Events

    Exploring Science Together: Bugs!

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Take a closer look and explore the world of minuscule bugs! Learn through hands-on activities designed to show you how to classify and identify these numerous and diverse creatures! Participate in activities in our incredible arthropods gallery. Observe and touch live invertebrates, and then go outside and collect some of your own. Dig in the dirt and learn how invertebrates help people compost food waste into soil. Create your own scientific equipment that will help you continue the study of entomology at home.

    All activities are designed to be fun and interactive experiences...

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    The Substance of Soil

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Soil is the basis of survival. Without soil, humans and most other living beings could not exist. Conor Guidarelli, who has dug deep into the soils of the Arnold Arboretum will present an overview of soil, from its formation and components to its properties. He will discuss ways to analyze soil quality and health to determine whether or not amendments are needed based on the soil outcome or use desired.

    Participants are encouraged to bring a pint glass jar with about a cup of soil in it to class.

    Cost: $20 for members; $30 for nonmembers.

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    Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Once, farmers knew how to prune trees in a way that, instead of destroying them, led to robust and sustained growth – of the trees and of the communities that utilized them. 

    Rediscover this lost art that sustained human life and culture for ten millennia in this talk with arborist William Bryant Logan. William offers us both practical knowledge about how to live with trees to mutual benefit and hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.

    Cost: Free for members; $5 for nonmembers.

    ...

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    The Art of Botanical Prose

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    All writers must contend with translation. A poet translates the movement of a dancing figure into a brief couplet, and an essayist translates the noise and commotion of the city where she lives into a single paragraph. The three-dimensional world filters into text, and when done especially well—the realm of literature and art—readers often forget that translation has even occurred.

    In this talk, Jonathan Damery, the associate editor for Arnoldia, will provide a readerly tour through horticultural and botanical reference books, encouraging readers to see the artistic endeavor...

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    In the Groves: A Summer Solstice Journey

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building and Arboretum Landscape, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join us for an enchanting evening of Tree Myths, Songs and Summer Solstice Legends. Attendees will hear tales of the human connection with trees and the deep meaning we have assigned to them through the ages. This unique performance, designed specifically for the Arnold Arboretum, travels through the Arboretum with story and music. Each story is told under a different tree or among a unique collection of Arboretum plants, culminating with the haunting Czech legend “The Wild Woman of the Birch Grove” told amid the birches at sunset. Appropriate for adults and for children twelve years and...

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    Growing Woody Plants from Softwood Cuttings

    Location: 

    Dana Greenhouse, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Hydrangea and Cherry and Willow, oh my! Join Manager of Plant Production Tiffany Enzenbacher to learn how to propagate woody plants from summer cuttings. Students will collect and stick cuttings of several landscape plants. Cuttings will be rooted at the greenhouse to be retrieved later for transplanting into the registrant’s garden or potted up into small containers. Fee for all materials is included in the cost of the class. Students should bring their own pruners and dress for the weather.

    Cost: $36 for members; $45 for nonmembers.

    ...

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    Rose Family in Bloom

    Location: 

    Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    The rose family (Rosaceae) contains over 3,000 species of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Roses, spireas, mountain ash, and many more are at peak bloom in June.

    You will be surprised by the beauty, breadth, and depth of the Bradley Rosaceous Collection (BRC), and the Arboretum's role in discovering and disseminating understanding of this large family of plants.

    ...

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    Dissection Dramatics! Flower Form

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills, and share your findings with others.

    Dissection Dramatics will give you ample opportunity to fiddle with microscopes, hand lenses and digital scopes. Discover the secrets contained in a flower as you pull it apart piece by piece. Then test your puzzle making abilities as you attempt to put it back together.

    One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages...

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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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    Lilac Therapy Walk

    Location: 

    Map Table by the Ponds, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Every May, visitors flock to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain to breathe in the fragrant lilac collection and witness the array of color. This flower has a history of medicinal use and if you have ever spent time inhaling this sweet fragrance you may have noticed a sense of calm and relaxation.

    May can be a time of unwinding as we transition into a new season under a warmer and brighter sun. Whether you've been visiting the lilac collection for years or have yet to experience them, this is an invitation to unplug, de-stress, and recharge on a guided lilac therapy walk....

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    Lilac Sunday

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Lilac Sunday has been celebrated at the Arnold Arboretum since 1908. The lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America and is singled out each year for a daylong celebration on May 12.

    Tours of the lilacs and family activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, May 12. Pack a picnic! Picnicking is permitted on this day only, but food must be brought in to the Arboretum. There will only be lemonade, slush, and ice cream available on site during event hours. The landscape is open from dawn until dusk...

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    Exhibition: Drawn to Paint: Paintings of Arboretum Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Artist, Paul Olson, has been discovering the nuances of the Arnold Arboretum’s collections since he first passed through its gates in 2011. A landscape painter for decades, Olson explores the grounds with sketchbook in hand, typically in the early morning hours. His goal is to be unencumbered by any agenda and open to what the light of the day presents. In 2012, he had an exhibition at the Arboretum titled “Drawn to Woods.” The expressive ink drawings in that show were all completed en plein air—on-site in the open air.

    In this new exhibition, Olson brings his on-site...

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    Landscape Plant Selection, Planting, and Establishment

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ensuring the long-term health of your landscape starts with healthy plants from the nursery, proper site selection and preparation, and sound planting and establishment. Andrew Gapinski will discuss professional standards and techniques, along with common issues and solutions for both balled-and-burlapped and containerized specimens. He will focus on landscape trees, shrubs, and perennials—ornamental annuals and vegetables will not be covered in this offering. Class will start indoors and then move outdoors to the Dana Greenhouse Nursery.

    Cost: $30 members, $...

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    Film Screening: Lobster War: The Fight Over the World's Richest Fishing Grounds

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Lobster War is an award-winning documentary film about a conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea known as the Gray Zone were traditionally fished by U.S. lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area’s previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty.

    Directed...

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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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