Harvard Forest Seminars

The Harvard Forest has Friday morning seminars,  available streaming. On January 25, the seminar will be given by Danielle Ignace, who studies invasive plants’ complex effects on ecosystems.

Danielle Ignace
Danielle Ignace

On February 8th, the seminar  will be given by Michael Reed, Tufts University, on
Persistence & extinction of small populations: birds, fish, and Elvis.

Here is the complete list of winter/spring seminars, and links to the web stream.

November/December Events

Coming up at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on Thursday evenings, (11/15, 11/29, and 12/13)…I’ll be there!

Woodlands and Waters, Forests and Faucets: A Look at Massachusetts’ Woods, Water Bodies, and Water Supplies for the Boston Metro Area

Lecture by Betsy Colburn, Harvard Forest


Betsy Colburn,  Aquatic Ecologist at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA, investigates how forests affect the water cycle – e.g., streamflows, groundwater, floodwaters, wetlands, and clean water for human uses.  In this talk, Dr. Colburn will look at how major changes in land use have also changed the sources of water for metropolitan Boston, and going forward, how hold proposals for future forest conservation and land use have important implications for life in eastern Mass., as well as in the rural central and western areas. Free and open to the public, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street. Free event parking in the 52 Oxford Street garage.

The Ants of New England

Lecture and booksigning with Aaron Ellison


Ecologist Aaron Ellison (of the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA) and co-authors have  just completed the new Field Guide to the Ants of New England (Yale Univ. Press), the first user-friendly regional guide devoted to the diversity, ecology, natural history  and beauty  of the “little things that run the world.” Lavishly illustrated with more than 500 line drawings and  300 photographs, Ellison’s guide introduces amateur and professional naturalists alike to more than 140 ant species found in the northeast U.S. and eastern Canada.   Free and open to the public, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street. Free event parking in the 52 Oxford Street garage.

Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds

Author talk and booksigning with Jim Sterba


Although Americans may spend 90 percent of their time indoors, we now live in closer proximity to wild animals now than anytime in our history.  Journalist Jim Sterba traces our 400-year relationship to wild animals, from the 19th-century “era of extermination” to the conservation movement of last century,  and up through the current age of “sprawl.”  Today, Sterba argues, our well-meaning efforts to protect certain species has allowed some wild populations to burgeon out of control, costing billions in damage, degrading ecosystems, and deepening disputes that have polarized communities. Free and open to the public, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street. Free event parking in the 52 Oxford Street garage.

Fun with Science Blogs

I’m a non-scientist who has has cobbled together a very partial understanding of science from whatever training I had in high school or college, whatever I read touching on science thereafter, and whatever PBS and BBC documentaries I’ve managed to watch (before I had kids and after they came of documentary-watching age, more recently). We polymath-wannabes have to troll the back alleys of the—oh, it’s called the interweb now, is it?—for what we can get. I like that some kids are using blogs for science writing.

Samantha J., a high school student recently wrote about climate change and its effect on butterflies in Massachusetts.

Here’s a whole high school biology class with its own web page..

Sarah Laskow and Charles Choi blog about science writing. Here’s Sarah’s piece on real books as sources.

Marc Kuchner has an interesting post about improvisational acting as a tool for scientists at soapboxscience, the guest blog area of the journal Nature’s website.

A Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) holds an Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni), one of the lucrative fish found in the Antarctic’s waters.[from nature.com]

Also at nature.com, I’ve been checking out  Nature’s Boston Blog and the schemes and memes blog.

The Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education blog, though mostly full of news items rather than thought-pieces, is also pretty good.

What science or informal science blogs do you follow? I’d love to build a list here.