When it comes to admiring the forest canopy and individual tree species, there’s no better time than autumn. In this field-study class, we’ll highlight the value of northeastern forests – Maine’s macro- and micro-climatic regions consist of a wide assortment of deciduous and coniferous species valuable to thousands of living organisms. Come observe Maine’s trees and learn about their variety of habits and characteristics with District Forester, Shane Duigan. We'll discuss the history of Maine's forests, identify trees (the autumn colors help with that), management tips, the role trees play in the climate, and the changes they’re living through now and into the future.
Interested in learning about plants for pollinators? Want to understand why some plants attract pollinators better than others? For centuries, passionate plantspeople have collected plants from the wild, hoping to enhance floral or foliar displays or increase resistance to disease or pests. But where wildlife is concerned, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Join us to learn from our pollinators and see what plants they choose. Join staff Entomologist Zac Smith-Hess to hear what the evolving research says about the ecological evaluation of native straight species, cultivars or non-native plants in built landscapes. We’ll talk about genetic diversity, clonal cultivation, pollinator syndromes, and their role in insect visitation and health.
Zac Smith-Hess’ passion for exploring and connecting people to nature has led him into both formal and informal education. Since graduating with a degree in zoology in 2014, he has spent much of his career working specifically with invertebrates in zoo and classroom settings. His students have called him a true lifelong learner; you can see this when you find him on grounds of the Gardens, providing wandering interpretation or, as he likes to say, just talking about bugs.