Curtis Prairie after snow

Curtis Prairie after snow

The Arboretum’s long-running Winter Enrichment series offers lectures for naturalists, volunteers, friends, and community members. During this year’s series, you will hear about innovative approaches and cultural perspectives that address environmental challenges.

2022 Winter Enrichment Lectures

The 2022 lectures will be virtual on Thursday mornings, February 3 through April 7, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Lectures are $10 each and advance registration is required. Talks will begin promptly at 10 a.m. (CST).

Lectures will be recorded. A link to view the recording will be available to registered participants only. Recordings will be available for one week.

Register for the 2022 lectures»

Students can register for free using the student registration form.

The Research Symposium will take place February 17. As always, it is a free event. Registration is required for the 2022 virtual symposium.

February 3
Culture and Conservation: Black Communities Advancing Environmental Justice and Stewardship. Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, assistant professor, Environmental and Health Sciences, Spelman College, and cofounder, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance. The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance is a community-based organization whose mission is to improve quality of life by protecting, preserving and restoring the community’s natural resources. Fighting for environmental justice and mobilizing the community, WAWA has preserved over 400 acres of greenspace from development. Osborne Jelks will highlight their role in public land stewardship, work to advance water and park equity, and efforts to educate residents. Register by January 30.

February 10
All the Little Things. Chris Helzer, Nebraska Director of Science, The Nature Conservancy. Helzer is dedicated to raising awareness about the value of prairies through photography, writing, and presentations. The complex interactions of plants and invertebrates keep prairie communities vibrant and resilient. Their stories are fascinating and will make you fall in love with them. Highlights include the beauty and diversity he found in a square meter of prairie. Register by February 6.

February 17
Arboretum Research Symposium.
Students, faculty, and other researchers will present findings from projects on Arboretum lands and in the Lake Wingra watershed. Free. Note: the research symposium will end at 11:45. About the Arboretum Research Symposium»

February 24
Longenecker Horticultural Gardens: Connecting People, Plants, and Place. David Stevens, curator, Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, UW–Madison Arboretum. Stevens will discuss the ongoing efforts to engage a wider public audience about the importance of plants through learning, art, science, culture, and remembrance. Register by February 20.

March 3
Understanding Movement and Population Dynamics of Migratory Birds. Amber Roth, assistant professor of Forest Wildlife Management, University of Maine. Understanding how birds move through the region depends on a network of observers, researchers, and decision-makers to ensure that appropriate conservation actions are taken to alleviate threats and enhance migratory habitat. The Midwest Migration Network facilitates migration monitoring and research, improves connectivity between key stakeholders, and addresses large-scale questions about bird populations and migration. Register by February 27.

March 10
Four Hundred Years of Fire and Wind in the Boundary Waters. Lee Frelich, director, Center for Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota. Boreal forests of northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters have experienced large-scale disturbances over the last 400 years, including many large high-intensity fires and the “Big Blowdown” of 1999. We will explore how the fire regime has changed over the last 400 years, how it varies across the landscape, how fire and wind influence forest succession, and the future of the Boundary Waters with a warmer climate. Register by March 6.

March 17
Water Advocacy in Wisconsin: Watershed and Statewide Approaches. Allison Madison, sustainability and development coordinator, Wisconsin Salt Wise, and Alli Wenman, WATER Project outreach coordinator, UW–Madison Arboretum. Wisconsin needs action at different scales to protect freshwater resources. The Arboretum’s Water Action to Encourage Responsibility (WATER) Project and the Wisconsin Salt Wise Partnership work to address water quality issues at watershed and statewide scales. The WATER Project supports local nonprofits with grants, training, and outreach materials to implement stormwater initiatives. Wisconsin Salt Wise began as a local coalition in Dane County and now works statewide to reduce salt pollution into lakes, streams, and drinking water by providing training and promoting best practices. Learn about their work and how you can be a freshwater advocate. Register by March 13.

March 24
The DRAWdown Design Project: Illustrating and Inspiring Climate Change Solutions. Andrew Hall, founder / creative director, Drawdown Design Project. Why commission pop culture illustrators to created limited-edition screen prints inspired by climate change solutions? Our speaker shares the inspirations that went into this project and his larger thoughts on positivity and pragmatism in climate art. Register by March 20.

March 31
How High-Resolution Satellite Imagery Has Changed Ecological Research in Antarctica.  Michelle LaRue, associate professor, University of Canterbury. LaRue’s research focuses on understanding the biogeography and populations of marine predator species in the Southern Ocean. Her tools of choice tend to be high-resolution satellite imagery, spatial modeling, and working with citizen scientists. A passionate science communicator, LaRue’s work has been covered by the BBC, The Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic. Register by March 27.

April 7
Anticipating the Hydrologic Consequences of Emerald Ash Borer Invasion in Tribal Forested Wetlands through a Sapflux Network. Angela Waupochick, PhD student, UW–Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. Tribal communities maintain significant landholdings, including black ash–dominated forested wetlands. These systems have not been a priority for management, but anticipated mortality induced by emerald ash borer has prompted tribal managers to seek strategies and prioritize areas for mitigation. Waupochick’s tribal-scale research aims to direct local management by capturing a refined picture of environmental and atmospheric controls for these systems, determine stand hydrology changes following black ash loss, and direct specific management areas for tribal managers. Register by April 3.