A Public Lecture Series at the Cambridge Public Library
- First Wednesdays of each month, from February through June
7:00 — 8:30 pm
- Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
- Each talk will last about an hour with time for Q&A afterward.
Author talks typically include sales of the speakers' books.
- Download a Flyer of the 2014 Programs
PLEASE JOIN US — Events are free and open to all.
- June 4
Scentless Spring: Ecosystems Under Siege by White-tailed Deer
Thomas Rawinski, Botanist, USDA Forest Service
The overabundance of white-tailed deer is a growing problem. As a keystone species of forest ecosystems, they have a disproportionate impact on other species— wildflowers, tree seedlings, songbirds, and even insects. Their impacts reverberate throughout the ecosystem. Join us to learn about the extensive damage caused by deer overpopulation on the Blue Hills Reservation and in other forests throughout our region. This is a problem that we humans have caused, albeit unintentionally, but one that we can solve by restoring the predation that once kept deer populations in check. Tom Rawinski is a US Forest Service botanist based in Durham, NH. Previously, he worked as an ecologist for the Nature Conservancy and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Past Lectures in 2014
- February 18 — TUESDAY (Rescheduled from original date)
Wildness in Our Midst: The Middlesex Fells
Bryan Hamlin, Botanist and Chairman, Friends of the Fells
The Middlesex Fells Reservation has an impressive diversity of 30 different habitat types that spring from its unique geology, topography, hydrology, soil, and climate. These habitats support a rich diversity of flora and fauna that is unusual for a metropolitan setting. Come learn about the exceptional biodiversity of this urban forest, first set aside as a reservation in 1894. We will then consider how these local plant communities can enlighten the design of our own gardens. Dr. Bryan Hamlin is the lead author of a nine-year study of the Fells’ flora published in 2012, and is the President of the New England Botanical Club.
- March 5
Landscape Design as Ecological Art
Darrel Morrison, FASLA, and Preeminent Designer of Native Plant Landscapes
Join us to explore how ecology can inform landscape design— creating environments that are experientially rich, ecologically sound, and "of their place"— while they are also dynamic systems that change over time. Darrel Morrison’s inspiration comes from notable figures such as Jens Jensen, Edith Roberts, Aldo Leopold and others, and the native landscape itself with its patterns and processes. Tonight, he will discuss landscape design as ecological art, along with numerous projects completed throughout his distinguished career. Darrel Morrison is a nationally renowned designer of native plant landscapes whose work includes the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas, the Native Plant Garden at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, the recent Native Flora Garden Extension at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York, and dozens of other significant places. He has been a professor of Landscape Architecture for over four decades, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1981, and has received numerous national and regional awards for his lifetime of teaching and achievement. This talk is co-sponsored by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (1.5 CEU credits available).
Designing in the Prairie Spirit: A Conversation with Darrel Morrison — View this 11 minute video from the Library of American Landscape History
Download a Flyer with more details about this March 5 lecture
- April 2
American Oaks: A Genus to Love
Tim Boland, Director of the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha's Vineyard
Our American Oaks are extraordinarily diverse, display complex ecological relationships, and play an important planetary role in ecosystem stability. Join Tim Boland as he examines this wonderful genus, with an emphasis on understanding the oaks of eastern North America. He will discuss their evolutionary history, their importance to other flora and fauna, and their challenges today in a rapidly changing climate. And of course, oaks throughout the world also have a deep connection to humanity and in many societies they are revered for their resilience, age, and multiple uses. Tim Boland is a botanist who specializes in oaks, and has studied them from Mexico to New England. He is currently compiling a Flora of Martha’s Vineyard, which includes six native oak species and complex hybrids.
- May 7
Managing Invasives: From Garlic Mustard Pulls to Tupperweed Parties
Julie Richburg, Regional Ecologist, The Trustees of Reservations
The cooperative management of invasive species requires creative new approaches— whether working with your neighbors or navigating town hall. Tonight, we will explore innovative ways to start grassroots control efforts, discussing effective outreach methods and the importance of public education. The Westfield River Watershed Invasive Species Partnership will be reviewed to illustrate effective organizational collaboration and coordinated control methods. Several other town-wide efforts will also be presented. Dr. Julie Richburg is the founder and Chair of the Westfield River Watershed Invasive Species Partnership.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation and by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. (1.5 CEU credits available.)
Additional Event, Seating, and Parking Info
Doors open at 6:30 pm for general seating. Seating is unassigned and will be available on a first-come basis.
Limited public parking is available to all under the library, with an entrance ramp on Broadway. Fee is $1/hour. Limited metered spaces, as well as Cambridge resident street spaces, are available in the area. Please carpool if you can. The closest T stop is Harvard Square on the Red Line.
Cambridge Public Library Location Map
View Programs from Past Years
2011 Evenings with Experts • 2012 Evenings with Experts • 2013 Evenings with Experts
To the Cambridge Community Foundation, the Cambridge Public Library, and to all of our members for helping to sponsor this series. Please Become a Member and help keep this series vibrant!