Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History in celebrating Earth Day with engaging sustainability-themed virtual events and activities for all ages. Join the conversation as Harvard students and experts weigh in on our most pressing environmental challenges, on cutting-edge research, and on promising paths to a more sustainable future. Introduce young minds to environmental science with our live museum animals and HMSC Story Time. Find out how to reconnect with nature and record the biodiversity in your local area. Or, simply indulge in our staff recommendations for...
Regeneration is a remarkable phenomenon in which an animal can regrow parts of its body that are lost or damaged by injury. Humans, for example, can repair some organs, but some animals can rebuild their entire bodies from small pieces of tissue. How do these animals accomplish this feat? And why is it that humans cannot regenerate as well as these animals can? Studies of how regeneration works at the molecular and cellular level are beginning to answer the first question. To answer the second question, we have to understand how regeneration has evolved.
Animals develop special characteristics that help them survive in their environments. From keeping warm to staying hidden, animals solve problems every day. Have you ever thought about how we humans do the same?
Get ready for a lively night of fun, games, and surprises when Javier Marin transports you back inside the Harvard Museum of Natural History. He will broadcast from the galleries pointing out some of the ways animals adapt to challenges they face in the wild. Then, you will look through your own homes in a problem-solving scavenger hunt. Your family will work together...
Visitors to the Harvard Museum of Natural History are dazzled by the Mineral Gallery’s beautiful specimens, yet the gallery displays only a fraction of the entire collection.
While each of the collection’s 300,000+ specimens has great scientific value, a subset also has significant commercial value. Join Curator Raquel Alonso-Perez for a virtual behind the-scenes visit to view specimens that, for security reasons, are not typically on display. You’ll see a rare opal in matrix from Mexico, tourmalines from the first pegmatitic discovery in the U.S., and crystalline gold, among...
Beech leaf disease (BLD) affects and kills both native and ornamental beech tree species. It is associated with a nematode, Litylenchus crenatae mccannii. This disease has only been discovered in recent years and much about it, including the full cause and how it spreads, is still unknown. Experts from The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Drs. James LaMondia and Robert Marra, will share what is known of this recently discovered disease and discuss ongoing research to control spread of BLD. This free Zoom webinar is co-hosted by Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens and the Arnold...
Have you ever thought about the way you eat, or even how you chew? Now, imagine that you are a huge bullfrog, a sea star, or even a scorpion. How would you eat? As March is Nutrition Month in the U.S., it’s the perfect time to meet some of our live animals and explore our creatures’ diets and eating habits. Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan in this 45-minute program for families and get a close look at some weird eaters.
Participate in the Arnold Arboretum’s 2021 Tournament of Trees! Get to know this year’s Sweet Sixteen contenders (March 3–9) and cast your votes in this fun bracket style tournament. Let the March Tree Madness games begin.
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.
A plant that generates heat and attracts pollinators with its stink? Learn more about skunk cabbage in the Arnold Arboretum’s newest winter Wonder Spot, at the Arboretum meadow’s edge or online. Free and open to all.
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...
Humans are living longer lives than ever before and so it is critical to understand the process of aging. It has become increasingly recognized that successful aging is not just about physical health but also about our social lives.
Chimpanzees are our closest living relative and also lead long and complex lives. In this talk, you’ll learn what chimpanzee aging can tell us about human aging.
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...
Earth is home to a vast diversity of organisms that collectively define the modern biosphere. How did this diversity come to be? Javier Ortega-Hernández will discuss his approach to answering this question by studying organisms that lived more than half a billion years ago in the Cambrian Period (485–541 million years ago). By focusing on the earliest-known animals—some of the most versatile to ever exist—Ortega-Hernández aims to reconstruct the early evolutionary history of major animal groups and contribute to our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity.
Ever wonder what tarantula’s hair feels like? Curious about what vinegaroons smell like? Want to get up close and personal with the business end of a scorpion? If so, then grab a snack and join human museum staff Javier and Ryan as they spend thirty minutes feeding, interacting with, and discussing the museum’s many live arthropods!
Register by 1:00pm on September 23. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom.
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.
Interested in what a spider crab eats? Want to see a sea star up close? Curious about what a horseshoe crab does with that long tail? Grab a snack and join human museum staff members Javier and Ryan as they spend thirty minutes feeding, interacting with, and discussing these amazing animals. This event is free and will be hosted on the Zoom webinar platform.
Register by 1:00 pm on August 4. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom.
This even is free and open to the public, but registration...
Ponds are one of many beautiful features of the Arnold Arboretum’s ecosystem and landscape. The Bradley Rosaceous Collection garden is the setting for three eco-rich ponds—Dawson, Faxon, and Rehder—named for former Arboretum staff. Photographer Bruce Wilson brings his now practiced eye to the discovery of shadows, reflections, visitor interaction, and flora in those ponds, as well as in an urban pond in Newton. His pond images complement the trees, emphasize the subtle or saturated colors of water, and capture interactions between visitors and the scenes of rich pondlife.
Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a public lecture with Susan Alberts, Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University.
The social environment—both in early life and adulthood—has major effects on human health and survival. But how and why does the social environment get “under the skin” to also affect our physical health? Susan Alberts pursues this question by studying wild baboons in Kenya. Baboons, like humans, evolved as savannah dwellers. They rely on social relationships to solve problems and—like humans...
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
The Arnold Arboretum provides both extensively documented collections for research and the facilities for the researchers—labs, greenhouses, and growing chambers. From around the world, scientists come to use the trees and shrubs in the Arboretum landscape, studying climate change, plant evolution, natural selection, and species adaptation. Join docent Esther Miller to hear about the science of the Arboretum.
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
With nearly 4,000 different kinds of plants represented in the Arboretum's living collections, every day presents rich opportunities to see something new. If you enjoy learning about plants and their unique characteristics, you can contribute to science as a participant in the Arnold Arboretum's Tree Spotters program. This citizen science project opens a window into the Arboretum's phenology: the timing of natural events, such as the leafing out and flowering of trees in the spring and changing foliage colors in the fall. Your observations will assist Arboretum scientists in their...