Lectures and Talks

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Upcoming Event
6/2/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX TALK: Building an Ethic: Origins of the Garden's Conservation Mission
Registration Closed
Join us for this LUNCHBOX Talk in recognition of the NCBG 50th Anniversary. Deciding to grow rather than collect native wild flowers meant many things to Garden staff in the late-1970s: seed collecting trips across the state, extensive research into seed and vegetative propagation techniques, promoting the 'Conservation through Propagation' ethic, and working with nurseries. This program discusses these features of Garden life and honors the work of Garden staff and volunteers who made this program possible. Free. Preregistration required.
8/25/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Chimney Swifts and People: Past, Present, and Future
Registration Closed
In 1682, a swift was found nesting for the first time in a chimney at a colonist’s cabin in Maine. This event forever changed the relationship between this species and people. From the journals of early explorers through the efforts of the largest all-volunteer research project to study the migration of a single species of bird, to Jesuit missionaries in a far off land, it’s a remarkable story. And it’s not over. It’s a story whose next chapter will be written by us. Register, too, for Sunday in September with Chapel Hill’s Swifts and join John on an excursion to view thousands of swifts enter a chimney at sunset to roost for the night. Free. Registration required.
9/8/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Birding for the Curious
Spaces Remaining: 59
Join Nate Swick, an editor for the American Birding Association and a Greensboro resident, who will share ideas on how to start birding from his new book, Birding for the Curious: The Easiest Way for Anyone to Explore the Incredible World of Birds. This program is as perfect for those who simply enjoy birds as it is for the more experienced birdwatchers. Nate will sign copies of his book, which was named one of the top 12 birding books of 2015 by the National Audubon Society. Free. Preregistration required.
9/11/2016 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Battling Climate Change in Your Own Backyard for Birds
Spaces Remaining: 88
Join Curtis Smalling, a diligent researcher and a tireless advocate for the birds of our region, and hear an urgent message for all of us about the actions we can take to help our feathered friends in the face of climate change. Fee: $12 ($11 members)
9/15/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX TALK: Fall Warblers
Spaces Remaining: 72
The Piedmont provides a stopover location for northern breeding species headed south to winter feeding grounds. Mid-September is peak fall migration time for our resident warblers. This photo essay and discussion includes tips for locating fall warblers as they pass through Mason Farm and the Botanical Garden. Free. Preregistration required.
10/6/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Fall Color: Where, Why, When, & Wow!
Spaces Remaining: 99
We are blessed in Eastern North America with a dazzling array of fall colors. This phenomenon represents an interesting interplay of chemistry, physiology, genetics, weather, and the general environment. Johnny Randall explores these color change factors and the biogeography of where and why certain regions of the Earth have a particularly recognizable fall color variation in their flora whereas others do not. He will also speculate on the coevolutionary relationship between plants and humans in what might be called “the burning bush effect. Free; preregistration required.
10/20/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: The Secret Lives of Backyard Birds
Spaces Remaining: 78
Join local naturalist, Mike Dunn, as he describes some of the fascinating behaviors of birds we see in our backyards and local public lands. Why do they do what they do? What is going on at my feeder? Who eats what? Where do they migrate? Find the answers to these and other feathered mysteries during this hour-long presentation. Free; registration required.
10/27/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Birds of Orange County and Beyond: Past and Future
Spaces Remaining: 88
Learn how we monitor birds at Mason Farm Biological Reserve, one of the Garden’s nature preserves, and home to more than 200 bird species, and with mini breeding bird censuses in four nearby counties. Free; registration required.
11/6/2016 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Jenny Elder Fitch Lecture: Planting Design in a Post-Wild World
Spaces Remaining: 159
Thomas, a leading voice in ecological landscape design, reveals an alternative to traditional horticulture—designed plantings that function like naturally occurring plant communities. He brings together the essence of his recently released book, Planting in a Post-Wild World, challenging us to include native plants in our garden designs and explains how these designs create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful, and diverse and become wildlife preserves for sustaining plants and animals. A book signing and reception will follow the lecture. Free, registration required.
11/10/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Meet the Brown-headed Nuthatch
Spaces Remaining: 90
Thursday, Nov 10; 12:00–1:00pm Nest boxes help birds – just look at the Eastern Bluebird for a success story! The Brown-headed Nuthatch is getting a similar leg up from North Carolinians inspired by Audubon North Carolina’s ‘Lookin’ for a Good Home’ campaign to help the nuthatch. Learn all about this squeaky little bird – a quintessential southerner – and how you can help Brown-headed Nuthatch families in your neighborhood and your community. Free. Registration required.
11/17/2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Backyard Birding – For Science!
Spaces Remaining: 98
Love watching birds in your backyard, but want to take your hobby to the next level? Learn how to get involved in bird research as a citizen scientist! By making simple observations of birds in your own backyard and reporting what you see, you can make valuable contributions to our overall understanding of bird biology, populations, migrations, and reproduction – and help conserve these beautiful and charismatic animals well into the future. Free. Preregistration required
12/6/2016 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Book Review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Spaces Remaining: 18
Bring your lunch and join Nicolette Cagle for a discussion of Annie Dillard’s nonfiction book, 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek'. This story is a first-person point of view, detailing the narrator’s explorations of nature and life in the area of Tinker Creek in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The book records the narrator's thoughts on solitude, writing, and religion, as well as scientific observations on the flora and fauna she encounters. No prerequisite Fee: $15 ($13 NCBG member)
2/12/2017 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Darwin Day: Charles Darwin and his “Most Wonderful Plant in the World” –The Venus Flytrap
Spaces Remaining: 99
Charles Darwin was fascinated with insectivorous plants in general, and in Venus flytrap in particular. Join us for a look at Darwin’s studies of Venus flytrap and into its natural history, evolutionary biology and current conservation efforts. A reception will follow. Free. Pre-registration required.
2/23/2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: FloraQuest, The Southeastern Flora App, and The Future of Apps as Plant ID Tools
Spaces Remaining: 100
Is lugging a big fat tome out into the woods to identify plants a thing of a bygone era? Join UNC-CH Herbarium Director Alan Weakley in exploring the changing world of plant identification tools. Free; preregistration required.