Cherished by Friends since 1982, the Luncheon-Lectures Series has provided many afternoons of warm reconnection and opportunities to hear engaging speakers. The Luncheon-Lectures committee put together nine wonderful in-person talks for the 2022–23 series.

Luncheon-Lectures are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Arboretum Visitor Center Auditorium. A buffet lunch is followed by an educational presentation. This popular series fills up quickly, so register as soon as you can. Each lecture costs $40.

Registration is now open for the first three spring 2023 lectures. Register online at Online registration is faster.

A registration confirmation will be sent to you by email or postcard. If a program you request is full, you will be contacted promptly. Reservations are transferable. If you give away your reservation, please call us at 608-890-2555 and let us know the name of the attendee. You also may cancel a reservation and request a refund at least 2 weeks ahead of the event.

Vegetarian meal requests can be accommodated with at least 2 weeks advance notice.

To pay by check, make payable to Friends of the Arboretum and mail to: Friends of the Arboretum, 1207 Seminole Hwy., Madison, WI 53711. Please indicate the lectures you wish to attend, whether you want a vegetarian meal, and your name and mailing address.

2022–23 Luncheon-Lectures

Thursday, June 8, 2023
Everyone Is Listening for Something – Douglas Hill, Emeritus Professor of Music, UW–Madison

Douglas Hill will present and discuss excerpts from four of his original compositions, inspired by the wilderness writings of Leopold, Olson, Derleth or Thoreau . . . the setting of word rhythms and subtle inferences from the selected language, the application of vocal qualities and instrumental tone colors to suggest images and specific elements of the wilderness, and, ultimately, how these choices work together to celebrate the wonders of the natural world through music.

Past Lectures

Thursday, September 15, 2022
Impacts of Past and Present Climate Change on Alpine Insects in Western North America – Sean Schoville, Associate Professor of Entomology and Director of the Center for Ecology and the Environment, UW–Madison

Montane ecosystems of western North America provide a wonderful system to test a wide range of evolutionary and ecological processes, as environmental gradients across elevation and isolation among mountains provides opportunities to repeatedly study the relationship between climate variation and species distributional ranges. My research focuses on groups of insects that vary in habitat preference and dispersal ability, with the goal of understanding how past environmental change has shaped their biodiversity and how ongoing change impacts their conservation.

Monday, October 10, 2022
Darners and Skimmers and Pondhawks, Oh My! The Life History of Damselflies and Dragonflies – Bob Honig, biologist and retired environmental consultant

In this presentation, you’ll hear about how these insects make their living, details of mating and reproduction, and other intriguing aspects of their lives. You’ll become familiar with some of the common species in our area.

Thursday, November 10, 2022
Climate Change and Wisconsin’s Lakes – Hilary Dugan, Assistant Professor, Center for Limnology, UW–Madison

Hilary will offer a look at how climate change is affecting freshwaters in Wisconsin. How, why, and where lakes are changing, and what we can do to curtail current trends.

Sold out – registration is closed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
The Arboretum’s Grady Tract: 200 Acres of History, Restoration, and Research – Michael Hansen, Land Care Manager, UW–Madison Arboretum

Michael will provide an introduction to the Grady Tract, the Arboretum’s 200-acre parcel located south of the Beltline Highway. He will discuss the site’s history and unique features, early Arboretum restoration projects such as Greene Prairie and current projects being undertaken by the land care crew. He will also highlight some ongoing research projects. Registration closes January 7.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Conservation in the Twenty-First Century:  Lessons from the Driftless Area to the World – Curt Meine, Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation / Center for Human and Nature, and Adjunct Associate Professor, UW–Madison

The Driftless Area of the Upper Midwest is distinguished by its unique natural and cultural history. The region’s rugged landscape of ridges and valleys has presented special environmental challenges. The region has also fostered important innovations to meet those challenges. From the lifeways of the Native peoples of the Driftless, to early efforts in community-based conservation, to advancing organic agriculture, to enhancing climate resilience, these efforts hold important lessons for the wider world in addressing the critical environmental needs of the 21st century. Registration closes February 3.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
The Wisconsin Native Plant Garden: Reflections and Resilience – Susan Carpenter, Native Plant Garden Curator, UW–Madison Arboretum

As spring approaches, our dormant garden comes to life. This garden’s growth and development provides lessons for creating resilient gardens at our homes and in community spaces. Discover practices and inspiration for starting or enhancing your native plant garden. Registration closes March 3.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023
The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin: Saving What We Love Together -Elizabeth Koehler, State Director, Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin

From Wisconsin’s Northwoods to Door County and the grasslands of southern Wisconsin, The Nature Conservancy has been protecting the lands and water we depend on and cherish for almost 63 years. Wisconsin State Director Elizabeth Koehler will share some conservation highlights from the past year, including TNC’s work to protect and manage a resilient network of lands and waters, address climate change, support farmers in improving soil health and protecting clean water, help create more stable and resilient Great Lakes fisheries, and collaborate with communities in Milwaukee to address water quality and flooding issues and increase the quality and quantity of urban green space. She’ll also share a little about what’s coming up next and how you can get involved.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023
May T. Watts, the Morton Arboretum, and the Origins of the Illinois Prairie Path – William Barnett, Professor of History, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois

May Theilgaard Watts was a beloved naturalist at Chicago’s Morton Arboretum, and her grassroots campaign established the Illinois Prairie Path in three years. She represented a distinctly Midwestern set of ideas, linking earlier conservationists and 1960s environmentalism with a strong focus on nature study and a deep concern about suburban sprawl and the loss of farms and prairies.