What’s the first sign of spring in NH?

It just may be the 2023 Cottrell-Baldwin lecture series

Kelly Whalen | February 22, 2023

A photo of trees in sunshine underneath the words Cottrell-Baldwin Environmental Lecture Series with logos of the NH Dept of Natural & Cultural Resources and the Forest Society.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, along with the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, has announced this year’s lineup for the annual Cottrell-Baldwin Environmental Lecture series, with topics that touch on historic preservation, wildlife and land conservation.

The lecture series honors the environmental and scholarly legacies of Hillsborough residents Annette and William Cottrell, as well as that of New Hampshire’s first research forester, Henry Ives Baldwin.

“The Forest Society has partnered with the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands for this lecture series since 2004, and it’s always a highlight of early spring,” said Dave Anderson, senior director of education at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “We invite anyone who is interested in learning more about our state’s engaging outdoors to attend as many of the lectures that their schedules will allow.”

“Frost heaves and the Cottrell-Baldwin series are a sure sign that we’re heading into spring,” said Inge Seaboyer, Program Forester at the Caroline A. Fox Research and Demonstration Forest. “Every year, folks tell us how much they look forward to learning more about different natural aspects of our state, and this year’s lineup has something to interest everyone.”

The 2023 Cottrell-Baldwin Environmental Lecture series takes place Tuesdays, March 21-April 11, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Fox Forest’s Henry I. Baldwin Environmental Center, 309 Center Road in Hillsborough.

This year’s lectures are listed below. Register on our events page. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited and registration in advance is appreciated.

New Hampshire's Division of Forests and Lands is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. NHDFL’s mission is to protect and promote the values provided by trees, forests and natural communities. This mission is accomplished through responsible management of the state’s forested resources; by providing forest resource information and education to the public; and through the protection of these resources for the continuing benefit of the state’s citizens, visitors, and forest industry.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a private, non-profit land trust and forestry organization established in 1901. It currently holds more than 750 conservation easements statewide permanently protecting more than 135,000 acres of New Hampshire’s landscapes. The Forest Society also owns 191 forest reservations constituting more than 58,000 acres in 105 New Hampshire communities.


Tuesday, March 21, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Covered Bridges of New Hampshire

Speaker: Researcher & Photographer Kim Varney Chandler

Did you know New Hampshire was once home to over 300 covered bridges? While most are now long gone, today over 61 remain, 46 of which are over a century old! The Forest Society is proud to welcome Kim Varney Chandler to share her research on covered bridges in the Granite State, along with some interesting facts she discovered along the way. You will not want to miss this opportunity to learn about our state’s rich and wonderful history.

Kim Varney Chandler is a researcher, amateur genealogist, photographer, bird watcher, and dog lover. She is a two-time graduate of the University of New Hampshire (‘91, ‘96G). When not immersed in researching covered bridges, Kim works as a high school counselor and spends as much time as she can volunteering for various organizations. A life-long resident of New Hampshire, she currently resides in Hancock with her husband, Marshell, and Pemi, the hiking therapy dog.

Tuesday, March 28, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Black Bears: Understanding and Controlling Human-Bear Conflicts

Speaker: Andy Timmins, NH Fish & Game Biologist

Bears, behavior, and conflicts. Oh my! With our furry friends coming out of hibernation, Andy Timmins joins our education series to talk about population trends, common species misconceptions about bear behavior, and the many challenges that black bears face in their own habitats. Andy will also explore ways in which humans can reduce the number of bear-human conflicts happening in our communities.

Andy Timmins has worked at NH Fish and Game for 28 years and was recently promoted to Game Programs Supervisor. He has been working as a bear biologist since 2002, which has allowed him to educate the public on bears and work towards human-bear coexistence, a topic he finds imperative in wildlife management.

Tuesday, April 4, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Ten Years and a Dozen Porcupines – An Informal Study

Speakers: Ann Eldridge and Bill Duffy – Porcupines in NH

Did you know that porcupines have over 300,000 quills? Or that they are exceptionally good swimmers? At Ann Eldridge’s and Bill Duffy's quill-pig presentation, you will learn facts like these and so much more! Ann and Bill will take us on a deep dive into the evolutionary history, anatomy, and habitats of porcupines while offering personal perspectives on the hidden lives and personalities of these amazing creatures. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our misunderstood wild neighbors from the people who know them best.

J. Ann Eldridge received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art and has been making etchings ever since. She is a member of the Bradford Conservation Commission, works as a wildlife data collection volunteer, and writes the occasional wandering essay for the Bradford Bridge — a volunteer community newspaper. Bill Duffy is a cartographer and semi-professional photographer with a master's degree in Geology from the University of Maine.

Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This Land Was Saved for You and Me

Speaker: Author Jeffrey Ryan

Looking for some New Year reading? Look no further than Jeffrey Ryan’s This Land Was Saved for You and Me! Newly released, this nonfiction hardcover calls upon names such as Frederick Law Olmsted and Gifford Pinchot to trace the history behind forester efforts to keep America’s public land “forever wild.” Learn about the many wonderful people working tirelessly behind the scenes to protect and manage natural resources so that they remain accessible for generations to come.

What’s better: Jeffrey will join us to highlight excerpts from his work and take questions from readers! Bring your copy of this great insight into American natural history to get it signed by Jeffrey or buy one at the signing!

Jeffrey Ryan lives in Maine, where he pursues his passion for exploring both the outdoors and the dusty paths of history. His many outdoor adventures have inspired several books including Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, and Blazing Ahead, a history of the Appalachian Trail’s creation. When he is not researching or writing, Ryan can be found in his vintage 1985 VW camper, touring the backroads of America and Canada.