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...
Can you slither, hop, jump, climb, or even fly? How would you do these things with zero, two, four, or even a hundred legs? As winter melts away and warmer springtime weather blows in, all animals big and small are as excited to get out and move around as we are! Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan in this live 45-minute family program as they discuss and take a look at some of our amazing animals in motion.
Advance registration for this family friendly program is required.
Mind Brain Behavior Interfaculty Initiative at Harvard—Online
"My Octopus Teacher", Oscar winner for Best Documentary, follows filmmaker and naturalist Craig Foster as he develops an unusual bond with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest. Come hear four experts discuss the unique human/animal connection captured in this film.
The American Chestnut tree used to comprise approximately one quarter of the forest canopy in the eastern United States. Then in the early 1900's, chestnut blight decimated the nearly four billion American Chestnut trees. The wildlife value and economic value of these trees was unparalleled. Today, scientists and supporters are working to restore the American Chestnut tree to its former glory. Join us for a panel discussion with expert scientists who will discuss the history of the American Chestnut as well as current research to restore the trees.
Lilacs come in a wide range of color, size, flower form, and leaf. Arnold Arboretum docent Chris McArdle will take you on a free, virtual tour of many of these varieties, by way of images from the actual plants in our landscape. From her long years of experience in the lilac collection, and as a docent, she will introduce you to many fascinating histories, anecdotes, as well as the people instrumental in bringing us these much-anticipated May bloomers. From their 17th century beginning in North America, up to some fabulous present-day cultivars, you will experience the breadth of our...
This guided tree meditation offers an opportunity to connect and ground the self with the environment around.
Surrounded by the beauty and life of the Arnold Arboretum, this meditation will be benefitted by the ancient awareness and alchemy of trees and the subtle healing capacities of nature. Join us if you’re ready to root yourself into the energy of spring!
Attendance is limited to 10 people so please only register if you can attend.
This event will be held outside at the Arnold Arboretum, socially distanced with masks required. ...
Photographer Amy Ragus specializes in multiple frame images of New England landscapes—digital photocollages. Before and during the pandemic, Ragus spent time in the Arboretum, particularly interested in its role as a public space, its open access to everyone. Her work captures the discoveries she found just off a road or path, as well as the people who share this space and enjoy nature throughout the seasons. Explore her sensitive, creative depictions of walks in the Arboretum in this virtual exhibition.
Maintaining ponds is messy business! Join Associate Project Manager Danny Schissler to learn about the history and upcoming restoration of two of the Arnold Arboretum's most well-loved water bodies, Faxon and Rehder Ponds. Both provide habitat for wildlife and visual delight for humans, and also are part of an essential drainage network within the Arboretum’s landscape.
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.
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...
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.
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.