The Preserve is proud to announce the continuation of Thursday Night Nature. In the same vein as our popular Winter Lecture Series, the Preserve will host a guest lecturer 7-8 pm every Thursday night for eight weeks beginning April 8. Using easy-to-use Zoom webinars, these virtual lectures will feature an impressive list of experts from across the country. Lecturers will discuss a wide range of topics from forests to forest bathing, from gardens to wetlands and from the climate to children.
Thursday Night Nature – Spring 2021
Admission: $15 per lecture (members $12 with discount code)
Admission: $105 for the full series (14% savings) (members $84 with discount code)
So kick back, relax and join the Preserve from the comfort of your couch and turn your screen green with Thursday Night Nature.
April 8: Wetland Engineers with Alicia Shenko, Ph.D.
Bogs and swamps are magical places that hold a variety of secret interactions, shaping the way that native plants change over time. Explore the role that small mammals like voles and mice play in changing the habitat around them. Their feeding and dispersal tendencies can make the difference between an area growing into a forest or remaining an open grassland!
Presented by Alicia Shenko, Ph.D.
Alicia Shenko is an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Biotechnology & Conservation at Delaware Valley University. She received her Ph.D. in ecology & evolution at Rutgers University and her B.S./M.S. in environmental science at Drexel University. She is primarily interested in natural interactions and the role that small mammals play in maintaining biological functioning. Much of her research has taken place in the New Jersey Pinelands, but she enjoys spending time anywhere in nature interacting with anything that scurries or slithers.
April 15: The Forgotten Forest with Jason Ksepka
As late as the early 20th century, American chestnuts, butternuts and elms dominated Northeastern forests. Today, they are a rare find. What happened? Join Preserve Curator Jason Ksepka to learn why we want to restore these important native trees, what work has been done by others to do so, how the Preserve can help and what you can do, too! Discover the problems that impact these trees and the actions we can take to help improve our forests for future generations.
Presented by Jason Ksepka
Jason Ksepka, BHWP curator, ensures that the Preserve conforms to the highest standards of museum practices by fully documenting the Preserve’s living plant collections, as well as monitoring the health of the living collections. Jason earned a B.S.F. in forestry and a B.S. in fisheries/wildlife management from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He is a passionate gardener who maintains a bog garden of carnivorous plants.
April 22: Deer-Resistant Natives for the Northeast with Gregg Tepper and Ruth Clausen
Join horticulturists Ruth Rogers Clausen and Gregg Tepper for an entertaining and informative lecture inspired by their recent book Deer-Resistant Native Plants for the Northeast. They will delve into the best native, deer-resistant plants and how to grow them, as well as deer repellants they’ve used and effective plant combinations they’ve found.
Presented by Gregg Tepper and Ruth Clausen
Gregg Tepper is a professional horticulturist, lecturer, consultant and life-long native plant enthusiast. Early on in his career, he held the positions of Woods Path horticulturist and director of horticulture at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE. He went on to be director of horticulture and board member at Delaware Botanic Gardens, where he was instrumental in developing the garden’s initial horticultural mission and implementing a 2-acre meadow designed by world-renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf. He is now the horticulturist at the Arboretum at Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries in Philadelphia, PA.
British-trained Ruth Rogers Clausen is the author of 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants, and co-author of Essential Perennials and The Proven Winners Garden Book with Thomas Christopher. She was horticulture editor for Country Living Garden magazine and a long-time contributor to Country Gardens magazine. Ruth lectures widely at horticultural symposia, to garden societies and clubs. In 2017 she was awarded the Garden Media Award by the Perennial Plant Association. Her interest in deer-resistant plants resulted from moving house to Westchester County, NY, where deer pressure is heavy.
April 29: Evolution of a Garden Habitat with Michael DeVos, Lauren Johnson and Carl Molter
As we look to our home landscapes to cease doing harm, support habitat and head toward a regenerative environmental future, we need to reinvent how we go about crafting them. In this talk, we’ll be discussing the three crucial elements of this crafting: design, installation and maintenance, and how we have had to reinvent decades-old industry practices to head toward this goal.
Presented by Michael DeVos, Lauren Johnson and Carl Molter
Michael J. DeVos is installation director at Indigenous Ingenuities, an ecological landscape design-build company in Doylestown, PA, and instructor at the Barnes Foundation Horticulture Certificate Program. The Delaware Valley University graduate’s career includes creating community gardens at the Greater Newark Conservancy and restoration work on the Preserve’s own Founders Pond. He currently resides in Hunterdon County, NJ.
Lauren Johnson is the maintenance manager at Indigenous Ingenuities and a regular columnist for Edible Jersey Magazine. Her hobby gardening experience includes maximizing her mostly shady yard with a cornucopia of native plants including Sedum ternatum, packera and native fringe trees, along with a hearty dose of tiarella. She has a wide range of professional gardening experience, ranging from organic vegetable farming to estate maintenance, as well as nursery sales and marketing. When not enjoying the outdoors, she can be found in her studio conjuring up comedic illustrations.
Carl Molter is design director at Indigenous Ingenuities and host of local FM station WDVR’s Into the Garden radio show. Son of a North Jersey landscape painter and gardener-mother, Carl grew up in an environment where art met the garden. He graduated from Rutgers with a degree in landscape architecture and has been designing area landscapes for over 30 years. When he’s not designing, he spends time managing his sylvan acre and tending to his garden radio show.
May 6: Changing Weather Patterns in PA: How does this impact our environmental goals? with Chris Forest, Ph.D.
The climate is changing globally and our long-term plans should include how these changes impact Pennsylvania and the Northeast. By knowing these expected impacts, we have the opportunity to improve the resilience of our regional systems, both natural and man-made, to extreme weather events.
Presented by Chris Forest, Ph.D.
Chris E. Forest is a professor of climate dynamics in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is part of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and is the director of the Center for Earth System: Modeling, Analysis, and Data. His research focuses on quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions for assessing climate risks, and he is a senior research fellow at Project Drawdown.
May 13: Tales from the Crypt: Using Dead Plants to Resurrect the Past and Predict the Future with Jordan K. Teisher, Ph.D.
What is a native plant? The most commonly used definition for American plants is any species that were present before the arrival of European colonists. How do we know which plants were growing in a particular area during a given period? Herbaria—collections of dried and pressed plants—provide some of the best sources of information on the history of botanical life on Earth. Specimens representing centuries of collecting can be used to infer where plant species were in the past, how they have moved in response to different environmental pressures and which species are most at risk of being locally or globally eliminated. The development of new technologies has enabled research on herbarium specimens that would have seemed impossible to the botanists who originally collected them. In this presentation, Jordan Teisher, Ph.D., will survey some of these applications of herbarium specimens and make a case for ongoing investment in collecting and preserving plants.
Presented by Jordan K. Teisher, Ph.D.
Jordan Teisher is the collections manager for the Botany Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The central Pennsylvania native received his undergraduate degree in biology from Moravian College. He joined the Academy of Natural Sciences staff in 2016 after completing his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied evolution and systematics in the grass family Poaceae.
May 20: Forest Bathing: Finding Wellness Naturally with Suzann Schiemer
Explore the wellness benefits available to you by spending time in a natural environment. This presentation will highlight the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which is also called forest bathing. Forest bathing is a “natural” wellness activity. Hear suggestions on how to incorporate this practice into your time outdoors.
Presented by Suzann Schiemer
Suzann Schiemer is a certified Pennsylvania Master Naturalist and certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Formerly a Bloomsburg Area School District teacher for 36 years and an education consultant with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and American Master Teacher Program, her passion for education continues to this day. She regularly leads guided walks throughout Pennsylvania for a variety of parks, nonprofits and other institutions, and enjoys not only enlightening the mind of participants but rejuvenating their spirit through the healing powers of nature.
May 27: Schooled by the Forest: Connecting Children and Nature with Nicole Langdo
At the Painted Oak Nature School in New Jersey’s Hopewell Valley, the forest is the children’s classroom: stumps are their chairs, plants are their curriculum, and birds and minibeasts are their classmates. By moving through the landscape in all types of weather, the children form deep connections to the plants and animals with which we share the land. They build confidence and knowledge to better understand their place in the world and the impact they have on it. This lecture will share the school’s ethos, the how-to’s of teaching children about native plants and wild edibles, and the holistic benefits that such explorations provide.
Presented by Nicole Langdo
Nicole Langdo is the founder of Painted Oak Nature School, a progressive nature-based school, serving children in preschool through 6th grade. She was honored in 2017 with the Richard Rotter Award for Excellence in Environmental Education by The Watershed Institute and the previous year was called an innovative educator when interviewed by Steve Adubato of Caucus: New Jersey On The Air. Her school has also been featured in several local publications for its focus on getting children outside and connecting with nature. With over two decades of classroom teaching in the public and private sector, she prefers the wild sector best.