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 talks for the 2021–22 series.

The three Luncheon-Lectures in 2021 will be offered in a virtual format on Zoom. A modest fee of $10 each will be charged for the virtual programs, which will be held from 12–1:30 p.m.

The six Luncheon-Lectures in 2022 will be offered in-person. If needed, we may change some programs to virtual or cancel those that can’t be held virtually. A fee of $40 each will be charged for the in-person programs, which will be held from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Lunch will start at 11:30 a.m., followed by the lecture and questions at 12:30 p.m. More details about registration for in-person programs to come.

See upcoming talks below or visit the Friends website for more information. We encourage you to share this exciting programming with friends and family.

2021 Virtual Lunchtime Lectures

Monday, September 13, 2021, 12–1:30 p.m.
Breathing Life into a Living Collection for Plant Research – Ingrid Jordon-Thaden

Learn about the wide variety of research topics developing at the UW–Madison Botany Garden and Greenhouses. The 8,000 square feet of greenhouse space is home to 12 different habitats and provides growth conditions for plants from all over the world. The facilities and living collection of plants allow researchers to tackle questions from plant taxonomy and systematics and ecology to genetics and biomimicry. The role of botanical gardens and their associated greenhouse spaces in the history of plant science will be explored, and the future of these collections and their renewed role in biodiversity science and climate change research will be discussed. Ingrid Jordon-Thaden is the director of Botany Gardens and Greenhouses, Department of Botany, UW–Madison.

Register for September 13 talk»

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 12–1:30 p.m.
Nature Photography – Glenn Chambliss

People are endlessly fascinated by the natural world that surrounds us. Capturing on film the beauty, sense of freedom, and a bit of the essence of inhabitants of that world are primary goals of Glenn Chambliss’ photography. The talk explores various aspects of nature photography, from the equipment involved and its use, to finding and photographing subjects. Along the way, we delve into the importance of composition, lighting, exposure, and focus. The brief survey of technical requirements will provide context for viewing photographs that Chambliss has taken locally and far afield of birds ranging from tundra swans to hummingbirds, insects, and flowers. Glenn Chambliss is a birdwatcher and professor emeritus of bacteriology, UW–Madison.

Register for October 21 talk»

Thursday, November 16, 2021, 12–1:30 p.m.
‘What’s Up’ Up North: An Overview of Current Research at Trout Lake Station – Gretchen Gerrish

UW–Trout Lake Station is in the Northwoods near Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. The station has hosted research on Wisconsin lakes and adjacent landscapes since 1925, with continuous monitoring of seven regional lakes since 1981. The talk will provide an overview of current and upcoming research framed within the long-term data and perspectives provided at the almost-100-year-old station. Gretchen Gerrish is the director of the Trout Lake Station, Center for Limnology, UW–Madison.

Register for November 16 talk»

2022 In-person Lunchtime Lectures

Monday, January 10, 2022, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
The Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Rebuilding and Restoration Saga – Mark Wegner
The Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Growing a Prairie – Hans Hilbert

The first talk will shed light on the cleanup, planning, rebuilding, and restoration of the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor, including insights on FEMA, community planning, politics, and the dollars needed to repair the devastating damages of the 2018 flood event. Mark Wegner is the City of Middleton assistant director for conservancy/forestry.

While the Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy is not a landowner, they have played a critical role in the acquisition of property to expand the Conservancy. In this second talk, a history of land acquisition by the Friends will be presented, including their most recent work assisting Dane County in restoring 160 acres of farmland to prairie. Hans Hilbert is a co-president of The Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Cranes of Wisconsin – Hillary Thompson

Wisconsin is home to both the most abundant and rarest crane species in the world, the sandhill crane and the whooping crane. The International Crane Foundation (ICF) works to ensure both species have what they need to thrive in our home state. They are reintroducing the endangered whooping crane into the Eastern Flyway, building on lessons learned from sandhill cranes and their conservation success story. Learn more about sandhill and whooping cranes in Wisconsin and the work being done at ICF to help both species thrive. Hillary Thompson is a biologist at the International Crane Foundation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Grassland 2.0: Restoring Prairie and People to Livestock Agriculture – Randy Jackson

Grassland 2.0 is agriculture designed in the image of the original grasslands of the Midwest, the tallgrass prairie. Learn how thoughtful management of perennial grasslands can restore the lost functionality of these ecosystems, create viable business opportunities that diversify production systems, buffer farms from volatile markets and fragile supply chains, and improve the health and well-being of communities. Randy Jackson is the Campbell-Bascom professor of grassland ecology, Department of Agronomy, UW–Madison.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Invasive Plant Identification and Management: From Hand-Pulling to Biocontrol – Anne Pearce

Invasive plants continue to impact Wisconsin’s natural resources, economy, and even our own health. We’ll highlight some up-and-coming invasive plants. Then we’ll delve into management methods from hand-pulling to chemical control to biocontrol and discuss how to decide which methods to use in different situations. Anne Pearce is the coordinator for the Wisconsin First Detector Network.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
May T. Watts, the Morton Arboretum, and the Origins of the Illinois Prairie Path –William Barnett

May Theilgaard Watts was a beloved naturalist at Chicago’s Morton Arboretum and her grassroots campaign established the Illinois Prairie Path in three years. Learn how 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. William Barnett is a professor of history at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Everyone Is Listening for Something – Douglas Hill

Douglas Hill will present and discuss excerpts from four of his original compositions, inspired by the wilderness writings of Leopold, Olson, Derleth, or Thoreau. Learn about 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. Douglas Hill is a professor emeritus of music, UW–Madison.