Luncheon-Lectures are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Arboretum Visitor Center Auditorium. A buffet lunch is served first, followed by the presentation. Individual Luncheon-Lectures are $30 for members ($35 for non-members). Series purchases, available to members only, include guaranteed seating. Please note: series purchases are no longer available, as several luncheon-lectures have sold out. You can download the 2015–16 Luncheon-Lectures Registration Form and mail it in with your payment.

We will send confirmation of purchase by postcard. You will be contacted promptly if the program you register for is full. Refunds, available on individual program purchases only, will be given upon request for reservations canceled at least two weeks prior to the event. All reservations are transferable; please call the office when transferring to someone else. We also appreciate a call if you will not be using any confirmed reservations. Reserve with friends and enjoy the programs together! Please make your reservations early as seating is limited. Dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice at least two weeks prior to program date.

2015–16 Friends Luncheon-Lectures Series:
People and Nature – Exploring a Relationship

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Saving Wisconsin’s Bats – Paul White

Bats are a vital part of many ecosystems. They control pests, reduce the risk of insect-borne diseases, and are pollinators and seed-dispensers. Seven bat species call Wisconsin home. Some migrate to warmer climates in winter, but others hibernate in caves and mines. Paul White has worked at the DNR for nine years, studying the cave bats now facing a threat of extinction from the deadly fungus—white-nose syndrome. Learn how he has managed programs which monitor the health and population trends of Wisconsin bats, and how trained volunteers can help gather data and increase public awareness of this devastating problem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
A Park in Every Heart: The National Park Service 100th Birthday – John Madden

LECTURE SOLD OUT. National Parks feed our heart, providing majestic places for us to discover; becoming that special friend to which we return. John Madden is superintendent of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. A native of the Adirondacks of New York, John honed his skills as a park ranger collecting fees in the Florida Everglades. At Mt. Rainier, he instituted the D.A.R.E program for area schools, and as a Paradise Area ranger, he and his dog, Woodrow, worked search and rescue. He has supervised remote ranger stations on land and water with leadership posts at 57 National Park Service (NPS) park areas. Come hear John’s story—and discover yours—on the 100th Birthday of the NPS.

Thursday, November 19, 2015
From the Brink of Extinction? The Black-Footed Ferret and Black Death – Travis Livieri

The only native ferret species to North America, the black-footed ferret feeds on prairie dogs and uses their burrows for shelter. On the brink of extinction in 1987, only 18 ferrets remained. With successful captive breeding and reintroduction efforts, these lively creatures now roam the prairies of North America again. But the battle is not over. Travis Livieri, armed with an M.S. degree from UW–Stevens Point, started Prairie Wildlife Research in Colorado, a non-profit dedicated to field conservation and research to recover black-footed ferrets. Our native son is now challenging their newest foe, the plague—can we bring these ferrets back from the brink?

Monday, January 11, 2016
Southeast Asian Cranes: World Solutions to Wetland Conservation and Coastal Vulnerability – Tran Triet

Since earning a doctorate in Land Resources at the UW Nelson Institute, Dr. Triet has held dual positions with the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo — and as a lecturer at the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. With colleagues, he established a network of 22 universities for training and scientific research on wetland ecology. Dr. Triet will use the Southeast Asian Crane and Mekong River Basin to illustrate conflicts between conservation and rapid habitat loss, extreme poverty, and insufficient technical capacities. He will present innovative solutions for solving these problems based on his three decades in biodiversity conservation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
From Market Hunting to Migration Preservation: What a Difference a Century Makes – Kim Grveles

2016 marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act between the United States and Great Britain. This treaty, and three that followed, form the cornerstones to conserve birds that migrate across international boundaries. Kim Grveles, a DNR avian ecologist and coordinator of the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative, will share a century of Wisconsin stories including the model conversion of a golf course to a restored habitat for birds, the continuing legacy of the Arboretum as an official bird “stopover,” and the upcoming North American Symposium when Canada and the United States will review 10 years of research and draft plans for future migrations.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
1,000 Years Beneath Our Feet: Mystery of Cahokians in Trempealeau – Danielle Benden

LECTURE SOLD OUT. Danielle Benden, curator of UW anthropological collections and 2014 Distinguished Honor Faculty Winner for Teaching Excellence, works with Native American nations to comply with the Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Since 2009, she has co-directed National Science Foundation studies focusing on the discovery of a colony of Mississippian people who arrived in Wisconsin from American’s first pre-Columbian city, Cahokia, near modern day St. Louis. They paddled dugout canoes 750 miles along the river and brought with them ceremonial pots and exotic tools, and built a temple mound aligned to the cycles of the sun and moon.

Monday, April 11, 2016
Lessons From 48 Years of Dian Fossey’s Mountain Gorillas – Stacey Rosenbaum

LECTURE SOLD OUT. Having grown up in Madison, Stacey earned a doctorate from UCLA and is a fellow at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, studying the behavior and physiology of wild gorillas in Rwanda. Stacey is following in the the footsteps of Dian Fossey, who set up a tent 48 years ago with a one-woman project that has grown into an international research and conservation movement. Stacey continues that legacy, sharing with us the gorilla’s history and status, how research is helping gorillas and the forest ecosystem thrive, and what lessons we can take from this ongoing success story to inform work in other high-priority conservation areas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Nearly One-third of Wisconsin’s Plants Face Extinction: Habitat Corridors Can Help – Ellen Damschen

Ellen Damschen, a plant ecologist and conservation biologist, studies the impact of humans and climate change on plant communities. The main reason for our declining species is the loss and fragmentation of habitat, which reduces available places for plants to live and move along locations. Ellen is an executive board member for UW’s Wisconsin Ecology, the umbrella that unifies ecology across campus. She has been published in high-profile journals for the National Academy of Sciences and received attention from the New York Times and National Public Radio. Come hear about the world’s largest habitat fragmentation experiment that tests for the effects of habitat corridors and explores what factors may promote plant resilience into the future.

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Annual Meeting Breakfast Buffet
Presentation – Kathe Crowley Conn “Cheer Up, Wifie”: Adventures of Pioneer Juliette Kinzie in 1830s Wisconsin

Join us for our annual celebration, beginning with a scrumptious breakfast buffet and short business meeting – then our featured presentation. In 1830, a young newlywed arrived at Fort Winnebago with a keen eye for detail and a thirst for new adventures. Pioneer socialite Juliette Kinzie chronicled her observations and experiences of living in southcentral Wisconsin in the 1856 bestseller, Wau Bun: The ‘early-day’ in the northwest. Join us as we celebrate the 160th anniversary of this classic pioneer text and hear how her observations of the people, flora and fauna of the Four Lakes region have relevance for today. Kathe Crowley is the author of the new Badger biography, Juliette Kinzie: Frontier Storyteller. As past director, her love of connecting people to the land became a hallmark of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona. She also founded Nature Net, the environmental learning network, to foster a love of the land and the thrill of discovery in children and families.