$265 – $315

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment

845 West Street

Amherst, MA 01002

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NATURE ALL YEAR 2019


Sundays once per month, 9am-12pm (some class times may vary depending on topics)

Full Year: Members: $265/Non-members: $315

Join us for our sixth year of offering an in-depth natural history course for naturalists and citizen scientists. Each month, in our series of nature explorations with different local naturalists, we explore a focused, seasonal, natural history topic. We’ll look at nature in new ways, varying from broad habitat-wide perspectives to the finer details of individual species. Over the course of the year we’ll visit a variety of natural habitats in the greater Pioneer Valley area. Identification skills, ecological connections, adaptations, and life cycles of organisms will be the focus of our observations. Bring your curiosity and observation skills and be prepared to spend time outdoors. Dress for the weather as we rarely cancel due to inclement weather. Bring binoculars and a hand lens, water and snacks if you would like. Carpooling to more distant locations will be encouraged.


Individual Session Descriptions

January 13: Bark: Getting to Know Trees in Winter - Michael Wojteck - Michael will help us look more closely at the bark of local tree species. Furrows, ridges, plates and more will provide a vocabulary and train your eye for these characters. You'll gain confidence in your skills at identifying trees without their leaves. Michael is the author of Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast and has lots to share about these wonderful plants!


February 10: Mammal Tracking - Kathy Dean - Put on your woolies and join us for a morning of following some of our local mammals in their travels through the forest. Kathy will help us distinguish different tracks and also the patterns in the snow as the animals move. We will try our skill at determining what different animals were doing and why.


March 3: Dam Demolition and Riparian Restoration - Dana McDonald - We will visit the sites where 2 dams have been removed in Pelham. Dana will help us see how the renewed flow of the streams supports new habitats and new niches for stream life. You will gain deeper insight into these positive steps in restoring some of the changes we have made in our environment.


April 28: Ecology and Spring Fora of a Rich Forest - Glenn Motzkin - A rich forest is one where the soils are less acidic and richer in nutrients. Glenn will take us to a local site with these characteristics and you will see how the plant communities here are different from those we usually see. Spring wildflowers should be in full bloom!


May 5: Spring Bird Migration - Ted Watt - We'll get out early and search for some of the beautiful birds that return in May to nest and raise their young in our New England woods and fields. We'll hope to see warblers, vireos and orioles and more! And we will listen to the various songs and start to distinguish some of the patterns of notes.


June 2: Sea Lampreys in the Fort River - Boyd Kynard - Boyd will get us up close and personal with some sea lampreys that are intent on only one thing: mating and laying eggs to create the next generation. He will share with us the amazing life cycle of these fish and explain how they do not feed during this time, living off their stored reserves to get them through this journey.


July 14: Herbivorous Insects - Charley Eiseman - Come out to the fields and woods to find and learn more about all sorts of insects that rely on plants for food. We'll capture a variety and learn their names, the group of insects they belong in, and more about their amazing life histories.


August 25: Local Fungi Exploration - Dianna Smith - We will search the forests for the various fungi species that are fruiting in late summer. Dianna knows the specific name of whatever mushrooms we can find, as well as fascinating details about their life cycle and natural history. Come learn how to distinguish some of these very important organisms.


September 15: Singing Insects - Laurie Sanders - We will gather for a late summer concert of insect calls - crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids. Laurie will help us sort out categories of insect calls and then narrow down the possibilities of what we hear. We will go outdoors and listen after dark to the spectacular concert that graces our late summer fields and forests.


October 6: Invasive Plant Ecology - Martha Hoopes - Martha is a plant ecologist at Mt Holyoke College who spends time learning about and researching invasive plants. She will present a unique look at these species and help us understand more of the why and the where behind the success of these plants.


November 17: Ecology and Management of Montague Sand Plains - Glenn Motzkin - We will explore the sand plain habitat with an eye for the unique plant communities found there. Much of the plains are managed by the State and Glenn will explain the thinking behind the recent timber cuts on the plains and how this supports some of the rare species that are found there.


December 8 : Natural History Hike in the Quabbin - Ted Watt - We'll hike into the Quabbin wilderness, getting a deeper understanding of the habitats that are preserved there, and the plants and animals that live there. If there is snow we will follow some of the creatures moving through and learn more about their lives.


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Date and Time

Location

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

845 West Street

Amherst, MA 01002

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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