Each summer the MAI Ecology committee presents a series of lectures related to the ecology and history of Monhegan Island. These talks are generally held in person at the Monhegan Schoolhouse at 7:30pm. At times we have also been able to provide talks virtually via Zoom. See below for further information including recordings of some past lectures. Attendance is free of charge, although donations are greatly appreciated (suggested donation = $10).

SAVE THE DATES: 2024 Ecology Speakers

July 11: Karen O. Zimmermann, Maine Master Naturalist & Registered Maine Guide 

Inspired by Kate Furbush, Maine botanist and illustrator, and other naturalists, Karen spends most days hiking, observing, learning about plants, and painting. She combines natural history notes with sketches from field observations, capturing the spirit of a living entity and its sense of place. Merging visual and verbal is a way to gain an understanding of the plant or animal in front of her, and its place in the world around us.  As a naturalist and artist, Karen creates not just for her own pleasure, but to share stories. By presenting small details in watercolor she invites viewers to look at all nature has to offer more deeply, taking home new insights that they may not otherwise have noticed, and to perhaps look differently at what is right under their feet and in their own backyard.

July 18: Brett Ewald, Director: Cape May Bird Observatory, author of the book: “Birds of Monhegan” 

Brett Ewald has been studying and enjoying birds and nature for over 40 years, specializing in migration and distribution patterns. He spent ten years conducting migration research for Braddock Bay Raptor Research along the shores of Lake Ontario, including directing the Hamlin Beach Lakewatch and co-authoring a publication on waterbird movements. He was the guide and owner of Lakeshore Nature Tours, sharing the joys of birding at premier locations throughout North America including, of course, Monhegan. Brett is currently the Director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory and shares his favorite moments with his wife, Sheryl, and Neah Bay, a Treeing Walker Coonhound.

August 1: David Foster, Director Emeritus, Harvard Forest

David Foster is an ecologist and director emeritus of the Harvard Forest, Harvard University’s 4000-acre ecological laboratory. His research focuses on interpreting landscape dynamics from climate change, human and use. and other factors and applying these results to conservation. In 2005, David and colleagues developed Wildlands and Woodlands – A Vision for the New England Landscape, an ambitious initiative for forest and farmland conservation integrated with community development. He is the author Hemlock: A Forest Giant on the Edge and A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard.

August 8: Shelby Perry, Wildlands Ecologist at Northeast Wilderness Trust 

Shelby began working at Northeast Wilderness Trust in 2016, starting as Conservation Assistant and working her way up to her current role, Wildlands Ecologist. She previously spent two years documenting and advocating for wilderness in Wyoming’s Red Desert, and served terms in both AmeriCorps and the US Peace Corps, caring for conserved lands in the High Sierra in California and as a water sanitation engineer in West Africa, respectively. When she’s not protecting and defending wilderness, Shelby enjoys exploring it on foot or through photography, science, and artwork.