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 and free admission to the Annual Meeting. Please note: series purchases are no longer available, as several luncheon-lectures have sold out. You can download the 2016–17 Luncheon-Lectures Registration Form and mail it in with your payment.

We will send confirmation of purchase by email or, if we do not have your email address, 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 at (608) 571-5362 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.

2016–17 Friends Luncheon-Lectures Series: People and Nature – Exploring a Relationship

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Snowy Owl Winter Ecology: What was learned from Snowy Owl Goose Pond – Mark and Sue Foote-Martin

SOLD OUT – Spotting a snowy owl in winter is a special treat for many bird watchers. Project Snowstorm is a working group of owl researchers who have tracked 43 snowy owls for the past three winters using cell phones transmitters. Presenters Mark Martin & Sue Martin-Foote, managers at Madison Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary in Columbia County, report on what they have learned from a male snowy owl they call “Goose Pond” that was fitted with a transmitter at the Sanctuary. They’ll also provide other snowy owl data collected by Project Snowstorm researchers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Michael B. Olbrich, Wisconsin Wildlife Conservation, and the Creation of a University Arboretum – Franklin E. Court

Learn how Michael Olbrich’s contributions to Wisconsin conservation in the 1920s made possible the UW–Madison Arboretum, founded on April 26, 1932. On that date the University Board of Regents accepted the deeds to six parcels of land on the southwestern shore of Lake Wingra, officially creating a threefold facility designated as “The University of Wisconsin Forest Preserve Arboretum and Wild Life Refuge.” Frank Court, emeritus professor of English from Northern Illinois University and a UW–Madison Arboretum volunteer since 2007, is the author of Pioneers of Ecological Restoration: The People and Legacy of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2012.

Thursday, November 10, 2016
The Evolution of the UW–Madison Arboretum’s Native Plant Garden – Darrel Morrison

The Native Plant Garden surrounding Arboretum Visitor Center has come a long way since planning for the garden began in 1997. Darrel Morrison, formerly a faculty member in the UW–Madison Department of Landscape Architecture (1969–83), designed the garden as a series of “vignettes” of southern Wisconsin native plant communities. The Native Plant Garden was mainly planted in 2002–08. He will share some of the sources of his inspiration for the garden and will present a sequence of photographs documenting the growth and change that has occurred since 2003. The native plant gardener, Susan Carpenter, has generously provided the wonderful photographs that tell the story of this unique treasure.

Tuesday, January 17, 2016
Henry Vilas Zoo Conservation Programs – Helping to Save Sea Turtles, Orangutans, Penguins and More – Jeff Halter

Wildlife conservation starts at home but has long-reaching ties around the globe. Discover the conservation work of the Henry Vilas Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA), as well as Halter’s work with Disney’s Animal Kingdom conserving sea turtles, among the oldest creatures on Earth. Learn about the amazing life of sea turtles, the research at nesting grounds in Vero Beach, Florida, and how to identify the three main species there. Jeff has 21 years of AZA–accredited zoo experience. He started as a zookeeper at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. In 1998 Jeff move to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and managed animals and animal safety operations for 14 years. He joined the Henry Vilas Zoo in 2013 as Deputy Zoo Director.

February 15, 2017
On Fourth Lake: A Social History of Lake Mendota – Don Sanford

Sanford’s book, published 2015, takes the reader on a leisurely cruise around Lake Mendota, Madison’s greatest lake. The author is a Madisonian and long-time Lake Mendota sailor and iceboater. He spent more than a decade collecting stories, interviewing dozens of past and present Mendota “water rats” and searching for photos that help to tell the story of the people, places, and events that have shaped the lakeshore as we know it today. He’ll share from his collection of stories, photographs and maps that provide a new and unique perspective Lake Mendota.

March 21, 2017
Effigy Mounds: Considering the People, Culture and Environment – Paul Borowsky

SOLD OUT – From 700 to 1,100 AD, earthen mounds, including effigies of birds, panthers, bears, turtles and conical and linear shapes, were built by native people, mostly in southern Wisconsin. Join us in a presentation and discussion of issues regarding the environment, lifestyles and culture of the people who created these mounds. Paul received his masters degree in Anthropology from UW–Madison. He worked for the Department of Public Instruction in the American Indian History and Culture Program, and has given tours of effigy mounds at the Arboretum for the last nine years.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Urban Coyotes and Red Foxes – Marcus Mueller

SOLD OUT – Coyotes and red foxes can adapt to just about any habitat in North America. Over the last century, these wild canids have made a home in even our most developed landscapes. Following an increase in sightings of both species in Madison, Wis., the UW Urban Canid Project was formed to learn more about the coyotes and red foxes calling Madison home. Marcus Mueller is a graduate student studying Madison’s urban canids. Learn about the research being conducted in your neighborhood, how to get involved, and ways to peacefully coexist with these wild neighbors.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Aldo Leopold Nature Center: Engaging Children With the Land – Betsy Parker

Learn about the mission of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and how, for more than 20 years, this hidden gem on the edge of town has grown to engage more than 50,000 school children a year in hands-on, outdoor activities. Following the inspiring words of Aldo Leopold himself, the center aims to “teach the student to see the land, understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands.” Find out about the center’s innovative programs that are engaging the next generation of land stewards, and get hands-on with a few sample activities designed to get you back into nature. Betsy has been a naturalist educator at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center for more than 15 years. She helps to coordinate Nature Net and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education. She recently raised grassroots support to pass the Wisconsin Children’s Outdoor Heritage Resolution.

Saturday, June 3, 2017
Annual Meeting. Keynote – Susan Carpenter
Wisconsin Garden, Wisconsin Idea: Native Plants, Wild Bees and Community Benefits

This presentation will explore relationships between native plant gardens and community: plants and people, bees and flowers, food webs and networks of knowledge. Through garden stories, scientific findings, and up-to-date results from our recent project Pollinators at the Zoo, this talk will illustrate the value of creating, restoring, and fostering connections to strengthen the land community. Susan Carpenter has been the native plant gardener at the UW–Madison Arboretum for 14 years. With a background in plant ecology, ecological restoration and science education, she enjoys caring for native plants with students and community volunteers and leads a citizen science project to document native bumble bees—including the imperiled rusty-patched bumble bee.