WARRENTON - The National Park Service announces the beginning of its "In Their Footsteps: Observations" speakers series at Fort Clatsop National Memorial for the 2004-05 season.

The first program in the series, now in its fourth year, is "Animals Encountered by Lewis and Clark" by wildlife biologist Dave Shea, at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Netul River Room of the park's Visitor Center.

This one-hour audio-visual presentation follows the voyage of the Corps of Discovery from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back by focusing on the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fishes encountered by the expedition.

Shea worked for more than 30 years in Glacier National Park as a backcountry ranger and wildlife biologist. He teaches wildlife courses at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay and at the Glacier Institute in Montana.

Other "In Their Footsteps: Observations" free speaker series programs include:

• Oct. 17, 1 p.m. "Songs of the Journey" by author Kindra Ankney.

• Nov. 21, 1 p.m. "Exploring Lewis & Clark through Children's Literature" by librarian Elaine Hirsch.

• Dec. 12, 1 p.m. "The Plants of Fort Clatsop - An Ethnobotanical Tour of the Journals" by educator Judith Lampi.

Subsequent programs will be announced for January, February, March, April and May 2005.

"This free speaker series is a terrific opportunity for people to meet scholars, authors, and artists and explore the Lewis and Clark Expedition from a variety of perspectives," said Chip Jenkins, Fort Clatsop National Memorial superintendent.

For more information, call the park at 861-2471.

These events are sponsored by Astor Haus Bed and Breakfast, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, Fort Clatsop Historical Association, Lucy's Books, Oregon Council for the Humanities and Red Lion Inn of Astoria.

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