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Lectures at Eagle Hill

Lecture programs are free. They run for about an hour, including time for questions. Start times are noted in the calendar below.

They begin with a reception 45 minutes before the start of the lecture. This is a pleasant time to mingle with guests over complimentary wine. The lecture room has some café tables, each seating 4 guests.

Each lecture is followed by an optional family-style dinner in the old dining hall. This is a chance to mingle with resident guests at Eagle Hill who are participating in a seminar or workshop program. Reservations need to be made by 10AM of the program day. Dinner details and menus.

For dinner reservations ... 207-546-2821 Ext 4... joerg@eaglehill.us

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Date/Time Day Title. Descriptions and bios at end of page.


2023 Programs ... This calendar will be updated as lectures are planned.
May 18, 5PM Thu Adventures in Lichenology Troy McMullin
May 24, 5PM Wed Previews of the Field Guide to the Seaweeds of Maine: A Publication of the Maine Natural History Observatory Amanda Savoie
June 14, 5PM Wed Moss Ecology and the Moss World Jerry Jenkins
June 15, 5PM Thu Tardigrades of Maine Emma Perry
June 28, 5PM Wed Viewing Technology Options for Amateur Astronomers Craig Snapp
June 29, 5PM Thu Peatlands and Peatmosses: A Wealth of Scientific Information (and They’re Beautiful)! Jon Shaw
July 5, 5PM Wed Picturing Ecological Patterns Jerry Jenkins
July 6, 5PM Thu Defending the Dark: Preserving the Night Sky
—A film screening and discussion
Nancy Hathaway
August 3, 5PM Thu Downeast Wild Mushrooms: Target the Best and Avoid the Worst Greg Marley and Michaeline Mulvey
August 9, 5PM Wed Lichens: 20K Symbioses Wanting Your Attention Manuela Dal Forno
August 10, 5PM Thu Freshwater Aquatic Plants of Coastal Maine Barre Hellquist
2022 Programs
July 28, 5PM Thu Wild Mushrooms, Forest Ecology, and Climate Change Greg Marley and Michaeline Mulvey
August 3, 5PM Wed Backyard Leafminers Charley Eiseman
August 10, 5PM Wed The Leviathan of Parsonstown: The World's Largest Telescope until 1915 Dwight M. Lanpher
August 11, 5PM Thur Sandplain Grasslands of the Northeast Robert Wernerehl
August 25, 5PM Thur Ferns of Colombia: Stories from the Field Alejandra Vasco

Program descriptions.

Adventures in Lichenology
May 18, 2023
    Dr. Troy McMullin is a research scientist in lichenology and the head of Botany at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Join Troy to learn about his perambulations throughout North America studying lichens. His research has taken him to the northern end of Ellesmere Island in the Arctic to the Everglades and from the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland to Haida Gwaii. He will discuss discoveries in lichen biogeography, ecology, ethnolichenology, and taxonomy. Troy will also present the current status of lichen conservation on the continent. Come and appreciate the small things in life and learn about these fascinating but often overlooked organisms.
    Dr. Troy McMullin is a Research Scientist and the Head of Botany at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario. His research program is focused on the biodiversity and conservation of Canadian lichens. Troy has published extensively on many aspects of lichenology in both scientific literature and pubic media, including his recent book The Secret World of Lichens.

Previews of the Field Guide to the Seaweeds of Maine: A Publication of the Maine Natural History Observatory
May 24, 2023
    Have you ever tried to key out seaweeds and gotten stuck? The Maine Natural History Observatory is working on a new, user-friendly and photo-heavy field guide to seaweeds in Maine. Come see this talk for a preview of the new guide and to learn more about seaweed diversity in Maine!
    Dr. Amanda Savoie (asavoie@nature.ca) is a research scientist and phycologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada, as well as Director of the Museum’s Arctic research centre. Amanda studies biodiversity and biogeography of marine macroalgae in Canada, and uses molecular and traditional techniques to investigate taxonomically difficult species of red algae. As a native of Atlantic Canada, she is most familiar with (and fond of) the amazing seaweeds of the northeast coast.

Moss Ecology & The Moss World
June 14, 2023
    A talk, partly historical, partly speculative, about weather, size, sedentism, and the origins of community. Told as a story, no slides or graphs, focussing on the period 400 millions years ago when plants emerged on land and realized that to flourish they would have to learn how build permanent structures—bio-legacies—to manage the flows of water, air, and energy. One group of plants chose to do this by height, thickness, and pressure-driven flows. They built trees and forests. Another chose much smaller, low-Reynolds-number worlds, governed by diffusion, capillarity and boundary layers. They built mats, thatches, and mounds. Both discovered, as Darwin likely knew but didn’t say, that world-building requires collaboration, and that if competition drives the evolution of individual species, collaboration drives the evolution of the communities they depend on.
    Jerry Jenkins directs the Northern Forest Atlas Project, which makes graphic tools for natural history and conservation, and will teach mosses, grasses, sedges, and ecological patterns at Eagle Hill and elsewhere this summer. He has published 13 books on natural history and geography in the last 20 years, and is currently working on field guides two woody plants and ecological patterns.

Tardigrades of Maine
June 15, 2023
    Tardigrades are famous for their ability to survive anything. Emma will explain how they survive Maine winters, desert summers and the moon. Emma will talk about the first tardigrade found in the USA and why we still know so little about their locations. Lastly she will talk about their significance to us and what we might learn from them.
    Dr. Emma Perry currently manages the Electron Microscope Laboratory at the University of Maine, after a twenty year career as a Professor of Marine Biology. She studied the marine and limno-terrestrial tardigrades of Maine with her students for several years. Working together they have described several new species and is working to document the tardigrades of Maine.

Viewing Technology Options for Amateur Astronomers
June 28, 2023
     This lecture will provide information usefull to folks newly interested in astronomy. Craig will go over options for connecting with other astronomers in your area, equipment, and applications.     Craig Snapp was born and raised in Lima Ohio, received his PhD in Applied Physics from Cornell University in 1971 and was a Guest Scientist at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. During a thirty-year industrial career in Silicon Valley, he managed and directed the development of semiconductor processes and microwave devices for wireless communication. After retiring in 2000 he soon migrated to Maine and began volunteering for land conservation organizations active in coastal Washington County. Actions for the Downeast Coastal Conservancy included digital mapping and photography, publicaccess trail design, preserve stewardship and board membership. He has also taught workshops on Google Earth and iPhone photography at the Midcoast Senior College in Brunswick, and currently serves on their volunteer board.

Peatlands and Peatmosses: A Wealth of Scientific Information (and They’re Beautiful)!
June 29, 2023
    Peatmosses (Sphagnum) are both a genus of mosses and the foundation for entire ecosystems. Sphagnum-dominated peatlands cover less than 10% of earth’s land surface but store almost 1/3 of the earth’s terrestrial carbon pool. Peatmosses are so-called “ecosystem engineers” because they actually create the structure and function of peatlands through their growth and decomposition. Peatlands have for the last century played pivotal roles in a range of scientific disciplines including community ecology, archaeology, and climate research. In this seminar we will consider these various impacts through an overview of Sphagnum and peatland ecology.
    Jon Shaw is a Professor of Biology at Duke University, Durham, NC. He has worked on the systematics, genetics, and ecology of mosses for almost 30 years. He edited the 2001 book, Bryophyte Biology, more recently updated in a second edition (2009). He has collected mosses extensively in eastern and western North America, as well as in tropical and Southern Hemisphere regions. He is currently working on the systematics and evolution of peat mosses (Sphagnum).

Downeast Wild Mushrooms: Target the Best and Avoid the Worst
August 3, 2023
    It seems everyone is excited about the promise of foraging wild mushrooms for food, health aids and the promise of magic mushrooms. The coast of Maine is home to some of the best edible mushrooms in the US. It also hosts some toxic varieties that you need to learn to avoid. Join a pair of expert mushrooms as we explore the summer mushrooms of Maine.
    Greg A. Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing and teaching mushrooms for over 45 years. He spreads his love of mushrooms through walks, talks and classes held across the New England. Marley is the author of Mushrooms for Health; Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, (Downeast Books, 2009) and the award-winning Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares; The Love Lore and Mystic of Mushrooms, (Chelsea Green, 2010). As a volunteer mushroom identification consultant to Poison Centers across New England, he provides expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. Greg is frequent lecturer to college groups and occasionally a mushrooming foray faculty member.
    Michaeline Mulvey has been an active member of Maine Mycological Association for 30 years. She happily works as a Maine Professional Land Surveyor in field and forest across the state, rain or shine.

Lichens: 20K Symbioses Wanting Your Attention
August 9, 2023
    Lichens are complex symbiotic systems formed by a main fungal partner, a green algal and/or a cyanobacterial partner, along with a diverse community of microorganisms. They represent an important and diverse biological group present in most terrestrial ecosystems, and a main nutritional strategy in Fungi. Despite being classic examples of symbioses, lichens remain broadly unknown associations given its multifaceted interactions and controversial definitions. In this talk, I will provide a broad overview of what lichens are, why they are important, and especially cover the important taxonomic characters that help lichenologists identify species.
    Manuela Dal Forno is a Research Botanist at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG | BRIT) in Fort Worth, TX, United States, interested in different aspects of the lichen symbioses. My program addresses questions primarily related to systematics, microbiome evolution, and genomics. I am also a Research Associate in the Botany Department at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, an Adjoint Faculty in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA), an Associate Graduate Faculty in the Department of Biology at Texas Christian University (TCU), and an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Biology at George Mason University (GMU). She has carried out fieldwork in Brazil (South, Southeast, Northeast); Colombia (Central Andes); Costa Rica; Ecuador (Continental and Galapagos Islands); Jamaica; Puerto Rico; United States; the Philippines; and Thailand.

Freshwater Aquatic Plants of Coastal Maine
August 10, 2023
    The many freshwater lakes and streams along the Maine and new England coast are predominately acidic with lower alkalinity. This habitat occurs from southern Nova Scotia to coastal North Carolina. Plants discussed occur in eastern Maine. These waters are home to many common pondweeds (Potamogeton), arrowheads (Sagittaria) waterlilies (Nymphaea and Nuphar) plus many small submersed species. Plants such as riverweed (Podostemum), Tuckerman’s pondweed (Potamogeton confervoides) and shoreweed (Littorella) are easily overlooked. Various possible invasive species will also be discussed.
    Dr. C. Barre Hellquist is professor emeritus of biology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and is co-author of the “Aquatic Plants of New England” series and the two-volume book, “Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America.” He is also co-author of portions of the “Flora of North America” (Nuphar and Alismatidae).. Currently work is on the systematics of Nymphaea (especially those of Australia), the aquatic flora of New Mexico, and the aquatic flora of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The later is with his son, Eric. He co-authored the Alismatidae for the Flora of China and the Jepson Manual of California. He has taught courses on aquatic plants at the University of Michigan and University of Oklahoma Biological Stations and lectures on the rare aquatic plants and invasive aquatics of the northeast.


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