Events

    Director’s Series | Life: The Arnold Arboretum as an Institution of Public Health

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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.

    Panelists include:

    • 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...

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    Lilac Sunday

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join us for the first Lilac Sunday since 2019! We’ll be celebrating 150 years of Arboretum history and 112 Lilac Sundays.

    Experience the springtime bloom of our renowned collection of nearly 400 lilacs. Visit for tours with Arboretum experts, hands-on children’s programming, and more.

    Learn more.

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    After-School Animal Encounters: Super Skeletons

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Free Virtual Family Program

    Do snakes have bones? Can a turtle crawl out of its shell? How far could you jump if you were a frog? Looking at skeletons can help us answer these questions! Comparing the skeletons of different animals can help us learn more about how they live and move. Join human museum staffers Arielle and Javier as they lead you in a 45-minute program with live animals and specimens from the museum collections. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder.

    ...

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    Celebrating a Sesquicentennial: The Founding of the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    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,...

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    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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    After-School Animal Encounters: Get Growing!

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    In the natural world, animals have all sorts of fascinating ways in which they grow. From tadpoles changing into bullfrogs to baby turtles becoming goliaths, growing up is a big part of life! Learn about the different life cycles and life histories of some of our favorite museum animals and how they’ve grown over time. Join human museum staffers Javier and Arielle, as they lead you in a 45-minute program with live animals and specimens from the museum collections. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder.

    ...

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    Apply to Volunteer at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Make a difference as an Arnold Arboretum Field Study Guide! Training for the spring season of school programs at the Arboretum begins March 29. We are looking for outgoing and mature adults who can commit to two years of volunteering. You do not need to know about plants, but experience working with children is preferred. If you are interested, please complete an application by March 11 for an interview.

    ...

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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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    The Art and Science of Frogs

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Explore the rich diversity of frogs by observing and sketching 3D models printed from Harvard’s research collections. Artist and educator, Erica Beade, will introduce techniques for achieving accurate shapes and capturing volume in your drawings, while herpetologist and researcher, Dr. Mara Laslo, will explain how evolution has generated their amazing diversity. Groups will be limited to twelve, allowing ample time for questions and discussion.

    Cost: $40 for members, $45 for nonmembers.

    ...

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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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    The Fossils Are Talking!

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Are you curious about what fossils tell us about life on Earth—and how dinosaurs and other ancient animals, in turn, awaken our imaginations to create true and imagined tales? Come along on a journey to find out! The adventure will kick off with children’s book author Elizabeth Shreeve, reading and sharing surprising secrets from her newest book, Out of the Blue: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas (Candlewick Press, 2021). Elizabeth will make connections between the story of life on Earth and fossils that can be seen in the museum. Harvard College student and...

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    Testosterone: The Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    While most people agree that sex differences in human behavior exist, they disagree about the reasons. But the science is clear: testosterone is a potent force in human society, driving the bodies and behavior of the sexes apart. As Carole Hooven shows in her book T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us (Henry Holt & Company, 2021), it does so in concert with genes and culture to produce a vast variety of male and female behavior. And, crucially, the fact that many sex...

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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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    Virtual Summer Science Week: Spineless Wonders (Session 2)

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Dates: August 2–6

    Children entering grades 1–4

    • Grades 1–2 meet 9:30–10:30 am
    • Grades 3–4 meet 11:00 am–12:00 pm

    Fees: $63 members/$70 nonmembers

    Instructor: Javier Marin

    Come explore—virtually—the amazing world of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates at the museum! During live Zoom sessions, see a tarantula up close, help find millipedes, and listen to the hiss of a giant...

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    Sharks: Streamlined Swimmers (Virtual Exhibit)

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Sharks are some of the oldest and, from an evolutionary perspective, some of the most successful marine vertebrates ever to have lived. They have spent their entire evolutionary history in the aquatic environment, and the body design in many species has been honed over hundreds of millions of years to increase swimming performance. Learn how body form, fins and even the skin, work in concert, enabling sharks to slice through water and execute complex maneuvers with startling speed and precision.

    ...

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