Events

    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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    Members: Digging Harvard with Trish Capone & Nam Hyun Kim

    Location: 

    Online Event

    Students have been digging up and learning about Harvard's past through the Harvard Yard Archaeological Project. Meet the Peabody's Trish Capone and current Harvard student Nam Hyun Kim as they talk about the objects they have found and the larger history of what has been uncovered in this long-standing dig on campus.

     

    To register, send an email to members@hmsc.harvard.edu. If possible, please include your member number. A...

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    What Old Chimps Can Tell Us About Healthy Aging

    Location: 

    Harvard Alumni Association—Online

    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.

    Learn more...

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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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    Wonderful Cambrian Beasts

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

    ...

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    Adversity, Belonging, and Survival Among Baboons

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    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...

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    Native Woody Plant Materials

    Location: 

    Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham

    Explore the vast variety of native trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Learn which species grow well in shade, which support local wildlife, and how to stagger plantings for continuous bloom, fruit production, and fall color. The class discusses growth characteristics, cultural requirements, and best horticultural uses. It begins with lectures and walks at Garden in the Woods in Framingham and includes a field trip to the Arnold Arboretum in...

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    Smartphone Photography: Capturing the Colors of Autumn

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Capture the drama of fall, when landscapes present a vivid array of colors and the palette is most striking. Professional photographer Nancy Katz will introduce fundamental concepts of landscape photography and then teach techniques for getting the best photographs from your smartphone camera. You will capture images in dynamic color and muted shades, then learn to enhance them using a host of editing tools provided in the Snapseed App. For best results, bring your smartphone and a commitment to completing the weekly homework assignments. Class will take place indoors and out.

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    Garden for Biodiversity

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Sam Jaffe, naturalist and educator, will present both the collaborative and deceitful nature of insects and plants as they’ve evolved to rely upon one another. This lecture, illustrated with Sam’s gorgeous photographs, will expand your invertebrate knowledge, appreciation, and desire to be the best garden host you can be.

    Cost:
    $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers.

    ...

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    Angiosperms and Gymnosperms: The Basics

    Location: 

    Centre Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    What better place to look for the differences between angiosperms (plants that flower and have enclosed seeds), and gymnosperms (plants with "naked seeds," including conifers, ginkgos, and others), than in the Arnold Arboretum landscape, where over 15,000 plants reside in a living museum. Join our guide as she points out trees in both groups and describes the characteristics of each.

    ...

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    Bonsai Behind the Curtain: Uncovering Their Care and Cultivation

    Location: 

    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join Manager of Plant Production, Tiffany Enzenbacher, for an evening of exploration into the oldest dwarfed plant collection in the United States. As one of the caretakers of the Arboretum's bonsai collection, Tiffany will highlight many of the procedures used by staff to maintain the health of these captivating specimens.

    Learn more about and register for Bonsai Behind the...

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    Ethnobotany at Harvard

    Location: 

    Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

    Historically, plants have provided humans with most of our drugs, fibers, food, dyes, perfumes, building materials, and even musical instruments. But how has this diverse and fascinating field been studied and what has been learned? In fact, for over 100 years, Harvard has played a pivotal role in the study of human-plant interactions, leading to the creation of the field of ethnobotany.

    In this interactive lecture we will explore the science and history of some of the most important Harvard botanists and explorers through their unique specimens—now housed in the Harvard...

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    How Birds Work: Eggs

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    How does an egg become an egg? Why do chickens continue to lay eggs day after day? What controls the shape of eggs? Why do eggs of different species of birds have different colors? And how strong are eggshells?

    In this talk which follows previous talks about bird flight, migration, and feathers, Lorna Gibson answers common questions about bird eggs.

    Learn more...

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    Lecture: Chasing Ants (And Their Microbes) in the Rainforest

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Microbes play critical roles in the biology and health of human beings, but we are not the only species that benefits from intimate relationships with microbes. Ants, for instance, rely on the microbial communities living in their guts to process food and make strong armor.

    Corrie Moreau will discuss this unique aspect of ant biology and what it tells us about the diversity and dominance of ants in terrestrial ecosystems, the evolutionary history of social insects, and the broad-scale evolutionary patterns of life.

    ...

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    Lecture: Self-Domestication in Bonobos and Other Wild Animals

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, and horses often sport floppy ears, patches of white hair, and other features that are unknown in their wild ancestors. These traits—collectively referred to by scientists as a “domestication syndrome”—are the result of breeding less aggressive individuals.

    Drawing from his new book, The Goodness Paradox (2019, Pantheon Books), Richard Wrangham will show that our cousin apes, the bonobos, also exhibit a domestication syndrome, making them the first clear example of a “wild domesticate.” Self-domestication in the wild now seems...

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    Living with White Sharks

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Cape Cod white shark population has increased in recent years in response to the dramatic increase in the seal population. Shark sightings—some close to popular swimming and surfing beaches—are becoming more frequent and negative interactions between sharks and humans have become a real concern.

    Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this lecture, he will examine the behavior, ecology, natural history, and population dynamics of this species, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the Cape...

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    Growing Woody Plants from Hardwood Cuttings

    Location: 

    Dana Greenhouse Classroom, 1050 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Join Manager of Plant Production Tiffany Enzenbacher to learn how to propagate woody plants from fall cuttings. Students will collect and stick cuttings of several taxa (Ilex and Pieris to name a few), and will take their propagules home. After rooting, small plants may be ready to transplant as early as next year. Post-class nurturing will be required. Fee for all...

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    The Secret Lives of Roots

    Location: 

    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.

    ...

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