Minnesota Natural History Lecture Series
Interested in learning more about Minnesota's natural world? Join us each month for a lecture and discussion on a variety of natural history topics. All ages are welcome to all of our lectures, however we have designated some lectures as kid-friendly when the topics and presentation styles are more suitable for kids. Lectures that are designated as teacher-friendly indicate that there will be classroom resources available for teachers at the lecture.
All lectures 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in the New Science Center
unless otherwise noted below.
15th Annual Owl Hoot, Marco Restani, St. Cloud State University biology
*Lecture 6:30 - 8 p.m.; Option Hike 8 - 9 p.m.
Owls may dazzle us with their calls, but they are also full of other amazing adaptations for survival. Learn about the twelve owl species that can be found in Minnesota and how they survive year round. An outdoor hike under the moon to call for owls living in the Abbey Arboretum is also an option!
Swanning Around Saint John's, Marcus Webster, CSB/SJU biology
Trumpeter swans, the largest of North American waterfowl and one of our most majestic birds, have returned - or perhaps have only just arrived - to the wetlands of the Abbey Arboretum. Once extirpated in MN, reintroduction by the MN DNR and careful management have increased the state population dramatically to more than 5,500 birds in 2010 and likely more today. Since 2010, swans have been sighted in the summer along the Watab, and a pair has nested in the restored wetlands of the Abbey Arboretum. Join us to learn more about identification, natural history, and management of the beautiful Trumpeter swan.
The Biology of Resurrection, Stephen Saupe, CSB/SJU biology
Some organisms such as yeast, tardigrades, nematodes, and the fairy ring mushroom are capable of being dried and then revived or brought back to life. This amazing ability, called anhydrobiosis, is an adaptation for life in ephemeral environments. Get a brief overview of the topic and end the night looking at the philosophical implications of this phenomenon.
Previous Lecture Topics:
Night Gliders: Nocturnal Denizens of the Abbey Arboretum
Kristina Timmerman, CSB/SJU biology
The Science & Psychology of Survival
Tom Kroll, Saint John's Outdoor U
MN Lakes: Past, Present, and Future
Bill Lamberts, CSB/SJU biology
14th Annual Owl Hoot
Marco Restani, St. Cloud State University biology
The Future of Food
Diane Veale-Jones, CSB/SJU environmental studies
Stargazing at Saint John's
Mike Lynch, WCCO meteorologist
Climbing the Grand Staircase: A Journey Through 1.2 Billion Years of Earth's History
Larry Davis, CSB/SJU geology
Another Look at Genetically Modified Foods
Dr. Jean Lavigne, CSB/SJU environmental studies
13th Annual Owl Hoot
Marco Restani, SCSU professor of biology
Our Place in the Universe
John O'Reilly, Saint John's Outdoor University
Tree Rings and the Tales They Tell
Troy Knight, CSB/SJU Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Seeing Through the Lens: Photography in the Great Outdoors
Ken Bachofer, Nature Photographer, MN Master Naturalist Volunteer
Worm Watch: Invasive Earthworms
Ryan Hueffmeier, Great Lakes Worm Watch, University of Minnesota Duluth
The Botany of Harry Potter
Steve Saupe, CSB/SJU professor of biology
Loons at Saint John's
Carol Jansky, CSB/SJU Biology Lab Coordinator
Read more about Saint John's Loons.
- 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
- The 3rd Monday each month, Sept-Nov & Feb-Apr
- Meet at the pendulum in the New Science Center at Saint John's
- Lectures take place indoors
- Free - Saint John's Outdoor University Members
- Free - Students of all ages
- Free - Teachers who currently bring students on field trips
- $5 - Nonmembers/ Nonstudents