Connecticut River Lecture Series

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is proud to present the Spring 2019 Connecticut River Lecture Series. This annual series of lectures showcases experts in the environmental, scientific, and cultural issues of interest and relevance to residents of southeastern CT. The spring 2019 series, sponsored by The Kitchings Family Foundation, will focus on key conservation issues of our salt marshes, a historical perspective on how climate events have affected our forests and familiar birds inhabiting our ecosystem. Lectures are free but seating is limited. 
We hope you join us!  


Thursday, May 9th, 5:00 pm

Neil Pederson: Centuries of Climate History as told by our Trees
Old Lyme Town Hall

Neil Pederson, a Senior Ecologist at the Harvard University Forest, might be called a “Tree Whisperer,” not because of what he tells trees, but for what they reveal to him. Through his work as a forester, professor, and researcher, he has studied the ecology of  forests throughout much of the world, including those in the Connecticut River Valley. A reading of tree rings and their architecture allows him to harvest their ingrained history of varying climates, severe frosts, and the impact of extreme environmental events. He will show our audience how to interpret old trees through the use of tree rings (including those ancient timbers from historical structures in the Connecticut River valley), and he will offer observations regarding the climate history of the eastern United States. 
Register for lecture here.


Wednesday, May 15th, 5:00 pm

Scott Warren: Tidelands of the CT River – An Ecological Treasure of Global Importance
Hamilton Hall, Essex Meadows

The Connecticut River estuary and tidelands were declared Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in 1994. Scott Warren, Temple Professor Emeritus of Botany at Connecticut College, conducted research on the ecology of New England tidelands for nearly four decades.Professor Warren’s illustrated presentation will look at the historical developments of Connecticut River tidal wetlands and the dominant biological communities encountered as one moves from the salt marshes at the mouth of the estuary to the freshwater tidelands miles upriver. He will explain the importance of wetlands and the multitude of ecological functions they perform. 
Register for lecture here.

Our partners for this lecture are the Connecticut College Arboretum and Essex Meadows.


Wednesday, May 29th, 5:00 pm

Margaret Rubega:  The Habits and Work of Two Species: Hummingbirds and Chimney Swifts
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Fellowship Hall

Connecticut State Ornithologist Margaret Rubega studied a variety of species during her career as Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. In this lecture, Professor Rubega will discuss the working habits of two regional species.  The delicate, but fierce, Hummingbird is a delight to behold and is a favorite visitor in every garden, typically beating its wings up to 80 times per second, creating that familiar humming sound. The chimney swift, also a small bird, is much overlooked despite its familiar silhouette. It has unique characteristics, such as never sitting on a perch but clinging to a chimney wall or other vertical surfaces and, like the tree swallow, feeding, quite literally, on the fly. 

Register for lecture here.