Walden Warming: The Impact of Climate Change on the
Wildflowers and Birds of Thoreau's Concord
Thoreau was a climate change scientist! For the past 10 years, Professor Richard Primack (Boston University) and his colleagues have been using Thoreau's records and other data sources to document the dramatically earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier ice out at Walden Pond, and the more variable response of migratory birds. And most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate. While primarily a scientific study, Primack's talk will be supported by beautiful photos and numerous quotes from Thoreau.
This work has received exceptionally wide attention in the popular media (see News from the Primack Lab), most recently in the New York Times, and demonstrates the relevance of Thoreau's legacy to contemporary issues.
Richard Primack is a Professor of Biology at Boston University and past President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Conservation and author of two widely used textbooks, Essentials of Conservation
Biology and A Primer of Conservation Biology; 28 foreign language editions have been produced with local co-authors adding in examples from their own countries.
He is also co-author of the book Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison. For the past 12 years,
Prof. Primack has been investigating the effects of a warming climate on the plants and birds of Massachusetts, with an emphasis on continuing the
observations made 160 years ago by Henry David Thoreau in Concord.
10 AM — Refreshments and Natural History Used Book Sale (book donations welcome)
11 AM — Lecture
12 PM — Potluck Lunch; Bring your favorite dish to share.
Directions: The Connecticut Forest and Park Association building is on the north side of Route 66, 2.8 miles west of the Route 9 intersection in Middletown and 4 miles east of the I-91 intersection in Meriden. Detailed directions.
Bark of Populus deltoides (cottonwood). Photographed by Janet Novak at Bull's Bridge, Connecticut, May 2003.