.m.
Gates Hall