The Arnold Arboretum's sesquicentennial Director's Series traces the Arnold’s significance in the landscape architecture movement, value for the people of Boston, and leadership in creating global connections between plants and people.
Dr. Michelle Kondo, Research Social Scientist, UDSA-Forest Service
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, City of Boston
Laurence Cotton, Consulting Producer, “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing...
Livestreamed or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston
The Arnold Arboretum was founded on Friday, March 29, 1872. Exactly 150 years later, we invite you to join Lisa Pearson, Head of the Arboretum Library and Archives, for a special sesquicentennial lecture! Pearson will discuss the earliest benefactors of the Arboretum, the events surrounding the founding of the institution, and the busy first two decades during which the infrastructure and living collections were installed on the grounds.
This event will also be livestreamed to YouTube. To sign up for the virtual livestream instead,...
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.
In Massachusetts alone, plants make up more than half of the total native species that are officially considered Endangered, Threatened, and Rare. In this talk, we will focus on how ex-situ plant conservation, coordinated plant collection efforts, and plant propagation play vital roles in preserving biodiversity and slowing the deleterious effects of climate change.
We will discuss how collection trips are planned—and how citizen science now plays a role in these efforts—while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process. A large focus will be plant propagation...
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online
Thea Riofrancos’s current project, “Brine to Batteries: The Extractive Frontiers of the Global Energy Transition,” explores the politics of the transition to renewable energy through the lens of one of its key technologies: lithium batteries. Based on multisited fieldwork following lithium’s global supply chains from the point of extraction in the Chilean desert, “Brine to Batteries” will be the first scholarly account of the rapidly moving processes shaping the contours of the next energy system—and those of our planetary future.
In this webinar, Rachel Kyte (Dean, Fletcher School, Tufts University) will discuss a potential green recovery from the pandemic—how recovery efforts might be leveraged to accelerate the transition to a clean and sustainable energy system—in the United States and globally.
Mauro Petriccione (Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission) will discuss approaches to ensuring that Europe’s economic-recovery packages advance a green agenda—reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, reduced air and water pollution, and long-term sustainable development on the basis of a circular economy.
Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East-West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligned in peaceful partnership with a reunited Europe has abruptly vanished. Two opposing narratives vie to explain the strategic future of Europe, one geopolitical and one economic, and both center on the same resource: natural gas. In The Bridge, Thane Gustafson, an expert on Russian oil and gas, argues that the political rivalries that capture the lions share of media attention...
The social and environmental values underlying artisanal chocolate production have become increasingly important in its marketing. Good taste is paramount, of course, but how does one measure "social goodness," and what additional value does it add for the consumer? Chocolate makers’ interests often diverge from those of cacao producers, and industry stakeholders have not clearly addressed these concerns. Carla Martin will examine the cacao-chocolate industry and highlight the often conflicting goals that can create gaps in social and environmental responsibility.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge,
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science, and society. IoT technologies can be used to disrupt, exploit, bias, bully, and intrude as well as to make our lives safer, more efficient, and more convenient. Join Francine Berman, Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in an exploration of the larger social and environmental ecosystem needed to develop an IoT that maximizes benefits, minimizes risk, and promotes individual protections...
Solar geoengineering research aims to reduce the impacts of global climate change. One possibility is to put aerosols into the stratosphere to alter Earth’s energy budget. This emerging technology entails risks and uncertainties, along with serious challenges to global governance. The greatest threat, perhaps, is that it will be used as a technical fix and encourage people to avoid the emissions cuts that are fundamental to curbing long-term climate risks.
Lecturer David Keith will describe the simple physics underlying the climate’s response to stratospheric aerosols, the...
Ancient Maya civilization—known for its cities, monumental architecture, ceramics, hieroglyphic writing, and advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy—suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya.
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
The Arnold Arboretum is full of spectacular specimens from around the world that any visitor will appreciate. However, what they observe is only half the story. How a tree uptakes water and nutrients, stays grounded in place, stores energy, and sometimes even propagates itself, is all thanks to its roots. Join horticulturists Andrew Gapinski and Conor Guidarelli as they unearth these questions and more during an exclusive look into the extraordinary world of roots.
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Aaron Hartmann, 2017–2018 Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Visiting Fellow in Conservation Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Coral reefs are one of Earth’s most biodiverse and imperiled ecosystems. Corals form the foundation of this ecosystem. Substantial effort is being invested to help adult corals survive environmental degradation, but less attention is paid to their offspring and how they establish themselves on the seafloor. Unlike adult corals, baby corals move about in the water column, perhaps allowing them to...
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Biodiversity is the sum total of life on Earth and a living legacy to future generations. Sadly, it is declining almost everywhere on the planet. Russell A. Mittermeier, recipient of the 2018 Indianapolis Prize, is a biologist and lifelong conservationist who has traveled across 169 countries and discovered more than 20 species in his quest to save biodiversity hotspots. Focusing on nonhuman primates—our closest living relatives—...
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge MA
James W. Porter, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
Coral reefs support more than a quarter of all marine life, yet many are critically endangered. In the Florida Keys, the once common elk horn coral (Acropora palmata) has experienced steep declines since the 1970s. Preliminary blame was attributed to global warming and coral bleaching, but in fact, a human bacterial pathogen associated with a wide range of serious infections was the culprit. James Porter will discuss how Key West residents are saving these reefs...
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, Room 105, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) retrofitted its headquarters, a pre-1940s house in Cambridge, MA, into a first-of-its-kind test case to demonstrate unprecedented levels of building efficiency and promote substantial shifts in the design and operation of existing buildings. Dubbed “HouseZero,” the project aims to prove that ultra-efficient retrofits can, indeed, be achieved...