• Thursday, January 19

    Animals of Wisconsin’s Original Prairie Landscapes, from Insects to Bison
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Richard Henderson, research ecologist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Prairie Enthusiasts board of directors. Henderson will survey the animals that lived in and depended on Wisconsin’s original prairies and open savannas, and also touch on the current status of these species. He will cover insects and other invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and mammals.

  • Saturday, January 21

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Grady Tract

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy. and W. Beltline Frontage Rd. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, January 22

    Winter Water
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Learn how ponds, wetlands, and springs support wildlife during this time of year. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, January 22

    Winter Animals
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Which animals are active in the winter? Look for signs of winter animals and learn about how they survive the cold. Naturalist-led walk from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., indoor activities from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, January 26

    The Hegemony of Archaeological Cartography
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

    Sissel Schroeder, chair and professor, Department of Anthropology, UW–Madison. Nineteenth-century field surveys of earthen monuments were the basis of maps developed with a Eurocentric understanding of history and an emphasis on descriptive elements. These depictions helped establish a timeless view of the past that persists today in some interpretations and depictions of mound sites. Sissel will examine the history of the Aztalan mounds site interpretations as an example.

  • Saturday, January 28

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, January 29

    Winter Wonders
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Even when the ground is frozen and the air is cold, beauty and activity abound in the natural world. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, February 2

    Wisconsin's Native Reptiles and Amphibians
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Ryan McVeigh, president and founder, Madison Area Herpetological Society. McVeigh will discuss many of the unique reptile and amphibian species that live in Wisconsin, including a lizard without legs, salamanders that breathe without lungs, and frogs that freeze solid during the winter.

  • Saturday, February 4

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Wingra Oak Savanna

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Dr. parking lot, off Monroe St. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, February 5

    Winter Birds
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Returning migratory birds often arrive in February. We will look for red-winged blackbirds, bluebirds, robins, and more. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, February 9

    Science Day: Current Research at the Arboretum
    Special Event

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Students and faculty will present findings from projects on Arboretum land and in the Lake Wingra watershed. No fee.

  • Saturday, February 11

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, February 11

    The Snow Moon
    Night Walk

    6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    The moon (full February 10) will be rising as this walk begins. Though the great horned owls are quiet on their nests in February, barred owls may be calling. If the owls are silent, we can stargaze and listen for other creatures active on a winter night. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, February 12

    Life in Winter
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    We will look for clues about how animals survive Wisconsin winters. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, February 12

    Animal Tracks
    Family Walk

    1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Animal tracks are easy to spot in the snow and mud. If neither are present, we will look for trails animals make through the vegetation. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, February 16

    The River that Flows Uphill
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m.

    "The River that Flows Uphill: Geologic Evolution of the Lower Wisconsin River Valley, Stream Piracy, & Reorganization of North American Mid-Continent Drainage Systems." Eric Carson, geologist, Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey. Today’s lower Wisconsin River flows west across southwestern Wisconsin. Yet geologic evidence indicates that the lower Wisconsin River valley was carved by an eastward-flowing river. Glaciations rerouted rivers to create the Mississippi River system.

  • Saturday, February 18

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Grady Tract

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy. and W. Beltline Frontage Rd. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, February 19

    Winter Sampler
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    The naturalist will lead you to the most interesting areas near the Visitor Center. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, February 23

    Assessing Wisconsin's Beetle Diversity (Coleoptera)
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Daniel K. Young, professor, Department of Entomology, and director, Wisconsin Insect Research Collection (WIRC). Young’s talk will focus on the historic and current state of our knowledge of Wisconsin’s biotic diversity as seen through the eyes of a megadiverse group of insects: the beetles, Order Coleoptera.

  • Saturday, February 25

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Core Area and Curtis Prairie. Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, February 26

    The End of Winter
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    We can look for signs winter is ending even if it is still cold—plants are budding, birds and mammals are preparing for spring. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, February 26

    Patterns in Winter Trees
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    What shapes and designs can you find in winter trees? Explore the intricate designs of trees and create your own designs. Naturalist-led walk from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Indoor activities from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, March 2

    The Human-Wildlife Connection: Why We Pay to Understand
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    William Karasov, professor, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, and faculty director, BioHouse, UW–Madison. Karasov will discuss wildlife research projects that challenge ideas about what motivates scientists who design them and why society might financially support them. These projects reveal fascinating things about wildlife in both natural and human-influenced situations.

  • Saturday, March 4

    Madison Reads Leopold
    Special Event

    9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Free annual public reading from "A Sand County Almanac" and other works by conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Arboretum’s first research director. Celebrities and citizens alike will share Leopold’s eloquent statements about humans’ relationship to the natural environment. For information or to sign up to read, email kathy.miner@wisc.edu. A schedule of readers will be available on the website in late February. Presented for Aldo Leopold Weekend.

  • Sunday, March 5

    Walking in Leopold’s Footsteps
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn where conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Arboretum’s first research director, conducted famous phenological research from 1935–45, and helped establish the first restoration of Wisconsin’s natural ecosystems. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center. Presented for Aldo Leopold Weekend.

  • Thursday, March 9

    Why I Talk to My Plants—Because They “Listen”: What Do We Know about How Plants Sense Their Environment?
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Simon Gilroy, professor, Department of Botany. Rooted and unable to flee danger, plants have to sense the world around them and trigger appropriate responses to survive. This talk will discuss the remarkable advances in our understanding of how plants sense stimuli without a brain or nervous system. For example, plants sense when a leaf is picked or its stem is gently touched, tell their neighbors when under attack, and know when they are over-watered.