Winter Talks 2015

Join us for our intriguing series of
Winter Talks in 2015.

Suggested donation: $2.00 per person

All talks take place in the Harwich Community Center (#100 Oak Street).

Each talk is on a Saturday afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m. and lasts about an hour.

Check out these fascinating topics!


Gray seal photo by Peter Trull

Saturday, January 10th, 2:00 p.m.
Diving into Gray Seals with Peter Trull, Naturalist & Science Educator

Join us for an intriguing presentation to discover the relationship between gray seals, commercial fishing, and great white sharks along the beaches of Cape Cod and the Northeast coast. The “Gray Curtain” of expanding seal population has come about after geologic and environmental changes, as well as other animal migrations and population increases. In the minds of many commercial fishermen, the gray seal has played a major part in some fishery changes. Now, a new charismatic, apex predator has entered the picture and has made its presence known: the great white shark.  Learn more about the evolving interactions among people, seals and great whites.

Saturday, January 24th, 2:00 p.m. Pleasant_Bay-WATERSHED-scale_map_9June2014

Protecting Pleasant Bay: Updates from Carole Ridley

Pleasant Bay is a recreational playground for so many Cape Codders and a critical habitat for wildlife. As Coordinator of the Pleasant Bay Alliance, Carole will present the latest information on resource conditions and trends in Pleasant Bay, including ongoing research and programs under way by the Pleasant Bay Alliance and partnering organizations. Topics that will be covered include water quality, fisheries, protection of coastal shoreline processes, and efforts to control excessive nutrient loading.

Saturday, January 31st, 2:00 p.m. 

Run with the River Herring by Ray Kane and a representative of the River Herring Network

Captain Ray Kane of the Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance will be joined by a leader of the River Herring Network to explain all there is to know about river herring.  They will discuss the status of this keystone species including fishery management, policy, and commercial impacts.  Learn more about volunteer counting programs in Southeastern MA including Harwich Conservation Trust’s Herring Count Program.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASaturday, February 7th, 2:00 p.m.
Wild Turkeys: Here, There, Everywhere!
Nowadays it seems that turkeys are everywhere on the Cape, crossing roads, stopping traffic, strutting their stuff or just browsing about.  Join us as we host Amy Wilmot, Regional Interpretive Coordinator with the state’s Department of Conservation & Recreation, who will tell us the fascinating tale of how wild turkeys made a comeback.  Although you can find wild turkey across the Commonwealth today, just a few decades ago they were mostly absent from our landscape. Come learn about the successful efforts to restore this species in Massachusetts. There will be hands-on items to touch and explore.


walkerspondSaturday, February 14th, 2:00 p.m.
Cape Cod Kettle Ponds: Records of change by Sophia Fox

As the aquatic ecologist for the Cape Cod National Seashore, Sophia’s research primarily involves kettle ponds and the impacts of global change on water quality, biological processes, and food web interactions.  These fragile ecosystems are particularly sensitive to changes in the surrounding environment.  Impacts of residential land use, recreation, and climate can be measured in the water quality and plant and animal communities of Cape Cod kettle ponds.  Her research is the first step for us to understand how to reduce the impacts to these unique ecosystems.

Backing_fire_optSaturday, February 28th, 2:00 p.m.

Fire as a Tool for Preserving Cultural Landscapes with Dave Crary and Bill Burke

Cape Cod National Seashore Fire Management Officer Dave Crary and Park Historian Bill Burke will team up to share how prescribed cutting and burning is restoring long lost historic fields, Thoreau’s heathlands, and vintage vistas within Cape Cod National Seashore.  Fire is a tool that has been used by Native American cultures for thousands of years, and its use continues today in many public and private forests and preserves. In the Cape Cod National Seashore fire is used under strict scientific and weather related controls to minimize threats from wildfire as well as for maintaining both cultural and natural landscapes.