October 19, 2015

Richard Primack

Using the Plants and Animals of Thoreau’s Concord to Communicate Climate Change Research to a Wider Audience

BU’s Seminar Series on Climate Change

October 19, 2015

Speaker: Dr. Richard Primack
Professor of Biology
Boston University

Henry David Thoreau, the author of the ground breaking book Walden, was a climate change scientist! For the past 14 years, Professor Richard Primack (Boston University) and his team have been using Thoreau’s records from the 1850s and other data sources to document the dramatically earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier ice out at Walden Pond, and the more variable response of migratory birds. And most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate.  While primarily a scientific study, Primack’s talk will be supported by beautiful photos and insightful quotes from Thoreau.

This work has received exceptional wide attention in the popular media (http://people.bu.edu/primack/news.html),New York Times and Science, and demonstrates the relevance of Thoreau’s legacy to contemporary issues. Prof. Primack has recently written a popular book about his work: Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods.

This program is supported in part by a grant to Earth & Environment Professor Dave Marchant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program.