Category Archives: lecture

Thursday, November 13, 6:00 pm – Mummies, Mildews, Manna, and Mosses: Four Kingdoms Under One Roof

The Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany is steward of a world-class collection of books, archives, and specimens related to four different types of organisms—fungi, protista, plants, and monera—that play key roles in nature and society. Founded by William G. Farlow (below) in the nineteenth century, the collection celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2014. From expanding our understanding of plant diseases and helping us assess the impact of climate change and habitat destruction on geographic distributions of organisms, to offering insights into ancient ecosystems, the Farlow collection advances scientific research that is relevant to society and our understanding of life on Earth. On Thursday, November 13 at 6 pm, join mycologist Donald Pfister, Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany and Curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium, Harvard University, in an exploration of the history and impact of this unique Harvard collection.

Lecture and Reception. Registration required:
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street
Presented in collaboration with the Friends of the Farlow
Free event parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage

Thursday, November 6, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm – Invasive Species: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

Invasive species are a leading component of environmental change. Some of the main challenges in invasive species research are understanding the causes of species invasions, their consequences in the invaded range, and solutions for invasive species management. This talk on Thursday, November 6 will combine principles from ecology and economics to understand causes, consequences and solutions to invasive species management.

Rebecca Irwin is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Dartmouth College. Dr. Irwin’s research focuses on the ecology and evolution of multiple-species interactions, pollination biology, and species invasions. She received a B.A. in Biology from Middlebury College, and she holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Vermont. Her research is well funded, having received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation as well as other organizations. Her impressive publication record includes articles in top journals such as Ecology, Ecology Letters, and PNAS.

Lunch & Learn lectures take place every Thursday from 12:00-1:00pm at the Lincoln Filene Center, Rabb Room on the Medford Campus during the academic year. The Tufts Institute of the Environment generously sponsors lunch. If you are interested in participating in the Lunch & Learn program as a guest lecturer/participant, contact

You can’t make it to the talk? No problem! Watch it live here from your computer or smart phone.

Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Topology: On Sensing and Conceiving Landscape

The invention of landscape has always oscillated between a history of beliefs in nature, with its many representations, and a history of terrain measurements through various techniques of appropriation. In his talk sponsored by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design on Wednesday, November 12, from 6:30 – 8 in the Piper Auditorium of Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Christophe Girot will consider the longstanding balance between culture and its instruments for sensing and conceiving a landscape, noting that the particular representation of landscape that we hold true today has roots in the dialogue between ars and techne that has characterized every epoch. The aim of this talk and discussion is to open a window on topology’s shifting point of view with regard to this form of interdependence that will considerably affect our ability to act and perform effectively on landscape’s reality. Girot is chair of Landscape Architecture at the Institute of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zürich.

For accessibility accommodations please contact the events office two weeks in advance at (617)-496-2414 or  Free and open to the public.

Saturday, November 15, 1:00 pm – The Art and Science of the Unfeathered Bird

Imagine that you could see beneath the fluff and feather of a bird to view bone and muscle in action. What would this perspective reveal about movement, structure, and evolution? The Unfeathered Bird is a magnum opus, twenty-five years in the making, that features 385 finely-rendered drawings and paintings of 200 bird species. In a Harvard Museum of Natural History program intended for artists, scientists, and bird lovers alike, Katrina van Grouw will explain her approach to preparing and drawing the specimens featured in her book and share her insights into bird anatomy and biomechanics.

Lecture and Book Signing will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 15, in Haller Hall of the Museum.  Enter at 26 Oxford Street in Cambridge. Regular museum admission rates apply. Free event parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Friday, November 14, 12:20 pm – 1:10 pm – STORMISE – An Initiative to Manage Trees and Forests for Storm Resilience

Mark Rudnicki, Associate Professor, Forest Ecology, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut will speak on Friday, November 14, from 12:20 pm in Room 305, University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s Department of Environmental Conservation, 160 Holdsworth Way in Amherst.  His topic is STORMISE – An Initiative to Manage Trees and Forests for Storm Resilience.  Dr. Rudnicki is interested in understanding the mechanisms that govern forest stand dynamics.  In particular, he is interested in catastrophic and chronic wind interactions with forest ecosystems, and in quantifying tree sway in the wind and effects of sway on tree growth and canopy architecture. For more information call 413-545-2665.  Image from

Thursday, October 30, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm – Biodiversity and Land Conservation at the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

The overall goal of the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP), part of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, is the protection of the state’s wide range of native biological diversity, particularly the vertebrate and invertebrate animals and native plants that are officially listed as rare in Massachusetts. The talk by Patricia Swain, Ph.D., Natural Community Ecologist on Thursday, October 30, at noon, will focus on conservation through identifying, tracking, managing, and regulating rare species and identifying and mapping NHESP priority natural communities. Land use history, climate change, and other influences on native biodiversity will be part of the discussion.

Patricia Swain’s job as natural community ecologist for NHESP means working state wide with the rarest and most imperiled natural communities in Massachusetts and the best examples of the more common types. Patricia is currently revising The Classification of Natural Communities of Massachusetts that was first produced in 2001; since then they have been adding new types and adjusting the original descriptions so that a clean version (with illustrations and a key) seems like a useful product. Patricia has been the Natural Community Ecologist for MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program since 1987. Before that she was a stay at home mom and part time academic, teaching occasional ecology and biology classes at the local university and technical college. She graduated from Tufts with a Biology major, and obtained her MS and PhD degrees in Ecology from the University of Minnesota.

Lunch & Learn lectures take place every Thursday from 12:00-1:00pm at the Lincoln Filene Center, Rabb Room on the Medford Campus during the academic year. The Tufts Institute of the Environment generously sponsors lunch. If you are interested in participating in the Lunch & Learn program as a guest lecturer/participant, contact You can’t make it to the talk? No problem! Watch it live here from your computer or smart phone.  Photo by Patricia Swain.

Tuesday, November 18, 10:00 am – 11:30 am – Tablescapes for the Holidays

Elaine DiGiovanni and Linda Ladd will create six floral designs, both formal and informal, for fall and winter holidays. Table settings with linens, dishes, glasses and napkins will accompany the arrangements and reflect the desired celebration. This Needham Garden Club program will take place Tuesday, November 18, from 10 – 11:30.  If you wish to attend, and for information on the venue, contact: Bonnie Waters, Program Chair at Image from

Saturday, November 8, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm – The 18th Great Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show & Sale

The GCC Pioneer Valley Institute once again brings you its wonderful annual Gem and Mineral Show with talks, demonstrations, videos, and a dozen or more vendors selling fossils, minerals, gems and jewelry.  The Jurassic Road Show will be there, too. Free admission at the GCC Dining Commons, 270 Main Street, Greenfield, Massachusetts.  For more information visit

Saturday, November 8, 2:00 pm – Eight Extraordinary Years of Scientific Travel: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Malay Archipelago

The Harvard Museum of Natural History will host Andrew Berry, Lecturer on Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, on Saturday, November 8, beginning at 2 pm in Haller Hall (entrance at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge.) Alfred Russel Wallace, who co-discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection with Charles Darwin, was a remarkable scientist-explorer. His eight years of travel in Southeast Asia (1854–1862) greatly influenced his scientific thinking and resulted in the discovery of thousands of new species, as well as a wonderful account of his journeys, The Malay Archipelago. To celebrate the release of a new edition of this classic work, Andrew Berry will tell Wallace’s extraordinary story, discussing how the book originated and how it shaped future generations of scientific travel. Regular Museum admission rates apply, and enjoy free parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Tuesday, October 28, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Olmsted Lecture: On the Theoretical and Practical Development of Landscape Architecture

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design will present its Olmsted Lecture on Tuesday, October 28, from 6:30 – 8 in the Piper Auditorium of Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street in Cambridge.  The speaker will be Joseph Disponzio, and his topic is On the Theoretical and Practical Development of Landscape Architecture.

Exploring the transformation of the modeling of land from garden-making to landscape architecture, this lecture by Joseph Disponzio will establish the intellectual origins of landscape architecture in relation to the new garden practices that emerged during the 18th century, and the texts that codified these practices, amid Enlightenment-era changes in the understanding of nature. Disponzio is Preservation Landscape Architect for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, and Director of the Landscape Design program at Columbia University. He has taught at several institutions, published widely on garden history from the 18th century to the present, and is currently writing introductions for an edition of N. Vergnaud’s L’Art de créer les jardins (1835) and a translation of Jean-Marie Morel’s Théorie des jardins (1776).

For accessibility issues, please contact the events office two weeks in advance at (617)-496-2414 or Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 5, 1:30 pm – Food of the Gods: Chocolate Production from Bean to Bar

This Wednesday, November 5 talk by Wellesley College Botanic Garden fellow Katie Goodall will explore the journey of chocolate from tropical landscapes to consumers all over the world.  Focusing on Latin America, she will discuss cacao’s botanical origins, cultural history, cultivation methods, and their ecological impacts.  And what’s a chocolate talk without a tasting?  Be sure to come (1:30 pm at the Visitor’s Center of the Botanic Garden) ready to savor the flavors of local specialty chocolates. Image from  WCBG Friends free, nonmembers $10.  Register by calling 781-283-3094 or email

Thursday, November 6, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation

Author, lawyer, Yale University doctoral candidate and historian Eric Rutkow digs deep into American history to show how trees were essential to the early years of the republic and indivisible from the country’s rise as both an empire and a civilization. He will share stories set in New England and beyond, in which trees—as symbols of liberty, community, and civilization—are perhaps the loudest silent figures in America’s complicated history. Early presidents, conservationists, politicians, and politics resurface alongside the trees and forests that supported independence and fueled this country’s westward expansion. Eric Rutkow’s book, American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation (Scribner, 2012), will be available for purchase and signing. The event takes place Thursday, November 6, from 7 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, and is $5 for Arboretum members, $10 for nonmembers. Register at

Friday, November 14, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm – Castle Hill Casino Restoration Seminar

New England Landscape Design and History Association (NELDHA) and The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) are pleased to collaborate on a Preservation Seminar that focuses on the Casino restoration at the Country Place Era Estate at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The seminar is on November 14, 2014, at the Great House at Castle Hill from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join them for an in depth program in the Great House with TTOR staff and other professionals who will explain the issues, process and decision making involved. TTOR Northeast Region’s Operations Manager Robert Murray will lead a tour of the restored Casino. After lunch, a distinguished panel will answer questions and discuss issues with a particular emphasis on hardscape, ornamentation and adaptive reuse of this incredible space. The panelists include Robert Murray; Lucinda Brockway, TTOR Program Director for Cultural Resources; James Younger, AIA, LEED AP, TTOR Director of Structural Resources and Technology; Susan Hill Dolan, TTOR Curator and Cultural Resources Specialist for the Northeast Region; Robert Levitre of Consigli Construction, and distinguished landscape architect and preservationist, Marion Pressley, FASLA, and past speaker for the Garden Club of the Back Bay.

In 2014, TTOR continued the restoration of the grounds at Castle Hill, a National Historic Landmark. This year, 99 years after its creation, the crumbling Casino—the epitome of a Country Place Era estate feature for entertainment and leisure—was restored. The casino was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style by landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff, in collaboration with the Boston architectural firm Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, 1914 – 1915. Although sited on the fabulous grand allee, it is elegantly hidden within the iconic view from the Great House. The Casino predates the existing Great House designed by David Adler, 1924 – 1928. For this project, TTOR used original documentation and materials wherever possible.

The seminar is $70 for NELDHA members, TTOR members and current students and $85 for non-members. We are offering an early registration discount of $10 for registrations received before October 14, 2014. The Registration & Refund Deadline is November 8, 2014. Space is limited. Visit to register.

casino ballroom 1915

Thursday, November 13, 7:00 pm – Gardner Museum Landscape Lecture: Teresa Galí-Izard

On Thursday, November 13, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will host Teresa Galí-Izard, principal of Arquitectura Agronomia, a landscape architecture firm in Barcelona. Through her work, she explores new languages and forms, working with living materials, and applying contemporary dynamics and management. She has been involved in some of the most important landscape architecture projects in Europe, including the new urbanization of Passeig de Sant Joan in Barcelona and the restoration of the nearby Vall d’en Joan landfill, which won the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2004. Galí-Izard is the author of The Same Landscapes: Ideas and Interpretation (2005), and co-edited Jacques Simon: Los otros paisajes, Ideas y reflexiones sobre el territorio (2012) with Daniella Collafranceschi.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Landscape Lectures begin at 7 pm in Calderwood Hall. Lectures include Museum admission and require a ticket; tickets can be reserved online at, in person at the door, or by phone: 617 278 5156. Museum admission: adults $15, seniors $12, students $5, free for members.

When a lecture sells out, the Museum will offer a limited number of obstructed view seats the night of the event via a signup sheet at the admissions desk. The signup sheet will become available at the desk at 6 pm. We will make every attempt to seat everyone but cannot guarantee a seat once we are at capacity. Seats will be assigned 5 minutes prior to the lecture time. These obstructed view seats will be free of charge.

Wednesday, October 29, 10:00 am – Nature in the City and Stewarding Our Native Ecology

The Annual Meeting of The Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America will take place Wednesday, October 29, at The Country Club, Clyde Street, Brookline, beginning with coffee and registration at 10:00 am, and the business meeting at 10:30 am, followed by a keynote speech by Peter Del Tredici on Nature in the City and Stewarding Our Native Ecology. Dr. Del Tredici is Senior Research Scientist, Arnold Arboretum, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

“My research interests are wide ranging and mainly involve the interaction between woody plants and their environment. Over the course of thirty plus years at the Arnold Arboretum, I have worked with a number of plants, most notably Ginkgo biloba, conifers in the genera Tsuga and Sequoia, various magnolias, and several Stewartia species (family Theaceae). In all of my work, I attempt to integrate various aspects of the botany and ecology of a given species with the horticultural issues surrounding its propagation and cultivation. This fusion of science and practice has also formed the basis of my teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (since 1992), especially as it relates to understanding the impacts of climate change and urbanization on plants in both native and designed landscapes. Most recently, the focus of my research has expanded to the subject of spontaneous urban vegetation which resulted in the publication of Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide (Cornell University Press, 2010).”

The program is open to members of the Garden Clubs which comprise The Boston Committee ( who will receive written invitations with information on attendance fees.  If you are not a member, email for more information.  Image from

Arnold Arboretum Director’s Lecture Series 2015

Each year, Director William (Ned) Friedman and the Arnold Arboretum present the Director’s Lecture Series, featuring nationally recognized experts addressing an array of topics related to Earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history, the environment, conservation biology, and key social issues associated with current science. Lectures take place in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall. Parking will be available in front of the building and along the Arborway. These free lectures become completely subscribed early, and right now, through December 15, Arboretum members may register online prior to general registration thereafter. Visit to sign up.

The schedule is as follows: On Monday, January 12, hear Ned Friedman himself discuss Mutants in Our Midst: Darwin, Horticulture, and Evolution. Photographer Rachel Sussman speaks on Monday, March 2 on The Oldest Living Things in the World, Peter Raven, PhD and President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden comes on Monday, March 23 to lecture on China, Biodiversity, and the Global Environment, and finally, on Monday April 20, hear Richard Lazarus, Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, who will discuss Environmental Lawlessness.

Saturday, October 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Magical Mixes

Join Jacqueline van der Kloet at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens on Saturday, October 25, from 10 – 12, for a talk on plant combinations in her garden designs. She will focus on how she combines bulbs, perennials, flowering shrubs and trees in a naturalistic garden style. Using a case-study approach, she will suggest perennials and spring flowering bulbs and how to use them in all kinds of situations: private gardens small and large, estates, public parks and exhibitions. The program will include her inspirational lecture, a short break and time devoted to the technical “how to” aspects of her designs. She will answer all of your bulb questions and suggest solutions.

Jacqueline van der Kloet is an internationally known garden designer based in Weesp, Holland. She is known for her artistic combinations of bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs and trees. Her designs for public, private and corporate clients are found throughout Europe. She designed displays, both in 2002 and 2012, for Floriade, the international exhibition of flowers and gardening, held every ten years in the Netherlands. She renovated the bulb plantings at the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands, and has worked extensively with “New Wave” garden designer Piet Oudolf to create bulb planting schemes for three of America’s newest and most exciting public spaces: Millennial Park and the Lurie Garden in Chicago, Battery Park in New York City and the Seasonal Walk at the New York Botanical Garden. She has designed planting schemes at private gardens, including the Linden Allee at Martha Stewart’s Bedford, NY, estate.

BBG member price $30, nonmembers $35. Register at, or call 413-298-3926, x 15.

Saturday, October 18, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Centennial Lecture by Cynthia Barton: History’s Daughter

Biographer Cynthia Barton relates a chronicle of Clara Endicott Sears’ life and details the influences leading to the creation of Fruitlands Museum from her book History’s Daughter: The Life of Clara Endicott Sears, Founder of Fruitlands Museum. The talk is the Museum’s Centennial Lecture, and will take place Saturday, October 18 at 1 pm.  Free with admission to the Museum, located at 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard.  For more information visit

Thursday, October 23, 6:00 pm – Sitting Down to Table: Visualizing the Daily Meal in a Pennsylvania Coal Town

Karen Metheny, scholar in food studies, anthropology, and archaeology, will explore ways that material culture can be combined with oral and historical sources to interpret the content, context, and significance of the daily meal. Using archaeological evidence of food consumption from her nineteenth-century coal town study, Dr. Metheny will discuss the significance of food sharing and commensality in the context of household stability and community formation. This free lecture, part of the Jacques Pepin Lecture Series at Boston University, will take place on Thursday, October 23 beginning at 6 pm in Room 117 at 808 Commonwealth Avenue.  For more information visit

Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 pm – Fossil Insects: Learning from the Past

On Tuesday, October 14th at 07:30 PM in room 101 of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 26 Oxford Street in Cambridge, Ricardo Pérez de la Fuente of Harvard University will address the Cambridge Entomological Club about Fossil Insects: Learning from the past.

Insects are one of the main biological sources of environmental, ecological, and evolutionary information concerning life on land as archived in the geological record from ca. 400 million years ago. Although the study of extinct insects is challenging, it can be surprisingly similar to the study of extant specimens thanks to the discovery of fossils with exceptional preservation, like amber inclusions, and the use of new techniques. As the legacy of an old paleoentomological tradition that started with the classic works of Samuel H. Scudder, co-founder of the Cambridge Entomological Club and its journal Psyche, the Museum of Contemporary Zoology has one of the premier fossil insect collections worldwide, composed of more than 30,000 specimens and 3,000 types. But what can we really learn from fossil insects? And to what extent are they reliable? Together we will try to answer these and more questions in the forthcoming talk.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided and you are also welcome to join Club members at 6:00 PM for an informal pre-meeting dinner at the Cambridge Common. For more information contact CEC Vice-President Shayla Salzman at

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