Events

    Restoring Ecosystems in a Time of Ongoing Global Change

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    How long does it take for an ecosystem to recover after it is disturbed or destroyed by human activities? How do we know when an ecosystem has recovered? In this lecture, restoration ecologist David Moreno Mateos will discuss the traditional methods used to assess the recovery of terrestrial ecosystems—such as changes in biodiversity or soil carbon levels—and highlight their limitations. He will make a case for more comprehensive and long-term approaches to understanding and measuring ecosystem recovery and highlight their potential for enhancing environmental policies and large-scale...

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    Lessons from Plants

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Plants are essential to humans and the environment: they provide food, absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, serve multiple ecosystem functions, and beautify landscapes. In Lessons from Plants (Harvard University Press, 2021) Beronda Montgomery invites us to appreciate our interdependence with plants and the many lessons that can be gained from a better understanding of the ways in which plants grow, adapt, and thrive.

    In this conversation with Brenda Tindal, she will address what plants can teach us about relating to one another, building diverse communities and...

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    Harvard Dance Center Showing: Initiation – In Love Solidarity

    Location: 

    Harvard Dance Center—Online or in-person

    Initiation – In Love Solidarity is a choreographic narrative exploring the embodiment of the Middle Passage, and the resilience and evolving identities of women in the African diaspora. A film component of the work was created at historic sites in New England related to the transatlantic slave trade and emancipation. The imagery of the cowrie shell is present throughout, chosen as an emblem of the transformative identity of the Black female body.

    Saturday, November 13, 4pm & 7pm: ...

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    Biogeography across Broken Continents and Sunken Islands

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    The major continents of the Southern Hemisphere—Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica—as well as India and islands in the Pacific, were once part of Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent that began to break up about 180 million years ago. How did this breakup influence the evolution of ecosystems and organisms found on modern continents and islands? This is one of the questions that biogeography, the study of how organisms are distributed across space and time, seeks to answer. Gonzalo Giribet will discuss how he uses biogeography and tiny invertebrate species to understand the...

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    After-School Animal Encounters: Teeming Tidepools

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Tidepools exist where the land meets the ocean and the amazingly resilient creatures that live there manage the challenges of both environments. From swimming and climbing to burrowing, animals in tidepools have adapted many behaviors to live in an ever-changing world. Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan as they lead you in a 45-minute program with live ocean invertebrates. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder.

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    National Fossil Day

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a paleontologist? Celebrate National Fossil Day—an event organized by the National Park Service—with Harvard paleontologists! Take a close look at museum fossils and learn how they are used to help solve mysteries about ancient life. What amazing creatures lived together in ancient oceans? How do fossil tracks, traces, and burrows help us understand how extinct animals lived? How can we reconstruct an animal from just its bones? How did dinosaurs get so big? Bring your curiosity and questions to this online event for kids and families!

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    After-School Animal Encounters: Radical Reptiles

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    What might your life be like if you spent half your day on land and the other half in the ocean? How would you hunt for food if you were only a few inches long? Is one type of snake really all that different from another? Get the answers to these questions and more as human museum staffers Javier and Ryan introduce you to several live animals. Each month we will discuss a different theme while feeding and interacting with some of the museum’s incredible animals!

    Reptiles have lived on Earth for millions of years and over that time have evolved some amazing characteristics and...

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    Saving Seahorses to Save Seas

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Amanda Vincent, the 2021 Indianapolis Prize winner, has dedicated her career to understanding and advocating for seahorses, which serve as a flagship species for a wide range of marine conservation issues. She is credited with bringing the world’s attention to the 44 known species of seahorses and with developing a collaborative approach to marine conservation that is also improving the status of many other marine fishes, such as sharks, rays, groupers, and eels. Hear how her determination and optimism is saving not only these iconic sea creatures but also our world’s oceans.

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    Inspired by the Harvard Museum of Natural History

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    The Harvard Museum of Natural History inspires college students and life-long learners to explore a myriad of scientific and creative pursuits. In this program, a group of professionals discuss how their experiences in the museum inspired their careers in science communication and storytelling, while they share images and videos of their favorite museum specimens and stories.

    Presented in collaboration with the Harvard University Chapter of Storywish, a student-run organization that empowers chronically ill children to read, write, and share their own...

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    Afterschool Animal Encounters: Pint-Sized Predators

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    What might your life be like if you spent half your day on land and the other half in the ocean? How would you hunt for food if you were only a few inches long? Is one type of snake really all that different from another? Get the answers to these questions and more as human museum staffers Javier and Ryan introduce you to several live animals. Each month we will discuss a different theme while feeding and interacting with some of the museum’s incredible animals!

    Predators come in all sizes. Imagine that you are only a few inches long. How would you get around, hunt for food,...

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    Inspiration, Empathy and Education: How Cultural Entities Are Helping People Think about Climate in New Ways

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    As the world has sought to understand the causes and impacts of climate change, the topic has long been situated within the domain of science. In the 21st century, data, studies, reports, and academic/technical discourses have been the central mechanisms by which we learn about and process climate change: its consequences, our roles, and possible solutions. In recent years, however, artists and cultural institutions have developed a powerful interest in the topic and begun to employ myriad strategies by which to explore, draw attention to, and process it. There is an evolving...

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    Members: Discover Oceania with Ingrid Ahlgren

    Location: 

    Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology—Online

    Join us for a casual evening of conversation with the Peabody Museum’s Curator of Oceanic Collections. Ingrid Ahlgren stewards one of the largest and most historically significant collections in the U.S. from the Pacific Islands, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. Hear her share some of her recent work, including the exhibit Uncovering Pacific Pasts and the important roles that Harvard University and the state of Massachusetts have played in the history of Oceania. Ingrid will also discuss her upcoming collaboration with Pacific Islanders living in Utah.

    ...

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    I Heart Science: Tiny Creatures

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Break out of the winter doldrums and welcome Harvard science into your home with the all-virtual I Heart Science festival lasting from Friday, February 12 to Monday, February 15. This day’s “Tiny Creatures” theme looks at bacteria, viruses, and other microbial creatures.

    During the live webinar, starting at 1:00 pm ET, meet live tardigrades, also known as water bears. Watch recorded videos featuring Harvard scientists who study bacterial resistance, ways to test for viruses, and how bacteria grow.

    At home, try your hand at making a water-drop microscope, comparing...

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    Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    The first person who will set foot on Mars is alive right now. We believe this, but even if we're wrong we know the first crew to arrive there will look nothing like the ones that landed on the Moon fifty years ago.

    Our world has changed for the better, and ASTRONAUTS tells the story of the women who built this better world. The main character and narrator is Mary Cleave, an astronaut you may not have heard of. It's not because so many people have been to space; only a few hundred have! It’s because this graphic novel isn’t about fame. No astronaut you'll ever meet took the...

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    Linda Shi, "Green Infrastructure Beyond Flood Risk Reduction"

    Location: 

    Online Event, Graduate School of Design

    This lecture explores whether it is possible to achieve both social justice and environmental sustainability in efforts to mitigate urban flood risk. The expanding scale of urban flooding under climate change has renewed interest in large-scale restoration projects that make room for water in metro centers. However, ecologically functioning green infrastructure – unleashed rivers, sprawling wetlands – is inconsistent with the current governance landscape of fragmented local governments seeking to maximize local land values and minimize affordable housing. Moreover, even...

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    Voices of the Rainforest

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, Menschel Hall, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Voices of the Rainforest is an experiential documentary about the ecological and aesthetic coevolution of Papua New Guinea’s Bosavi rainforest region and its inhabitants. The film immerses viewers in the rainforest, making myriad connections between the everyday sounds of the rainforest biosphere and the creative practices of the Bosavi people who sing to, with, and about it.

    Following the screening, Steven Feld will discuss the film with Amahl Bishara, an associate professor of anthropology at Tufts University.

    ...

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    Origins of the Green Revolution: Hybrid Seeds, Hunger, and Mexico-India Cooperation

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

    As a devastating famine gripped India and Pakistan in 1966, a cargo of hybrid wheat seeds from Mexico arrived one fateful day on India’s coast. The seeds were first planted across the Punjab region using new...

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    The Undiscovered

    Location: 

    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

    To paraphrase Louis Pasteur, sometimes luck favors the prepared mind, as when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by noticing that mold growing accidentally in his lab seemed to kill bacteria. This 2018 Radcliffe Institute science symposium will focus on how scientists explore realities they cannot anticipate. Speakers from across the disciplines of modern science will present personal experiences and discuss how to train scientists, educators, and funders to foster the expertise and open-mindedness needed to reveal undiscovered aspects of the world around us.

    ...

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    Nature vs. Fiction in Sci-Fi Movies

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Miaki Ishii, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

    Recent volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala remind us of how devastating these geological eruptions can be. Popular culture depictions of volcanic disasters found in movies like Dante’s Peak and Volcano can strongly distort the public’s understanding of volcanic activity and its immediate effects. As with many science-fiction films, Hollywood depictions of natural phenomena don’t always align with the scientific facts. Seismologist Miaki...

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