2016 Scientist Lecture Series

Delve deeper into the issues and conditions that impact the world around us. These free academic lectures allow you to step back into the classroom and learn from the experts.


Each lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required. All programs are held at 7pm.

The Return of the American Chestnut

Tonight's Lecture Has Been Cancelled. We Apologize for Any Inconvenience.

Thursday, May 19 – Allison Dealton Oakes, research assistant at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry


Katharine Holden Thayer Center


As a keystone species and mast-producing canopy tree, the loss of the American chestnut from the Eastern US was an ecological and economic disaster for the region more than a hundred years ago. This native species, once classified as functionally extinct, is now poised to make a comeback thanks to modern technology and ground-breaking research. The American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project will share their inspiring success story, and elaborate on how genetic engineering can benefit the fields of conservation and restoration.


Climate change and the reshuffling of ecological communities

Thursday, July 14 – Jeff Diez, assistant professor of Plant Ecology at the University of California - Riverside.


Reinberger Room at the Warren H. Corning Visitor Center


Climate change, landscape development, and species invasions are reshuffling ecological communities around the globe. These processes can lead to the loss of biodiversity and changes in ecosystem functions, but also offer an interesting lens through which we can view our place in a dynamic world. In this talk I will present an overview of current research on how ecosystems are changing, with a particular focus on plant and fungal communities, and speculate on the ecological changes to come in the 21st century.