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A Visit with Mountain Gorillas

Family program with Richard Sobol

sunday, December 14, 2:00 pm

Richard Sobol, a wildlife photographer, shared stories about his recent trip to the lush African rainforests to live among the majestic mountain gorillas of Uganda. 


Poking Holes in Planets

Family program with Sarah T. Stewart

sunday, november 16, 2008, 2:00 pm

Harvard University astrophysicist Sarah Stewart discussed how her laboratory uses high-tech equipment to simulate major meteor impacts, including a 20-foot long cannon that blows up rocks


The Ingredients of Plant Collecting

Family program with Melinda Peters

sunday, October 19, 2008, 2:00 pm

The Harvard University Herbaria is home to over 5 million plant specimens collected  around  the globe. Curatorial Assistant Melinda Peters and her Herbaria colleagues Stephanie Zabel and Carolyn Beans looked closely at plant specimens and led a mini-expedition to collect some plants and leaves around the msueum grounds.


Earthquakes! How We Can Better Understand and Prepare for Them

Lecture by John H. Shaw

Thursday, November 20, 2008, 6:00 pm

John Shaw, Dudley Professor of Structural and Economic Geology at Harvard University, discussed how scientists use cutting-edge techniques, such as 3-D immersive visualization, remote sensing, and plate-tectonic research to better forecast earthquakes and help protect lives and property for an increasingly urbanized global population.


Earth and Human: A Planetary Perspective

Lecture by Charles Langmuir

Thursday, November 13, 2008, 6:00 pm

Charles Langmuir, Higgins Professor of Geochemistry at Harvard University, presented a longer view of planetary evolution and how events from the Big Bang to the formation of oceans, minerals, and atmosphere are relevant to understanding the relationship between human beings and the Earth. 


Audubon: The Early Drawings

Lecture & booksigning by Scott Edwards & Leslie Morris

Thursday, september 18, 2008, 6:00 pm

Scott Edwards, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Ornithology in Harvard’s MCZ, and Leslie Morris, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library, discussed the origin and scientific significance of John James Audubon’s early drawings. A selection of original Audubon drawings were on public exhibit during the lecture, courtesy of the Houghton Library and the Ernst Mayr Library at Harvard.


Future(s) of Conservation

Lecture by Dr. Steven Sanderson

Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 6:00 pm

Steven Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, discussed why wildlife conservation is losing ground to economic growth and a variety of other social concerns, and what important new forces will shape the future(s) that might evolve. Cosponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society. 


Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

Lecture & booksigning by Dr. Eric Chivian and Dr. Edward O. Wilson

thursday, october 16, 2008, 7:00 pm

Lead editor and author of Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, Eric Chivian, Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and Professor Edward O. Wilson  discussed the importance of biodiversity to human health—from medicines, biomedical research, infectious diseases, and food production to the ecosystem services that support life on Earth.


Confronting the Energy-Climate Challenge  

A presentation by Dan Schrag, with remarks by Kelly Sims Gallagher

Thursday, December 11, 6:00 pm

Dan Schrag, Director of the Harvard Center for the Environment and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, outlined a number of future energy strategies to address the climite crisis. Kelly Sims Gallagher, Director of Energy Technology Innovation Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, commented on these measures from an economic and policy standpoint.


Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses

Author's talk by William Cullina

Saturday, February 16, 2008, 2:00 pm

Award-winning author Bill Cullina discussed his illustrated book that unveils the ecology of ferns, moss, and grass. 


E. O. Wilson and the World of Ants

Sunday Family Program by Ronald Clouse

Sunday, January 20, 2008, 2:00 pm

This lecture featured a screening of The Naturalist, a 30-minute movie about the life and work of the renowned entomologist, author, and Pulitzer prize winner, Edward O. Wilson, and a presentation about Harvard's world-famous ant collection with graduate student Ronald Clouse.


No Child Left Inside

Sunday Family Program with Bill Thompson III

Sunday, april 13, 2008, 2:00 pm

Birder and author of kids' book The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of Eastern North America, Bill Thompson III discussed how to get kids interested in nature, and offer some insight into countering the growing trend of "nature deficit disorder." 


Discovering the World Around Us:
Biodiversity and Climate Change

Sunday Family Program with Marie Studer

Sunday, may 4, 2008, 2:00 pm

Marie Studer, Education and Outreach Director for the Encyclopedia of Life Project, presented on the richness of plants and animals around us and how to share ways for observing and tracking them.


Nature's Palette: The Biological Significance of Color

Exhibition opening lecture by Hopi Hoekstra

Thursday, september 25, 2008, 6:00 pm

Drawing from her own research on the genetics, development, and evolution of color and patterning in mammals, Hopi Hoekstra, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences and Curator of Mammals in Harvard's MCZ, discussed the many ways that color is made, used, and perceived by animals – and how this diversity testifies to the power, elegance, and ingenuity of natural selection.


The Earth from Space: Satellite Measurements of Pollution and Solar Radiation

Lecture by Kelly Chance

saturday, april 19, 1:00 pm

Space-based satellites from NASA and the European Space Agency are measuring particulates and pollutants that may be contributing to the global dimming phenomenon. Dr. Kelly Chance from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will discuss how these satellites can shed new perspective on some of the issues presented in Nova's Dimming the Sun.


2008 Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Lecture

Lecture by Jeremy Jackson

SUNday, APRIL 6, 3:00 pm

Internationally renowned marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography delivered the 2008 Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Lecture. Significant support for the 2008 Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Lecture was provided by Houghton Mifflin.


The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird

Author's Talk with Al Powell

saturday, march 29, 2:00 pm

Harvard journalist Al Powell presented the story of the po'ouli, a small Hawaiian forest bird that went extinct in 2004, just 30 years after it was first discovered, and examined the broader environmental devastation that has disrupted the Hawaiian Islands. 


Hispaniola: A Photographic Journey through Island Biodiversity

Lecture and booksigning by Eladio Fernández

Tuesday, January 15, 6:00 pm

Dominican-based conservationist Eladio Fernandez featured spectacular photographs depicting the richness of species and the diversity of habitats on the ancient island of Hispaniola.


Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project

Lecture and booksigning by Spencer Wells

Tuesday, February 5, 6:00 pm

Population geneticist Spencer Wells discussed his work in DNA analysis that traced all humans alive today to a small tribe of hunter-gathers in Africa 60,000 years ago.


Why We Cook: Food and Pairbonds in Human Evolution

Lecture by Richard Wrangham

Thursday, February 14, 6:00 pm

Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham discussed the role that cooked food has played in human evolution and bonding, and the secrets of cooking dating back almost two million years to the origins of humanity. 


Five Rules for Evolutionary Cooperation

Lecture by Martin Nowak

Thursday, February 28, 6:00 pm

Martin Nowak, Professor of Mathematics and Biology at Harvard University, discussed five mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation and how they're key to the development of our social intellect. 


Maternal-Fetal Conflicts in Human Pregnancy

Lecture by David Haig

Thursday, March 13, 6:00 pm

Dr. David Haig, Professor of Biology at Harvard, discussed the various genetic conflicts that transpire within the human womb, and visited the assumption that what is good for the mother is also good for the fetus.

Watch this lecture on WGBH Form Network


Documentary Screening: First Flower

Celebrating the Chinese New Year

saturday, february 9, 2:00 pm

First Flower is NOVA documentary that follows the search through the Hengduan Mountains in south central China for the 135-million-year-old fossil remains of what may be the Earth’s first flowering plant. 


Shangri-La: At the Heart of a Biodiversity Hotspot

Slide Presentation by Susan Kelley
Celebrating the Chinese New Year

saturday, February 9, 3:00 pm 

Susan Kelley, Manager of Harvard University Herbaria’s Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains Region Project, discussed the current botanical exploration of the Shangri-La.


Thoreau's Cape Cod &
Cape Cod National Seashore... a Thoreau Experience

Video presentation and booksigning by Scot Miller
followed by a lecture by George Price

wednesday, april 16, 6:00 pm

Scot Miller premiered Illustrating Thoreau’s Cape Cod: A Photographer’s Story, a video documenting his experiences creating photography for the new illustrated edition of Henry David Thoreau’s classic Cape Cod. Following the video George Price, Superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore gave a lecture entitled Cape Cod National Seashore...a Thoreau Experience, which focused on the major conservation challenges facing this jewel of the outer Cape, and the National Park Service's efforts to maintain the shoreline. 


Thinking Outside the Fossil Record:
Explanations for the Cambrian Explosion of Animals

Lecture by Charles Marshall

tuesday, april 29, 6:00 pm

Charles Marshall, Professor of Biology and Geology at Harvard, and Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, discussed the causes and unique history of the Cambrian "explosion," a flash of evolution 540 million years ago when the diversity of animal life proliferated.


Looking at Animals

Gallery Talks by Henry Horenstein

friday, april 25, 3:00 pm 
 saturday, april 26, 10:00 am 

Closing of special exhibition Looking at Animals: Photographs by Henry Horenstein and a reading from the publication of Animalia, a new compilation of the best of Horenstein’s animal work, including 35 previously unpublished photographs. 


Dimming the Sun

DVD Screening

saturday, april 19, 2:00 pm

This 55-minute NOVA documentary investigates the discovery that the pollution may be causing less sunlight to reach Earth over time and in-turn could be masking the full impact of global climate warming. NOVA Senior Science Editor Evan Hadingham, introduced the film, discussed the history of Dimming The Sun, and the challenges of science documentary filmmaking.


Bats in Peril: Why Disease is Decimating Bat Colonies around New England

Lecture by Tom French

wednesday, may 21, 6:00 pm

Tom French, from Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries, discussed why we should be concerned about the bat mortality due to white-nose syndrome and the effect it could have on insect populations and other ecological issues.


Natural History, Aesthetics, and Conservation

Lecture by Harry Greene

wednesday, APRIL 9, 6:00 pm

Harry Greene discussed ideas on aethetic values of biodiversity including, how Darwin's "descent with modification" and Kant's distinction between "beauty" and "sublime" facilitate nature appreciation, such that natural history enhances our emotional response to organisms beyond their individual appeal. Cosponsored with the Harvard University Center for the Environment.



Looking at Leaves

Gallery Talks by Amanda Means

friday, may 9, 3:00 pm 
 saturday, may 10, 10:00 am 

Gallery opening of Looking at Leaves and lecture with photographer Amanda Means.


Cambridge Premiere of Abandoned in the Arctic

DVD Screening

THURSday, june 19, 7:00 pm

The documentary tells the harrowing story of Adolphus Greely and his team of 24 men who set out in 1881 to build an arctic research station on Ellesmere Island. In June of 2004 a team of five men and one woman, including Greely's great, great, grandson, 25-year-old James Shedd, embarked on a journey to retrace the expedition's footsteps in search of answers to the Greely mystery. 

The screening followed with a short discussion by director Gino Del Guercio, executive producer Geoffrey Clark, and James Shedd.