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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

Sign up for our email list ... Here.

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


2023 Programs ... This calendar will be updated as lectures are planned.
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.

July 28, 2022
Wild Mushrooms, Forest Ecology, and Climate Change
Fungi and the mushrooms they produce are vital to the health of our forests and our fields. Whether as mycorrhizal partners with trees and shrubs, or in their ever-present role breaking down dead plant tissue and recycling nutrients, fungi play a quiet and unassuming role in maintaining vibrant forests. The changing climate, global warming and more powerful storms are making an impact in New England and world wide. Join us for a presentation on forest ecology and a discussion of the impact of climate change.
    Greg A. Marley has been exploring mushrooms for over 45 years. Marley shares his love of mushrooms with others through walks, talks and classes across New England. He is the founder of Mushrooms for Health, a small company providing mushroom education. He is the author of Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi (Down East Books, 2009) and Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms (Chelsea Green, 2010). Marley is a volunteer mushroom identification consultant to Poison Centers across New England, providing identification expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. A frequent lecturer to college groups and a mushrooming foray faculty member, Marley is also a clinical social worker providing training and technical support on suicide prevention.
    Michaeline Mulvey has been wandering field and forest since before her mother thought she could find her way home. Looking at everything, but always most fascinated by plants, she was most intrigued by the ephemerals. They were both the most fun to find and the most challenging to identify. In Maine the best ephemerals are mushrooms, appearing like magic throughout the season, and often disappearing as quickly. Fascinated by the short fruiting periods of fleshy fungi, and frustrated that some species occur only every few years, Michaeline began recording fruiting dates of her finds, graphing the results for thirty species yearly, for more than thirty years. She believes that, though a microscope can be very useful for identification, the first step should be careful observation of field characteristics. More recently, she has dabbled with creating fabric dyes from mushrooms, and mushroom cultivation. She 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.

August 3, 2022
Backyard Leafminers
Leafminers are insect larvae that spend at least part of their lives feeding between the epidermal layers of leaves. In North America they include over 2000 species of moths, flies, beetles, and sawflies, belonging to over 50 different families. These insects are typically quite host-specific, and the form of the mine varies considerably depending on what insect produces it. As a result, it is often possible to identify the responsible insect using only the hostplant and mine characteristics. After a decade of reviewing the relevant literature, traveling throughout the continent, and collecting and rearing thousands of leafminers, Charley has completed a guide to the North American species that includes keys to the mines found on each plant genus. This slideshow presentation will introduce the major groups of leafminers, drawing all of the examples from among the 200+ species he has found in his yard.
    Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts. He has been conducting plant and wildlife surveys and natural resource inventories throughout New England for over twenty years. He holds an MS in Botany (Field Naturalist) from the University of Vermont and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts. Charley is the lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates and has published over fifty scientific papers describing new insect species or documenting new natural history information for known species. He also writes an insect-themed blog, “BugTracks,” and is currently self publishing the second edition of Leafminers of North America, a serial e-book of which the first edition was completed in June 2019.

August 10, 2022
The Leviathan of Parsonstown
Any review of the history of astronomy will likely discover a large telescope called the "Leviathan of Parsonsonstown". Built in Ireland in 1845 by the 3rd Earl of Rosse, it was the largest telescope in the world for 70 years until surpassed by the 100" Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson in California. Each of two 72" speculum mirrors were alternately mounted in a 54' long tube, suspended between two purpose built castle walls. Amateur astronomer Dwight Lanpher will speak about his visit to Birr Castle, County Offaly, Ireland to examine "the Great Telescope." His technical presentation will show detailed photos and drawings of how the telescope was operated and the modifications that were made during a $1,200,000 renovation in 1995. Images will also include the last remaining of the two, 3-ton, speculum mirrors examined during the return trip at its current location at the Museum of Science in London.
    When not visiting ancient telescopes, Dwight Lanpher travels throughout New England and eastern Canada attending astronomy meetings as liaison for clubs in Maine, New Hampshire and a few in Massachusetts and observing at their star parties when the opportunity avails. Professionally, Mr. Lanpher works as a licensed professional Electrical Engineer.

August 11, 2022
Sandplain Grasslands of the Northeast
Sandplain Grasslands are unique, treeless ecosystems in the Northeast. Like similar grasslands across the United States, the extent and quality has greatly diminished over recent decades, now only inhabiting a few thousand acres in New York, Massachusetts, and Maine. Yet they provide habitat for many endangered plant and animal species, from harriers and short-eared owls, to several state and federally endangered plants, some of which are globally rare. Botanist Robert Wernerehl will discuss the origins, history, and ongoing conservation efforts around these biodiversity hotspots showing colorful photos of the sites, including the Kennebunk Plains in southern Maine.
    In his seven years as State Botanist of Massachusetts, Dr. Robert Wernerehl has conducted numerous botanical surveys in Maine, especially along the coast, and up into New Brunswick. He has made over 1200 observations of over 700 species in iNaturalist, as well as making over 3200 identifications. Dr. Wernerehl has 30 years of conservation and botanical experience including conducting season-long rare plant surveys and ecological assessments in National Forests in the Upper Midwest. Previously, he served as an instructor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and 15 years as a private consultant. Dr. Wernerehl earned a PhD in Plant Ecology and a Bachelor of Science in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

August 25, 2022
Ferns of Colombia: Stories from the Field
Colombia harbors the highest fern diversity of any country in the Americas, with nearly 1450 documented native species, representing roughly 15% of the fern global diversity. At the same time, Colombia remains poorly explored from a biological diversity perspective, due in large part to the country’s fifty-year armed conflict, which severely limited field-based research in many regions. The ongoing peace process in Colombia has presented an opportunity for renewed research. Here I will share some of the ferns and stories from our first expedition to Colombia, which was conducted as part of our Ferns of Colombia research project funded by the National Science Foundation.
    Dr. Alejandra Vasco studies the biology of ferns. Her main research interests are the taxonomy and systematics of the fern genus Elaphoglossum, and the development and evolution of leaves in ferns. Alejandra obtained her BSc from the University of Antioquia, in her native Colombia, and her PhD as part of the joint program between the City University of New York and the New York Botanical Garden. Currently, she is a researcher at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in the USA.


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