Consider the spider: eight legs, eight eyes, and a brain the size of a poppy seed. These are some of nature’s most amazing and charismatic creatures, and yet we know so little about their worlds. Paul Shamble will discuss the lives, habits, and marvelous morphologies of these animals—from sensory structures and cognition to locomotion and behavior. Understanding these creatures helps us better understand evolution and diversity—and leads us to ask what it means that even tiny animals inhabit complex lives.
Celebrate International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day by taking a virtual swoop through the Peabody Museum. These smart birds play games with each other, display anger and friendliness, and appear in cultural tales from around the world. Flap like a real raven with museum educator Javier Marin and learn more about the birds’ characteristics. Find ravens drawn or carved in Alaskan Native art, enjoy a read-aloud Tlingit tale and make a paper craft with Andy Majewski.
Due to popular demand, we are offering another session of this free webinar. Led by naturalist and conservationist, Michael Wojtech, you'll learn to identify tree species by their bark and discover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. Why do some species have smooth bark, while on others it is thick and broken? Why does bark peel? Join us to find out!
Life on planet Earth can sometimes seem unbelievably diverse and resilient, yet we’re more aware than ever of how connected all living beings are to one another. This special Earth Week edition focuses on some of the challenges animals face today, and on what we humans—young and old—can do to help. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder, and join Javier, Ryan, and some of our amazing animals as they lead you in a live 45-minute program.
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.
This is the third lecture in the Arnold Arboretum's 2021 Director's Lecture Series. Tiya Miles takes up the pecan tree as inspiration for exploring the meaning of trees in the lives of enslaved African Americans. Using a family heirloom, slave narratives, oral histories, and missionary records, her talk underscores the importance of trees in the Black experience of captivity and resistance, ultimately revealing the centrality of the natural world to Black, and indeed human, survival.
At the time of its founding in 1872, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is sighted was a patchwork of farmland and forest. As the Arboretum was planted, pathways were developed to lead people through the picturesque landscape. As the landscape developed, economies shifted, wars took place, and directors changed. Each of these factors subtly influenced shifts in the park’s path system. Join the Arnold Arboretum on Zoom with Jared Rubinstein as he reveals the layers of change in this beloved landscape.
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.
Arnold Arboretum propagator Sean Halloran will provide an overview of dormant season grafting principles: reasons to graft, how it works, and the materials and environment required for success with this propagation technique.
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...
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...
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...