Category Archives: lecture

Monday, January 12, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Mutants in Our Midst: Darwin, Horticulture, and Evolution

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. Free. Member-only registration through December 15; general registration after December 15.

Ned Friedman, PhD, Director of the Arnold Arboretum and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University will present the first talk on Monday, January 12, from 7 – 8:30. Although often overlooked as such, many of the horticultural varieties that we grow in gardens are premier examples of the ongoing process of evolution: random mutations that lead, on the rarest of occasions, to novel and desirable biological characteristics. Throughout his life, Charles Darwin (as well as other nineteenth century evolutionists) looked to the world of horticulture and plant domestication to gain critical insights into the generation of variation and the process of natural selection that underlie evolutionary change. Come see how horticulture played a central role in laying the foundations for discovering evidence of evolution as well as the process of evolution. Professor Ned Friedman will also argue that modern botanical gardens can and should become a leading force for the promotion of evolutionary thinking by highlighting the very kinds of mutations observed and described by Darwin as well as new examples of monstrosities and mutants that continue to be found in the Arboretum and other living collections around the world. Image from

Register online at

Thursday, December 11, 6:00 pm – Dwelling in Landscape

The New England Landscape Design and History Association (NELDHA) is pleased to announce that it is a co-sponsor of The Friends of Fairsted lecture on December 11, 2014, featuring Daniel Bluestone, Director of the Boston University Preservation Studies Program. His lecture, Dwelling in Landscape, will cover changing practices in residential landscape design. The lecture, at Wheelock College on Hawes Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, begins at 7:00 PM and is preceded by a Reception at 6:00 pm. The lecture is free and open to the public, but a reservation is required. Please RSVP to Seating is limited.



Friday, December 5, 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm – Chasing Ice and Birds in a Changing Climate

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem has announced a special event to take place Friday, December 5, from 7:15 – 9:15.  Attend a special screening of the award-winning film Chasing Ice by environmental photographer James Balog, a featured artist in the Museum’s Branching Out exhibition. His videos of Arctic glaciers reveal ancient mountains of ice disappearing at a breathtaking rate. Following the film, researcher and author Trevor Lloyd-Evans presents the effects of climate change on migratory birds. Chasing Ice, 2012, 75 minutes. Book signing follows. Co-sponsored by Mass Audubon and Essex County Ornithological Club. A brief business meeting of the E.C.O.C. is held 7-7:15 pm. Reservations not required.  For directions, visit

Monday, December 15, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Climate Change and Plant Conservation: Is Managed Relocation an Option?

Join Jesse Bellemare, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Smith College, on Monday, December 15, from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, as he discusses Climate Change and Plant Conservation: Is Managed Relocation an Option? Climate change is projected to be one of the top threats to biodiversity in coming decades. Species with small geographic ranges, often called “endemics”, may be at especially high risk of extinction because unsuitable climatic conditions could develop rapidly across the entirety of their ranges. If such species are unable to disperse long distances on their own to follow suitable climatic conditions, it has been proposed that human-assisted colonization or “managed relocation” might be an option of last resort to avoid extinctions. With this approach, climate-threatened species would be intentionally translocated to new regions as conditions deteriorated within their native ranges. Dr. Bellemare will speak about his research to better understand how the distribution and diversity of these rare species is related to past climate change, such as the Ice Ages, and to predict how the species might respond to the threat of modern anthropogenic climate change. Will managed relocation of species be a viable solution to prevent rare species extinction? Register at $5 for Arboretum members, $10 for nonmembers.  Image of New England Blazing Star from

Tuesday, December 9, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – The Bee: A Natural History

Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. Bees are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world. In this natural history talk at the Arnold Arboretum on Tuesday, December 9, from 7 – 8:30 pm, Noah Wilson-Rich, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of The Best Bees Company, will provide a window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet. He will speak about the human–bee relationship through time; explain a bit about bee evolution, ecology, and physiology; and share his holistic approach to bee health and how you can help bee populations. His book, The Bee: A Natural History, will be available for sale and signing.  Fee $5 Arboretum member, $10 nonmember.  Register at

Wednesday, December 10, 9:30 am – 3:45 pm – Greenhouse Vegetable Production in Containers

UMass Extension Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture Program will hold a workshop on Wednesday, December 10, from 9:30 – 3:45 at the Publick House in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  $40 per person, plus an additional fee if you register online with a credit card.  Registration includes morning refreshments, breaks, and handouts.  You may also print a mail in registration form at

Speakers include Rich McAvoy from University of Connecticut, who will speak on Growing Greenhouse Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Carol Glenister of IPM Laboratories on Perfecting Biocontrol in Greenhouse Vegetables, Brian Krug of University of New Hampshire on Growing Bench-top Greens, M. Bess Dicklow of UMass Extension Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on Diseases and Disorders of Greenhouse Tomatoes, and Brad Clegg of Four Town Farm and Dave Volante of Volante Farms, leading a Grower to Grower Panel.  Image from

Thursday, December 4, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – “Jwal sulul li’be!”: Exploring the Muddy Path of Conservation and Development in Central America

EcoLogic Development Fund, based in Cambridge and Guatemala, has worked to empower rural communities to protect and restore tropical ecosystems in Mexico and Central America since 1993. EcoLogic believes that what makes conservation stick is skilled local leadership and enduring community-level commitment. On Thursday, December 4, Anne Elise Stratton, a Tufts senior, will present her summer research in a lowland Caribbean Guatemala protected area. She’ll explain challenges farmers face with climate change, corn production, and agroforestry as well as her insights and anecdotes from fieldwork. Devyn Powell, Tufts class of 2014, joined EcoLogic’s staff before graduating last spring. She will add to Anne Elise’s presentation by leading lunch participants in a conversation about career paths, sustainability and climate, and EcoLogic’s special role and theory of change applied across the region – especially how a small NGO tackles deforestation and landscape restoration beyond protected areas alone.

Anne Elise Stratton worked as a field intern for EcoLogic this summer in the Sarstún region of Guatemala, where she is also pursuing research about seed selection and exchange in the area. She is currently a rising senior at Tufts, where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies with a focus on food systems. Devyn Powell, EcoLogic Development Fund Communications Officer. Devyn is responsible for the development and implementation of EcoLogic’s communications strategy. Prior to joining EcoLogic, Devyn helped coordinate online communications, website management, and graphic design for the Tufts Institute of the Environment. She spent time in Ancash, Peru, where she conducted field research exploring climate change adaptation strategies for rural farming communities, and has also lived in Costa Rica. Devyn was raised in Portland, Oregon, and earned a BA in International Relations and Environmental Studies from Tufts (Class of 2014). She is proficient in Spanish and knows some Portuguese and Japanese.

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.

Sunday, December 7, 2:00 pm – Jamaica Pond & Boston’s Water System

From the 1630 settlement of Boston, people needed a water supply. On Sunday, December 7 at 2 pm, Marcis Kempe, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum and an avid water supply historian will discuss the early attempts by Boston residents to find drinking water on Shawmut peninsula. Attempts at wood pipe water systems led eventually to the construction of Boston’s 1796 Jamaica Pond Aqueduct Corporation which fulfilled a need for water supply piped directly into houses. Mr. Kempe will chronicle this story and that of 1848 Boston’s municipal water system that eventually replaced the wooden pipes. He will also discuss the further growth of the Metropolitan Boston water system at the turn of the century and the steps taken to protect the public from the growing pollution of water sources. Come and join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to learn about the important people and events in the Jamaica Pond story and how this modest system grew into today’s nationally acclaimed Metropolitan Boston area water supply.

Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. This event is being hosted by the Arnold Arboretum at 125 Arborway, so please check their website,, for directions and parking instructions. Garden Club of the Back Bay members please note that our March excursion will be to the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum to hear Mr. Kempe speak.

Tuesday, December 2, 6:30 pm – The Resilient Farm and Homestead

COGdesign is pleased to bring Ben Falk, ecological designer, permaculture practitioner, farmer, and author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead, to speak at Boston’s District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, on Tuesday, December 2 beginning at 6:30 pm.  Ben will discuss his popular new handbook for developing regenerative human habitat systems adaptive to drought, flooding, heat, power outage, price spikes, pest pressure, and the multitude of challenges brought by climate change.  Ben and his team have established the Whole Systems Design research farm over the past decade in Vermont.  Tickets are priced at $15 for students, $25 general admission ($30 at the door,) and $60 for admission plus a signed book ($65 at the door.)  All tickets include hors d’oeuvre and a libation ticket. You may purchase on line through Eventbrite:

Wednesday, December 3, 6:00 pm – Arthur Shurcliff: From Boston to Colonial Williamsburg

Join historian and author Elizabeth Hope Cushing on Wednesday, December 3, at 6 pm in the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, as she speaks of landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff’s early work in Boston and how this led to Colonial Williamsburg, his largest and most significant contribution to American landscape architecture.

In 1928, the landscape architect and preservationist Arthur A. Shurcliff (1870–1957) began what became one of the most important examples of the American Colonial Revival landscape—Colonial Williamsburg. But before this, Shurcliff honed his skills in Boston. An 1894 engineering graduate of MIT with an interest in landscape design, Shurcliff, on the advice of Frederick Law Olmsted and with the aid of his mentor, Charles Eliot, pieced together courses at Harvard College, the Lawrence Scientific School, and the Bussey Institute. He then spent eight years working in the Olmsted office, acquiring a broad and sophisticated knowledge of the profession. Opening his own practice in 1904, Shurcliff emphasized his expertise in town planning, preparing plans for towns surrounding Boston. He designed recreational spaces that Bostonians still enjoy today, including significant aspects of the Franklin Park Zoo and the Charles River Esplanade. Historian Elizabeth Hope Cushing will speak of Shurcliff’s early work in Boston and how this led to Colonial Williamsburg, his largest and most significant contribution to American landscape architecture.  Fee Free, but registration requested. You may register on line at Seating is limited. A reception will follow the lecture.

The Esplanade Association is please to be a co-sponsor of this event along with the Library of American Landscape History, Boston Society of Landscape Architects, Friends of Fairsted, the and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Thursday, November 20, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm – Volunteerism on the Mystic River

The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) began in 1972 as a grassroots environmental organization and continues to rely upon grassroots support and volunteerism to accomplish its many projects and programs today. On Thursday, November 20, come learn about the work of the association and how MyRWA engages the 22 community watershed through volunteerism and citizen science.

Beth MacBlane is the Outreach and Communications Director at the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA). In this role Beth manages MyRWA outreach events and the association’s electronic and print communications, including social media. She received her B.A. in environmental studies and anthropology at Tufts University, where she volunteered with MA Community Water Watch as the education coordinator. She received her M.S. in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental education at Antioch University New England. Her professional experience comprises various educational and community organizing endeavors including four years of work with the National Park Service as an interpretive park ranger.

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.

Thursday, November 20, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Animals of the North: What Will Climate Change Mean For Them?

Sue Morse, field naturalist and founder of Keeping Track, will speak at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive in Hadley on Thursday, November 20, beginning at 7 pm, on Animals of the North: What Will Climate Change Mean for Them?  This program details ways in which northern wildlife species are already being affected by climate change, with more serious challenges ahead. Canada lynx, moose, American marten, caribou, polar bears, arctic fox and marine mammals and waterfowl are some of the species covered in this stunningly beautiful show. We promise not to overwhelm our audience with bad news. Instead, our program will devote equal time sharing remarkable images of animals and their northern habitats—all in the spirit of Jane Goodall’s “reason for hope.” Our intent is to inspire our attendees, young and old alike, to join us in the vital crusade to change our fossil fuel-burning ways, conserve natural resources, and share a healthy planet with all that lives. Donations appreciated. Photo courtesy of

Thursday, November 20, 9:00 am – 3:15 pm – Trees in the Urban Landscape Symposium

Urban tree professionals, tree wardens, persons working in the tree-care industry and anyone interested in learning more about the urban forest are invited to attend Trees in the Urban Landscape Symposium, to be held Thursday, November 20, from 9 – 3:15 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston.  $35 fee, with an additional $14 if you wish to reserve a box lunch.  Sponsored by Tower Hill Botanic Garden and the Nathaniel Wheeler Trust, Bank of America, Trustee.  For more information, or to reserve, visit

Sunday, November 16, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Vision, Practice and Legacy: Edward Winslow Lincoln and the Worcester Park System

Jack Herron will present Vision, Practice and Legacy: Edward Winslow Lincoln and the Worcester Park System, on Sunday, November 16 from 2 – 3 in the Library of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, followed by a reception.  This talk is the second in a series of lectures sponsored by Lost Gardens of Worcester, a joint project of the Worcester Garden Club, Preservation Worcester, and Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  Free with admission to Tower Hill.

Saturday, November 8, 12:30 pm – Preparing Plants for Dormancy

The November meeting of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society will be held Saturday, November 8 at 12:30 pm at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence, Rhode Island.  John Lombardi will speak on Preparing Plants for Dormancy, and there will, in addition, be a talk on Propogating Cephalotus Follicularis  (pictured, courtesy of by Jeff Matteson.  The meeting is free and open to the public.  For more information visit

Wednesday, November 12, 5:30 tour, 6:00 pm lecture – Prohibition: Boston Dry/Boston Wet

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society presents Stephanie Schorow, author of Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits, who will discuss the history of Boston during the era when the 18th Amendment was in effect. Prohibition in Boston was a period rife with class politics, social reform, and opportunism. Our hosts will be the Boston Beer Company, housed in the historic Brewery Complex where Haffenreffer survived Prohibition by brewing ‘near beer’ and sodas.

In Drinking Boston, Stephanie Schorow serves up a remarkable cocktail representative of Boston’s intoxicating story: its spirit of invention, its hardscrabble politics, its mythology, and the city’s never-ending battle between personal freedom and civic reform-all told through the lens of the bottom of a cocktail glass.

Come early (at 5:30) to the Sam Adams Brewery at 30 Germania Street in Boston on Wednesday, November 12 to go on a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery before the talk. Books will be for sale.

Saturday, November 8, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Earthwatch Summit 2014

You are cordially invited to Earthwatch Summit 2014, a Citizens for Science Exposition, on Saturday, November 8, from 9 – 4 at the Harvard Science Center in Cambridge.  Although the registration deadline has passed, please contact Nicole Barry at 978-450-1235 if you wish to attend.  The event is sponsored by the Earthwatch Institute. This FREE event is a great opportunity to learn about meaningful research from scientists around the world, including Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, Dr. William Moomaw, Chief Science Officer of the Earthwatch Institute, Dr. Richard Primack, Boston University biologist and author of Walden Warming, and Dr. Meg Lowman, Chief of Science & Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences. You will also learn how citizen science research directly influences wildlife, the environment, and community members. At the Summit, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and network with some of the world’s brightest scientists.

Tuesday, November 18, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Protecting the Ash Tree: Wabanaki Diplomacy and Sustainability Science in Maine

Brown ash trees sustain the ancestral basket-making traditions of the Wabanaki people of Maine and play a key role in their creation myths. These trees are now threatened by the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in the eastern United States. Wabanaki tribes and basket makers (see basket image below from Hood Museum at Dartmouth) have joined forces with foresters, university researchers, and landowners to develop and deploy actions aimed at preventing an invasion by this insect. Anthropologist Darren Ranco, PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Native American Research, University of Maine discusses how the stakeholders involved in this interdisciplinary effort are making use of sustainability science and drawing from Wabanaki forms of diplomacy to influence state and federal responses to the emerald ash borer, and prevent the demise of the ash trees that are so central to Wabanaki culture. The program will take place on Tuesday, November 18, from 7 – 8 at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street in Cambridge, and is sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, in collaboration with the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. Visit the exhibits in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Museum of Natural History, open for special evening hours following the lecture. Free event parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 19, 10:00 am – Tablet Tech for Gardeners

The Garden Club of the Back Bay’s November meeting will take place Wednesday, November 19, beginning at 10 am at The College Club, 44 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.  Continuing our exploration of Technology in the Garden, we welcome Sarah Roche who will speak on Tablet Tech for Gardeners. Sarah Roche teaches a variety of courses for all abilities throughout the year, focusing on botanical drawing and painting in watercolor. She currently teaches at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset MA, at the Copley Society in Boston and at the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens for the Friends of Horticulture, where she is Education Director for the Certificate program in Botanical Art and Illustration . She will demonstrate how the tablet computer can be an invaluable tool in the garden – feel free to bring your tablet with you to this meeting. Open to the public but reservations are essential.  Please email if you plan to attend.  Garden Club members will receive written notification of the event. One of Sarah’s beautiful watercolors is shown below, courtesy of the Copley Society.

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

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