Events

    Virtual Summer Science Week: Earth Explorers (Session 1)

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Dates: July 12–16

    Children entering grades 1-4

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

    Fees: $72 members/$80 nonmembers (includes a small packet of special materials mailed to your home).

    Instructor: Arielle Moon

    Dig into earth science with this virtual museum experience. Explore volcanoes, crystals, and fossils! During the live, small-group Zoom sessions, experiment with “lava...

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    In the Groves

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Immerse yourself in the deep beauty of trees in this story and music journey through the Arboretum. Led by Oracle award-winning storyteller Diane Edgecomb and Celtic harper Margot Chamberlain, this unfolding performance of ancient tales and songs from cultures around the world takes place in a variety of groves—birch, cherry, and evergreen—at some of the Arboretum’s loveliest spots.

    This event is free, but registration is required and limited. Not designed for children under 12, and dogs are not allowed. COVID guidelines will be followed.

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    Forest Bathing with Toadstool Walks

    Location: 

    Bussey Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    Join Tam Willey of Toadstool Walks as you slow down and awaken your senses on a guided therapeutic experience in the Arnold Arboretum. Forest bathing is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, a restorative sensory exploration that supports health and healing for all beings. Each walk is limited to 8 participants. Meet at the Bussey Street Gate. Participants must follow COVID guidelines including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, as well as sign a liability and release form.

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    Spring Bird Walk

    Location: 

    Peters Hill Gate, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    Join three experienced birders for a 90-minute walk suitable for beginners and experienced birders alike. Meet at the Peters Hill Gate for this walk in the landscape to see Arboretum birds. Space is limited to 30 and the group will be divided into three sections. COVID-19 guidelines of masks and social distancing will be required. Bring binoculars if you have them.

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    Wild Collection and Propagation of Rare and Endangered Plants

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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...

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    After-School Animal Encounters: Movement

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

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    My Octopus Teacher: Virtual Panel Discussion

    Location: 

    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.

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    A Season of Lilacs at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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...

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    Tree Mob: Dredging to Renew the Ponds

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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.

    Learn more about...

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    What Spiders Have to Say

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

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    Flap, Hop, Caw

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

    Ages: 5–7 (with an adult, if needed)

    Cost: $3 members; $5...

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    Bark: Get to Know Your Trees

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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!

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    After-School Animal Encounters: Humans and Animals

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

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    A Week-Long Celebration of Earth Day

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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...

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    Virtual Glass Flowers Tour

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Join us for a virtual tour of the famous Glass Flowers! This docent-led tour will delve into the history, artistry, and significance of the collection and give participants the opportunity to explore the gallery online. These interactive tours are approximately one hour long, and offer time for questions and discussion with your tour guide.

    Cost: $8 members/$10 nonmembers per registration.

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    Body Builders: How Animals Regenerate New Parts

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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.

    Mansi Srivastava will...

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    Members: Family Fun - Animal Problem Solvers

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    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...

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    Beech Leaf Disease with Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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...

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    "Every Pecan Tree": Trees, Meaning, and Memory in Enslaved People’s Lives

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    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.

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