January 2014

Happy New Year!

In this issue
  • New Harvard Joint Faculty Arrive at Weld Hill
  • Director's Lectures Consider Science and Society
  • Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici Retires
  • Help the Arnold Arboretum Flourish in 2014
  • Wellness Walk Features Seasonal Highlights
  • Classes Spotlight Trees in Art, Gardens, and Pruning
  • Collection Spotlight on Conifers
  • Symphony of the Soil: A Free Presentation at MOS

  • Director's Lectures Consider Science and Society

    Returning for its fourth season, the Director's Lecture Series brings four nationally-recognized experts to the Arnold Arboretum for talks on Earth's biodiversity and contemporary issues associated with current science. The series begins on Monday, January 27 at 7pm with a talk by Stephen Greenblatt, Cogan University Professor of Humanities at Harvard, examining the rediscovery of an ancient epic poem that revolutionized scientific thought in the Renaissance. This lecture is fully subscribed, though you may join the waiting list. Register today for the remaining talks in the series online.

    Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici Retires
    Peter Del Tredici

    A leading figure at the Arnold Arboretum for thirty five years, Peter Del Tredici will retire as Senior Research Scientist on January 31. As a botanist, plant explorer, former Director of Living Collections, curator of the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection, and frequent writer and lecturer, Peter's work has made transformative contributions to all aspects of the Arboretum's mission. While stepping down from his Arboretum post, Peter will continue to use the living collections and landscape in support of his independent research and instruction as Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

    Help the Arnold Arboretum Flourish in 2014

    Celebrate all the ways the Arboretum adds to your appreciation of trees and enhances life in Boston with a gift to the annual fund. A partnership between the City of Boston and Harvard University, the Arboretum relies solely on income from endowments, gifts, and memberships to fund public programs and to care for our remarkable plant collections and Olmsted-designed landscape. Please help us share more of the beauty and complexity of both the Arboretum and the natural world with you in 2014 and beyond.

    Wellness Walk Features Seasonal Highlights
    Hunnewell Building

    Enjoy a brisk January walk in the landscape and explore seasonal characteristics of the living collections on Sunday, January 12 at 1pm. Keep fit and keep connected with plants and nature at this time of year. Admire the bark and branch architecture of trees and encounter seasonal highlights along the route. This activity is free, but registration is requested. Enjoy additional winter walks February 9 and March 9.

    Classes Spotlight Trees in Art, Gardens, and Pruning

    As the landscape awaits the renewal of spring, take a class this winter to examine plants and explore their value and meaning. On January 11 at 9am, learn tips and techniques for pruning woody plants in winter from Arboretum horticulturist and certified arborist Jen Kettell. Join Robin Kelsey on January 23 at 7pm to ponder how trees have been represented and interpreted through the history of landscape art. And on January 26 at 2pm, Judith Sumner shares how a nationwide commitment to vegetable gardening reinvigorated horticulture and contributed to the Allied victory in World War II.

    Collection Spotlight on Conifers
    Colorado Spruce

    Winter is a great time to enjoy the beauty of cone-bearing plants, and the conifer collection at the Arboretum inspires close observation and investigation of its diversity. The collection showcases 579 gymnosperm taxa (kinds) representing 29 genera and 9 families. Specimens are planted among close relatives collected from around the world for study and comparison, all within close proximity to Conifer Path and Hemlock Hill Road. Identifying conifers in the field requires an examination of cones, though leaf (needle) characteristics also provide important clues. Here at the Arboretum, just look for the plant label.

    Symphony of the Soil: A Free Presentation at MOS

    This month, the Arnold Arboretum joins the Museum of Science to present Symphony of the Soil, a film exploring the mystery and complexity of the medium supporting terrestrial life on Earth. Drawing from both ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, the film shares the voices of esteemed soil scientists, farmers, and activists to portray soil as a protagonist in our planetary story. This free program on January 29 at 7pm at the Museum of Science illuminates how the health of this complex and dynamic resource is intricately connected with the survival of all life.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except Symphony of the Soil image, courtesy of Lily Films and the Museum of Science, Boston.

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    New Harvard Joint Faculty Arrive at Weld Hill
    Weld Hill Building

    Boosting its integrated programs for plant research, the Arnold Arboretum is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Harvard University faculty who will be based at Weld Hill beginning in January. Like Arboretum Director and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology William (Ned) Friedman, these Arboretum-based scientists will conduct teaching and research programs in association with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. Assistant Professor Robin Hopkins studies the role of natural selection in causing diverging plant populations to become species, a pursuit that entails investigating fundamental questions of evolutionary biology. Assistant Professor Elizabeth Wolkovich studies how the timing of life history events of plants (phenology) is affected by climate, and uses field and laboratory data to predict how the interaction of species' attributes, phenology, and climate change will shape current and future plant communities. With advanced facilities for research at Weld Hill and three Harvard faculty in residence, the Arnold Arboretum begins 2014 poised to make wide-reaching contributions to teaching and scholarship in the botanical sciences at Harvard University.

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