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Recent Discoveries from the Office of State Archaeology, Saturday, January 20
Day Trip: Museum of Science, Boston, Saturday, January 27

Teale Lecture: Giving the Future a Chance, Thursday, Febuary 1
Mission to Mars: Creating the Ideal Team for Space Exploration, Saturday, February 10
Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, Thursday, February 22– Sunday, February 25

Teale Lecture: Implications of Rolling Back Regulations, Thursday, March 8
Pollination – The Traits That Make Plants Irresistible to Pollinators, Saturday March 10
Morning Tea with Mr. Darwin: Faith, Religion, and Science, Saturday, March 24
Archaeology at Pilgrim’s First Settlement-Burial Hill Plymouth, MA, Saturday, March 24

Teale Lecture: Multispecies Justice in the Age of Extinction, Thursday, April 5
Spring Seedlings Workshop, Saturday April 7
Exploring Connecticut’s Towns – Norwich! Saturday, April 21

Ancient Technologies Workshop: Flint Knapping, Saturday May 19

Uncovering Connecticut’s Past
Recent Discoveries from the Office of State Archaeology

Dr. Brian Jones, State Archaeologist, Museum of Natural History, UConn

Saturday, January 20, 3 pm – Biology/Physics Building, Room 130, UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE

At ongoing archaeological digs the past three summers, archaeologists unearthed rich data about Connecticut’s early colonial past. Join Dr. Brian Jones, Connecticut’s State Archaeologist who led these excavations, and discover what these recent archaeological explorations in Windsor, Glastonbury, and Columbia tell us about Connecticut’s earliest European settlers.

Day Trip: Museum of Science, Boston
Saturday, January 27 – Departing from UConn Storrs Campus
Advance registration required: Bus Fee $25 per person.
Adults and children ages 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

With daily live presentations, over 700 interactive exhibits, and a steady rotation of Planetarium, IMAX, and 4-D films, lectures, and special events, there's always something exciting going on at the Museum of Science in Boston. Engaging permeant and temporary exhibits included A Birds World, Butterfly Garden, Catching the Wind, Colossal Fossil, Cosmic Light, Defeating Disease, Hall of Human Life, Innovative Engineers, Making Models, Live Animal Care Center, Mathematica, Nanotechnology, Natural Mysteries, New England Habitats, To the Moon, and many more!

The bus will leave Storrs at 8 am. The bus will depart Boston for UConn at 4 pm. Please arrive and be prepared to board the bus prior to departure times. Admission to the Museum is not included and should be paid at the door or online. For a preview, and prices for admission packages, visit the Museum of Science website

Teale Lecture: Giving the Future a Chance
Dr. Elke U. Weber, Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Thursday, Febuary 1, 4 pm – Konover Auditorium, Dodd Research Center,
UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE

Bounded rationality and finite processing capacity make it understandable that homo sapiens focuses attention first on the here and now. But many individual and social problems require increased attention to future costs and benefits, with climate change as the most urgent challenge for decisions that fully and justly weigh the immediate and certain costs and benefits of business-as-usual or greenhouse gas mitigation efforts against their delayed, risky, and often disputed costs and benefits. Dr. Weber will present data for three interventions that focus greater attention on future consequences and thus provide entry points for choices that better balance short-term and long-term goals and objectives.

Dr. Elke U. Weber is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She believes that psychological theory needs to interface with social problems in a two-way dialogue, proving itself with constructive solutions in real-world settings and being enriched and constrained by those settings. While much of her work draws distinctions between homo economicus and homo sapiens, Dr. Weber also examines individual, group, and cultural differences in discounting or risk taking and how best to assess and model them. She puts insights from her research to use by helping individuals or social planners design decision environments that capitalize on the full range of human capabilities and goals to make wise decisions.

The Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series brings leading scholars and scientists to the University of Connecticut to present public lectures on nature and the environment. The lectures are open to the public and do not require registration. For additional information please call 860.486.4460 or visit –

Mission to Mars: Creating the Ideal Team for Human Space Exploration
Dr. John Mathieu, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Management, School of Business, UConn
Saturday, February 10, 10 am – Biology/Physics Building, Room 130, UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE

Adults and children ages 8 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send a team of six astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will take 9-12 months to get there, likely spend around twelve months on the planet’s surface, and take another 9-12 months to return to Earth. What characteristics will these astronauts need to be successful on their mission? It will take the right mix of people to not only survive the journey, but to thrive and excel as humankind expands its presence into the solar system. The research of Dr. John Mathieu, a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Management with UConn’s School of Business, is providing NASA key understandings on how to identify the participants needed to create a successful team of astronauts as well as how to help them maintain effectiveness as a team throughout the duration of the mission.

John Mathieu is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Management at the University of Connecticut, and holds the Friar Chair in Leadership and Teams at UConn. His primary areas of interest include models of team and multi-team effectiveness, leadership, training effectiveness, and cross-level models of organizational behavior. He has conducted work with several Fortune 500 companies, the armed services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), federal and state agencies, and numerous public and private organizations.

Community Event: Connecticut Flower and Garden Show
Thursday, February 22– Sunday, February 25 Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford

Escape the winter elements and explore over 300 booths overflowing with fresh flowers, plants, herbs, bulbs, seeds, gardening books, and accessories. Visit the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History’s Ethnobotany exhibit in the Federated Garden Club's section of the show. The Federated Garden Club section will feature a design and horticulture competition, demonstrations, and educational displays. For information, times, and directions visit the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show at

Teale Lecture: Rolling Back Environmental Regulation
Implications for Law, the Economy, and the Environment
Dr. Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Penn Program on Regulation, University of Pennsylvania
Thursday, March 8, 4 pm – Konover Auditorium, Dodd Research Center, UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE

Responding to the view that regulation hinders the economy and kills jobs, the Trump Administration has targeted for modification or repeal a series of significant environmental regulations adopted during the Obama Administration. In this lecture, Cary Coglianese assesses the legal, economic, and environmental implications of the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back environmental protections. He clarifies the legal challenges the Trump Administration confronts in pursuing its deregulatory agenda and then explains how the best available evidence supports the view that environmental regulation has at most a negligible effect on overall employment and that the economic benefits of environmental regulation outweigh its costs. He concludes by reflecting on what might be the longer-term effects of Trump Administration’s deregulatory agenda for the environment and the economy.

Dr. Cary Coglianese specializes in the study of regulation and regulatory processes, with an emphasis on the empirical evaluation of alternative regulatory strategies and the role of public participation, negotiation, and business-government relations in policy making. His most recent books include: Achieving Regulatory Excellence; Does Regulation Kill Jobs?; Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation; Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy; and Regulation and Regulatory Processes. Prior to joining Penn Law, Coglianese spent a dozen years on the faculty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also has taught as a visiting law professor at Stanford and Vanderbilt, founded the Law & Society Association’s international collaborative research network on regulatory governance, served as a founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal Regulation & Governance, and created and now advises the daily production of The Regulatory Review. The chair of the Administrative Conference of the United States' committee on rulemaking, he has led a National Science Foundation initiative on e-rulemaking, served on the ABA’s task force on improving regulations, and chaired a task force on transparency and public participation in the regulatory process that offered a blueprint to the Obama Administration on open government. He recently served as a member of a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine studying performance-based safety regulation and of an Aspen Institute dialogue on energy policy governance. He has served as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States, Environment Canada, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Presented by UConn’s Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series–bringing leading scholars and scientists to the University of Connecticut to present public lectures on nature and the environment. 860.486.4460 –

Pollination Syndromes – Traits That Make Plants Irresistible to Pollinators
Special Talk, Tour, and Scavenger Hunt
Dr. Matthew Opel and Clinton Morse, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UConn
Saturday March 10, 10 am – Torrey Life Science Building, Room 154, UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE

When you say pollination, people may think of bees and butterflies simply traveling from one flower to the next. However, many flowers have unique traits that enable them to reproduce in very specialized ways. Some plants use these traits to utilize wind or water to propagate, while other plants may reproduce with the help of bees, butterflies, bats, beetles, and numerous other animal species. These traits, known as Pollination Syndromes, can include the flower’s shape, size, color, smell, taste, and bloom timing.

Discover the fascinating world of Pollination Syndromes in a special presentation by Dr. Matthew Opel, Collections Horticulturist with the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses at UConn. Then head over to the nearby Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses for a self-guided tour and plant scavenger hunt created by Greenhouse Collections Manager Clinton Morse, Dr. Opel,and the greenhouse staff. The scavenger hunt will feature many plants with unusual pollination strategies.

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses at UConn have one of the most diverse plant collections in the US. The collection consists of over 3,000 species, including many oddities of the plant world, such as a large collection of carnivorous plants, ant-plant symbionts, and an extensive collection of plants from a biodiversity hotspot—the Cape region of South Africa.

Morning Tea with Mr. Darwin: Faith, Religion, and Science
Saturday, March 24, 10 am – Biology/Physics Building, Room 130, UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE
Adults and children ages 10 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Religious faith was frequently on Darwin’s mind. Both he and his wife Emma were raised in free-thinking Unitarian families. Charles studied for a life as a clergyman, but his allegiance to the 39 principles of the Anglican church was never strong. He had difficulty accepting the idea of eternal punishment for sins and his developing ideas about natural selection increasingly challenged his faith. To the end of his life he was tormented by the distance between his lack of faith and Emma’s fear that they would not be reunited after death. His discoveries about evolution caused a ferment in the established church at the time, but, not long after his death, Anglicans reconciled their beliefs with his theories. This presentation will discuss Darwin’s personal struggles with religious faith and the religious context in which his work developed. Join us for this exploration of Darwin’s world. Mr. Darwin will be portrayed by professor Kenneth Noll of UConn’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.

Recent archaeological finds at the Pilgrim’s First Settlement-Burial Hill Plymouth, MA.
Dr. Christa M. Beranek, Fiske Center for Archaeological Research,
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Saturday, March 24, 2 pm – Farmington High School, 10 Monteith Drive, Farmington, CT 
$10 general admission; $5 for students with ID. Pay at the door. Current FOSA, ASC, CSMNH members, and Farmington students and faculty admitted free with ID.

Today, Burial Hill in Plymouth, MA is the site of a historic cemetery established in the 17th century by the Pilgrims, and is the final resting place of several Mayflower passengers. Prior to being a burial site, the English colonists constructed a fort on top of Burial Hill in 1621, with a palisaded town stretching down the hill towards the harbor. Since 2015, archaeologists have been uncovering parts of this original settlement, providing interesting insights on the Pilgrim settlers as well as evidence of Native Wampanoag use of Burial Hill before the colonists’ arrival.

Dr. Christa M. Beranek is a Research Scientist for the Fiske Center. As a historical archaeologist focusing on Eastern North America, her interests are in material culture studies, vernacular architecture, and archaeological writing. Her primary research has been on rural Massachusetts in the 18th century, exploring the role of rural merchants in spreading new material and social practices. At UMass, she is engaged in projects at several Massachusetts sites, both excavations and collections analyses, and has been working in Plymouth since 2013. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University in 2007.

This event is part of the annual meeting of the Friends of the Office of State Archaeology that begins at 1 pm and is open to the public. The Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center at UConn, and Archaeological Society of Connecticut (ASC) sponsor the presentation. Snow Date: Sunday, March 25.

Teale Lecture: Multispecies Justice in the Age of Extraction and Extinction
Subhankar Banerjee, Lannan Foundation Endowed Chair of Land Arts of the American West and Professor, Art & Ecology, Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico
Thursday, April 5, 4 pm – Konover Auditorium, Dodd Research Center, UConn, Storrs, CT
No registration required – FREE

In a mere six decades we have steadily progressed from the dread of “silent spring” to the prospect of a lonely earth. Scientists have been busy cataloguing the epic ongoing loss of life—mass extinction and mass die-off—that largely remain out of our sight and apprehension. At the same time impacts of climate change—fires, floods, hurricanes—have reached such a devastating proportion with intensity and frequency that a new phrase has entered our vocabulary—“climate breakdown”. Yet, there is no end in sight of the expansion of fossil fuel developments, including in vital ecological nurseries and places sacred and materially significant to the indigenous peoples. I will present “multispecies justice” as an essential ethical imperative for our time arising out of decades-long coalitional campaigns to push back against the rapidly unfolding ecologically apocalyptic and politically dispiriting realities. Simply put, multispecies justice brings two traditionally adversarial positions in environmental engagements—conservation of biotic life and habitats into alignment with campaigns for environmental justice. The lecture will largely focus on my nearly two-decades-long engagement with Arctic Alaska, a place imminently threatened by various oil and gas development projects—onshore, nearshore, and offshore—that are being fast-tracked by the Trump administration, the Alaska Congressional delegation, and the State of Alaska—all of which collectively threaten to destroy vital biological nurseries of global significance and impact food security and violate human rights of the indigenous peoples. I’ll also highlight how multispecies justice connects Arctic Alaska with Tropical Asia.   

Subhankar Banerjee, “once a physicist”, is a self-taught artist and writer, and an accidental activist. He is Lannan Foundation Endowed Chair and Professor of Art & Ecology, with additional appointments in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies and the Sustainability Studies Program, at the University of New Mexico (UNM). An exhibition of his Arctic work Long Environmentalism: Activism | Photographs | Writing is on display at the UNM Art Museum through March 3, 2018. He is author of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land; editor of Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point; and recently started work on co-editing, with T.J. Demos and Emily Eliza Scott, a forthcoming volume provisionally titled “Routledge Companion to Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change.” His work is included in Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment, a traveling exhibition reexamining 18th-21st-century American art in relation to issues of ecology and environmental history, which will open at the Princeton University Art Museum in Fall 2018.

Presented by UConn’s Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series–bringing leading scholars and scientists to the University of Connecticut to present public lectures on nature and the environment. 860.486.4460 –

Spring Seedlings Workshop
Julia Cartabiano and the students of Spring Valley Student Farm, UConn
Saturday April 7, 10:00 to 11:30 am – Storrs, CT
Space is limited and advance registration is required – Free
To register email or call 860.486.5690
Adults and children ages 8 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

While the soil outside might still be cold, early spring is the perfect time to start growing seedlings indoors that can later be transplanted to your garden. Working with the students of UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm, participants will explore a variety of herbs, flowers, and vegetable plants they can start indoors. These seeds will become seedlings that can then be planted outside in May. Then, after building newspaper pots, the participants will use the provided seeds and soil to start their own indoor seedling to bring home.

Weather permitting, the workshop will include a tour of UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm. UConn’s student farmers learn about sustainable community living, organic food growing methods, and the business aspects of how food is harvested, processed, and presented to the UConn dining community. Spring Valley Student Farm exists as a collaborative venture between Dining Services, Residential Life, EcoHouse Learning Community and First Year Programs, the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Policy, and the Office of Public Engagement-Service Learning.

Special Series: Exploring Connecticut’s Towns – Norwich!
Regan Miner, Consultant for the Norwich Historical Society
Museum Staff, Leffingwell House Museum
Saturday, April 21, 10 am to 12:15 pm, Norwich, CT
Advance registration required. $15 per person.
Adults and children ages 8 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The natural and cultural history of Connecticut, in each of its 169 towns, has a unique story to tell. From the indigenous peoples arriving after the glaciers receded and the European explorers and settlers establishing colonies in the “New World,” to the innovators of the industrial revolution leading to the present day, Connecticut is steeped in history. Join us as we explore Connecticut’s towns and learn about the people and places that have shaped and continue to shape the Constitution State.

The City of Norwich was founded in 1659 and the friendship formed with the local Mohegan Tribe allowed the Norwich settlers to purchase a tract of land 9 miles square. One of the largest cities in the Colonies during the 18th century, it was a center of wealth, commerce, influence as well as home to many important historic figures connected to American War of Independence. However, a particular resident became one of this country’s most infamous and internationally recognized traitors: Benedict Arnold. Arnold was Washington’s trusted General and was a talented commander in the Continental Army until 1779 when he decided to change sides and start secret negotiations with the British.

For this special Exploring Connecticut’s Towns visit we will discover the story of this controversial and complicated man who greatly impacted our nation’s history during the Revolutionary War. The tour will provide a glimpse into Benedict Arnold’s complex childhood as well as discuss other prominent Norwich figures that played a role in the Revolutionary War. The walk will conclude with a special tour of the Leffingwell House Museum, one of the finest restored examples of New England Colonial architecture. This living museum offers a glimpse of early 18th century life. It started as a simple two room house in1675, and progressed into elegant home filled with fascinating items representative of its architectural evolution.

Ancient Technologies Workshop: Flint Knapping
Dr. Brian Jones, State Archaeologist, Museum of Natural History, UConn

Scott Brady, Friends of the Office of State Archaeology
Saturday May 19, 1 pm to 3 pm – UConn, Storrs, CT
Adults and children ages 14 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 
Advance registration required: $50 (includes material fee).

Flint knapping is the production of stone tools with sharp edges created by percussion and pressure. This technology was used by all societies before the introduction of metal working.  Stone was traditionally used to make spear and dart points, arrow heads, knives, scrapers, blades and many other tools. It was also used in historic times to manufacture gun flints. You may have seen these stone artifacts exhibited in museums—now is your chance to make and use them! Artifacts from the collections of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History will be examined and discussed as well.  Discover the history and art of flint knapping, and learn how archaeologists identify and date these tools. Work gloves are recommended as the knapped stones are sharp.

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