2013-2014 Luncheon-Lecture Series

All 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 $25 for members ($30 for non-members).

We will send confirmation of individual program reservations by postcard. You will be contacted promptly if the program you register for is full. Refunds, available on individual tickets 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 (608.263.7760) when transferring tickets 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. Refunds, available on individual tickets only, will be given upon request for reservations canceled at least two weeks prior to the event.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Ding's Darling: The Olympics of Art Contests - Tim Eisele Sold Out

Ding Darling, one of our country's conservation leaders, was a political cartoonist with the Des Moines Register, where he twice earned a Pulitzer Prize for conservation-related cartoons. Even though he died more than 50 years ago, Darling's visionary work still benefits bird watchers, nature lovers, hunters and anyone who values natural resources today.

In 1934, he was appointed chief of the US Biological Survey, predecessor of today's US Fish and Wildlife Service, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. While there, Darling was responsible for mandating restrictive hunting regulations giving more protection to migratory birds. In 1936 he founded the National Wildlife Federation, currently the largest grassroots conservation organization in the country, with the goal of uniting all outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts behind the common goal of conservation.

He went on to sketch the design that become the very first US Migratory Bird and Conservation Stamp, which is now a required purchase by all waterfowl hunters over16 years old. Commonly known as the "duck stamp," the funds are used to purchase wetlands and nesting habitat for National Wildlife Refuges and Waterfowl Production Areas. This stamp has raised more than $500 million and preserved more than 5 million acres of wildlife habitat. Wisconsinites have benefited from this stamp: funds helped to purchase Horicon, Necedah and Trempeleau National Wildlife Refuges, as well as Shoveler Sink just west of Madison. These areas provide secure nesting habitat for waterfowl, upland birds and other wildlife.

In this presentation, you will learn about Darling, see some of his famous editorial cartoons, see the very first stamp design, get a look at some of the finalists and be a judge-for-a-day to see which painting you would choose.

Tim, freelance outdoor writer and member of the Friends of the Arboretum board of directors, has received numerous awards, including the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation's Conservation Communicator of the Year, Wisconsin Conservation Congress Outdoor Writer of the Year, Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association Distinguished Service Award, and in 2010 received Crawford County Land Conservation Department's first ever Outdoor Writer Award.


badger research

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Ecology of American Badgers in Southwest Wisconsin - Jimmy Doyle Sold Out

The American badger has long been part of Wisconsin's heritage lending its likeness to our coat of arms, flag and songs as well as the mascot for the University of Wisconsin, but little is known about them.

Notoriously difficult to study, they spend all day in underground dens and can't be tracked using radio collars. As a result, even basic information including how many and where they are found are unknown, information essential for badgers' continued survival, as much of their native habitat has been converted to agriculture.

Jimmy, wildlife ecologist with the Wisconsin badger project, will talk about current research gathering critical information to aid in maintaining badgers. The project, which relies on implanted radio transmitters, will shed light on where badgers prefer to live and hunt, and how far they roam.



Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wisconsin's First Peoples - Sissel Schroeder Sold Out

The study of the peopling of the Americas near the end of the last major stage of Pleistocene glaciation (c. 78,000-11,550 B.P.) has captured the interest of scholars since the 19th century and been a subject of speculation since Europeans first reached the Americas. Sissel has been conducting anthrolopogical research into the initial human exploration of Wisconsin, centering on the Skare site situated along the Yahara River just south of Madison, one of the earliest places in Wisconsin occupied on a recurrent basis by people. This location has yielded evidence of human activity spanning from Paleoindian times to the early Euro-American settlement of Wisconsin.

Sissel, professor in the UW-Madison Department of Anthropology, teaches courses on the history and methods of archaeology and conducts research on the ancient peoples of the Midwest and Southeast, including areas in southern Wisconsin. Her research interests span the early colonization of Wisconsin by native peoples about 12,000 years ago to the development and collapse of complex societies from about 500-1,000 years ago.


wood carvings

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Sold Out
Traditional Art and the Local Environment: How Wisconsin Artists Combine Heritage, Resources and Imagination- Anne Pryor

Folk art expresses cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics and includes both utilitarian and decorative objects. These artists traditionally learn these skills and techniques through informal and locally based settings. Their art reflects traditional art forms of diverse community groups - ethnic, tribal, religious, occupational, geographical, age- or gender-based - who identify with each other and the larger society.

Anne, folk and traditional arts specialist with the Wisconsin Arts Board, has a deep interest in folk arts and folklore. She works with the Wisconsin Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program, the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, serves on the Midwest Folklife Festival Board, is an honorary fellow in the UW-Madison Folklore Program, and is associate editor of the Journal of American Folklore. This talk with illustrate how some traditional art forms emerge from the local environment and will include examples from some of Wisconsin's finest traditional artists and the importance of traditions in our lives.


green seaturtle

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Sea Turtle Conservation - Jeff Halter Sold Out

Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth, having been here for about 120 million years. They have survived the dinosaurs but now many species are threatened or endangered due to the dangers they face in their environment.

Join Jeff, Henry Vilas Zoo's Deputy Director, as he shares his passion for conserving these majestic animals through his work with the conservation team at Disney's Animal Kingdom and the team's research on 7 miles of prime sea turtle nesting ground in Vero Beach, Florida. Learn how to identify the three main species that nest in Florida and leave with a better understanding of the amazing life of sea turtles and learn how everyone can make a difference for sea turtles and marine life no matter where they live.

Jeff has 17 years' experience with facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, including 14 years at Disney's Animal Kingdom. He joined Disney as a zookeeper in 1998 and most recently served as the Animal, Science and Environment Line of Business Program manager, including the Operational Department of Tri-Circle D Ranch, EPCOT Living Seas Aquarium, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, EPCOT Agricultural Science, and Water Sciences Department.


Wisconsin River

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Sold Out
The Lower Wisconsin Riverway - Mark Cupp

In 1989, Governor Tommy Thompson signed Wisconsin Act 31 which created the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, which extends 92.3 miles from below the dam at Prairie du Sac to the confluence with the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien and encompasses 79,275 acres. This historic action represented the culmination of years of planning and followed hundreds of hours of public meetings and was created from a compromise crafted by legislators from both political parties.

Mark is the executive director of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, one of the smallest state agencies in Wisconsin and charged with protecting and preserving the scenic beauty and natural character of this region. He is responsible for ensuring the archaeological and historic sites in the valley are protected and preserved.

During this presentation, Mark will provide a glimpse of life along this corridor from glacial times, through settlement, to present day including regulations, history (effigy mounds and related archaeology), and scenic beauty.


Tasmanian Devil

Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Plight of the Tasmanian Devil - Dr. Erin Flynn Sold Out

As comical as it is, the familiar Looney Tunes portrayal of a Tasmanian devil as a seething, snarling, insatiable lunatic is quite far from the truth. Despite their demonic reputation, they are much more afraid of people than people need be of them. This carnivore got its mistaken name from early European settlers due in part from its loud, nighttime vocalizations and its flushed red ears and big teeth.

The Tasmanian devil is the world's largest living carnivorous marsupial (second only to the now-extinct Tasmanian tiger), reaching 30 inches in length and weighing up to 26 pounds, with an oversize head housing sharp teeth and strong, muscular jaws that can deliver one of the most powerful bites of any mammal.

Once abundant throughout Australia, Tasmanian devils are now indigenous only to the island state of Tasmania. Efforts in the late 1800s to eradicate devils, which farmers erroneously believed were killing livestock, were nearly successful. In 1941, the government made devils a protected species, and their numbers have grown steadily since.

However, a catastrophic highly contagious illness called Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease (TDFTD), discovered in the 1990s, has killed tens of thousands of them. Animal health experts are sequestering populations where the disease has not yet appeared and are focusing on captive breeding programs to save the species from extinction.

Erin will give us an introduction to these unique carnivorous marsupials, their life history and behavior, cultural perceptions, and information about efforts to combat TDFTD.

Erin is the conservation education curator at Henry Vilas Zoo where she oversees the zoo's education-related functions, including programming, curricula, outreach, interpretation, collection planning and volunteers. She spent 41/2 years conducting remote conservation-based fieldwork in Tasmania and is trained in captive Tasmanian devil management and breeding. While living in Australia (she earned her PhD in conservation and reproductive biology from the University of Tasmania) she became a venomous snake handler and a wildlife rehabilitator and taught biology, live trapping and animal handling techniques.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Knee Deep in Monkeys: Protecting Tropical Forests for Our Migratory Birds - Craig Thompson Sold Out

Did you know the hummingbird that will dance around your garden this summer will fly 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico this fall as part of an epic journey to reach its winter home in Panama? Or that the rose-breasted grosbeak nibbling sunflower seeds at your backyard feeder will ring in the New Year in the company of Costa Rican howler monkeys? Or that in October hundreds of children throughout Colombia will celebrate the return of "our" Baltimore orioles, scarlet tanagers and 150 other species of birds as they arrive on their wintering grounds in the tropical Andes?

More than one-half of the Upper Midwest's nearly 300 species of breeding birds travel annually to Latin America's spectacular, diminishing forests to escape the rigors of our temperate winter. Most are experiencing long-term population declines due, in part, to the loss of their wintering homes in Central and South America.

We now know saving migratory birds requires conservation strategies that span hemispheres. Wisconsin has stepped up to the challenge and is leading national efforts to accelerate protection of key wintering areas for neotropical migrants.

Join us as we travel with Craig, Wisconsin DNR biologist and Master Bird Bander to Costa Rica to learn about a dynamic partnership forged to protect rainforests on behalf of our beloved migratory birds. Our destination is Costa Rica's rugged Osa Peninsula. Home to jaguar, monkeys, and more than 400 bird species, the "Osa" is one of Latin America's last great wilderness areas and considered a global conservation priority. Vaccinations and passports not required on our journey to Central America. (photo by Dave Frericks)


Lake Wingra

Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 9 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
Friends of the Arboretum Annual Meeting: "Planning for a Healthy Lake Wingra" presented by Dr. Jim Lorman

Please join us as we celebrate another year of providing interesting and enlightening programs, activities and trips for our members and financial and volunteer support for the Arboretum. We will start the day at 9 a.m. with a delicious buffet breakfast, followed by a short business meeting. The highlight of the morning will be a presentation by Dr. Jim Lorman.

Friends of Lake Wingra (FOLW) was founded in 1998 as a grassroots organization with the mission "to promote a healthy Lake Wingra through an active watershed community." FOLW works to implement on-the-ground projects, advocate for innovative best management, and coordinate planning and management efforts.

Jim, FOLW co-founder and continuing member of the board, will provide an overview of Lake Wingra and its watershed and of current efforts to develop a comprehensive watershed management plan. This watershed plan, being developed in collaboration with City of Madison Engineering, creates specific action items to reach goals defined in the 2009 FOLW document, Lake Wingra: A Vision for the Future. It identifies appropriate stakeholders, priority actions, roles and responsibilities, needed policy and behavior changes, and strategies for how to make those changes.

Jim is professor of biology and academic program director of the Sustainability Leadership Graduate Program at Edgewood College. He has taught natural science, biology, and interdisciplinary environmental studies for 32 years and assists K-16 teachers and students in collaborating to study local environments, using watersheds and ecosystem health as integrating themes. Jim promotes collaborative community projects aimed at planning and implementing sustainable practices, especially in the area of watershed management. This work is related to and supported by his leadership in the FOLW, previous roles as a member of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, and participation in various other community organizations and government-sponsored committees, including Capital Region Sustainable Communities, Clean Lakes Alliance and Wisconsin Green Tier.

Jim's interest in aquatic ecology is life-long; as a youngster he collected crayfish and tadpoles while "mucking around" in ponds and rivers. His doctoral research focused on the ecology of crayfish.

As a special bonus to series ticket subscribers, we are including a ticket to the Annual Meeting at a discount.

Registration Form