Wildlands & Woodlands Website

Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.

Highstead Woodland Conversations

Highstead Happenings > Woodland Conversations

Each year, we invite a leading environmental scholar to share his/her knowledge with audiences at Highstead. The topics have enormous breadth, ranging from climate change to conservation finance; but are united by their importance and timeliness to society at regional, national, or international scales.

Jim Sterba:


Jim Sterba has been a foreign and war correspondent and a national affairs reporter for more than four decades for The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He is the author of Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds, which was a finalist for the 2012 L.A. Times Book Prize in the category of current interest.

Topic: Nature Wars

Read more about the talk and view video.

Dr. Peter Del Tredici:

Peter Del Tredici, Ph.D., is the Senior Research Scientist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Lecturer in Harvard’s Department of Landscape Architecture.  

Topic: Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast

Dr. Eric Chivian:

Eric Chivian, M.D., is the Founder and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.  In 1985, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize for being a co-founder of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and in 2008, he was named by Time Magazine, as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Topic: How Human Health Depends on Nature

Dr. Peter Ashton:

Charles Bullard Research Professor of Forestry at Harvard University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He received the 2007 Japan Prize for his work in the Tropical Forests of Asia.

Topic: Tropical Forest Tree Distribution

Dr. David R. Foster:

Director of the Harvard Forest and Senior Lecturer in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Department at Harvard. He has authored/edited four books and over 100 scientific articles.

Topic: Wildlands and Woodlands: A plan for the Conservation of Southern New England Forests

Jim Levitt:

Director, Program on Conservation Innovation, Harvard Forest and Research Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He has edited two books including From Walden to Wall Street.

Topic: Conservation Finance in the 21st Century

Dr. Michael McElroy

Professor of Environmental Studies, Harvard University. The former Director of Harvard's Center for the Environment, he has authored some 200 scientific publications.

Topics: 1. Environmental Challenges for the New Millennium 2. Global Warming

Dr. Dale Jorgenson

Professor of Economics, Harvard University. A former recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal in Economics, he has authored and edited over 30 books.

Topic: Global Warming